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How To Lower a ’88-’98 Chevy Using Belltech!

Lowering a ’88-’98 Chevy Using a 4/6 Belltech Kit

When considering a lowering kit for your 1988-1998 C1500 or (OBS GM Truck), you’ll find there are quite a few options out there. Most companies offer parts individually, so you can get creative with parts combinations in order to get your desired results. In our case, we wanted to try and get this job done with performance and ultimate ride quality in mind. Being that Belltech Suspension was a huge part of the sport truck movement back in the ’90s, the company knows a thing or two about OBS GM trucks.  With that said, naturally they were our first call when we decided to tackle the suspension on our 1990 C1500.  

We decided to utilize the 3-inch drop spring and paired those with the 2-inch drop spindle up front. To achieve our desired drop out back, we went with a flip kit. The flip kit is also adjustable drop because it comes with new rear shackle mounts that when paired with the flip kit will yield either a 7 inch or 8 inch.  We topped everything off with Street Performance Shocks/Shock extenders and front and rear sway bar kit.

Belltech lowering kits include all the parts and pieces you need to achieve not only the look you want, but the alignment, and performance and safety you need. These complete lowering kits are your all-in-one-box solution, providing you with all the necessary parts to lower your truck. Made up of a variety of combinations as well as all the installation and alignment pieces necessary to achieve the listed lowering, choosing your kit has never been simpler. And the install is even easier! Let’s get started.


 Factory brake caliper on an 1988-1998 C1500
After removing the wheel, we started disassembling the factory front suspension. Our first step here was to remove the factory brake caliper, which can be accomplished by loosening the two large Allen head bolts that hold it to the spindle.
removing the hub/brake rotor assembly
When removing the hub/brake rotor assembly, you must first remove the factory dust cap, which can be accomplished by using a flathead screwdriver to gently pry the cap away from the rotor. If it has never been removed this may require you to tap the screwdriver gently with a hammer to get it between the rotor surface and the cap.
Belltech lowering kit install
We then removed the spindle castle nut and slid the hub/brake rotor assembly off the spindle, then we were able to remove the dust shield by removing the three bolts holding it to the spindle.
With the outer tie rod nut removed, we used a hammer to free the tie rod from the spindle. A common mistake that people make when doing a job like this at home is hitting the tie rod. A couple good whacks with a heavy hammer on the spindle itself will free the tie rod. Never hit the tie rod itself, it will damage the tie rod and it won’t help free it anyway.
At this point you’ll need to put a floor jack under the lower control arm applying some pressure, but not enough to lift the truck off of the jack stands. We always position the jack so that the handle is facing the front of the truck and the jack can be operated from this position.
Removing shocks on an 1988-1998 Chevy
Our next step was to remove the shock. This is done by removing one nut at the top of the shock stud and the two lower shock bolts that go up through the lower control arm, and then you can remove the shock through the opening in the lower control arm.
Upper and lower control arm assemblies for a Belltech lowering kit
We will be replacing our upper and lower control arm assemblies during this installation, so we went ahead and removed all 4 control arm bolts, the sway bar end links from the lower control arms and removed the upper and lower control arms.

 Belltech springs
We then re-installed our control arms and positioned the new Belltech spring into the spring pocket (it helps to have someone hold the spring in place for you) then position the jack back under the lower control arm with light pressure on the arm.  Now you can place the spindle on the lower ball joint stud, lower the upper control arm down to position the ball joint stud back through the new spindle and then secure the spindle by installing the ball joint nuts and new cotter pins (we do not recommend re-using old cotter pins). We then installed our new Belltech street performance shock through the lower control arm re-using our original bolts.
Next up is the hub/brake rotor assembly.  Going back together we opted for all new bearings, seals and rotors.  You can re-install your old assembly, however either way you decide to go, we recommend having your rotors turned, new seals and re-packing your bearings at a minimum.

We applied some self-etching primer and rattle can black to our new rotors to prevent flash rust. After this was done we moved on to packing our new bearings and installing the new seals on the hub/rotor assembly.  (If you do not have a seal install kit, you can find a socket that has the same overall diameter as your seal).

Belltech lowering kit install

Belltech tie rods
Our next step was to assemble our new inner and outer tie rods with new our new adjusters and attach them to the new drop spindle using the new nut and cotter pin.

Now it’s time to ditch the old front sway bar in favor of our new one from belltech, but first we must remove our factory sway bar.  This was a breeze since our sway bar end links were already disconnected.
We began preparing our new sway bar by applying the provided bushing grease to the contact areas of the new bushings, and installing the bushings with brackets. We went ahead and assembled the end links and installed them on the sway bar.
We then moved the sway bar underneath the truck and into its mounting location. It’s best to have someone to help with this step by holding it up into position.  If you don’t have an extra set of hands you can use your floor jack to hold it in position.  Once this is done we attached the sway bar end links to the lower control arms.  You’ll want to leave them loose for now and then come back and tighten them.  At this point you can line the sway bar bushing brackets up with the threaded holes in the frame and install the 4 bolts you removed earlier.
To finish off the front suspension we went back over everything and did a good nut and bolt check ensuring to torque everything to factory specs. Also this is a great time to hit all of those grease points on the front end.
Our first task on the rear suspension was to remove the bed.  This kit can be installed without doing this, however we recommend removal of the bed.  We removed the 8 bed bolts, fuel filler flange, ground strap near the fuel filler neck, ground for the taillight harness, and unplugged the taillight harness near the rear of the frame.  We were lucky enough to have an overhead crane in the shop to assist in the removal of the bed, however this can be accomplished by bribing a few friends with free pizza and something cold to drink.  We took this opportunity to do a quick pressure wash of the chassis before we got started.  This isn’t just for cosmetic reasons.  Removing all of the old gunk can help speed up the process when removing old parts and hardware.

We then removed the receiver hitch, factory shocks, the spare tire, and the old rusty tailpipes that had to go due to clearance issues.
We could then turn our attention to the axle and getting it ready to be flipped.  With the truck on jack stands (supporting the chassis) and the rear end supported by our floor jack we then removed the factory u bolts and leaf spring plates. Now you can lower the rear end away from the leaf spring packs, but not so far that it puts tension on the rear brake line.
Now it was necessary to remove the bolts that secure the brake line and wiring harness to the inside of the frame rail.  There are two bolts securing the brake line transitioning fitting to the chassis and two bolts securing the rigid brake line and electrical wiring to the chassis.  These parts are secured in nylon clips that must be clear of the chassis while we do our cutting and installing of the c-notch.

We then used the supplied template and some chalk to mark our cut lines for the c notch.  In the upper corners of our cut marks we used a ½” drill bit to drill a hole in each corner.  Now on to our favorite part, the cutting! cut the chassis along the lines we scribed in the previous step.  This can be done with an angle grinder with a cut off wheel, plasma cutter or reciprocating saw.

