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’89 Chevy Cheyenne C1500 | Red Ryder

On Every Kid’s Wish List in the 1990s

How many of you wanted a Red Ryder BB gun after “A Christmas Story” appeared on TV when you were a kid? It was one of the most influential movie scenes in the ’80s, and to this day it still plays nonstop during the holiday season. 

Roller block SBC 355ci V-8 Chevy
Roller block SBC 355ci V-8

Few things stick around for that long and still hold sentimental value to millions of people around the country. Show anyone in your family a picture of a stock ’88-’98 GMT400 truck, and we promise at least one of them has a great story involving one of them. Either it’s your grandpa who used one as a farm truck his whole life and watched the sunset in it with his wife for the past 30 years, or it’s your mom who met your dad in their parent’s work truck on a Friday night. Everyone has a memory that involves this all-American Bow Tie, and this particular shortbed is no different.

American Powertrain “White Lightning” Tremec 5-speed transmission

bucket seats

Dylan Eaton from Spring Hill, Florida, grew up with this exact truck—well, a stock daily-driven version of it at least. His dad picked it up from the dealership new in 1989 and drove it until 2008 when he gave it to Dylan. This was the first truck Dylan ever owned, and he wanted to prove he cared about it as much as his dad did. Now after a little over eight years and around $25,000 dollars or more, Dylan is proud to tell the story of this long-time family member. He knew the path he wanted to take when he started customizing. A daily driven, big power, thick tire street machine. Nothing more and nothing less. He wants to jump the truck at any time and have a strong crank. No special fuel and no pre-charging, just a ready and reliable show truck.

Welded roll pan

Because it was so well maintained since its time on the showroom floor, the exterior of the truck only needed some fresh paint and a few simple upgrades. A Street Scene front grille with billet inserts was installed, the factory bumpers were shaved and painted, the bed rail stake holes were shaved, and a steel roll pan was welded and smoothed in. Finally, the whole truck was painted Viper Red by Donnie Peake of Peake’s Autobody Inc. To get the stance correct, Dylan and his dad installed a 5-inch front and 7-inch rear suspension drop that included DJM Control Arms, Belltech coil springs, new spindles, a rear flip kit, C-notch for the rear frame rails, and Belltech Street Performer shocks. They also bolted on a 1.375-inch front sway bar with polyurethane bushings and body mounts as well as a Calvert Racing Caltrac bar.

Viper Red Chevy
Forever Sharp steering wheel
Forever Sharp steering wheel
Street Scene front grille

The power plant on this sweet OBS is an ’87 GM roller block SBC 355ci V-8 built by Mark’s Performance and Machine in New Port Richey, Florida. The block was balanced, blueprinted, decked and line honed. It was also bored 0.030 over and has a Pro Meth methanol injection system. Eagle connecting rods, Comp Cams nx276hr camshaft, JE Pistons, Total Seal rings and King bearings complete the internals, and it’s all bolted together with ARP bolts and studs. Under the block is a Morosso oil pan. Topping off the engine build are Air Flow Research Eliminator 180cc heads, a polished 192-intake 16-rib supercharger from The Blower Shop, a Devane “Weekend Warrior” 930cfm carburetor, and Hooker Headers. These bolt up to Hooker Max Flow mufflers and flow out the back of the truck. An MSD ignition keeps the timing in check and an American Powertrain “White Lightning” Tremec 5-speed transmission with hydraulic throwout bearings and a SPEC Type 3 clutch wrap up the drivetrain.

Dakota Digital VHX

All this power is sent back to the 14-bolt 5-lug 454SS rearend with 3:73 gears. Some 17-inch American Racing Torq Thrust 2 wheels are at each corner with a 17×7 up front and 17×9.5 in the rear. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tires give Dylan the traction he needs and the SSBC Big Bite brakes stop him when he steps on the pedal. The SSBC rear disc brake conversion and SSBC adjustable proportioning valve give him all the braking power he needs for this beast of a truck. 

’89 Chevy Cheyenne C1500
’89 Chevy Cheyenne C1500

This truck is on every grown kid’s Christmas list, and you don’t have to worry about shooting your own eye out with a truck like this—although you may break a few necks when you drive by.  

  Truck Specs:

Dylan Eaton
’89 Chevy Cheyenne C1500
Spring Hill, Florida


  • 5-inch front and 7-inch rear suspension drop 
  • DJM control arms
  • Belltech springs and spindles
  • Belltech flip kit and C-notch
  • Belltech Street Performer shocks
  • 1.375-inch front sway bar
  • Polyurethane bushings and body mounts
  • Calvert Racing Caltrac bars


  • ’87 GM roller block SBC 355ci V-8
  • Built by Mark’s Performance and Machine in New Port Richey, Florida
  • Balanced, Blueprinted, Decked, Line Honed
  • Bored 0.030 over
  • Pro Meth methanol injection
  • Eagle connecting rods
  • JE Pistons with Total Seal rings
  • King bearings
  • ARP bolts and studs
  • Moroso oil pan
  • Comp Cams nx276hr camshaft
  • 502/520 lift and 276/288 duration
  • Air Flow Research Eliminator 180cc heads
  • The Blower Shop polished 192-intake 16-rib supercharger
  • Devane “Weekend Warrior” 930cfm carburetor
  • Hooker Headers
  • Hooker Max Flow mufflers
  • MSD ignition
  • American Powertrain “White Lightning” Tremec 5-speed transmission
  • T56 Magnum with hydraulic throwout bearing
  • SPEC Type 3 clutch


  • 17-inch American Racing Torq Thrust 2 wheels
  • 17×7 front width 17×9.5 rear width
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tires
  • 224/45/17 front and 275/40/17 rear
  • SSBC Big Bite brakes
  • SSBC rear disc brake conversion
  • SSBC adjustable proportioning valve
  • 14-bolt 5-lug 454 SS rearend with 3:73 gears


  • Street Scene front grille
  • Billet grille inserts
  • Shaved and painted factory bumpers
  • Bed rail stake holes shaved
  • Painted Viper Red by Donnie Peake of Peake’s Autobody Inc.


  • 454 SS bucket seats
  • Black with red stitching by Catalina Custom Upholstery in Spring Hill, Florida
  • Dakota Digital VHX carbon fiber and red gauge cluster
  • Forever Sharp steering wheel
  • Sony single din head unit
  • Factory dash and door panels dyed black

OBS Builders Guide Volume 2 Cover Reveal! Preorder Now!

The crew at Mach1 Media got an amazing shot for this issue’s cover!

Premier issue number one of OBS Builder’s Guide was so successful, we’re going to do it again! From the editors of Street Trucks Magazine comes the all-composing guide to restoring and customizing one of the most popular body style trucks ever released. Chevrolet’s 88-98 Fullsize trucks and SUVs spawned a massive sub-culture of passionate enthusiasts, artists, and gearheads worldwide. With over 800,000 OBS (Old Body Style) trucks built and sold within the first year of production, it’s easy to see why this is one of America’s most beloved bodies. The OBS Builders Guide is here to document this trend-setting truck and bring you the best how-to tech, feature stories, manufacture spotlights, event coverage, and new product reveals that relate. In this book you will see things like:

  •  Suspension upgrades and modifications like air-ride, static drops and even lift kit installation
  •  Engine Performance upgrades and LS style motor swaps
  •  Body Restoration, Metal Modifications and Rust Repair
  •  Interior Upgrades, Electrical, and Audio Enhancements
  •  New Parts Guides and Model Specific Press Releases
  •  Paint Styling Trends, Tips and Tricks
  •  Wheel and Tire Size/Style Options and Looks
  •  Braking upgrades for Street and Competition use
  •  Tends and Ideas to help your truck stand out from the rest!

VIDEO | How To LS Swap your OBS Chevy!

We walk you through the 5.3 LS install into Travis’ ’99 Tahoe. This video will explain what parts we used, the main steps we took and the outcome. It is almost like these trucks were made specifically to LS swap as it is fairly easy to do and fit well.

Saluting the C/K

The decade in which you grew up affects your relationship with CHEVY TRUCKS. Maybe your dad, grandpa or uncle had an older C10 model that was kept somewhat stock or had very minimal modifications made to it. More than likely, the odds of gramp’s truck being in stock condition would be more plausible than your pops keeping his ride free of accessories. Having an old pickup around really influences you as a kid and creates memories that stick around into adulthood.   

However, if you were reaching driving age when the fourth generation of full-size Chevy pickups was being unleashed onto the public, right around the very late ’80s, you just might have a naturally stronger attraction to this new wave of truck style. The ’90s were on the horizon, and so was a new style of, well, everything. Aside from the “hip” new fashion and music trends, there was a new type of truck on the streets for cruising around with your friends. The evolution of the modern American truck had arrived.   

