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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.”


’67 Camaro | Full-Throated Beast

A ’67 Camaro That’s Loud in More Ways Than One

Brian Schamber of Lancaster, California, has always been fascinated by how things work. He says it started with toys when he was growing up and progressed into, well, bigger toys, like bicycles, dirt bikes and eventually cars. According to him, “The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.” He (and his ride) sounds like the appropriate subject for this tech-themed, DIY issue.

’67 Camaro

The story of this ’67 Camaro RS/SS started when Brian’s parents decided to buy the car when he was only 11 years old. The vehicle was certainly not purchased pristine and ready to show. In fact, it had to be completely disassembled and it took multiple trips to get all of the pieces home. With that hurdle cleared, the challenge of turning a pile of parts into a drivable car still remained. But it put him on the path to where (and, in part, who) he is today.

The system is complemented superbly by nice upholstery by Velvet Touch.

Of course, our Camaro owner has had some help along the way. He took his ride to House of Customs in his hometown for the body and paint work. The crew there added the cool Copperhead Metallic color and shaved and smoothed the firewall.

’67 Camaro

For the audio system he went to Meece Car Audio they did a little more than a simple installation. The owner of the shop, Jeff Meece, made sure Brian got plenty of sound so the latter could still hear his music even with the engine growling. The front has two pairs of JL Audio C5 650 components, but the highlight visually and sonically is the pair of JL Audio 10w6v2 subwoofers powered by JL Audio’s HD750/1 amps. The four-channel  HD600/4 handles the tweeters and mids. The signal source is a Kenwood DDX896 double-DIN head unit, mounted at the top of the custom center console. Two Optima Red Top batteries make sure there’s enough juice for the jams. The system is complemented superbly by nice upholstery by Velvet Touch. The front seats are Pro Car Rally; you’ll find a reworked original seat in the back.

Engine builder Billy Cooper was responsible for the final assembly of the 454 motor with B&M 420 Megablower and Edelbrock Performer Heads

The speakers can get loud, but not quite like the engine. Engine builder Billy Cooper was responsible for the final assembly of the 454 motor with B&M 420 Megablower and Edelbrock Performer heads. The rest of the performance mods consist of two Holley 850 double pumpers, Harland Sharp roller rockers and MSD distributor and ignition control. The Camaro also has a BeCool Radiator with dual 13-inch electric fans and built-in trans cooler.

JL audio '67 Camaro

JL Audio in a ’67 Camaro

Brian went with Weld Racing Pro Star wheels, 15 x 7-inch for the front and 15 x 9-inch for the rear. These are wrapped in BFG Radials. QA1 coil-overs with 2-inch drop spindles and Hotchkis leaf springs with QA1 shocks (1.5 inches lower) take care of the  suspension. SSBC front and rear disc brakes supply the stopping power.

The highlight visually and sonically is the pair of JL Audio 10w6v2 subwoofers.

Somehow we have the feeling the work’s not done. Given his love for customizing his toys, we wouldn’t be surprised if Brian were to disassemble and transform his ’67 Camaro again. With all of the aggressive sounds from the motor and audio system he might need a quieter car to save his ears!

Interior on a '67 Camaro

Text by Ben Oh  •  Photos by Jimmy Crook and Gus Rivera

1960-66 Custom Chevy C-10 | Six Shooter

It all started when Dino Battilana was 13 years old and working at a local service station. The station had a ’63 Chevy C-10 short-bed service truck that was Dino’s introduction to the classic and distinctive lines of Chevrolet’s early to mid-’60s era workhorses. It was love at first sight. Dino learned to drive behind the wheel of the ’63, and after a few years of hard work pumping petroleum and doing odd jobs around the station, this young Bow Tie addict had saved enough scratch to get his fingers on the keys and the title. The rest, as they say, is history, but we have never met an enthusiast so passionate about Chevrolets, and even more so about this particular body style. In fact if you looked at Dino’s past and present custom vehicle roster, you wouldn’t find anything else on it save for the occasional square body, and a ’70 Nova he will likely be buried in.

As a proud member of the club Chevy Only, it’s no surprise that the garage and driveway at the Battilana household are filled with classic and modern GM iron. In fact, his kids would probably be grounded if they rolled up in anything else. The goal with this truck was to build a mid-’60s C-10 dually and make it look like the good old boys at the GM factory did it.