With our chassis cut we were now able to line up our c notch utilizing the locating holes and clamp it in place utilizing a c clamp.  Make sure the C-section top flange is in contact with the top of the vehicle chassis.  Now utilizing the ½” holes in the C-section as a guides, we drilled through the 8 holes on the side and the 2 on the bottom.  We then installed the kit supplied hardware.
Now on to getting the axle back in place!  At this time we hung the front of the leaf spring by re-installing the factory bolt and nut through the bracket and leaf spring eyelet.  Utilizing our floor jack we lifted our rear end high enough to allow us to swing the rear of the leaf spring pack back up into the factory leaf spring bracket.  At this point we re-installed the factory bolts into the shackle and left everything hand tight.  It is important not to tighten the leaf spring bolts until the weight of the vehicle is on the springs.
Our next step was to position the new Belltech axle saddle brackets, and secure everything with the new grade 8 u bolts, locking nuts and leaf spring plates.  Make sure the “ears” on the axle tube saddle locate under the edges of the rear axle tube spring pad.
With all of the lowering components installed on the rear of the chassis, we could move on to getting that beefy rear sway bar installed.  We began by assembling the end links and loosely installing them on the sway bar and using the kit supplied bushing grease to lubricate the contact areas of the bushings.
The last step before re-installing the bed was to go back over all of our hardware and torque to factory and manufacturer specifications……..and of course admire our new belltech suspension. We then re-installed the bed and re-connected our grounds and taillight harnesses. It is very important that you bring the truck straight to an alignment shop and have it properly aligned for safety and to prevent premature wear on your expensive tires.
Here’s a better photo of the completed truck, after alignment and ready to be driven. We are super happy with the overall ride quality of the truck. The results are a very noticeable drop, without giving up any ride quality, and without having to trim anything out due to tire rubbing.

A Fresh Update to Your OBS Grille

Step one was to rewind the front of the 1999 Suburban back to 1993 pace truck standards with a few upgrades. After a quick call to LMC Truck, the crew had all the necessary conversion parts, including a grille shell, billet insert, lower grille filler, turn signal lamps, side marker lamps, front fender extensions, and the correct front bumper. At some point in its life, Brik Yrd had been converted with a 1993 GMC grille with the correct lower grille filler and fender extensions and a smooth, front work-truck bumper with no strips or guards. This is a simple conversion. All OBS grilles are interchangeable from OBS ’88-’98 with the correct corresponding year’s parts. Follow along as the team brings Steve’s vision to reality.

1999 Suburban
Our donor for this project is this 1998 Chevy Suburban. This truck is extremely clean and all factory, but we want to give it a sportier look. So, we’re going to start with the grille.
White 1999 Suburban
The first step is to remove the old pieces. Luckily on these trucks, the grille is very easy to remove with some basic tools. Just lightly pull on the panel to find the next fastener until it easily comes off the truck.
White Suburban with LMC replacement grille
Before we paint and install our new grille, we want to test fit the LMC replacement grille that we ordered. We also are replacing the headlights and driving lights for a much cleaner look. The test fit went great, and the panels fit as they should.
 Billet grille
We also want to add a billet grille to the factory grille shell. Before we cut the grille shell, we tape off the billet grille so it does not get scratched during test fitting.
prepring OBS grille for paint
We also tape off the entire grille shell around the spot that will be cut. We don’t want anything flying into the shell and scratching it before paint.
With a clean cut and a perfect it, the grille is now ready to be painted and the billet metal can be set to the side.
We don’t need a paint booth for something this simple job as long as we have decent ventilation. So, we hung the new grille on a drying rack and gave it a few solid coats of Automotive Touchup’s white paint to match the truck. We also added clearcoat from Automotive Touchup for a factory finish.
Leaving it alone for a few hours to dry is the hardest part of this project. Patience is as important as details, so just wait!
With the grille fully painted and extremely impressive looking, we can now mount the billet panel in its final location before adding it to the truck.

Keep following along online at OBS Headquarters or OBS Builder’s Guide for more updates on Project Brik Yrd.


’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

How To Bag Your ’88 -’98 Chevy Truck?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Air Suspension on ’88-’98 GMT400 Chevy Trucks

In the first-ever OBS Builder’s Guide, (March ’20) we focused our attention on swapping out the factory installed 4.3-liter V-6 engine for a Blueprint Engines 383c.i. stroker motor. Additionally, we added an American Powertrain transmission, along with a full Ridetech coilover suspension system and 22-inch American Racing wheels. It was an impressive truck that was built right from Day 1 and driven hard like it was intended.

So now, we’re going to turn our attention to the OBS Builder’s Guide V2 donor truck, a 1997 GMC Sierra dubbed Project Artemis that’s sporting a 5.7-liter V-8 with the third door option and only 125K original miles. She’s a completely clean—and 100% stock—extended cab OBS GMC that’s just begging for a new life, and we have a goal to give her one.

For this build, we will focus on adjustable suspension and bolt-on options for bagging your ’88-’98 OBS truck. Using a very well-engineered Ridetech air-ride suspension along with Ridetech’s patented air management system, we will simply cut off the old suspension mounts and bolt this complete system to the factory frame rails. No welding, no fabricating and, best of all, no cutting the bed!

With a new suspension in place, the factory wheels and tires will kill the new look of the truck. We didn’t want to make this truck unrelatable to the average consumer, so we went with an extremely affordable wheel from U.S Mags called the Bullet, and wow, they are nice! Toyo Proxes STIII tires will surround the rims and a new set of EBC Brakes will tuck nicely behind them. Once the suspension is complete, we will show you guys a super cool new product from BedWood and Parts called a retroliner. Yes, you can now put a wood bed floor in your OBC truck, too!

For this new suspension special, we will be working with the amazing crew SaltWorks Fab in Myakka City, Florida. They are experts at metal fabrication and suspension setups, and the work they put out is second to none. Producing Concours d’Elegance builds to compete at Pebble Beach is the daily grind for this team, so dropping the welders and bagging our OBS will be a cake walk for Thom Ophof and company.

Before we jump into the tech, we wanted to lay out the plan, show you the parts and ideally inspire you to follow along on your own OBS.


We just picked up this ’97 GMC Sierra Ext Cab with a goal to get on the ground. The factory installed 5.3-liter V-8 is all stock with only 125K original miles, and the optional three-door is going to come in handy when we want to load the crew up and ride out to an event.

