The GMC Sierra 1500 is the quintessential pickup. But every basic truck has the ability to be so much more with a few tweaks here and there. For example, we recently took a dirt-basic 4.8L V-8 half-ton regular cab short bed in a color very close to dirt-brown and transformed it from dirt-boring to a solid rock star. One boring little truck outfitted with lame street tires, low bumpers, a bad rake, and no attitude. Great for Grandpa to go fishing in, but we’re not grandpas yet.One boring little truck outfitted with lame street tires, low bumpers, a bad rake, and no The upgrades were simple and done at Pacific Fabrication in a long day. First was the new 6-inch lift kit from BDS Suspension. This was accessorized with remote-reservoir coilover shocks from Fox Racing Shox, allowing for a finely tuned ride. The added elevation offered clearance for a set of 35-inch Mickey Thompson rubber on new rims. Lift, shocks, tires, wheels . . . and by the end of the day a boring pickup boasted ground clearance, ride quality, and traction that could only be dreamt of before. Pacific Fabrication shop manager and top technician Jason Howerton starts by tearing down the front end. Complete removal of the lower A-arms, knuckles, and differential is required.Pacific Fabrication shop manager and top technician Jason Howerton starts by tearing down The section of lower framerail that Howerton is holding is cut off and a new gusset welded in its place. The lower A-arm frame mount will now attach to the high-clearance crossmember subframe.The section of lower framerail that Howerton is holding is cut off and a new gusset welded With the new metal cleaned and painted the front differential is reinstalled. Note the drop bracket to lower the diff and protect axleshaft CV angles.With the new metal cleaned and painted the front differential is reinstalled. Note the dro The crossmembers are lower at the outside to keep the suspension geometry constant, but higher in the middle for added ground clearance. Plus they are tied together and protected by a skidplate.The crossmembers are lower at the outside to keep the suspension geometry constant, but hi Howerton then installs the new 21⁄2-inch Fox coilover shock with Eibach coils. These allow perfect tuning for the weight and driving style of the truck. The remote reservoir aids in cooling and resists cavitation in the shock oil better than a standard emulsion shock does.Howerton then installs the new 21⁄2-inch Fox coilover shock with Eibach coils. These allow The complete front system has a new knuckle and raises the front end 6 inches. Though it drops the lower A-arm mount, it still has respectable ground clearance underneath the differential.The complete front system has a new knuckle and raises the front end 6 inches. Though it d To get an even ride height, the rear is lifted 51⁄2 inches and is done with either a block and an add-a leaf, or a new spring pack. We opted for the new spring pack.To get an even ride height, the rear is lifted 51⁄2 inches and is done with either a block Unfortunately the front bolt on the driver-side rear spring is run from the inside out, so the fuel tank will need to be dropped to remove it, or the bolt cut and replaced. You’ll want to install the kit with an empty tank for ease of removal.Unfortunately the front bolt on the driver-side rear spring is run from the inside out, so Rear shocks are also Fox’s, but these are 2-inch Performance Series variety. The leaf packs have antifriction pads, bolt-style alignment clamps, and tapered leaves for free movement and increased flex.Rear shocks are also Fox’s, but these are 2-inch Performance Series variety. The leaf pack The finished truck on 315/70R17 Baja MTZ tires and KMC XD series wheels looks 100 times better than the brown canvas we started with. The suspension is tight and responsive, controlling the big tires with ease and accepting big hits off-road. The tires require just the slightest trimming of the wheel liners at full turn. The truck has been quickly transformed into a wheeling toy great for beginner trails and weekend exploring. SOURCES Pacific Fabrication 235 Tennant Ave. Unit 2 Morgan Hill CA 95037 408-250-1772 www.pacificfab.net Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels 4600 Prosper Drive Stow OH 44224 330-928-9092 www.mickeythompsontires.com KMC Wheels 16010 Bloomfield Ave Cerritos CA 90703 877-943-3577 www.kmcwheels.com Fox Racing Shox 130 Hangar Way Watsonville CA 95076 619-768-1800 www.foxracingshox.com BDS Suspension Inc Coldwater MI 517-279-2135 www.bds-suspension.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!