Taking a truck from modified daily driver to something show worthy can be a hard transition for vehicle owners. Committing to take the whole build to the next level is usually not the issue—it’s more like remembering to take it a bit easier on the truck to maintain its pristine condition, which is what every show vehicle aims to be. read more

New projects sometimes have a funny way of materializing. For Matt Smith, the thought of another project came about after an unfortunate accident while photographing his previous truck for Street Trucks, a Chevy S-10 known as REDDWUD. read more

Life tends to take a few wild and unexpected turns from time to time, and so do careless drivers. Still, each obstacle that life throws out tests how we’ll handle adversity. Paul Rogers has met his challenges with perseverance and optimism. read more

It’s not difficult to see the benefits of owning an SUV. Copious amounts of secure cargo space and plenty of room for passengers are among the biggest, but one thing that can’t be ignored is that they look amazing when slammed! Jose Reyes had all of these things in mind when he went on the hunt for an SUV with which to haul his family to shows, and he really lucked out when he found this ’95 Chevy Tahoe for sale a few years ago. read more

Versatility is defined as the “ability to adapt to many different functions or activities.” In the world of custom trucks, most builds are targeted toward one specific end—but not versatility. For most enthusiasts, if their truck can look good on the show field, pull some hardware come trophy time and get a few thumbs up on the road, it’s been a good day. read more

1999 was a heck of a year for people who like rad stuff. “The Matrix” was released, Tony Hawk landed the first 900, the Yankees won the World Series for the 25th time and the “South Park” movie finally came out. There were some bad times, too, though. Pam and Tommy got divorced, Y2K had everyone in a panic, boy bands were everywhere and worst of all, the last two-door Tahoe rolled off the assembly line. We didn’t really know it at the time, but we were losing a legend. read more

Ever heard that old saying about painters never having the time to paint the house they live in? They work all day on other people’s places and never have the time to tend to the peeling, fading paint covering their own pad. Most professionals tend to slack when it comes to maintaining their own environment, but when you’re busy with everyone else, there doesn’t always seem to be a lot of time to take care of your own situation. The guy we have in mind is a painter, but he doesn’t work on houses. read more

Not very many people can tell you the complete history of their ride, but Trent Briggs’ ’92 Chevy has pretty much always been around. He recalls the very first time it came into his family’s life: “My story with my truck began 25 years ago when my parents bought [the truck] brand new off the lot. I was 5 years old but can distinctly remember being there with them to pick it up and being excited since it was bright red and white factory two-toned. My dad used the truck for construction work throughout the years, and I even remember a time when round bales of hay were hauled in the bed.” read more

OBS GIT DOWN! Invading to be Accepted

Held in Glendale, Arizona, the world-famous Dino’s Git Down brings together more than 1,600 Chevrolet/GMC trucks from all over the U.S. Originally, this event only accepted Chevy trucks between the years of 1947-1987. After enough requests from the GMT400 crowd, however, Dino and crew decided to open the field this year to include Chevy OBS trucks and SUVs. This gathering is the elite of elite when it comes to quality and craftsmanship, and it’s strictly Chevy/GMC trucks only. That’s right—no Fords allowed! 

Dino Battilana is a hardworking business owner during the day and one of the most hardcore Bow Tie believers in the country. Building badass trucks and having friends over to your house for a cookout is satisfying enough for most men, but not for Dino. A once-per-year gathering of gearheads with limits on the line-up and no money needed is more his style. No registration and no admission are necessary—just show up hungry and be ready to talk trucks! For the last 10 years, he has been doing that exact concept, and the whole country is taking notice.

Even though the event was promoted as a single-day event, there were plenty of other cool things to do before and after the show, including a pre-show mixer on Thursday and a Saturday morning cruise to Switch Suspension for tacos! Saturday night is the official 21-and-over after party where things get a little crazy, but more fun can’t be had anywhere else. Try and describe a better weekend than that! Be sure to follow them online so you don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the biggest free C10 event nationwide. Now let’s check out the OBS pics!  

OBS PARTS BUYER’S GUIDE | All The GMT400 Parts You Need to Know About!

Suspension Upgrades

1. QA1 C1500 Coilover Conversion Systems

Add modern performance to a pickup that was designed for utility. With QA1’s bolt-on front and rear systems, not only can you lower your C1500, but you’ll also have ride height adjustability on all four corners, giving you that perfect, level stance. The front systems offer up to 5-inch of drop with drop spindles, and control arms provide more room for wider wheels and tires. The rear system offers up to 7 inches of drop, and the torque arm design reduces binding found in other four-link systems.

Front: $2,298.66 Rear: $2,482.87


 2. Ridetech Coilover  Suspension System

Bolt-on coilover suspension systems dramatically improve handling and ride quality when lowering a truck to the 4/6 level or lower. The wishbone multi-link rear suspension, heavy-duty C-notches, tubular A-arms, drop spindles, HQ adjustable coilovers, Musclebar front sway bar, Delrin bushings and R-joints all work together to create the best ride imaginable. And best yet, this kit is also available in an air-ride configuration. 

MSRP: $5,900


 3. Western Chassis 4/6-inch Deluxe Lowering Kit

This deluxe lowering kit for ’88-’91 Chevy/GMC C1500 includes light duty spindles. Easy to install in your driveway!

MSRP: $668.88

Western Chassis

4. Belltech 5/7-inch Drop Kit

Lower your sport truck or SUV right the first time. Belltech’s complete lowering kits include all the parts and pieces you need to achieve not only the look you want, but the alignment, performance and safety you need. 

MSRP: $957.91


5. Choppin’ Block Modular 2.5-Inch Drop Spindle

This aluminum 2.5-inch drop spindle for GMT400 GM C/K 1500 2WD truck and SUV models features an OEM style GMT800 sealed hub conversion in dual 5×5, 5×4.75 or OEM 6×5.5 lug patterns. The Modular Truck spindles are also ABS-ready for ’95-’98 factory equipped trucks. The anodized finish will keep these beauties looking and performing great over the long haul. 

CB Chassis Products 

6. AldAn American Coilover Conversion

Aldan C1500 suspension packages are designed to convert your stock, front suspension to fully ride-height adjustable coilovers with adjustable shock absorbers in the rear. They’re designed for the GMT400 and C1500 2WD truck chassis.

MSRP: $915.95

Aldan American

 7. Ridetech Air Suspension System

This Air Suspension System is specifically designed for the ’88-’98 Chevrolet and GMC C1500 truck and includes everything needed to create modern drivability with an ultra-low show stance. The package contains front upper and lower control arms, front CoolRide with HQ Series shocks, front sway bar, drop spindles, rear wishbone with C-notches and Shockwaves.

MSRP: $5,900


8. OBS Chevy Racing Billet Control Arms

OBS Chevy Racing billet control arms are made out of T-6 6061 billet aluminum and designed to have the utmost in adjustability, strength, ease of use and cool style. Imagine being able to change your alignment in a few minutes depending on the activity. Simply jack up the truck a little to relieve pressure, loosen the top rod end bolts, change out your desired spacer, and you’re ready to go. These arms are great for autocross, road course racing and lowered trucks wanting to get that perfect alignment with style. Correct ball joint angle for lowered trucks, solid billet construction, solid connection through high-end rod ends.

MSRP: $799

OBS Chevy Racing

 9. Choppin’ Block ’88-’98 GM Tubular Control Arms

Looking to lay out your ’88-’98 full size truck on some 24s? Then you’ll be needing these! Includes one pair of upper and lower control arms, built-in lower bag brackets, built-in lower shock brackets and ball joints.

MSRP: $830

CB Chassis Products 

 10. Classic Performance Products Drop Springs

These 3-inch drop springs from CPP are available for a simple factory swap. Pair it with the company’s rear flip kit and shackles for a full 4/6 drop.

Classic Performance Products

 11. DJM 4/6-inch Drop Kit

The combination of Calmax arms and coils springs up front net you out 4 inches of drop without wheel clearance or alignment issues. and we put this together with our DJM 6-inch axle flip kit.

MSRP: $746.62

DJM Suspension

 12. Ridetech StreetGRIP System

StreetGRIP is a high-performance 4/6 drop lowering suspension system for ’88-’98 C1500 pickups. Like all StreetGRIP systems, Ridetech focuses on the areas of the OE suspension that need improvement rather than upgrading everything. In the case of ’88-’98 C1500s, that means keeping the factory control arms and leaf springs.

MSRP: $1,800



Looking to bag your OBS for an affordable price? AVS makes it easy with this complete all-in-one kit. 

MSRP: $2,950

AVS on the Web

Kit Includes:

  • Four Air Lift D2600 Dominator bag
  • One ’88-’98 Chevy/GMC full size trucks front brackets
  • One rear tubular bag brackets/bridge
  • One one-piece 2×4 notch
  • One parallel four-link with Panhard bar 1.50-inch
  • One rear shock tab kit
  • One Viair 444c compressor
  • One single compressor wiring kit
  • One AVS 5-gallon six-port M.P.M tank
  • One Air Lift water trap with autodrain
  • One 60-foot roll of 3/8-inch nylon reinforced D.O.T. approved air line
  • One air line cutter tool

 14. MaxTrac 2WD 4/6-inch Lowering Kit with Shocks

MaxTrac Suspension K330546 has an all-in-one solution for your 2WD ’88-’98 Chevy Silverado 1500. MaxTrac drop kits use 2-inch front spindles, 2-inch lowering springs as well as MaxTrac shocks for the front. The rear lowering uses a 6-inch rear flip kit with shock extenders, a rear C-frame support and MaxTrac shocks.

