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2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 - Straight Up Tough

Chris Gergov's Chevy Rocks A Dana 60 Straight Axle

Ron Fresquez
Jan 5, 2011
Photographers: Bob Carpenter
"My dad, Emil Gergov, is the one who inspired me to get a Chevy truck since I was a kid," Chris Gergov explained. "I grew up around diesel trucks and big rigs because my dad's a truck driver. Ever since I was young, I knew I always wanted to have a tough, fast, eight-lug diesel truck. As soon as I got out of high school, I got a job as a construction worker and saved some cash-and that's when I got my '03 LB7 2500HD Chevy Silverado Duramax. Then the building of my truck began.
Photo 2/22   |   Chris Gergov built this Chevy 2500HD to be strong and stout.
"When I first started, I wanted to have a big, powerful, eight-lug diesel truck with some good suspension. I started off with a tuner and a 6-inch exhaust and then a Dana 60 straight front axle. Then I decided to go with an EFILive with DSP 5 that my buddy Jason Nichols tuned." The Chevy came from the factory with independent four-wheel-drive suspension, but the front was converted to a Dana 60 solid straight front axle by Chris' dad and Kent Dennis using an Off Road Unlimited kit. The Silverado truck has Atlas springs on it with Bilstein 5150 shocks. The 2500HD has 4:10 Yukon gears to balance the front and rear axles out for the 38-inch-tall Toyo tires.
Photo 3/22   |   Chris' Chevy has a PPE billet aluminum fuel pickup kit with a PPE fuel pump, which is hooked up to a switch inside the cab of the truck. In addition, he has a Banks BigHead wastegate for more boost.
When Chris realized he would need to build up the transmission a bit, he took it to Mike Lovrich at Inglewood Transmission, who fixed up an ML torque converter with a Stage 3 transmission.
With all that hardware locked down, Chris decided to do some things to get even more attention-things like strobe lights and train horns. "I have 10 strobes throughout the truck," Chris told us, "one in each taillight, four underneath the cab, and four in my headlights. I also have a strobe controller box my dad custom-made to fit all the strobes on there. It has two switches inside the truck to turn the strobes on and off. It took my dad and I a weekend to put the strobes in my truck."
The train horns are Nathan K3 series with 5/8-inch id and 1/2-inch od hose with a ball valve inside the truck. The Chevy has a 15-gallon air tank that allows Chris to fill up his tires after off-roading, or to fix a flat on his dirt bike. There's a switch for the air compressor in the cab of the truck. The truck has Amp Research steps so it is easier to get in and out of the cab. The HD has an Alpine head unit with four Alpine R10 6x9 speakers with two JL audio 10-inch subs for a little more bass powered by two 600-watt Alpine amplifiers.
"So," Chris said, "since I had my transmission built, I knew I needed more power. Therefore, I decided to go with Trent Nell's stock twin-turbo kit from Extreme Prejudice Racing in Midvale, Utah-it's a stock turbo with an S475. As soon as I got the kit, I got all my pipes powdercoated a charcoal metallic color. Trent had thrown in a pair of blankets for the hot pipe and the turbo. I took the truck apart in my driveway with help from Jason Nichols and my dad, and it took us four days to finish it. Before I took the truck apart, I needed to move the battery from the front of the truck to the bed on top of a new Reflex bedliner (my father had gotten a box that came out of an ambulance, so we put the battery in that). As soon as I had the twins in there, I had the Chevy retuned by Trent and Jason. The next day, I took it down to the track and ran a 13.20 in two-wheel drive on 38-inch-tall Toyo tires.
Photo 13/22   |   2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 left Rear
"My truck is a daily driver," Chris added. "At work, I sometimes have to use it to pull the Bobcat to different locations, and I often use it to pull my Jet Skis to the different lakes and rivers we go to. I also use it to pull my trailer to the desert with all my toys and off-road the truck every chance I get."
Chris left us with this thought: "I love to take my truck to Glamis sand dunes and off-road it. I enjoy going down the sand drags and up Olds Hill. If you spend the money on it, why not have fun with the truck?"
We couldn't agree more.


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