    • This Ridetech air suspension system for two-wheel drive, ’88-’98 Chevy/GMC C1500 trucks includes front tubular upper and lower control arms, drop spindles, bolt-on wishbone rear suspension, front HQ shocks, rear HQ Shockwave airbags, as well as a front sway bar. The benefit of buying a complete suspension system is that it takes all of the guesswork out when purchasing a new suspension.

System Highlights:

    • Ride height that is approximately 4 inches lower than stock in the front and 6 inches in the rear. Fully deflated will net an additional 3-inch drop.
    • Front CoolRide setup includes HQ Series shocks and bolt-on upper shocks mounts to allow more ground clearance and maximum suspension travel.
    • The upper StrongArms control arms feature corrected ball joint angles for the lowered ride height, and the length has been altered to create more camber adjustment.
    • The lower StrongArms feature a double sheer lower shock mount for increased strength and have a lowered shock mount to increase suspension travel as well as more camber adjustment.
    • The front MuscleBar sway bar reduces body roll and includes the Delrin liners to minimize suspension bind.
    • Ridetech’s drop spindles greatly improve suspension geometry and bump steer.
    The rear bolt on three-link does not require any welding or major modifications to the bed floor.

The AirPod RidePro-X air management control system is an all-in-one integrated solution that mounts in your vehicle as a single unit and comes pre-wired. It includes an aluminum 5-gallon tank, two Thomas Compressors, a Big Red high flow air valve solenoid block, RidePRO-X pressure based digital leveling system, 3/8-inch air lines, and all the fittings and wiring you will need. This complete AirPod system eliminates hours of installation time!

US Mags new Precision Series wheels are machined from a single 6061 T-6 aluminum alloy forging and available in multiple sizes. We went with a 20-inch wheel with a staggered width. This Bullet design is offered in a chrome finish or you can order an options graphite machined face. Both look amazing and they only weigh 30 pounds each!

For tires, we are working with Toyo to test out its new Proxes ST III tire. The size options we have are 275-40-20 for the front and a 275-45-20 for the rear. 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. Now backed by a 40,000-mile warranty!

These EBC Stage 3 Truck/SUV brake kits boast GG rated friction for better stopping with fully shimmed edges and slotted rotors for silent running. Being an upgraded pad, these may have a shorter life than other hard aftermarket pads but the performance makes up for it ten fold.

BedWood and Parts RetroLinerX kits include the ash BedWood, polished stainless bed strips, polished stainless hardware, aluminum channels and end piece to tie it all together. The wood is pre-finished using the company’s H2X Exterior Wood Finish. The contents of the kit are neatly packaged in a single box, eliminating the mishaps and additional costs that often occur with kits requiring multiple packages. RetroLinerX is a complete kit ready to install right out of the box.


Stage one for this multi-stage resto-mod is to replace the front and rear suspension. We don’t want to be cutting and grinding the frame with the custom wrap we have planned, and we definitely don’t want any greasy mechanics getting in and out of our nice new interior. So, we called up Ridetech, told the crew our goals, and they helped us order a complete, turn-key air-ride system designed to fit ’88-’98 Chevy and GMC C1500 trucks.

Once the complete kit arrived, we packed everything up and headed out to SaltWorks Fab in Myakka, Florida, for the install. Chris Hagerty and Telly Violleto were excited to break away from their high-end fab work for a couple days to bag our OBS, and we were there pestering them throughout the whole process.

Our project this year is to build a custom, bagged OBS Chevy truck that is reliable and ready to cruise with the whole family. So, meet Artemis, a 1998 GMC Sierra that has been female owned since it came off the lot. She’s been well maintained, and she’s ready to be reborn!

This running-driving, three-door GMC has only 124,000 original miles and absolutely no mechanical issues that we know of. She’s a perfect project truck!

All the equipment from Ridetech came packaged with such great care that not a single piece was scratched or missing. We unboxed and laid it all out nicely so the crew can get to work.

With the truck on the lift, we took the time to inspect the rest of the chassis and engine to make sure we didn’t miss anything while buying this 23-year-old truck.

The OEM front suspension is all still in great shape, but it’s completely covered in grease. It’s going to make for some messy hands!

First to come off is the bed. A few bolts from the bottom and some plugs for the taillights are all you need to remove before taking off the bed. Better ask a few friends for some muscle assistance.

The next thing to be removed were the wheels and front sway bar. Ridetech provides a new sway bar so this one can be tossed out.

Safety first! Telly wrapped chain around the spring so it doesn’t fly out when he removes the spindle. Pretty smart!

The tie-rod end is carefully removed so to not damage the threads. The Ridetech kit comes with new inner tie-rod ends, but these otters will be reused.

A nice big pile of parts in the corner is a sign of progress! Now, it’s time to bolt on the new Ridetech suspension components.

For the upper control arms, we installed these StrongArms that are designed for ’88-’98 Chevy C1500 trucks. They are developed by Ridetech in Jasper, Indiana, on an actual running, driving vehicle, so you know they fit.

For the upper control arms, we installed these StrongArms that are designed for ’88-’98 Chevy C1500 trucks. They are developed by Ridetech in Jasper, Indiana, on an actual running, driving vehicle, so you know they fit.

The front kit includes these CoolRide airbags designed to be used with the Ridetech lower arms. Everything comes with the kit including air springs, brackets, HQ Series shocks, bolt-on shock mounts and hardware.

Before the bag can go in, the press-on style air fitting needs to be installed on it. Don’t skip this step or you will regret it!

With the top hat mounted to the air spring, it can be bolted into place using the factory shock hole to secure the top of the bag mount.

To get as much drop as possible, Ridetech provides these 2-inch drop spindles that allow you to slam your ride and increase ride quality. They are forged from heavy duty steel and will increase the track width by a quarter inch per side.

With the upper bag mount loosely bolted in, the lower control arm can be installed, and the bottom of the air spring can be tightened.

Moving on, the shock needs to be relocated since the air spring takes the location of the OEM one. So Ridetech engineered this perfectly fitting shock relocation kit that bolts to the frame and the lower control arms.

With the suspension components in place, the brake can be reinstalled. We once again ordered a set of EBC rotors and pads as we have had nothing but great experiences with this brand.

To finish up the front, the new Ridetech MuscleBar needs to be bolted up. Using precision CNC tubing benders, Investment cast steel bar ends, and Delrin lined mount bushings, Ridetech can produce sway bars with unheard of dimensional and rate accuracy.

For Artemis to sit at the correct level anytime she’s cruising down the road, we ordered these RidePROx. These height sensors digitally measure your vehicle’s exact suspension movement to provide accurate and repeatable vehicle height adjustment. Even when the vehicle has a heavy load, it will sit perfectly every time.

The completed front is a thing of beauty. Modern engineering meets good old fashioned American metal.


Next up, we tackle the rear of our 1998 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE with a C-notch install and a lot of sweet looking, well-engineered suspension parts. The final piece to the new suspension puzzle is picking a wheel and tire package.

