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Readers and enthusiasts consistently tell us that our project trucks are some of the most fun stories to follow because they are like a long-running sitcom that’s easy to follow at their own leisure. Unlike online stories and TV shows that go fast and disappear quickly, these articles are in your hands for a month at a time, so you can break them up into multiple parts and follow along when time allows. Since we are the last custom truck magazine on stands nationwide, we think it’s a great time to give you guys an overview of the projects we have in the works. We know 2021 is going to be a fun year with lots of finished builds, and we can’t wait to get started!

We have a few completed trucks in the archives, including a ProCharged ’11 Silverado on 24-inch Lexani wheels, a small-block Chevy powered ’95 Chevy C/K and a couple old Chevy C10 trucks that anyone would be eager to brag about. So, moving forward, we wanted to focus some attention on modern, everyday upgrades that you can do yourself without emptying the bank account before the bills are paid.

Also, in the new post-COVID era, we are seeing the daily driver trend lean toward family haulers over mall crawlers. So, the goal is simple: Buy an affordable family-sized vehicle, and then add some trick aftermarket accessories one weekend at a time while preserving the value and integrity of the truck by not making any permanent modifications. Everything we will install can be removed. And all the parts we take off will have no problem going right back on.

The lineup for this season’s project trucks range from Chevy to Ford, old to new and from beginner to boss. Naturally there will be suspension tech, wheel and tire breakdowns, and bolt-on accessories, but what parts should you choose and what makes them different? We have the unique opportunity to find out! As usual, we have three projects for the year, so let’s just jump in and explain the plan.

Project STANLEYGoals: We will be turning this lightly used toddler transporter into a sleek, low, cool daily driver that is sure to turn heads in line at the kid drop-off. Putting the Sport in Sport Utility Vehicle is the plan, and these are the parts we are swapping in place of the factory pieces.

Suspension

Belltech Suspension 3-inch front drop and 4-inch rear drop

Wheels

22×9.5-inch Status Titan wheels with a +25 offset

Tires

Toyo Proxes S/T III 305-40-22

Brakes

EBC Brake pads and slotted rotors

Interior

Roadwire leather

Battery

Optima H6 Yellowtop

Steering

Borgeson steering shaft

Exhaust

Magnaflow Catback

Project F1NIFTY 

Goals: Most do-all dads have some type of V-8 truck in the driveway. Sometimes they tow, but some bat bags and fold-out chairs are usually the only thing thrown into the bed of these trucks. An occasional run to the home improvement store makes for good dinner table topics for some truck guys, but we’re not talking about those worksite workhorses getting put to the test on a daily basis. So, with that demographic in mind, a few weekends of wrenching and less than $5,000 will flip this Ford into an all-new nifty neck-breaker.

Suspension

MaxTrac 2.5-inch front leveling kit

Wheels

20×12-inch Pure Grit Offroad wheels with a -44 offset

Tires

Nitto Ridge Grappler 305/50R20

Battery

Odyssey battery

Exhaust

PPE Catback

Brakes

EBC Brake pads and slotted rotors

Project Turq 

Goals: This ’97 Chevy C1500 is about to become a LS powered, corner carving, super charged monster! The original owner took amazing care of this truck and he was a detailer by trade, so you know it stayed clean. We are going to rip out the factory suspension for the new QA1 coilover setup, swap the factory engine with a 6.0-liter motor from a ’16 Chevy Tahoe and slap on a black powdercoated supercharger from ProCharger. The fuel system will need to be replaced, so we will turn to the experts at Aeromotive. We plan to answer all the small technical questions you probably have about a true LS swap and hopefully give you the confidence you need to take on the task.

Engine

6.0-liter LS

Supercharger

ProCharger

Fuel System

Aeromotive

LS Swap Parts

BRP Hotrods

Wiring Harness

Current Performance

Suspension

Coilover Suspension

Wheels

Billet Specialty wheels with a +15 offset

Tires

Atturo AZ850

Brakes

AZ Pro Performance big disc brake conversion

Battery

Optima Yellowtop

Steering

Borgeson steering shaft

Exhaust

Dynomax DIY Catback kit

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