MSRP: $875.38

 15. GSI Complete Air Ride Chassis

This complete air-ride chassis for “Old Body Style” single cab 2WD GM pickups is engineered to provide the best ride quality and performance for a full-sized ‘bagged truck. Designed from the ground up with all new suspension geometry and modern drivetrain adaptability, this system also allows for large diameter wheels and most aftermarket engine accessories without worrying about any weird fitment surprises. 

GSI Machine & Fabrication 

 16. Elevated Concepts Direct Bolt-In Coilover Conversion Kit

In this kit, the control arms are narrowed 1-inch on each side for proper alignment; the ball joints are pushed forward ⅞-inch to re-center wheel; bushings are polyurethane, utilizing Moog ball joints; and sway bar heim attachments are included, along with Aldan American Direct bolt-in coils with your choice of spring rate.

MSRP: $1,750

Elevated Concepts

 17. BDS Suspension 6-inch Lift Kit

This tightly engineered 6-inch suspension lift kit is designed around two heavy duty upper A-arms, one-piece ¼-inch laser cut high clearance crossmembers and replacement steering knuckles. This combination offers zero track width change, unlike many knuckle kits on the market. Clears a 35×12.5-inch with 20×9 wheels and 5 ¼-inch backspacing.

MSRP: $2,173.59

BDS Suspension

This complete rear system incorporates both of the bolt-on four-link and cantilever kits together. Fabricated with the quality you’ve come to expect from KP Components, it is able to lay out most 24-inch wheel and tire combinations and offers you about 12 inches of travel right out of the box

MSRP: $1,699

KP Components

 19. MaxTrax Lift Kit

MaxTrac offers a 3-inch lifting front coil spring to easily raise your 2WD Chevy Silverado 1500 from the factory stance. MaxTrac also offers a 4-inch lifting block kit for your 2WD ’88-’98 Chevy Silverado 1500. An alternative is the company’s 2-inch rear lifting shackles. Not only are these easier to install than blocks, but they can be combined with a rear block to get additional lift or be used to simply fine tune the ride height of the rear.


 20. React Rear Coilover Conversion

This rear-only suspension kit from React converts the factory suspension in your 88-98 Chevy truck to a parallel 4-link setup with a panhard bar, c-notch, u-bolts and a rear frame crossmember. This kit is adjustable down to a 7-inch drop in the rear. All made in the USA, so you know it’s solid quality.


QA1 Rod Ends for Panhard Bar
Satin Black Powdercoated
Run up to 10-inch wide wheels

MSRP: $2,200

React Suspension

Interior Upgrades

 21. Instrument Bezel

Classic Parts of America price: $199.95

 22. Molded Plastic Dash Covers

LMC Truck price: $119.95 – $179.95

 23. TMI Complete Interior

TMI now offers high-value interior automotive components including complete seats with brackets, interior center consoles, carpet kits, all new door panels, even a new headliner. Currently in production for ’88-’94 Chevy C1500 standard cab trucks.

TMI Products

 24. Factory Replica Headliner

Classic Parts of America price: $244.95

 25. Shoulder Lap Belt

Classic Parts of America price: $299.95

 26. Door Panels (with or without power)

Classic Parts of America price: $399.95

 27. Front Door Arm Rest

Classic Parts of America price: $94.95

 28. Door Sill Plate (Suburban, rear, red)

Classic Parts of America price: $24.95

 29. Classic Dash Panel Insert

Classic Dash price: $129

 30. VHX Series

Dakota Digital price: $795

 31. Racing Seats

Corbeau Racing price: $349

TMI Products

Drivetrain Upgrades

 32. 383ci Stroker Motor

BluePrint Engines offers a direct replacement 383ci Stroker crate engine for ’88-’98 Chevy trucks. This is a small block GM style, fully dressed long block with carburetor. Aluminum heads and a roller cam are preinstalled and drop-in ready.

MSRP: $5,399

BluePrint Engines

 33. Telescopic Steel Steering Shaft

Borgeson steering shaft for full size Chevy and GMC trucks connects to the factory column and OEM steering box. It includes a complete rag joint and billet steel universal joint and weights 5.3 pounds.

MSRP: $248

Borgeson Universal Company

 34. 14-inch Front Big Brake Kit

This brake kit will work with any HD brake spindle, such as McGaughy’s, Street Edge, Belltech and even stock. You will receive a template and instructions for modifying your spindle, which requires cutting of the caliper ears and drilling and tapping for the caliper mounting bracket.

MSRP: $1,095

Pro Performance

 35. 13-inch Rear Big Brake Kit

Pro Performance offers this new brake kit for ’88-’98 Chevy trucks with factory rear ends and does not require machining to the axle or rotors. It uses new calipers, not rebuilt ones. It features laser-cut zinc plated caliper brackets and is designed to fit most 18-inch wheels and larger.

MSRP: $875

Pro Performance

 36. 5 or 6-Speed Pro Fit Transmission kits

These kits are designed to provide a 30-50% increase in fuel economy, a low RPM cruising for greatly reduced driver fatigue, an improved highway driving experience and reduced engine wear leading to longer engine life with cooler engine operating temperatures. 

American Powertrain

 37. Wilwood 14-inch Front Big Brake Kit

This 14-inch C1500 kit utilizes Wilwood 6-piston FNSL calipers, aluminum hubs, hats and machined 6061 AL brackets that bolt directly to the factory spindles or drop spindles without drilling. Designed to fit ’88-’00 full-size 2WD GM trucks and SUVs.

MSRP: $2,424

Little Shop Mfg.

LS SwapParts

 38. 2WD Engine Mount and Crossmember Kit

Works with both ½- and ¾-ton models. Includes motor mounts, frame brackets, transmission crossmember, transmission mount and hardware.

MSRP: $479

  39. 4WD Engine Mount and Frame Bracket kit

This 4WD mount kit locates the engine at the factory bell housing location so you can use your original transmission, transfer case and crossmember.

MSRP: $299

 40. Oil Pan Kits

These kits come standard or machined for the oil bypass valve to use with displacement on demand or variable valve timing. They include a new full-length windage tray, pickup tube, hardware, gasket, dipstick and a pickup tube girdle.

MSRP: $249

 41. Ceramic Coated Headers

These headers feature 3/8-inch laser cut flanges with the tubes welded inside and out and then machined. They include gaskets, bolts, reducers and O2 sensor bungs. Standard ceramic finish is polished silver; contact the company for bare steel and black ceramic coated pricing.

MSRP: $249

 42. LS Conversion Radiators

These radiators feature all-aluminum construction, stamped tanks with strengthening indentations, and a double pass design that put the inlet and outlet on the same side. The all-important steam port bung is welded into the upper part of the tank, which lets your new LS engine vent properly. They also include a sensor port that can be used for a coolant temp fan switch. 

MSRP: Starting at $619

BRP HotRods

 43. Wiring Harnesses and Computer

BRP HotRods offers stand-alone harnesses as well as harness and re-flashed computer packages.

BRP HotRods

 44. Direct-Fit GM LSx/Vortec Harness

Available for ’91-’07 Chevy/GMC Silverado/Sierra, Suburban and Tahoe, these true plug-and-play custom built harnesses are designed specifically for your project utilizing a ’94-’97 LT1/4 or ’97-up LSx or Vortec small block.

MSRP: $975

Current Performance Wiring

Body Parts

 45. Raised Steel Cowl Hood

Auto Metal Direct offers hoods for ’88-’98 Chevy GMC C/K pickup, ’92-’94 Blazer and Jimmy, ’95-’99 Tahoe and Yukon along with ’92-’99 Suburban. They’re all stamped from heavy gauge steel with factory style underside. 

MSRP: $279

Auto Metal Direct

 46. Door Window Channel and Beltline Seal Kit

This six-piece door window channel beltline kit includes the beltline moldings and glass run channels for each front door of the vehicle. 

MSRP: $250.99

Steele Rubber Products

 47. Reproduction Tailgate

NPD reproduction tailgates offer a ready-to-paint finish at an affordable price.

National Parts Depot price: $89.95

National Parts Depot

 48. Roll Pan with Tag Box

Lose the bumper and gain the sporty look we all love. AVS on the Web offers roll pans for OBS trucks with and without a tag box.

AVS on the Web price: $190

AVS on the Web

PerfeC/Ktion| ’93 Chevy C1500

It Doesn’t Get Any Better

You know those trucks that are awesome at first glance, and then just keep getting more awesome once you really start staring for a while? This is one of those trucks. In fact, a lot of Scott Waksmacki’s ’93 Chevy C1500 is downright understated and takes a trained eye to truly appreciate. As a woodworker, Scott is accustomed to having to get things just right. 