For project Artemis, we wanted a setup that would allow us to have a super low stance without cutting anything and a decent ride on 40-series tires. If you have any experience with air suspension, county roads and 35-series tires, you will more than likely understand our desires for this driver. The wheels are staggered fit, 20-inch aluminum wheels from US Mags with a width of 8 inches up front, and 9.5 inches in the back. Having a wider wheel in the back not only looks cool, but it also stretches the 40-series tire just a bit to give up some extra clearance out back when cruising low and slow.

Now let’s check out the steps to installing the rear of this extremely well engineered air suspension system for GMT400 trucks.

With this Ridetech suspension system, the only major modification you need to make to your ’88-’98 Chevy or GMC truck is to add a C-notch to the rear frame rail. This is a simple yet tedious process that must be done in order to get as low as possible by allowing additional clearance for the axle to travel up, while bringing the body of the truck down.

Lots of guys have their own technique for cutting a notch, and generally they all work great, but the way the team at SaltWorks performed the task made it look basic beyond belief. Trace the pattern, drill some relief holes in the corners, grind down the gunk so you don’t ruin your blade, and simply use a grinder to remove the piece. (Editor’s note: Be sure to properly support both sides of the frame to avoid any drooping or sagging.)

With the Ridetech provided C-notch in place, they drilled all the bolts and bolted it onto place. You may be surprised by just how much additional strength these give to the chassis.

Next, the lower bag mount brackets are installed on the rear axle using a set of U-bolts provided in the kit.

With the bracket in place, the front of the parallel link bars can be bolted into the factory leaf spring location.

Now the rear of the link bar can be bolted to the lower bag bracket mounting point.

The upper wishbone bracket is installed next. This piece bolts into the C-notch on both sides and eventually ties to the differential.

This differential bracket easily bolts to the rearend and the upper crossmember. It’s a very, very well-engineered design and fits absolutely perfectly.

The Ridetech shockwave airbag is next to be installed. It simply bolts into place behind the axle and allows for plenty of wheel clearance.

The final pieces to the mechanical parts puzzle are the ride height sensors. These digital do-gooders keep the truck height in check by maintaining pressure to your pre-desired setting.

Here you can see the complete rear suspension installed and ready to be covered by the bed—but before that we need to coat that frame!

KBS Coatings is our go to source for frame and fuel tank coatings. This spray-on rubberized undercoating not only prevents rust and corrosion, but it also helps with sound deadening which is great for a 20-plus-year-old truck!

Before the bed can go on, we snipped off the back of the exhaust pipe so it doesn’t clank on the axle while driving. We will be replacing this in the next issue with an all new Flowmaster exhaust from Holley Performance.

With the hard part done, the bed can be bolted back into place and the fun part begins—ruining electrical wires and airline! But that’s after they mount the air tank.

Organizing and planning are a big part of any major modification, and this one is no different. Deciding which way to route the black airline and which wires need to go where is not a task for the tired. So, if you’ve been working long hours with no sleep, hold off on this step until after your nap.

When attaching the hose to the frame, be sure to give it some slack in case you need to trim the ends a few times. The last thing you want is to have to replace an entire airline for a few missing inches. Once it’s all complete, the battery power can be connected and tested. Time to turn the key!

You can’t hear it in the picture, but this baby is buzzing with energy from the dual compressors filling up the air tank.

Our choice for wheels is this ultra-bright chrome Bullet design from US Mags. These are staggered fit, 20-inch aluminum wheels with a width of 8 inches up front and 9.5 inches in the back. If you have any experience with air suspension, county roads and 35-series tires, you will more than likely understand our desires for a 40-series tire. Having a wider wheel in the back not only looks cool, but it also stretches the 40-series tire just a bit to give up some extra clearance out back.

Before we bolt up that new shiny chrome, we need to coat the bed and there will be over spray. We put the factory wheels back on for now and man this truck is low! Impressive since we didn’t have to cut anything major away from the original truck.

Before we can take it for a test ride, we need to coat the bed with a real bedliner. This will prevent it from rusting near the drill holes and will look amazing next to the new wrap. We also welded up the stake pockets on top of the bed rails for a smoother look.

THE Finale

For project Artemis, we decided to venture into the world of wraps. The body isn’t great, we don’t have time for a color change, and a full custom paint job was never in the budget. So, some digital graphics printed on vehicle wrap material will cover up the factory coating.

With Artemis looking good on the new 20-inch US Mag wheels, it’s time to address the exterior of the truck. Step one in our complete re-cover of the faded OEM paint is to call We Print Wraps. We let them know what kind of vehicle we’re working with and our idea of a wild design that would cover up some paint and body imperfections. Whether you’re looking for a solid color or something completely custom like we are, We Print Wraps can handle the job and ship it directly to you.

We explained the concept behind the idea and some inspiration for the design. A combination of “Ready Player One” and “CyberPunk” is the direction we pointed artist Ryan Sandoval and, as you should with any great designer, we gave him total freedom and let him loose with no supervision.

Ryan had one trick up his sleeve, and we were blown away when he explained how this bioluminescent panel will sit behind the wrap in certain locations, lighting up with the push of a button. So exciting!

With the adhesive backing removed and the wheel wells cleared and cut, the install team from Tate Designs in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, start to carefully lay down the vinyl, keeping it straight and free of air bubbles or debris.

Once the body panels are completely smooth and free of air, they can trim the windows without cutting any of the factory rubber. Again, another reason to contact a professional installer for your vinyl wrap.

Now they can lay down the vinyl knowing everything lines up perfectly. Trim all the edges and move onto the next panel.

Now you can see what the wrap looks like during the day and at night.

And here it is! Project Artemis with her new suspension and one-of-a-kind wrap. We couldn’t be happier.

Readers Rides!

The Latest Collection of ’88-’98 Reader Rides from Around the Country!

We love our readers, and we want to know what you are working on, even if it’s not a show stopping, race winning sport truck that gets attention anywhere you go. Does your ’93 have some rust but you still love it? Send us some pics! Have an ’89 with a custom paint job? That’s right up our alley—send us some pics! Or maybe you have an immaculately restored, completely original 454SS with less than 100 original miles on it. Definitely send us some pics of that! We really want to see them all. We are enthusiasts just like yourselves and seeing all the possibilities for these amazing trucks will inspire someone to build something similar. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so here are some of the coolest OBS GMT400 Chevy trucks from around the country to get you thinking about your personal project. Ready to send those pics now? Email them over to us at

Cameron Murray

1994 Chevrolet “EL Diablo” 

’88-’98 Reader Rides’88-’98 Reader RidesFuquay-Varina, NC

Mods: McGaughys 4/6-inch lowering kit with C-notch. All new trim with new bumpers and all new glass. Special blend red paint, new suspension with 20-inch and 22-inch US Mag Rambler wheels, Sport mirrors.