A friend of Dino’s from his appliance business, Rex, had the truck for about 30 years. He used it to deliver appliances and tow his drag car to the strip on weekends. The truck eventually found another home, and nine years later, while Dino was surfing Craigslist, the truck resurfaced, now sporting a lift and off-road wheels, but it still had the same old utility box in the back. Dino bought the truck over the phone. Then he got to work executing his plan to hammer it over 22-inch semi wheels.

With the help of friend and fabricator Joe Casias, the truck came together in Dino’s backyard shop on nights and weekends. They started with the chassis, adding a Porterbuilt rear notch complete with PB trailing arm cross member. The factory front cross member was sectioned and raised 2 inches and topped off with PB upper and lower “forward arms” and McGaughy’s drop spindles and disc brake package. The factory steering box was raised 2 inches to maintain proper geometry. McGaughy’s brake booster and master cylinder handle plumbing for the upgraded binders, while a 4:10-geared GM rearend gets the six wheels rolling. Goodyear front and semi truck rear air springs get the rockers where they belong, while the fenders swallow up a polished six-pack of 22-inch Alcoa wheels mounted on P255/30R22 Nexens.


Engine on a Chevy C-10

For power Dino chose a Chevy 350 crate engine cooled by SPAL fans and fed by an Edelbrock intake and 600-cfm carburetor. Ram horn exhaust manifolds deliver spent fumes to a 2 ½-inch pipe and a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. A wiring harness from Speedway connects all of the electrical dots, while a Turbo 400 transmission with B&M 2,800 stall speed converter not only makes the dually fun to drive, but also provides the towing ammo for Dino’s ’66 pro-street C-10. Benny’s prepped the transmission for street and highway play and hooked a master shaft driveline to the backside. Octane cocktails feeding the beastly combo are chilled inside a ’73 Suburban fuel tank mounted underneath the raised bed floor.

Chevy C-10
The interior is simple, clean and functionally designed for long-distance, low-rolling adventure.

When it came to the body Dino and Joe made a few changes with the goal of maintaining most of the OEM heritage. The alterations they did make were mainly to solve clearance issues, like the custom-built rear bed tubs and raised 1973 C-10 steel bed floor. The original cab was also converted from a small back window to a big back window because, let’s face it, big windows are just cooler. The truck’s rear hips drape over the rear 22s, a custom job that took a lot of time to complete in order to nail the factory-like look. The factory green and white paint were maintained on the truck’s surface complete with 49 years of road rash, battle scars and ultra-cool, sun-bleached patina. Topping off the raw factory attitude are fresh chrome trimmings plated by The Chrome Guys.

Interior on a Chevy C-10

For cruising comfort, a 1998 Chevy truck bench seat was installed and covered in tan suede and cloth by Dominick at Custom Interior Fabrications. Fast lane custom gauges are sunk into the factory panel, and Dino enjoys extended highway cruising behind a factory steering wheel bolted up to a shortened factory column. Lance at Creative Car Stereo installed the iPod head unit backed by four Kenwood 6x9s and four Kenwood 10-inch subwoofers all driven by a Kenwood amp. Two Red Top Optima batteries provide the juice to keep Dino’s dually rolling with the cab rocking.

This truck packs a ton of nostalgic punch for Dino and is a rim-tucking example of setting a custom truck goal and stopping at nothing to achieve it. Word on the street is that the dually has already found a new home and that Dino is busy building another truck. Undoubtedly, it’s another 1960-66 Chevy C-10. Why break tradition?

Dino would like to thank Joe Casias, his wife Liz and his children, McGaughy’s Suspension, Seth Switch Suspension, Porterbuilt Suspension, Nate Porter, Moose Muffler Shop, The Chrome Guys, Dominick at Custom Interior Fabrication, Benny’s Transmissions and Lance at Creative Car Stereo.

Chevy C-10 named sixshooter

Chevy C-10 named sixshooter
The custom dually fenders feature the factory body pocket and side trim, which helps them flow with the crisp lines of the ’64. It’s just like GM would likely have done it at the factory.


See the specs →

A version of this article first appeared in the December 2014 print issue of Drive Magazine.

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!  

This is the ’95 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. She’s the perfect project truck, and we named her Stella for “female star” because we intend to make her famous!
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