Wanting, according to Scott, “…a simple truck to drive…” turned into much more when he decided to drop off his Chevy at Jeremy Miranda’s Miranda Built in Delray Beach, Florida, for a little bit of customization. The zero-rust, low-mileage ’93 Chevy C1500 had always been kept in a garage and was the perfect candidate for a clean street cruiser. 

With super low miles on it, there was no need to completely rebuild the original 350 engine, but it was freshened up and treated to new hoses and a custom exhaust.

Jeremy started off by lowering the truck with a 5/7 drop from Belltech (with upgraded Bilstein shocks) before eventually bolting on the Cerakote-covered 19×8 and 20×10-inch Hot Rods by Boyd Amarillo billet aluminum wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport XL tires in 245/40 and 275/35 sizing. But that’s just what you can see from the outside. What you can’t readily see is that Jeremy fully restored the chassis and narrowed the rearend 3 inches per side to fit the low-offset rear wheels. 

Scott’s truck is as smooth as they come, thanks to the stellar bodywork done by Miranda Built. A shaved and flipped tailgate handle and molded roll pan are staples of OBS customization.

Then there’s the other subtle stuff like, well… everything. You’d think that with mods like shaved handles, a shaved cargo light and shaved everything else (also done by Miranda Built), that all of these things would stand out, but that’s the beauty of Scott’s truck—they all blend in seamlessly, as they should, underneath the flawless paint, which was applied skillfully by Keenan Hailey. 

Using Jade Green Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic and Samoa Orange striping, the Chevy’s perfect color combination definitely gives us the same kind of goose bumps we got when we first laid our eyes on the Troy Trepanier-built Chicayne back in the day. And, as you’ll notice, the paintwork itself is amazing, wrapping in and out throughout the cab and bed. Scott shared with us that the green is a Lincoln color, the champagne is from a Cadillac, and the orange stripe is out of Audi’s swatchbook. 

Before putting the truck back together, Scott collected all new original GM glass, rubber and door seals to ensure that the truck was as good as, if not better than, brand new. It would also help preserve the spotless, original interior. The only change to the inside was to install a simple audio system, which uses Alpine and JL Audio components for a clean sound. 

The finishing touch on the truck was the custom flush-mount aluminum tonneau cover built by Jeremy, which closely resembles the highly coveted Checkmate FX tonneau covers of long ago. Certainly one of our favorite, long-gone products for these trucks!

One of our favorite mirrors for OBS trucks are the factory-optional Sport mirrors, and as expected they look perfect on Scott’s C1500.

It’s interesting to note that the truck didn’t leave Miranda Built until every last piece had been restored or replaced, making this essentially a new truck except for the original interior. And yes, the Chevy grille was swapped out for an NOS GMC Sierra unit, with a T-Rex billet grille added for more classic style points. Scott told us that there’s not really anything he’d want to change on his truck, but then he paused and added, “Maybe an LS swap?” And so the endless cycle continues!  

STELLA! The Complete Build…

A Street Truck Aimed to Inspire

The classic movie, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” was recently selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Lately, it seems that ’88-’98 Chevy trucks are quickly being known to have the same qualities in the truck enthusiast world. GMT400 trucks were on every street corner and car show in the ’90s. With massive production numbers and excellent engineering, these Chevy trucks are still pretty easy to come by and available in many different forms, including shortbed, longbed, quad cab and even two different SUV platforms. Oftentimes, the guy who’s buying and restoring these trucks wanted one in his teen years, and now he’s older, generally successful and more financially stable than when he was 16 years old. These factors also drive custom parts manufacturers to focus on making products for the industry icons and get ahead of the popularity curve.

’88-’98 Chevy trucks
’88-’98 Chevy trucks

It’s easy to talk the talk and say you’re a fan of this body style, but it’s far more impactful to walk the walk and own one yourself. So, we took the challenge and jumped into the deep end of desire by picking up a running, driving ’95 Chevy C/K truck from the original owner for a smooth $2,000. Cold A/C and a solid cranking 4.3-liter V-6 gave this truck the appeal, but the full gas tank and a fresh oil change showed us that the previous owner still had love for this 20-plus-year-old family member. 

To quickly explain the project’s name: “Stella” is a Latin term meaning “star.” The name popped in our heads after we ordered our 22-inch American Racing Nova wheels. The word “Nova” is a female name of Latin origin that has a definition of both “newness” and “of great energy.” It’s also an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, just like this truck’s future. (Plus, Stella was a pretty stellar character in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”) So, with all that in mind, the name Stella just fits, don’t you think?

Over the next few pages, we’re going to take you through the process of giving this truck new life on the same old roads it’s been cruising down since its inception, first starting with a new suspension, upgraded disc brakes and a new set of wheels and tires. That’s only the beginning, but you have to follow along to see the rest. If this truck doesn’t motivate you to go out and start wrenching on your own OBS project, I’m not sure you picked up the right publication. Now let’s get to the good stuff!  

Chevy Frame
Before we got down to the nitty gritty, Dallas Maynard from Full Pen Fabrication removed the bed and pressure cleaned the frame. Twenty-plus years of rust and road grime is better off in the driveway than in your face—am I right?
RideTech C-notch
RideTech supplied this C-notch
To get the truck as low as we want it, we need to make some clearance in the factory frame rail. If we don’t, the axle will hit the frame every time we hit a bump, and the sound it makes is something we don’t want to hear! RideTech supplied this C-notch with our new suspension kit so the frame was traced, drilled and sliced before our new C-notch was bolted in. This bolt-on C-notch reinforces the OEM frame rails and features integrated suspension mounts.
 This bolt-on wishbone system greatly improves traction, handling and ride quality while offering a 4- to 6-inch drop in height. Installation does not require any welding or major modifications to the bed floor. It includes patent-pending R-joint rod ends to eliminate binding and noise. The HQ Series coilovers are direct bolt-on and allow for easy adjustment.
HQ Series coilovers
HQ Series coilovers
Front HQ Series coilovers include bolt-on upper shock mounts to allow more ground clearance and maximum suspension travel, front upper and lower StrongArm tubular control arms, front and rear HQ Series coilover shocks, front sway bar and HD drop spindles.
Big brake kit
This Pro Performance 14-inch front and 13-inch rear big brake kit is designed for ’88-’98 GM trucks and SUVs. This kit does not require machining to the axle or rotors, and the caliper has an integrated parking brake option. This brake kit will work with any disc brake drop spindle, such as McGaughy’s, Street Edge or Belltech. You will receive a template and instructions on modifying your spindle, which requires cutting of the caliper “ears” and drilling and tapping for the caliper mounting bracket. They look amazing behind our 22-inch American Racing wheels and Nitto Invo tires.


Plastic grille
Classic Industries black plastic grille
Classic Industries offers this reproduction black plastic grille as well as the dual composite headlamps and corner lights that are all designed to replace the original. This conversion is as simple as unbolting the original grille and headlights and swapping in the new stuff. To swap the headlight plugs, we turned to for the kit. The company offers the new headlight plugs and all the mounting hardware you need to take the guesswork out of the process. We can’t convey how simple this process is and it’s very affordable.
383ci Stroker motor
BluePrint Engines 383ci Stroker motor
Now to focus on the engine swap. The factory 4.3-liter V-6 has got to go, but since this is a perfectly running engine and transmission, we will save it for a quick flip project. The crew at Overpower Customs yanks engines on the daily so ripping this one out is child’s play. Jason and Trey removed all the plugs and bolts before hooking it up to a forklift. Replacing it will be a new BluePrint Engines 383ci Stroker motor paired up to a Centerforce clutch in our American Powertrain transmission.
Cleaning the engine bay
Before the new engine can go in, Trey pressure cleaned the engine bay to remove all the old grease and grime. The core of this truck is in great shape!
Vintage Air pulley kit
Vintage Air pulley kit
Our BluePrint Engines 383ci Stroker engine comes turnkey other than the drive pulleys. So, before they bolt up the new 5-speed American Powertrain transmission, a Vintage Air Front Runner drive pulley kit goes in. The completed kit looks amazing! It is nice and tight to the block, so we don’t have to worry about fitment when installing the engine. Also, the Bright finish gives its the quality look they deserve.

To control our fuel delivery system, we chose to go with Edelbrock’s new Pro-Flo 4 electronic fuel injection. The Pro-Flo 4 is not just a replacement for your carburetor. It’s a complete engineered system that provides the ultimate in performance, drivability and quality. This will result in a smoother idle, faster acceleration, better peak power, improved fuel economy and the ability to control detonation, all in the E-Tuner 4 app

The key to the improved performance is the fuel injector location, which is at the end of the runner on the intake manifold right before the airflow stream enters the combustion chamber. This location provides a more efficient mixture control that’s unaffected by varying intake manifold runner temperatures and length.

