A Hardworkin’ 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 6.6 Dirty Max
A Hardworkin’ Show Truck
Tyler Jacobs, the vice president of High Altitude Truck Club in Tampa, Florida, bought his first truck at age 17 and has always been passionate about building show-quality vehicles. His big red ’04 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax diesel—a one-owner truck in great condition—was purchased back in August 2012. Tyler is a die-hard Chevy fan and loved the way the truck rode. Although it was designed from the outset to be a fun truck, the Chevy is occasionally pressed into service, towing one of the company trailers for Tyler’s lawn care business. One of the first steps after getting the Silverado home was making sure everything about it was reliable. Tyler replaced the upper and lower ball joints, hub assemblies, pitman arm, idler arm and bracket, centerlink, sway bar links, and control arm bushings. When he was done, the truck drove like a brand-new model.
"I never wanted to push the red accents to the point of being gaudy.—Tyler Jacobs"
Originally, Tyler didn’t intend to create a lifted truck, but it was important to have it balanced from front to rear. It didn’t take long for that plan to change, however, and research led him to TCS Suspension, a small company offering high-quality parts. It fit nicely into his plan of using lesser-known companies and mom-and-pop shops in order to prove a show-worthy truck could be built without tremendous costs or high-dollar build facilities.
The process began with powdercoating all the parts in the 7-inch front, 5-inch rear, TCS lift kit, ensuring they matched the Victory Red factory paintjob of the Chevy. The upgrade included spindles, Fabtech heavy-duty tie-rod ends, Pro Comp shocks, and 5-inch powdercoated blocks, along with a collection of stainless steel bolts for the perfect finishing touch. The front end uses a combination of torsion bars and red impact bars with factory springs and blocks in the rear. A Pro Comp steering stabilizer with a single shock keeps the truck on the straight and narrow. Both factory axles use 3.73:1 gears. As one of many subtle touches, the white Pro Comp ES9000 shocks were powdercoated in a Dark Cardinal Red to match the exterior. New wheels added to the truck’s altitude, with 22x14 Ion Alloys on all four corners, wrapped in 35x12.50R22 Toyo M/T rubber. Originally, the wheels were all chrome, now modified with the outer portions sprayed to match the truck. Tyler was careful about the changes, saying, “I never wanted to push the red accents to the point of being gaudy. All the changes were made with a factory look in mind.”
External changes began with modernizing the front end, swapping the ’04 sheetmetal for a slightly more aggressive ’06 front clip. The Amp Research retractable side steps and the manual bed step in the rear were fitted with LEDs for a little fun at nighttime shows. Larger tow mirrors were added as a functional touch. A plethora of small, discreet modifications—like the tiny spikes on the wheel lugs—can be discovered through a careful search. The original black plastic around the bumpers was resprayed Victory Red by Mike Grimes from Lakeland, Florida. As a perfect finishing touch, Tyler had side emblems custom-made that say “6.6 Dirty Max,” the project name he gave to the truck.
The engine benefits from several performance upgrades, beginning with a PPE boost increase valve, an upgraded BD Power 4-inch inlet pipe, S&B cold-air intake, and a BD Power driver-side exhaust manifold to eliminate a traditional restriction in the Duramax. The truck runs a full 5-inch exhaust with no muffler, exiting through a 5-inch tip. EFILive tuning with a DSP5 switch gives five power control settings. The engine runs a full PPE fuel system, mounted inside the framerails of the truck. A Bean’s Diesel sump kit on the bottom of the tank solves any fuel delivery problems, with a second inline fuel filter added just to be sure. Tyler completed the mods with a Big Three Upgrade, using 0-gauge copper wire between the alternator positive and the battery positive, the battery negative to the chassis, and the engine ground to the chassis. The modified 6.6L diesel engine sends 555 hp to the Allison 1000 transmission, which is beefed up with a SunCoast Stage V GMax kit, Merchant Automotive transfer case pump upgrade, and TransGo shift kit. With the lifted truck running and handling like a tall sports car, all that was left were the creature comforts.
Tyler wanted something a little more wild than the original bone-stock interior. A friend of his (who owns Country Wrap) did all the hydro-dipped parts, color-matched to the truck and accented with black marble veins. Fortunately, big trucks have lots of room for entertainment, since Tyler had some big plans in mind. The stereo back wall came from a friend and fit perfectly into the new design. It features six Precision Power 6.5-inch coaxials—three on each side—along with six Precision Power tweeters and a central monitor. Walter Bruckner, owner of On Point Audio Creations in Tampa, Florida, designed the unique enclosure on the rear seat, which is a ported box that holds a pair of Sound Cube 12-inch subs driven by a pair of Audiopipe 1500 Class D amps. A third Audiopipe four-channel amp handles the front stage. All three amps are mounted under the rear seat. The Pioneer Double DIN AVH-X4500BT multimedia receiver features a 7-inch touchscreen. Pampering the driver and passengers are the reupholstered seats in Katzkin leather done by A to Z Upholstery in Plant City, Florida—the team which also handled the black suede headliner and black carpeting.
It took a year and a half, but the completed truck is now a regular on the show circuit, and Tyler enjoys representing his club. He is proud to say he did much of the work himself and used many small shops to get the job done. Special thanks to his girlfriend, Amber Register, who has been a great source of motivation and help during the build process. An active supporter of the truck at every turn, Amber is responsible for making the magazine connection, helping Tyler achieve his goal of an 8-Lug feature. Amber is definitely a keeper! Special thanks to A to Z Upholstery, On Point Audio Creations, and painter Mike Grimes.