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2011 GMC Sierra - Hang Time

Turning a Brand-New Sierra Into a Dune Slayer

Maxwell Matthewson
Dec 1, 2012
Photographers: Grant Cox
Photo 2/8   |   2011 Gmc Sierra nitto Trail Grappler Mud Terrain Tires
Tim Devlin isn't a man that follows the masses. So when the Rose Hill, Kansas, resident decided that he wanted to build a prerunner, he went above and beyond. Instead of picking up an inexpensive used Ranger or Tacoma like most people would do, Tim went straight to his local GM dealer and bought a 2011 GMC Sierra. This is pretty crazy, but what was even crazier is that Tim didn't drive the truck around and get it broken in; he immediately put the truck on a hauler and sent it out to Lemoore, California. Now you may be thinking to yourself, "I have never even heard of Lemoore, what the hell could be there?" Fabrication Unlimited is in Lemoore, and it was the only place Tim trusted to do the job right the first time.
No strangers to building outrageous Baja-inspired trucks, the guys at Fabrication Unlimited got to work on the truck as soon as it arrived. They started by removing the perfectly good factory suspension and replacing it with a Mazulla long travel kit front and rear. For maximum shock absorption, Fox bypass shocks were installed up front. Before they could be installed in the rear, holes had to be cut into the bed and a cage built through the bed to the frame. Instead of relying on the factory leaf springs to support the weight of the truck on heavy landings, they were swapped out for Deaver replacements. For the bumps that are too rough for the bypasses and Deaver leaves to overcome, Fox air bumpstops were installed. As you can imagine, GM never intended the Sierra to do any high-speed passes through whoops, so the frame and rear axle were strengthened with trusses and bracing. With the suspension complete, the truck received some new off-road ready shoes by way of 37x12.50R20 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires wrapped around 20x12-inch Fuel Octane wheels. To eliminate the possibility of pulling a bead, the wheels were sent to OMF Performance in Riverside, California, to be converted to genuine beadlocks.
The truck was almost ready for some sand action; the only thing left to do was give the wheels and tires some breathing room. For this, Glassworks Unlimited was called and a set of fiberglass fenders and bedsides were ordered. Once installed, they insured full compression of the suspension without interference. The front bumper needed to go and was exchanged for a prerunner-style bumper with built in skidplate. Out back, a single tube prerunner bumper was built and installed. With all said and done, Tim had the truck repainted the same factory silver that it started life with.
The final piece of the puzzle was to make sure the engine was kept happy while running up and down dunes all day. This was accomplished by removing the stock airbox and installing a K&N filter with an Outerwear prefilter. A set of Magnaflow mufflers gives the 6.2L a nice rumble while ensuring easy exhaling. The only other mod under the hood is a crossover brace between the upper A-arms for added support.
Finally, Tim could take his truck out and beat the piss out of it until the cows come home. When asked why he had a shop tear apart a truck that had 57 miles on it, he answered, "Why not?" This is a question that we don't hear often enough. We applaud Tim for going out and doing the unthinkable.

Photo 6/8   |   2011 Gmc Sierra skidplate
Inside the Build

Year Make Model: 2011 GMC Sierra
Owner and City/State: Tim Devlin • Rose Hill, Kansas
Photo 7/8   |   2011 Gmc Sierra fuel Octane Wheels With Omf Beadlocks
Type: 6.2L GM L92
Heads: Aluminum, rectangular port
Induction: K&N filter with Outerwear prefilter
Exhaust: Magnaflow mufflers
Built by: The General

Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80E
Rearend: Factory with structural bracing and Detroit locker
Front suspension: Mazulla long travel kit, Fox bypass shocks and air bumpstops
Rear suspension: Mazulla long travel kit, Fox bypass shocks and air bumpstops

Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x12-inch Fuel Octane wheels with OMF beadlocks
Tires: 37x12.50R20 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
Photo 8/8   |   2011 Gmc Sierra rear Bumper



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