Next to be bolted to the block are our Hedman Hedders designed for the SBC 350ci engine. Hedman Hedders began as a one-man shop in 1954. Bob Hedman, founder of Hedman Hedders, sold his highly sought-after exhaust tubes to fellow racers on the salt flats of the Mojave Desert. But what started out as a way to make a few bucks to pay for Bob’s racing hobby quickly turned into the premier header manufacturer for both the racing and street header marketplaces.

Centerforce is the clutch of choice for our project and recommended by American Powertrain. The Centerforce II Clutch Series utilizes a full facing disc with premium friction materials and a pressure plate with centrifugal weights. It offers superb holding power and maximum clutch life, making this clutch ideal for selected street/strip, off-road and towing applications.

• Patented centrifugal weight design
• Patented ball bearing pressure plate
• High quality friction material 
• Light pedal effort
• Increased holding capacity
• Smooth engagement

American Powertrain’s Pro-Fit kits for 88-98 Chevy/GMC C1500 OBS GMT400 trucks come in either 5 or 6-speed. There is no need to cut the floor if your truck is already manual since it fits in the factory location. This kit reuses the original cross-member. It’s actually a very easy install!  

Benefits Include:
30-50% increase in fuel economy
Low RPM cruising for greatly reduced driver fatigue and an improved highway driving experience. 
Reduced engine wear leading to longer engine life
Cooler engine operating temperature

The 88-98 Chevy kit includes
AP Revolution Shifter Mechanism locates shifter that will fit bench or bucket seats
Seamless DOM Driveshaft Assembly that has been race balanced
Solid U-Joints
A Driveshaft Slip Yoke made from Cryogenically hardened steel
Polyurethane Transmission Mount
Greased and pre-packed pilot bearing with stainless rollers
Reverse Light Harness
Electronic Speedometer Conversion
Shifter Knob and all the Hardware and instructions you need.

Mishimoto Radiator
Mishimoto radiator

With the engine fully assembled, Trey can slide the engine into the bay and start prepping the cooling system. We used a set of factory V-8 motor mounts to bolt it to the frame and Mishimoto radiators and electric fans. This is a 6.2-liter (383ci) diesel cooling system that Trey recommended for additional cooling. To make it all work correctly, Trey installed a factory OEM diesel coolant reservoir and made a trick aluminum coolant transfer pipe.

Aluminum coolant transfer pipe.
Aluminum coolant transfer pipe.
The last thing to complete before the first startup is the Dynomax exhaust. Jason welded the DIY stainless exhaust kit together and sprayed it black to look the part. 
The engine swap is complete, and no fancy wiring harness was needed. We know that LS swaps are the popular trend nowadays, but we didn’t want to hassle with the electronics on this one.
Now that we have a 5-speed transmission, we need to cut a hole in the floor for the shifter and install a clutch pedal. We used a factory pedal from the junkyard and it simply bolts into the factory location. While the interior is out, we had Corbin from Florida Boy Customs dye the dash and interior panels black.
Billet steering wheel Forever Sharp
Billet steering wheel from Forever Sharp
Instead of reinstalling the factory bench seat, we turned to TMI Interiors to see if we could get a set of their new ’88-’98 GMT400 interior kits. Luckily for us they came through and we were able to bolt in these new custom bucket seats with center console. This kit is now available for your truck and includes door panels, seats, headliner and dash cap. We also installed a new billet steering wheel from Forever Sharp and it looks perfect! What a massive upgrade to the interior of this ’95 Chevy C1500. Those TMI seats look amazing!
Dakota Digital
Dakota Digital
Sport truck mirrors from LMC Truck.
Sport truck mirrors from LMC Truck.
Before bolting up the new door panels, we swapped out the factory-style side view mirrors and replaced them with these sport truck mirrors from LMC Truck.
Time to get some blood in Stella’s veins and give her some spark. As with all of our build, we turned to Red Line for their engine oil, power steering and transmission fluids. We also poured in Mishimoto’s Chill radiator fluid. After a 500-mile break in we will flush the transmission and refill it with synchromesh transmission fluid.
Our first start was a success and Stella finally got to see the sunlight again! The Blueprint Engines 383ci Stroker sounds strong and the Dynomax exhaust rumbles perfectly. Naturally Trey wants to see if anything is loose—and what better way than to light the tires up!
While Trey finishes some final tuning to the Edlebrock Pro-Flo, we started working on the exterior of the truck. A new 2-inch raised cowl hood from Autometal Direct combined with an LMC replacement tailgate and an AVS on the Web roll pan will give the truck the aggressive look it deserves. All this new metal will need to be painted to match, and to save costs we decided to go with Automotive Touchup color matching paint and their DIY paint products that even include the paint guns.
2-inch raised cowl hood
As with any paint project, the prep work is key. We wanted a clean work area, so the garage was cleared out and sawhorses were brought in. Taping off the parts we don’t want painted comes first.
OEM panels
These OEM panels are ready for a primer with a simple scuff with scotch pads and a wipe down with acetone.
Automotive Touchup
Automotive Touchup
Automotive Touchup made it easy on us by offering a three-stage ready-to-spray paint system that requires no mixing at all. Just stir, pour and spray, giving around 15 minutes per coat and one-hour per stage.
LMC replacement tailgate
Keeping the hose away from the surface and your hand parallel the panels is what we were focused on. We are not pros or even experienced amateurs, but Automotive Touchup gave us the confidence we needed to pull off a great paint job. We were extremely impressed and pleased with the results.
Eddie Motorsports billet hood hinges
Eddie Motorsports billet hood hinges
Instead of reusing the factory hood hinges, we took the opportunity to bolt on these new Eddie Motorsports billet hood hinges. They come in polished or powdercoated with the bolt-on in the factory location. No cutting, no welding.
Bolt on the hinged hardware
The provided hardware is bolted into place and the new gas struts are clipped in. No hassle!
Hood Hinges
Lastly, the hood is brought back into the mix and bolted on with the new hardware. These hinges look great and operate extremely smoothly.
2-inch raised cowl hood
2-inch raised cowl hood from Autometal Direct.
The front of the truck is complete, and it looks great! Now time to focus on the back.
LMC replacement tailgate
LMC replacement tailgate
Hinged and hardware.
Before the new tailgate can go on, we need to bolt on the hinged and hardware. This kit from LMC Truck provides all the parts and pieces you need including the latch and trim ring.
DIY brush on bedliner
DIY brush on bedliner kit from KBS Products.
To give the inside of the bed a makeover, we taped off the edges and coated it with this DIY brush on bedliner kit from KBS Products. It’s easy to accomplish and looks great if prepared properly.
Now that the new tailgate and roll pan are installed, the back of the truck looks great, too!

Project Sources

American Powertrain

American Racing

Autometal Direct

Automotive Touchup Paint

AVS on the Web

AZ Pro Performance

Blueprint Engines

Centerforce Clutch

Classic Industries

Dakota Digital

Dynomax Exhaust


Forever Sharp

Full Pen Fabrication

Hedman Performance Group

LMC Truck




Nitto Tire 

Optima Batteries

Overpower Customs

Red Line Oil

RideTech Suspension

TMI Interiors

Vintage Air

The Rebirth of Slick | One Sweet OBS Tribute Truck!

It’s Always Been Cool Like Dat

We owe a lot to the pioneers of this passion of ours. There was a time when trucks, though useful, were boring. As folks eventually started to customize and personalize them, they began looking awesome, especially when lowered. The only problem was the ride quality was often severely lacking. Some people still hold that decades-old belief, saying things like, “I had a lowered truck in the ’70s and it rode like crap, always hitting the bumpstops.” 

Well, that was then, and this is now. And the now wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for companies like Belltech, which paved the way with innovations like drop spindles, shackles and axle flip kits. When the ’88 Chevy and GMC ½-ton pickups debuted in late 1987, the custom truck world changed forever and the sport truck world as we know it was born. 

From seemingly out of nowhere, bright custom trucks became the hottest things on the streets, eclipsing popular mini-trucks almost overnight and becoming a staple in magazines.  

Mark Oja knows this era firsthand, as he was a young Canadian hot rod builder who had his finger on the pulse of all the latest automotive trends in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Like many of us, he was immediately drawn to these new trucks, especially after seeing a certain Belltech ad in a magazine. Mark began dropping trucks on billet wheels and giving them awesome paintjobs, both for himself and his customers, and hasn’t looked back since! He would eventually move his family to the States and open up California Speed and Custom, not to mention become the build manager for Overhaulin’. 

Fast forward to last year, and Mark’s wife Pattie was looking for a new daily driver. Mark, coincidentally, wanted to put together a cool truck for SEMA, and Pattie had her eye on one of the C1500s in their stash at the shop. The question now was, how to build it? 

Pattie and Mark had been digging through old magazines to get some inspiration, and soon realized that a full-on retro build was in order. Specifically, a tribute to one of the trucks that started it all, the original Belltech poster/ad truck. Designed by Thom Taylor and painted by Pete Santini, the truck would come to define what a sport truck should look like. 

For a bit of background, we got in touch with Thom and Pete, who shared their experiences with the legendary truck. 