Scott Sapio

1997 Chevy 1500 “OBSession” 

’88-’98 Reader RidesLas Vegas, NV

Mods: Full chassis build, stock floor body dropped on 22-inch wheels.

Aaron Gunter

1997 GMC C1500 SL “Rooster” 

’88-’98 Reader RidesBlanchard, OK

Mods: 4-inch front and 6-inch rear drop using McGaughys suspension products, Doetsch shocks front and rear and Billet Specialties Speedway wheels. 20-inch in the front and 22-inch in the rear. A full interior makeover is also complete and now it’s a daily driver.

Chad Wheeler

1997 C1500 Crew Cab “2nd Chance” 

Mods: Engine 6.0LS with 4L80E transmission. BTR cam, Holley 92mm sniper intake and 92mm throttle body. Speed Engineering shorty headers, full stainless exhaust with Borla muffler.

Body dropped, Stone Fab upper and lower A-arms, Dominator 2600 bags in front. Rear is parallel four-link, Thor Bros Watt’s link, Firestone F9000 air bags. Chassis cleaned and painted satin black.

22-inch Intro Dakota wheels wrapped in Nitto 420s tires. Bed is shaved with a Mod Shop Metal Works full skin and Watson Street Works LED taillights. Inside the bed is fully bead rolled and sprayed in Line X. Paint is PPG Ocean Blue metallic. Interior wrapped in two-tone brown vinyl and suede with blue stitching. All work performed by Auto Kustoms. Dakota Digital VHX gauge cluster, Billet Specialties steering wheel. Escalade center console and stock seats with armrest and headrest removed.

Joe Robles

1997 Chevy Tahoe “GZ Hoe” 

’88-’98 Reader RidesMods: Static dropped, non adjustable suspension riding on 22-inch front wheels and 24-inch rear wheels.

Trevor Loken

1988 Chevrolet C1500 “The Grinch” 

South Georgia

Mods: Boosted stock bottom end 5.3-liter LS, factory 243 heads, makes over 1kwhp (proven), 1.27 60’, way too many parts to list on here!

Matt Dewig

1995 Chevy C1500 

Mods: Bagged with Ridetech four-link, Stone Fab front arms, Airlift 3p air management system, narrowed rear end, US Mag Milner billet wheels and a fully built 350c.i. Small block.

Anthony Iglesias

1998 GMC Sierra 

’88-’98 Reader RidesMiami, FL

Mods: Bagged Nfamus metal rear three-link suspension, raised gas tank bracket, Ekstensive metal front cups, Airlift air management, Viair 444 compressors, 22×9 front and 22×11 rear US Mags Ramblers

KC Phillips

1994 GMC Sierra “Country Boy’s Kryptonite” 

Naples, FL

Mods: Full body custom paint along with custom painted stripes. 6-inch Zone Offroad suspension lift with 20×12 XD Grenades wrapped in 35×12.5×20 Federal MT tires. Hydro dipped interior and green underglow 14-bolt rear end swap.

Jen Thayer

1999 Chevy Tahoe LT “Midnight” 

Sebring, FL

Mods: Midnight sits with a 2-inch drop on 20-inch chrome Voxx wheels with 275/45/20 Nitto NT420V tires all around. Her gray leather interior is mint and the fresh repaint factory Indigo Blue has been ceramic coated to keep her outside looking fresh and wet, which also makes cleaning her a breeze! She’s got a 2-inch cowl hood, upgraded slotted rotors, painted calipers and drums. New aftermarket headlights and tail lights and even a new factory Chevy bowtie exhaust tip. Her tag reads “CHEVY CK” for Chevy Chick. She’s still running her original 5.7-liter with 143k miles. When I got her she was bone stock and has lived her whole life in South Florida until I got her last April. In November she made a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, for the holidays and ran like a champ. She’s my daily driver and the nicest of my three OBS Tahoes and my OBS Suburban. What a fleet!

Sam Shaver

1995 Chevy 1500 Extended Cab 

Newberry, FL

Mods: Three-quarter custom built frame with cantilever air-ride setup, 24-inch Raceline billet wheels, 2008 Nissan Titan power rear window molded into cab. 2008 Chevy Ext Cab power side windows molded in. Working on suiciding the front doors with the 2008 Chevrolet extended cab. 180 door hinges, twin turbo small block 350. 1964 Chevrolet double hump truck dash. In process of installing 2005 Pontiac G6 panoramic sunroof.

Michael Johnson

1998 Chevrolet Silverado C1500

Trenton, FL

Mods: 502bbc with 871 Weiand blower. One-off set of staggered 24-inch wheels. One-off 180° 3rd door. Suicide driver’s door. Kindigit handles. G6 panoramic roof. 16-inch Wilwood brakes at all four corners. Winters Performance quick change rearend. GMC full phantom grille. 2-inch chop top, stock floor body dropped to the doors. All link components are polished stainless.

Robert Jaime

1993 Chevy Indy 500 Pace Truck “La Indy”

San Jose, CA

Mods: Forgeline wheels, Viking coilovers, DJM control arms, Belltech flip kit.

Jon Barefoot

1990 C1500 “90s Rich Kid”

Gadsden, AL

Mods: Stock floor body dropped on 20-inch, 3-piece Johnson hotrod seabrings, custom all billet interior with Snowden seats, Slosh Tubs and engine detail. Truck is fresh from its debut at Battle in Bama  ‘21.

Kyle Pashulka

1992 GMC Sierra “Ol Blue” 

Vermilion, Alberta, Canada

Mods: 2.5-inch bodydrop, raised and smoothed/radiused bedfloor with custom center piece. KP components six-link with Watt’s link. Epic Customs front narrowed control arms with slam bags. Accuair VT/e-level. Rear diff narrowed 5 inches. 22-inch Boyd billet wheels. Custom tucked and sectioned front bumper, custom shaved roll pan, smooth wiper cowl, billet grille, shaved tailgate, shaved firewall, Slosh tubs. Currently in the paint shop for a full frame off paint job and a powdercoated chassis and suspension. 350c.i. Chevy small block rebuilt with a 700r4 that has been all chromed and painted. Flowtech headers, Magnaflow dual exhaust, cam, lifters, springs, etc. producing 325-350ish hp.


