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Check Out This 2003 GMC 1500 Lucky Number 13

With every truck project we take on, ideas and concepts flow like water for how to make each one custom and unique. Even with an unlimited imagination and an amazing group of friends to help, we don’t always get to incorporate all these great ideas into our current project. And sometimes those ideas need to be sealed tight in your own head, because the truck you have now won’t suffice and you definitely don’t want to see someone else perform the mods that you came up with. This was the case for Bryce Belanger throughout the last 12 custom vehicle projects he’s owned, but it was lucky number 13 that set him loose and gave him his time to shine.

Bryce wanted to design his own truck from scratch with all the concepts he picked up over the years, and best of all, he would be able to earn his Severed Ties diamond with his own build, not one that’s bought.

2003 GMC 1500“I purchased the truck from a friend in need, and it was the perfect candidate for a show season stunner,” Bryce says. “It was a completely unmolested virgin truck. Everything from the factory was still installed and working perfectly. So, I began ordering parts and scheduling time at custom fab shops in my area, and before long, I had everything needed to send the truck in to be built.”

Just before picking up this clean cruiser, Bryce had sold his ’93 crew cab OBS Chevy that was originally built by Steven Stidham and featured on the “Wrecked to Redemption” cover of Street Trucks back in October 2010. Bryce wanted to design his own truck from scratch with all the concepts he picked up over the years, and best of all, he would be able to earn his Severed Ties diamond with his own build, not one that’s bought.

2003 GMC 1500 intro wheels wrapped in lexani tires.

When bryce hits the switch, firestone airbags deflate to tuck these beautiful 24-inch intro ik331 wheels wrapped in lexani tires.

In order to check off items on his “truck scene bucket list,” Bryce started by dropping off this ’03 GMC 1500 with Jason “Scooby” Robichaux for a full suspension overhaul and a 3 ¼-inch body drop. First on the task list was to install an Ekstensive Metal Works big wheel kit with the stock spindles. Ekstensive front control arms and raised upper mounting plates give this GMC some additional lowness, and the Toyota Tacoma Monroe shocks give it a super smooth ride.

The rear suspension consists of a two-link bar setup with a Watt’s link and a rear step notch in the frame. For some additional wheel lip, the rearend was narrowed a total of 9 inches—4 ½ inches per side. Firestone Airbags replace the springs in all for corners, and when Bryce hits the switch, they deflate to tuck those beautiful 24-inch Intro ID331 wheels wrapped in Lexani tires. With the additional weight added to the truck, bigger and more powerful brakes were absolutely necessary. The factory power booster was removed and swapped out for a ’05 Chevy 2500 hydro-boost system, and the stock pedal was modified to work together.

With the suspension complete, Bryce turned his attention to the body mods for this build. After the stock floor body drop was complete, the bed floor was raised to cover the suspension and a set of wide wheel tubs were added. Before Trey Cooley of Finer Paint and Body Works in Deridder, Louisiana, could coat the truck in Toyota Sunset Copper Mica, a few more mods were made, including a billet GMC grille, a steel roll pan and Street Scene sport mirrors.

“Building this truck also has humbled me and made me realize that a small-time guy can achieve big things with patience, time and effort,” Bryce says. “I’ve been flipping through the pages of Street Trucks magazine since the late ’90s, and I have always hoped I could build and own a truck worthy enough to grace these pages.”

2003 GMC 1500 Severd ties club2003 GMC 1500 Bryce extends special thanks to his wife, Trish Belanger, for “putting up with me and letting me spend the money on this build, and my kids for giving up two separate vacations for their dad’s passion.” He also thanks his build team: Jason Robichaux (Scooby) , Trey Cooley, Zachary, Jenn Quatrevingt, James Thibodaux, Chad Louque, Jeremy Hebert, Rusty Istre and William Robichaux.

TRUCK SPECS

 Owner 

Bryce and Trish Belanger
Year/Make/Model: ’03 GMC 1500
Color: Toyota Sunset Copper Mica
Location: Montegut, Louisiana
Club: Severed Ties
Profession: Oilfield worker and 18-wheeler equipment hauler
Original cost of truck: $1,400
Date of purchase: February 2015
Cost to build: $35,000
Build time: 3 ½ years
Date completed: March 2019

Front suspension

  • Ekstensive Metal Works Big Wheel kit
  • Stock spindles bottom ball joint hole re-drilled and tapered to flip ball joint
  • Ekstensive front control arms
  • Raised upper mounting plates
  • Toyota Tacoma Monroe shocks
  • New lowered body mounts for body drop

Rear Suspension

  • Two-link bars with Watt’s-style link
  • Step notched in rear frame
  • Rear end narrowed 9 inches total 4 ½ each side
  • Limited slip 3:73 rear end
  • Airbag springs

Wheels/Tires

  • Intro ID331 wheels with a brushed barrel and coated face
  • Front 24×9 with 6.25 backspace
  • Rear 24×10 with 4.25 backspace
  • Front Tires 275/30/24 Lexani
  • Rear Tires 295/30/24 Lexani

Brakes

  • Power booster swapped to 2005 Chevy 2500 hydroboost
  • Modified pedal to fit the hydro booster
  • Factory disc slotted rear brakes

Engine/Transmission

  • 2003 Chevy 4.3L V-6
  • Dual 14-inch Flex-A-Lite cooling fans
  • Flowmaster 50 series exhaust
  • Flowmaster High-Flow cat
  • Spectre air cleaner
  • Relocated overflow jug
  • ’03 Chevy 4060e automatic transmission
  • Wiring harness extended
  • Wheel tubs
  • Computer re-mounted vertical
  • Fabbed an engine cover and painted to match
  • Hand bead rolled panels
  • Optima yellow top

Body Mods/Paint

  • Body dropped 3 ¼ inches by Jason Robichaux (Scooby)
  • Grille insert with billet GMC emblem
  • Steel roll pan
  • Raised stock bed floor
  • Widened rear tubs
  • Street scene sport mirrors
  • Shaved stake pockets
  • Shaved holes on tailgate
  • Rolled fender lips
  • Paint Color: Toyota Sunset Copper Mica
  • 50% more copper metallic toner added
  • Body mods by Trey Cooley of Finer Paint and Body Works Derrider, LA

Graphics

  • Ford sandstone, GM dark graphite semi tribal
  • By Trey Cooley

Interior

  • Katskinz seat covers
  • Dark graphite leather perforated centers with sandstone French stitch
  • SEM sandstone painted plastics to bring back to a new stock look
  • GM factory replacement black
  • Mark Daigle of Southern Upholstery in Houma, LA
  • Black suede headliner with shaved sun visors
  • Rocker switches for air-ride
  • Custom one of sub enclosure console with cup holders and switches
  • Budnick billet steering wheel
  • Severed TIES billet rearview mirror
  • Pioneer double din head unit
  • JL Audio JX 500 subwoofers
  • Rockford fosgate T400
  • Dual 8-inch JL W3 subs in console
  • 5-1/2 components in front doors
  • Two Fosgate tweeters in doors

 

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