“I was friends with the owner of Belltech and Super Bell, Jim Ewing,” recalls Thom. “Jim Morris was handling their marketing and we came up with the idea to use digital graphics after seeing the GMC Truck Motorsports Syclone at Bonneville. It had these graphics that looked like salt was getting kicked up, but they didn’t just look like traditional taped-off graphics. I created the rendering and went to Pete Santini and asked him if he wanted to get involved, and he said yes. We just wanted to do something different than the heartbeat graphics that were being done at the time.

“I went to a vinyl sign place in Irvine and asked them if they could cut large sections of their vinyl masking material, and they said they could,” Thom says. “They cut the graphics I brought to them and weeded out the graphic part. From there, we applied the masking material to the truck and Pete painted the graphics on. It kinda caught on and I ended up drawing up more graphics for a series of trucks that they would use to dominate the magazine ads.”

Pete shared what was involved on the technical side of things.

“They used something called Gerber paper, which is low tack,” he says. “The regular stuff they were using at the time was too strong and would lift paint. And you had to do it right so you wouldn’t have to use a lot of paint. It had to be thin so I wouldn’t end up with a thick tape line, and it was really interesting to register the drop shadows to get it just right. When we took the truck to SEMA, it was amazing how many people tried to pick the graphics off with their fingers—they thought it was vinyl!” 

A revolutionary truck, for sure. 

So Mark quickly gathered the parts necessary to build Pattie’s truck in just two weeks. But, as a skilled painter, he wanted to tackle the color himself! After checking in and getting some advice from Pete, Mark took off with the project and had the digital graphics recreated by Dave, Ryan, and Ryno and Coast Airbrush in Anaheim, California, then delivered the artwork to Mack Signs in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, to have the reverse digital mask cut. Finally, Mark called on his friends at House of Kolor to send some its Tropical Turquoise, an undisclosed shade of magenta paint and Show Klear. 

Before laying down the color, though, Mark had some work to do on the body. The flipped tailgate handle was pretty standard fare, but one clever trick Mark employed was to reshape the lower rear quarters to better match the contours of the steel roll pan (which awesomely looks like a vintage fiberglass pan!). And then there’s the lower grille filler and front fender extensions below the Carriage Works grille, which were molded in just like the old days. Once the cab and bed were tidied up, the famous paint scheme was carefully masked off and sprayed in the same manner in which it was done 30 years ago. 

The rest of the truck came along pretty easily in comparison, with an authentic, period-correct 4/6 Belltech drop kit and a C-notch bringing the Chevy down to the perfect static height. Now, Pattie did want to bring the truck into the 21st century a bit, so 15-inch wheels weren’t going to cut it this time around. Instead, she went with 19×9 and 20×11 Budnik Argon billets with Toyo Pro XES Sport 245/40R19 and 295/30R20 rubber, but not before having Mark install Baer 14- and 12-inch brake rotors with 6-piston and 4-piston Baer calipers. 

As was typical of the era, nothing under the hood was touched, save for the addition of a 2.5-inch Borla exhaust. The same can be said for the interior, which received a simple Pioneer head unit and single-amp setup with four Pioneer speakers and a single 10-inch subwoofer. 

Finished just in time for SEMA 2019, Pattie’s truck made plenty of attendees do a double take. In fact, Thom Taylor was admittedly caught by surprise, as he had no idea the tribute was in the works. 

“I saw the photos of it at SEMA,” Thom says. “And I didn’t know if it was the original truck or a copy!” 

It was only after speaking with Pete Santini that he found out that Mark had built this truck to honor the work of those who created the original “street truck.”  

OBS – What’s That? We Describe the Description

What is an OBS? (Old Body Style or Original Body Style)

OBS refers to Chevy C/K trucks that were manufactured by General Motors between the years 1988 and 1998. Marketed under the Chevrolet and GMC brands, the C/K series included a wide range of vehicles including a truck and two SUV models. While most commonly associated with pickup trucks, the model line also included medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The “C” denoted a two-wheel drive; “K” denoted four-wheel drive.

OBS Chevy


General Motors released eight different versions of the C/K line for 1988: Fleetside Single Cab, Fleetside Extended Cab, Fleetside Crew Cab and Stepside Single Cab models, each in either 2WD or 4WD drivelines. Three trim levels were available for these trucks, including Cheyenne, Scottsdale and Silverado.

Represented Model Years

GMT400/480 ’88–’00 Chevrolet C/K – GMC Sierra

GMT410 ’92–’99 Chevrolet Suburban

GMT415 ’92–’94 Chevrolet Full-Size Blazer

GMT420  ’95–’00 Chevrolet Tahoe

GMT425 ’92–’99 GMC Suburban

GMT430 ’92–’00 GMC Yukon

Notable Moments in the C/K Timeline

In 1989, a Sport Equipment Package was available on either C/K 1500 Fleetside shortbed single cab model. The package featured a black grille with red outlined bow-tie emblem, black moldings outlined in red, body color front and rear bumpers, black mirrors and “SPORT” identification decals on the box and on the tailgate. There were no suspension or engine upgrades provided with any of the sport packages as this was an appearance only option.

 Throttle body (TBI) fuel injection was used on ’88-’95 gas engines.

Central point injection (CPI) was used on the ’96-’00 4.3L V-6, 5.0L V-8 and 5.7L V-8.

The Work Truck (W/T) was introduced in 1988, which featured a single cab longbed with Cheyenne trim and a new grille with black bumpers. 

In 1990, Chevrolet introduced a high-performance variant of the GMT400 under the Super Sport emblem called the 454 SS. It was available only as a 2WD half-ton regular cab short box in Onyx Black with a garnet red interior. Unique exterior features included a front air dam with fog lights, special rims, decals displaying “454 SS” on the bed sides, red trim emblems, and black painted grille, bumpers and mirrors. 

The MSRP of the 1990 model was $18,295. A total of 16,953 units were sold over the four years the 454 SS was in production; 13,748 units were sold in 1990 alone. 

  The 454 SS was powered by a 454ci (7.4L) V-8 producing 230hp. A Turbo Hydra-Matic 400, 3-speed automatic transmission and 3.73 rear axle ratio added to the truck’s performance. The axle itself is unique, being a 14-bolt semi-floating unit that uses standard Chevrolet 5 on 5-inch wheels—the only factory-produced 14-bolt axle with such a wheel bolt pattern. 

  In 1991, the 4L80-E automatic transmission was added for three-quarter and one-ton trucks.

In 1991, California introduced a standard called OBD-I in order to curb vehicle emissions. All cars had to be equipped with a system that could detect engine issues and report trouble codes. Unlike the later OBD-II standard, however, OBD-I wasn’t standardized across manufacturers.

This means that an OBD-I scan tool will often work for only one make of car. In addition, the codes themselves aren’t standardized, so a Ford with the same engine issue as a Toyota might give a totally different trouble code.

In 1993 General Motors re-introduced the Sport branded trucks along with the 454 SS. The 454 SS was discontinued after the 1994 model year.

  In 1993, the 700-R4/4L60 transmission was revised with electronic controls, becoming the 4L60-E.

  The 1994 models received a new front fascia, federally mandated center high-mount stop lamp, many new exterior colors including a new two-tone option on the rocker panels, and new tire and wheel combinations.

  All 1995 models received a new interior that included a new steering wheel with the 1500s containing a driver’s-side airbag, a new dashboard containing a more centrally mounted radio, dial-operated HVAC system, and an improved gauge cluster. New front door panels and new seats were also included.

  In 1996, OBD-II became a nationwide standard and it has been used ever since. Unlike OBD-I, OBD-II equipped cars all support the same type of scanner. The trouble codes themselves have also been standardized across all manufacturers. 

  For 1996, a passenger-side-mounted third door became optional on extended cab models.

  C/K 1500 models received a passenger-side airbag for 1997 to comply with new federal regulations for light trucks.

  1997 was to be the last year the C/K Silverado would display “CHEVROLET” on the tailgate.

  In 1999, the Chevrolet Silverado became the divisional replacement for the C/K.

Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a full-size SUV from General Motors. Chevrolet and GMC sold two different-sized SUVs under their Blazer/Jimmy model names through the early 1990s. This situation changed when GMC rebadged the full-size Jimmy as the Yukon in 1991. All were two-door models through 1994. 

Chevrolet Tahoe 88-98

The Chevrolet K5 Blazer name was discontinued after the 1994 model year, and the Chevrolet Tahoe was introduced in 1995 with the addition of an all-new four-door version.

The Tahoe has regularly been the bestselling full-size SUV in the United States, frequently outselling its competition by 2 to 1.

Chevrolet Tahoe 88-98

Both two-door and four-door models were produced in rear- and four-wheel drive. The two-door weighs roughly 4,500 pounds while the four-door weighs approximately 5,500 pounds. The two-door has a 6-inch shorter wheelbase than the four-door.

The standard engine was Chevrolet’s 5.7L (350ci) small-block V-8, while a turbocharged 6.5L (395ci) Detroit Diesel V-8 was available beginning in 1994.