Bolt-In Bed Wood Install

Direct Fit for ’88-’98 Shortbed Chevys Bolt In BedWood Kit

Many of you are in the same position we are in with our 1998 GMC Sierra—a clean but super boring bed that needs some attention and color. We don’t want to do any custom modifying or cutting, and we have no carpentry experience. This build was purpose minded and bolt-on was priority number one. At first, we thought about adding some color using paint or maybe wrapping the Airpod, but when we received wind of a fully bolt-in wood bed floor for ’88-’98 OBS Chevy trucks, plans quickly changed. Bedwood is the company that broke the mold and did the research to create the product. The company claims it’s fully bolt-in and able to be installed in a single afternoon. If that’s true, they have a winner on their hands with this kit!

RetroLinerX kits include the ash bed wood, polished stainless bed strips, polished stainless hardware, aluminum channels and end piece to tie it all together. The wood is pre-finished using H2X exterior wood finish. The contents of the kit are neatly packaged in a single box, eliminating the mishaps and additional costs that often occur with kits requiring multiple packages. In short, RetroLinerX is a complete kit ready to install right out of the box direct bolt-on/OEM replacement with no preparation required by the end user. We ordered a complete Carbon Series (the wood prefinished in black) kit for a 1998 Chevy shortbed to test out the quick install claims, but you are going to have to follow along to see the results. Let’s go!

Bedwood install
After installing our fully bolt-on Ridetech air-ride suspension system, our bed was coated in a tough bedliner making it look clean and new. Unfortunately, all the black makes it boring, so we have a fix.

RetroLinerX is a complete kit ready to install right out of the box direct bolt-on/OEM replacement with no preparation required by the end user.

The first step in this single afternoon project is to remove our Ridetech AirPod system that houses our air compressors, tanks and valves.

Before removing the tank, we have to disconnect the wiring. Labeling everything first is the best way to guarantee its hooked back up correctly.

Finally the bolts holding it all in are removed and the entire AirPod is removed as one. Simple!

The hoses are taped up and protected from getting squished by the wood.

The frames are all pre-cut so we just need to lay them all out and organize them by length. Long ones go vertically and short ones are horizontal with the shortest ones fitting in between the wheel wells.

The frames have soft padding already attached to the rails and pre-drilled holes in the perfect locations in the track.

The horizontal rails are laid out in equal distances with two in the front and back, and two in the middle.

The hardware comes complete so all we need to do is slide the nuts into the horizontal tracks.

The wood all comes pre-cut in the perfect lengths with beveled edges. The end pieces are cut to fit the contour of the factory wheel wells.

The first pieces of wood to go in are the outside boards. We loosely screwed the retainer bolts in. We will tighten them all later when we know it’s right.

By keeping an eye on all the female side screw locations, the next boards can go in.

The metal track fits perfect in the grooves of the wood and line up nicely with the fasteners.

We need to drill a few holes on the side pices for the airline and wiries to come through. After some quick measurements, and a few strips of tape to protect the top, a whole saw made quick work of this dense wood. Be sure to  seal the inside of any holes you may drill. BedWood offers a 2-ounce touch-up kit just for this purpose.

The air hoses and airline are run through the wood and the pices are set into place.

With all the metal strips in place and all the screws loosely locked in, we use a drill on very slow speed to fully tighten the bolts without scratching the painted rails.

Bedwood and Parts also includes this sweet, fully wood end cap piece to finish off the look of this over-the-bedfloor wood kit. They are all pre drilled and the nuts are already set.

What a great look! We highly recommend this kit if you are looking for something quick and clear that’s easy to install with no major mechanical experiences needed.


IF you are an avid reader of our 21-yearold publication known as Street Trucks magazine, you know I oversee one of the most demanding custom truck brands that is nationally published and distributed across the United States and beyond. The constant task of collecting consistent high-quality content is a job I am proud to hold, so when the company asked for a new builder’s guide specifically geared to 1988 to 1998 Chevy trucks, I was the first to raise my hand to take the lead. Volunteering to take on additional work without any added rewards probably sounds foreign to most employees, but when you love this body style as much as I do, the extra work feels like a walk in the park.

I have owned three trucks now that have fallen in the OBS Chevy year range. I’ve driven lifted K1500’s, bagged GMC Sierras and big power shortbeds, and I still haven’t come across one I haven’t liked. The body style is a throwback to when I was just learning how to drive and visiting the first few truck shows of my young enthusiast life. The influence these trucks had at that time was heavy, and the show scene was filled with unbelievable OBS builds. So, when the time came for me to lay down some cash and really put together a cool custom for myself, my sights were set directly on a truck from GM that falls in the year range of 1989 – 1998.

Fast forward to today and we find ourselves in volume two of the widely known OBS Builder’s Guide. We focus on completely custom, factory restored and affordable relatable builds. We install the parts that are available to the market and show you what it really takes the bolt them onto your bowtie. This issue is packed with great content, tons of options for your OBS, and more than enough motivation to get you wrenching on your next Project. Got something cool you’re working on? Send us some photos and info. We’d love to check it out.

1990 Chevrolet Named ROBERT E. LEE

Here Comes the Calvary a 1990 Chevrolet Named ROBERT E. LEE

In 1997, Barrett Stewart was injected with a custom truck virus when a few friends asked him to hang out one weekend. It only took one experience in the laid back lifestyle we enthusiasts all know and love to get Barrett hooked. Over the years, he bought and sold a few of the industry’s most well known rides, but this latest one is special, and it may not go anywhere anytime soon. Barrett had some previous custom truck owner experience with his first truck, a ’94 GMC Sonoma known as “Sweet as Candy,” which was featured in Mini Truckin magazine back in ’97. Next on his list of good looking rides was a ’96 Chevy S-10 Blazer two-door called “Double Exposure.” That build was also featured in Mini Truckin. Lastly, his third custom truck was a ’99 Chevrolet Tahoe four-door named “816 Hours” in a past Street Trucks article. This is the truck that began the OBS obsession for Barrett. 

1990 Chevrolet

“This truck had a great start from previous owner, Brian Baird, and I was lucky enough to buy the truck and see a vision of how he envisioned it complete,” Barrett says.

Body-dropped on 24-inch wheels was the goal, and previous owner Brian was the man making the mods to the metal.

Body mods on this amazing truck include a chopped top roof, a Goodmark Steel SS Ram air hood, Hart front inner fenders, shaved fuel door and a steel roll pan.

The factory frame rails were notched for tie rods and stock floor body dropped using 2×4-inch square tubing. A custom four-link suspension with a Panhard bar and pinion snubber mounts up to the factory rear end that is loaded with Moser Axles and 3.73 Auburn limited slip gears. The front end hardware was swapped out for Michigan Metal Works upper and lower control arms, airbags and an Airlift 3H air management system. This gave Barrett the ability to lay body on 24×9-inch front and 24×12-inch Raceline Status 6 wheels. The Delinte DS8 tire sizes are 255/35/24 up front and 305/35/24 in the rear. A rear disc brake conversion with a Wilwood Master cylinder and stainless braided brake lines give this truck plenty of stopping power.