Chevrolet Suburban

The GMT400-based Suburbans were introduced in December 1991 for the 1992 model year even though the similar pickup truck models had switched to the newer platforms in the 1988. Both 2WD and 4WD models, designated “C” and “K”, were offered, as well as half ton and three-quarter ton versions.

Chevrolet Suburban

The GMT400 series introduced independent front suspension. The 2WD models used coil springs and 4WD models used torsion bars in the front suspension. All models used a live axle and leaf springs in the rear.

Chevrolet Suburban GMT400

For a 1995 Suburban, 0–60 mph times were around 9.3 seconds at best. The top speed of a 1995 Suburban was governed on the engine for economy and a maximum of 98 mph could be obtained with a fuel economy of 13 mpg.   

OBS Builders Guide | Officially On Stands! | Check Out What’s inside!

From the editors of Street Trucks Magazine comes the all-composing guide to restoring and customizing one of the most popular body style trucks ever released. Chevrolet’s 88-98 Fullsize trucks and SUVs spawned a massive sub-culture of passionate enthusiasts, artists, and gearheads worldwide. With over 800,000 OBS (Old Body Style) trucks built and sold within the first year of production, it’s easy to see why this is one of America’s most beloved bodies. The OBS Builders Guide is here to document this trend-setting truck and bring you the best how-to tech, feature stories, manufacture spotlights, event coverage, and new product reveals that relate. In this book you will see:







CORONA, California, June 1st, 2020 –TMI Automotive Products Inc., the industry-leader in Restomod and OE Match replacement interiors, released their custom interior line for the 1988-1998 Chevy C/K truck. After its unveiling at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas last November, inquiries have flooded in on social media, email and phone as to when the long-awaited line would be released.

“The Chevy OBS truck is the hottest new truck trend. They are readily available and have an inexpensive cost of entry,” said Jonathan Frank, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, TMI Automotive Products Inc “We’ve taken the same recipe we use for all of our interiors and created one that perfectly fits this highly sought after truck, while letting the customer have the ability to express their individual style.”

The TMI Product Development department focused not only on aesthetics but also on ergonomics– a component the competition often overlooks– by test-fitting different body types and hand-molding the door panels and consoles. The new line is a complete interior-in-a-box and is easily installed in a weekend. Everything you need from sun visors to bucket seats, door panels and dash pads are available. The OBS line gives the customer the ability to express their own style with multiple style/insert patterns as well as thousands of color & material combinations.

Optional contrast stitching, grommet detail, and suede inserts are just some of the ways customers can create a personalized interior and as always, they are manufactured in Southern California, U.S.A.

Since TMI manufactures all aspects of the interior in-house, from pouring the foam to laying the fiberglass, they have the ability to control what premium materials they use, test fit to ensure it’s right the first time, and keep costs low to better pass the savings onto the customer.


For more information, please visit our website at or call (951)-272-1996.

About TMI Automotive Products, Inc.

TMI Automotive Products, Inc. was established in 1982 by four brothers in their parent’s Southern California garage. As an ever-expanding catalog that continues to impress and inspire, TMI has gained recognition and praise from car-lovers and distributors nation-wide. TMI Products has bestowed something on the classic automotive industry that every vintage vehicle owner dreams of: the ability to maintain the quintessential style of their beloved car while simultaneously making it all their own. For more information, please visit

Now Playing, OBS Talk sits down with Chris Hamilton and we talk about the Premier #OBS Builders Guide issue!


Now Playing, OBS Talk sits down with Chris Hamilton and we talk about the Premier #OBS Builders Guide issue.

You can Pre-Order the issue now, and it will be out later this year.

This episode of @obs_talk is brought to you by –

@belltechsuspension – they DARE you to take their shock challenge, RISK-Free!

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SHORT STACK | Will Meadors’ 1992 GMC Sierra

Taking a truck from modified daily driver to something show worthy can be a hard transition for vehicle owners. Committing to take that build as a whole to the next level is usually never the issue—it’s more like remembering to take it at bit easier on the truck to maintain that pristine condition every show vehicle aims to be.

Will Meadors of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, however, decided that was precisely what he wanted to do: spend more time than ever driving this truck once it was completed. After owning the truck since 2010, Will attended SEMA in 2016 and made the choice that he needed to step it up. From there, the rest is history.

You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.

First thing on the laundry list of upgrades Will wanted to make was suspension. On his suspension and frame setup at that time, he wasn’t able to run deep dish wheels, and that was a must. Let us be clear: It was not a want; it was a need. Knowing the amount of work it would take to completely change his as-is setup, Will decided to make the jump from a decked out extended cab to a single cab. Why cut the cord on all that work? Because body-drop, that’s why. With that, he sold off the old cab and built a new chassis, using all the previously worked up body panels, dash, etc. Now that is commitment. He enlisted a handful of friends and got to work. Between the parts lists from Stone Fab, Air Lift and Belltech it is easy to guess how well this truck lays out after the framework was complete.

Every fresh suspension setup needs a fresh pair of wheels. Wanting the deep dish that started all of this, Will chose a staggered set of 22-inch Intros Twisted Vista 2. Packing a full 22×12-inch wheel in the back, that aggressive set of shoes gave an entirely new look to laying out the 90s GMC.

To better turn those massive new wheels, next in line for the Short Stack was motor work. Why not put down more power than ever when debuting a new look, right? To accomplish that, almost the entire Comp Cams motor catalog was used from camshaft to springs and lifters, then topped off with Billet Specialties valve covers. Throw in the matching air cleaner to those valve covers, then tuck it all neatly between the perfect-fitting Slosh Tubz fender tubs and firewall panels. The engine bay was ready to shut down shows just as quick as the exterior.

Last but not least came the paint and interior work to complete the one-of-a-kind single cab. Will enlisted Albert Stem from Stemco Body Works to knock out the paint work on the freshly installed single cab to match the previous extended-cab paint work, which Will had done himself. Like a true pro, Stem absolutely nailed it. Seeing the paint and bodywork on this truck in person, it looks seamless as if it were all done at once. In addition to that, Brandon McCoy of Gooch Pinstriping laid out the incredible ghost lace on the roof as well as the insane graphics on the Slosh Tubz in the engine bay, setting off the purple and black theme with a pop all its own.

Finishing up its extreme makeover Sierra edition, the GMC went to Cody at Code Zero Customs for interior. The combo of the custom black leather bucket seats with purple stitching mixed with the iPad mini and JL Audio setup make any drive you take in the Short Stack a comfortable time.

With more details left to discuss than we have space for, we recommend you find this beauty in person! You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.

Will wants to give a huge thank you to a few people who helped his dream become a reality on this build: “First and foremost, thank you to my wife Jamie, of course; Mike Losh of Slosh Tubz; also Seth Curry, Cody Landis of Code Zero Customs; the King Covers crew, Mike Hall, Eric Banks, Albert Stem; and Brandon ‘Gooch’ McCoy. Finally, thank you to anyone else who ever played a part in this truck taking shape.”

[divider] TRUCK Specs [/divider]


Will Meadors (Billy Bob)
1992 GMC Sierra
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Age: 33
Build Time: 4 to 5 years
Estimated Cost: $25k
Reason for building: Love old body style trucks, had one in high school
Name of truck: Short Stack


  • Custom ¾ steel frame
  • Narrowed original GM rear end
  • AccuAir E-level air management
  • Two Viair 444c air compressors
  • AccuAir 5-gallon aluminum air tank
  • Summit 8-inch GM Master cylinder
  • RCI 20-gallon stainless fuel cell in rear frame
  • Optima Red Top battery in left rear frame
  • Shop: Will Meadors


  • Airlift 2500 bags
  • Stone Fab narrowed arms
  • Belltech QA1 shocks
  • Belltech spindles
  • Braided steel brake lines


  • Long Shot Fab triangulated four-link
  • Airlift 2500 bags
  • Belltech QA1 shocks
  • Shop: Will Meadors


  • 1992 GM 355Ci V-8
  • Comp Cams camshaft
  • Comp Double timing chain
  • Billet Industries belt drive
  • Comp Cams gear drive
  • Spectre water pump
  • Spectre 210 alternator
  • Electric Summit cooling fans
  • Energy Suspension motor mounts
  • Comp Cams springs and lifters
  • MSD ignition
  • Edelbrock Performer manifold
  • Billet Specialties valve covers
  • Billet Specialties air cleaner
  • Shop: Hodges Engine & Performance


  • GM 700R4 1992 rebuilt
  • TCI 2800 Stahl converter
  • Powdercoated driveshaft
  • Shop: Coweta Transmission


  • Stainless Headman 2.5-inch exhaust
  • Spintech muffler


  • Intros Twisted Vista 2
  • Front: 22×9 inch
  • Front tires: 265/30/22
  • Rear: 22×12 inch
  • Rear tires: 335/25/22