Custom door panel on a 1990 ChevroletBlue 1990 Chevrolet OBSThe truck is LS swapped using a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 5.3-Liter LS, A Comp Cams “Big Mutha Thumper” cam, a Be Cool aluminum radiator, Edelbrock coil pack covers, Boost brothers mid length headers and 3-inch spin tech mufflers. LS1 engine dress up accessories and an Edelbrock Pro flow EFI conversion wrapped up the engine mods. A 2002 GM 4L80E transfers the power to the rear axles.

Body mods on this amazing truck include a chopped top roof, a Goodmark Steel SS Ram air hood, Hart front inner fenders, shaved fuel door and a steel roll pan. There’s also a shaved roof drip rail, shaved third brake light, shaved stake pockets and shaved tailgate handle. All the amazing bodywork was performed by Kevin Fulmer Shadetree Customs Pomaria, SC. The color is Toyota Cavalry Blue with Toyota Cement Gray graphics. All paint and graphics were also completed by Kevin Fulmer at Shadetree customs.

A few events that this killer truck can be seen at include the Battle in Bama ‘Million Dollar Row,’ East Tennessee Showdown, Drop Em Wear show, Mini Truckin’ Nationals and more. 

Edelbrock coil pack covers on a 1990 ChevroletA few events that this killer 1990 Chevrolet C1500 truck can be seen at include the Battle in Bama “Million Dollar Row,” East Tennessee Showdown, Drop Em Wear show, Mini Truckin’ Nationals and more.

“With the help of great friends and amazing family my vision became reality. Thanks to my extended family in Relaxed Atmosphere for always being there to give support or ideas” Barrett says.


Barrett Stewart
1990 Chevrolet C1500
Location: Laurens SC
Club affiliation: Relaxed Atmosphere
Occupation: Owner of Superior Auto
Cost of 1990 Chevrolet: $9,000
Date of original Purchase: October 2017
Cost of Build-up:  $25,000
How long from build date to completion: 3 years


  • Factory frame notched for tie rods and stock floor body drop
  • 2×4 square tubing performed by Brian Baird
  • Custom four-link suspension with a Panhard bar and pinion snubber
  • Factory rear end with Moser Axles 3.73 auburn limited slip
  • Michigan Metal Works upper and lower control arms
  • Airlift 3H air management system


  • 24×9 front and 24×12 rear Raceline Status 6 wheels
  • 255/35/24 front and 305/35/24 rear Delinte DS8 tires
  • Rear disc brake conversion
  • Wilwood master cylinder
  • Stainless braided brake lines
  • Aluminum RCI 15 gallon


  • 2002 Chevrolet 5.3 LS
  • COMP CAM Big Mutha Thumper cam
  • Be Cool aluminum radiator
  • LS1 accessories
  • Edelbrock coil pack covers
  • Boost brothers mid length headers
  • 3-inch spin tech mufflers
  • Edelbrock Pro flow
  • 2002 GM 4L80E 3200 stall


  • Chop topped
  • Stock floor body Dropped 3.5-inch
  • Goodmark Steel SS Ram air hood
  • Hart front inner fenders
  • Stock front bumper and steel roll pan rear
  • Shaved fuel door
  • LMC factory replacement with beam tech LED bulbs
  • Hart Fabrication wheel tubs
  • Shaved roof drip rail, shaved third brake light, shaved stale pockets, shaved tailgate handle, shaved fuel door and molded roll pan
  • Bodywork by Kevin Fulmer, Shadetree Customs in Pomaria, SC
  • Toyota Cavalry Blue paint polor
  • Toyota Cement Gray graphics
  • Paint and graphics by Kevin Fulmer, Shadetree Customs


  • Dakota Digital VHX gauge cluster
  • Custom wrapped panels in leather
  • Interior done by Jason Mode and crew at New Creations in Lattimore, NC
  • Chris Snowden bench seat in gray distressed leather
  • Forever Sharp steering wheel
  • Pioneer double din, sony 6.5-inch component set, four JL Audio 8W0 subs, JL Audio Slash 300/4 and JL Audio Slash 500/1 amps
  • Audio by Superior Auto in Laurens, SC

“Thanks to David at Coys wheel, Raceline Wheels, Dunbar Auto Supply, Jeff Smith at Colorworx paint shop, Delinte tires, Kevin and Kory Fulmer at Shadetree Customs, Ronnie at Lowrider Depot, all my guys at Superior Auto, Andrew White at Mainstreet Auto Detailing, Jason Mode at New Creations, Hart Fabrication, Keith and Tommy Allewine at TKM Customs, and most importantly my wife Nikki and or two amazing boys, Rett and Eli.”


The Major Differences in ’88-’98 Chevy Trucks

The Evolution Of The OBS What Is The Major Differences in ’88-’98 Chevy Trucks?

In my opinion, 1988 was the exact year that jump-started the street truck era with the release of the all-new re-designed GM trucks commonly known as the “OBS” (Original Body Style, Old Body Style). This redesign by GM officially made a truck more than just a tool on the farm. It sparked the creation of an entire culture of automotive enthusiasts, and the street truck/sport truck movement was born. The GMT400 is said to have influenced GM designers long after they were no longer produced, and for good reason! We believe to this day they are the best-looking trucks on the road, we may be a little biased though!

Over its more than 10-year span of production, these trucks just got better and better in terms of design, comfort, reliability, power and safety. Although GM made a ton of changes both cosmetically and mechanically to the GMT400 trucks, we’ll hit the high points of the changes made throughout the years. We wanted to break down all the biggest and best changes between the ’88-’94 and ’94-’98 trucks. So let’s dive deep into the timeline of this timeless truck.

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 of 1988 and 1998. Marketed under the Chevrolet and GMC brands, the C/K series included a wide range of vehicles including a chevy truck and two SUV models. While most commonly associated with pickup trucks, the model line also included medium-duty and heavy trucks. “C” denoted a two-wheel drive; “K” denoted four-wheel drive.

’88-’98 Chevy There were 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 drive-lines. Three trim levels were available for these trucks including Cheyenne, Scottsdale and Silverado.

In 1990 GM retired the dual glass headlights in favor of a composite headlight with a serviceable bulb.

This is also when Chevy began offering their high back bucket seats as an option.

’88-’98 Chevy
However, the most notable thing from the year 1990 was GM’s release of the 454 SS, Sport and Sierra GT packages, all of which are highly sought after now.

In 1992 GM redesigned the gauge cluster, which included a tachometer.

454 SS, Sport Sierra
1993 was the last year for the 454 SS, Sport and Sierra GT packages and the first and only year for one of GM’s rarest production trucks ever made the Indianapolis 500 Pace Truck package.  GM only produced a little over 1,500, making the Indy Pace truck one of the rarest GM Production trucks ever to roll off the assembly line.

Controlled transmission
In 1993, GM also went to an electronically controlled transmission, better known as the 4L60, for improved reliability.

In 1994, both Chevrolet and GMC trucks across the board received a facelift via a re-designed grille and the addition of a third brake light option for safety. A cargo lamp was now standard.

1995 brought the GMT400 to an entirely new level with a completely redesigned interior that included a driver’s side airbag and optional CD player for added safety and convenience. The interior door panels received a noticeable re-design as well.

1995 also brought the newer style composite breakaway style mirrors.

Quite possibly the best update to the OBS came in 1996, more power!  Enter the Vortec line of engines for OBS trucks via central port fuel injection, roller cam, higher compression ratio, better flowing heads and an all-around better engine.

Over its more than 10-year span of production, these trucks just got better and better in terms of design, comfort, reliability, power and safety.

Aside from that, GM introduced an optional third door for the extended cab trucks. If you’ve ever tried to climb in the back seat of an extended cab OBS, you can definitely appreciate this offering.

Interior on a 88" to 98" Chevy Truck

Also an update for the 4×4 guys in 1996 was the push button four wheel drive option.

1997 brought to us the optional passenger side airbag, variable speed assisted steering and better cooling for the 6.5L turbo diesel trucks.

In 1989, a Sport Equipment Package was available on either C/K1500 fleetside shortbed single cab models. 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.

Notable Moments in the C/K Timeline


Chevy CheyenneThe Work Truck (W/T) was introduced in 1988, which featured a single cab long bed with Cheyenne trim and a new grille with black bumpers. Check out a tech article for this Chevy! 


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


In 1998, to circumvent the rise in auto thefts, GM introduced the Pass Lock II system with a “security” light on the dash to the 88” to 98″ Chevy Trucks.


CPI (central point injection) was used on the ‘96-’00 4.3L-V6, 5.0L-V8, 5.7L-V8


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


Why Wrap? | A New Suit for Project Artemis

A New Suit for Project Artemis

If you remember from the last issue, we dropped off our 1998 GMC Sierra known as Project Artemis to the amazing minds at Glarb Wrapped and Tate Designs for an overhaul of epic proportions. A combination of a killer design, high quality prints and one of the best installers in the game is all that it took to transform this basic bagged Bowtie into a motorized masterpiece we can’t wait to take to shows. Not only is the design eye-catching and hypnotizing, but it also incorporates LED panels underneath the wrap that light up at the push of a button. Now the name of the truck can be seen at night, which will definitely stand out in the crowd.

Ryan Sandoval from Glarb Wrapped sent his files to We Print Wraps, and within a few weeks we were watching them install a high-quality material that will last as long as paint. With a design this intricate, Ryan only trusted one crew to lead with the install. Tate designs in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was proud to participate and happily lead the charge. Tape measures went flying and numbers were being calculated in their heads faster than we could take photos, but there’s a method to their madness that you can only appreciate if you just sit back and watch the process. We were able to hang out with them for the entire week as they sanded, stripped and wrapped the entire truck from bumper to bumper. Their work is amazing, and from what we know it’s second to none. We have a whole new respect for this particular industry, and before you drop your deposit at your favorite paint shop, just give this method of metal masking another look. Check out the steps it takes to prepare these wraps and line them up correctly.

When we finished the last issue, our 1998 Chevy truck was completely prepped and ready for the new wrap. Ryan and Tate sanded down the rough spots and made these old panels as smooth as possible. The new design is amazing and will hide any minor imperfections in the paint.

First thing is first—test fitting the panels they received from We Print Wraps. Now is the time you want to find out if something is printed wrong. But with an all-star design team like we have, everything was as perfect as expected.

The Ready Player One, Cyberpunk mashup design that Ryan Sandoval created is very cool. It’s exactly how we saw it on the rendering. There were even a few surprises in the design we couldn’t see in the render. So cool!

With all the panels correct and accounted for, it was time to place the flat LED panels. These super cool, remote controlled panels will have a black mask that matches the cutout of the vinyl. A thin flat wire sticks to the panel, and it is nearly unnoticeable under the wrap.

The hood of our 1998 GMC Sierra will have a panel in the center that shows the name Artemis, a character from the movie “Ready Player One.”

With the LED panel in place, Ryan carefully set the vinyl. There is only going to be one shot at this, so it has to be right!

As they carefully stretched without warping the design, Tate cut out the letter so the light can show through.

Boom! How cool is that? We can’t wait to go to the next night show. This light can turn on and off with the remote, and it’s only one of four on this truck!

With the hood lined up and laid down smoothly, they can now focus on sitting in the edges. This part takes some real skill and experience, but when done right, it’s truly hard to tell it’s not paint.

Next, they focused on the side panels including the front fenders and the cab. The bed will be done separately.

These magnets help everything stay in place while they line it up. Tool of the trade!

Before they start to stick to the sides, the back is lined up as well, ensuring that all parts of the design match. Lots of variables need to be considered before final placement, which is why we highly recommend a professional install your design printed from We Print Wraps.

The Artemis logo will also be visible on the bed sides, so the location needs to be considered as we’re lining everything up.

One last wipe down before the adhesive backing comes off and we never see the factory paint again.

With the adhesive backing removed and the wheel wells cleared and cut, they start to carefully lay down the vinyl, keeping it straight and free of air bubbles or debris.

A blow torch is one of the most surprising tools that you may not know this industry uses. It quickly loosens the material and gives you additional movement and flex.

Once the body panels are completely smooth and free of air, they can trim the windows without cutting any of the factory rubber. Again, another reason to contact a professional installer for your vinyl wrap.

The tip of the front fenders is a tricky area to do correctly. The excess material will be trimmed and removed.

Getting up close and personal with a truck is something these installers have to do to get the job done right. These are not your standard company van wraps. These are high-quality, high-dollar coverings for your custom show vehicle.

In order to get the design as far behind the cab as possible, Tate removed the bolts holding on the bed and slid it out of the way. Now the wrap flows as much as possible, which looks great.

Now that everything is lined up and ready to go, Ryan trimmed and prepared the LED panels for the bedside and wired up the control boxes.

One last test of the lights before attaching it to the bedside permanently.

The flat LED power wire sticks to the bed and tucks underneath the factory trim.

Now Ryan can lay down the vinyl knowing everything lines up perfectly. Trim all the edges and move onto the next panel.

Now you can see what the wrap looks like during the day and at night. We will continue on with the opposite side and show you the final product in our next issue. Until then, give these guys a follow online and check out when they’re up to now!