  • 2 ¾-inch body drop w/ stock floor
  • Slosh Tubz firewall panels
  • Slosh Tubz wheel tubs
  • Billet Specialties grille insert
  • Stylin Trucks front bumper
  • Stylin Trucks roll pan
  • Smoothed wiper cowl
  • Shaved door handles
  • LED taillights
  • Moore glass windows
  • Shop: Stemco Body Works in Sand Springs, Oklahoma


  • Body: PXR Ford Black w/ PPG base clear
  • Purple graphics by Unique Collision & Lace roof by Gooch Customs
  • Purple engine
  • Air brushed mirrors by Lil Toot
  • Shop: Stemco Body Works


  • Fully smoothed interior
  • Black leather and suede w/ purple stitching
  • Double loop black carpet
  • 24-ounce bucket seats
  • Black smooth headliner
  • Smoothed and painted dash by Unique Collision
  • Glow Shift gauges
  • Pattison machining dash inserts
  • Colorado Customs steering wheel
  • Power windows and locks
  • Billet Specialties rear view mirror
  • EZ wiring
  • Shop: King Covers in Tulsa, Oklahoma


  • iPad Mini
  • JL Audio 1600 RD
  • JL Audio W3 subwoofers
  • JL Audio C2 speakers
  • Sound deadener in cab
  • Shop: Code Zero in Owasso, Oklahoma

RideTech Suspension Install 88-98 Chevy OBS CK GMT400 Trucks

Generally, truck trends are unpredictable and cycle quickly through the ranks of the top industry builders and ballers. F-100 bump-sides and pro-touring, patina-paneled C10s are just a few recent examples of popular projects that the average Joe wouldn’t think to produce until they see a fully completed custom gracing the pages of national publications or influential social media channels. These ideas and completed concepts come from the mindset of being unique with the goal of making a statement at massive events like SEMA, LST and Texas Heatwave. With that said, I think it’s safe to say we all see the next major trend hurling down the pipeline like a 6-foot surfer named Bodhi riding a 15-foot wave off Bells Beach during the 50-year storm. (That was a “Point Break” reference if you didn’t catch it. What a great ’90s movie!)

Speaking of the ’90s, if you were a natural born truck junkie finally making it to the legal driving age around those times, you most certainly wanted a Chevy C/K truck since they were literally everywhere. Everyone from utility company employees to school district secretaries used these heavily produced pickups for their day-to-day operations. Even your grandpa’s grocery-getter was most likely an ’89-’98 Chevy. They came in so many different visual styles with factory options galore. Originally designed by Donald Wood in 1983, Chevy was able to move 551,223 of these GMT400 trucks by 1989 alone according to the Standard Catalog, not to mention the popular 454 model released in 1990 that sold 16,953 units over the four years with 13,748 of those units selling in the first year of production alone.


This is the 1995 Chevy C/K that we originally picked up for a mere $2,000. We purchased it from the original owner, it has 150,000 miles on the factory installed engine, cold air conditioning and a handwritten chart that records all of the basic maintenance that has ever been done. The perfect project truck, and we named her Stella for “female star” because we intend to make her famous!

With that heavy of a number, it’s easy to see why we not only saw a massive increase of these trucks in magazines, but also why the custom aftermarket scene is heating up so much right now. These trucks are still pretty easy to come by and the demographic of buyers are slightly older and more well-off than your average new-truck enthusiast. The guys who wanted these trucks in their teens are now older, generally successful and more comfortable than they were at 16 years old. These factors are driving the great custom parts manufacturers to focus on these industry icons to get ahead of the curve.

It’s easy to talk the talk, but it’s far more impactful to walk the walk. So, we put on our Airwalks and jumped into the deep end of desire by picking up a running, driving 1995 Chevy C/K truck from the original owner for a smooth $2,000. Cold A/C and a solid cranking 4.3-liter V-6 gave this truck the appeal, but a full gas tank and a fresh oil change just shows that the previous owner still has love for this 20-plus-year-old family member.

In the next few issues we are going to take you through the process of giving this truck new life on the same old roads it’s been cruising down since its inception, first starting with suspension, brakes and wheels/tires, followed up with a facelift for the ages. The plans don’t stop there, but you’re going to need to stick to the script the see the next steps. If you’re not a subscriber already, I implore you to do so. If this truck doesn’t motivate you to go out and start wrenching on your own project, I’m not sure you picked up the right publication. Now let’s get to the good stuff!

Usually we include the “after” shot toward the end of the story, but we wanted to show you the before and after side by side so you can see the dramatic transition. Now to walk you through how it was done.

Like most of the projects in the past, we turn to Dallas Maynard of Full Pen Fabrication to make the magic happen. Before he got down to the nitty gritty, Dallas removed the bed and pressure cleaned the frame. Twenty-plus years of rust and road grime is better off in the driveway than in your face—am I right?

While he cleaned the chassis, I laid out all the parts. Our suspension of choice is RideTech’s all new wishbone designed coilover suspension that is completely bolt in and professionally engineered by the team at RideTech. We are also installing Pro Performance’s big brake upgrade that is designed specifically for the ’89-’98 GMT400 trucks.

First on the list is to remove the old suspension hardware. Leaf springs are old news and completely obsolete with this kit.

Using the supplied paper template, Dallas marked the C-notch location and used a cut-off wheel to slice the frame. Before the new structured brackets can go on, he took the time to coat the frame to avoid any more future rusting.


A few C-clamps hold the new RideTech notch bracket in place while he drills out all the holes and bolts in the new hardware. Everything we needed was supplied in the kit, saving us trips to the hardware store. The notches are reinforced in multiple planes to maintain structural integrity while improving axle to frame clearance.

Moving on, Dallas installed the wishbone cradle between the frame rails. The cradle accepts a “wishbone” upper link that eliminates the need for a Panhard bar or other lateral locating device.

Next in the list is the lower axle mounts for the coilovers. Compared to the platform’s original leaf springs, RideTech’s wishbone system dramatically improves ride quality and handling and accepts either coilovers or Shockwave for air suspension.

All RideTech coilovers utilize a single-tube cartridge. Known as “monotube,” the design features a significantly larger piston area, which in turn provides more responsive damping than a twin tube shock. A single adjustment knob controls the rebound curve, allowing you to fine tune your truck’s shocks to suit your driving style and specs. Also, we get our first look at this killer brake upgrade from AZ Pro Performance.

The final piece is the lower links that feature RideTech’s patented R-joints. The advanced rod end design offers long service life with zero binding and no noise.

After a quick coat of paint, we can step back to appreciate this amazing system setup. We can’t wait to drive it!

Before the bed could go back on, Dallas had to make a quick cut to the brace under the bed. This gave us that little bit of extra clearance we needed without cutting the actual bed floor.

The front of this truck is next on the list. To make things easy, we simply unbolted the upper and lower control arms, the factory sway bay and steering linkage. Slide it out as one massive unit and ask a friend to help you toss it in the dumpster.

With an empty wheel well, we are ready to bolt in the new upper and lower control arms. All the factory brackets are reused and the coilovers mount in the stock shock location. Really well designed!

Before we can install the new McGaughy’s spindle, we need to make some minor modifications. A simple slice with the cutoff wheel and a drill/tap is all that’s needed. It’s time consuming but definitely not something you can’t do at home. Just use the right tools and be patient.

With the spindles installed, Dallas can now focus his efforts on these massive disc brakes from AZ Pro Performance.

Key features of these brakes:

  • No need to buy new spindles, just modify current spindles
  • Uses new calipers, not rebuilt
  • Precise machined hub
  • Laser cut mounting bracket
  • Fits 19-inch wheels and larger
  • Will work with most aftermarket wheels, since caliper offset is kept to a minimum

Our choice for wheels and tires are 22-inch American Racing Novas that are staggered front and back. The tires are none other than Toyo Tires ST III. The Proxes ST III is the perfect balance of dynamic looks and sport-oriented performance for trucks and SUVs. With a wider tread and a silica-based tread compound, the Proxes ST III stops up to 6 feet shorter in wet conditions while delivering superb handling, excellent all-season performance, consistent wear and a smooth, quiet ride. These tires are also backed by a 40,000-mile warranty.

Our first look at Stella on the ground gives us the chills! Although before we take a test drive, that front end has to be upgraded. We can’t roll with that work truck grille with this amazing stance. The final stance has not been dialed in yet due to some additional weight that will be soon added to the front. More on that later.

Originally founded in 1976, Classic Industries made its name selling small, hard-to-find items for the restoration of early Camaro models from a small facility in Palm Springs, California. The Classic Industries headquarters now features a retail showroom, corporate offices, parts production, complete call center, shipping center and multiple warehouses for the largest inventory of parts and accessories in the restoration and performance industry.
This reproduction black plastic grille is designed for models with dual composite headlamps and made to replace the original. However, it features semi-flush Bowtie emblem mounting pad for a smooth, clean look.

This conversion is as simple as unbolting the original grill and headlights and installing the new. There is an additional step required and we turned to Mr. Tail Light for the parts. The company offers the new headlight plugs and all the mounting hardware you need to take the guesswork out of the process. We can’t convey how simple this process is when you work with great companies like these.