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  • 2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali Surprise Upgrades

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali Surprise Upgrades

A Wife Surprises Her Husband With Big Upgrades for the Family’s ’13 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali

Mar 29, 2016
Photographers: Brian Hollingsworth
With no plans to modify his well-equipped ’13 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali, Joey Lamport Jr. was shocked to wake up and see what his wife, Kate, got him for Christmas. Not only did she surprise him with a compound-turbocharger system by Industrial Injection, there was also a Snow Performance Stage 2 water-methanol injection kit. Since that wonderful day, Joey has been dedicated to transforming his Denali into a family hauler that’s always ready to pull off the highway to compete at a sled pull event, with an estimated 800 hp and 1,600 lb-ft of torque on tap.
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Just the Start
Inspired to turn his comfortable Denali into a project truck, Joey got in touch with the experts at Gomer’s U.S. Diesel Parts in Missoula, Montana. After the gifted parts were installed, Kate saw how happy Joey was and contacted the shop for even more upgrades. Now, the truck is packed with gobs of power along with beefy parts to back it up. This allows Joey to be confident his low-profile pickup will be reliable enough to cart four kids around on a regular basis and drive home under its own power after a full night of sled pulls.
The Heads, Turbos, and Injection Pumps
The current-generation 6.6L Duramax under the hood had plenty of factory power for Joey—at least that’s what he thought. The team at Gomer’s got busy upgrading the LML engine to take full advantage of the extra air and water-methanol. The factory cylinder heads were ditched for high-flow CNC-ported units built by Industrial Injection, with unshrouded valves, new steel guides, 95-pound valvesprings, and secured by ARP studs. The compound-turbo kit features a large 75mm BorgWarner S475 unit and a 39mm wastegate to compliment the output of the factory variable-geometry turbo. A high-flow air filter by S&B Filters keeps the intake charge clean, and a boot kit by BD Diesel Performance ensures the air makes it into the engine.
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The factory CP4.2 injection pump was jettisoned for a Fleece Performance Engineering CP3 conversion kit. Then, a second CP3 pump was installed using a Twin Fueler package from ATS Diesel Performance. Next, an AirDog II 165-gph lift pump and a FASS fuel sump were added to ensure the engine always has plenty of diesel fuel available. These parts feed eight 50hp Duramax LML injectors constructed by Dynomite Diesel Products.
Programming, Transmission, and Exhaust
An EFILive programmer controls the engine operations with six-position tuning created by Motor Ops. Joey says he rarely uses the top setting because there’s always plenty of power on tap. An estimated 800 hp and 1,600 lb-ft of torque is available and routed through a burly ATS Diesel Performance LCT1000 Allison six-speed automatic transmission. The rear axle is upgraded with an ARB Air Locker locking differential along with a high-capacity cover. Exhaust leaving the engine is sent to the turbos through manifolds and up-pipes by Pacific Performance Engineering, then out the back of the truck with a custom setup.
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“That Warm Fuzzy Feeling”
Joey says the horsepower and torque added to his ’13 GMC Denali gives him “that warm fuzzy feeling” when he pops the hood. The truck is packed with diesel power and represents the support of his spouse while giving him a feeling of accomplishment without being flashy—and that’s just his style. The pickup still rides on stock wheels and there are no stickers or badges to reveal the potential performance. Joey says he’s not out to impress anyone…but it’s still fun to blow the doors off challengers who think the truck is completely stock.
Fast Facts
Year/Make/Model: ’13 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali
Owner: Joey Lamport Jr.
Hometown: Helena, Montana
Odometer: 24,000 miles
Engine: 6.6L Duramax LML V-8
Programming: EFILive with tuning by Motor Ops
Fuel: Fleece Performance Engineering LML CP3 injection pump conversion, ATS Diesel Performance Twin Fueler dual CP3 kit, Dynomite Diesel Products 50hp injectors, AirDog II 165-gph lift pump, and FASS fuel sump
Air: Industrial Injection LML CNC-ported cylinder heads, Industrial Injection BorgWarner S475 turbocharger over stock VGT, S&B Filters air filter, BD Diesel Performance intercooler boot kit, and Snow Performance Stage 2 water-methanol injection
Exhaust: Pacific Performance Engineering manifolds with up-pipes and custom exhaust
Transmission: ATS Diesel Performance LCT1000 Allison six-speed automatic
Power: 800 hp (estimate)
Torque: 1,600 lb-ft (estimate)
Wheels: 17x7.5 GMC chromed steel
Tires: 235/80R17 Cooper Discoverer S/T
Axle: ARB Air Locker in rear and ATS Diesel Performance high-capacity differential cover
Suspension: Bilstein shocks (front/rear) and Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 rear airbags
Fun Facts: Joey bought this truck with no intentions of making modifications. His wife surprised him on Christmas morning with a compound-turbo setup and a water-methanol injection kit (lucky!), which started him on the path to even more upgrades. Joey says the truck is “no pavement princess” and is used for everything from the “daddy work” of hauling four kids to hunting and fishing trips to sled pull competitions.
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When Joey Lamport bought his ’13 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali, he was very happy and didn’t have any plans to install upgrades. Then, one Christmas morning, his wife, Kate, surprised him with performance parts for his 6.6L Duramax LML–powered daily driver, which provided the inspiration for him to start competing in sled pulls.
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The gift package included an Industrial Injection compound-turbocharger setup featuring a 75mm BorgWarner S475 over the stock variable-geometry turbo and a 39mm wastegate. If that wasn’t enough, Kate’s Christmas cheer also included a Stage 2 water-methanol injection kit by Snow Performance. CNC ported heads by Industrial Injection and ARP head studs help maximize the performance and reliability of the late-model Denali.
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The team at Gomer’s U.S. Diesel Parts designed a fueling setup for the ’13 GMC dualie that guarantees its Duramax will never be starved for diesel. First, the system was upgraded with a Fleece Performance Engineering CP3 conversion kit that eliminates the problematic factory CP4.2 injection pump. The new CP3 became part of a Twin Fueler dual CP3 system by ATS Diesel Performance. A 165-gph AirDog II lift pump feeds it with assistance from a FASS fuel sump. All the fuel is routed to Dynomite Diesel Products 50hp LML injectors.
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The dualie’s bed is designed for both work and play. It’s equipped with a Reese fifth-wheel hitch, along with a storage system for securing a cooler, hunting and fishing equipment, and whatever Joey needs for getting “daddy work” done.
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A 39mm wastegate controls the combined output of the 75mm BorgWarner S475 and factory variable-geometry turbochargers for reliable performance. BD Diesel Performance intercooler boots keep the charge contained.
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The ’13 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali’s interior is basically stock, which helps maintain the rig’s overall sleeper theme. Auto Meter Cobalt gauges mounted on the A-pillar offer a small hint that Joey’s dualie might be packing a punch under the hood.
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A Fab Fours Premium front bumper equipped with a Warn winch protects the front end of the Denali. It’s equipped with a Rigid Industries LED lightbar for off-road adventures.
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Staying consistent with the truck’s low-profile theme, Joey runs the factory 17x7.5 chrome-clad steel wheels. All six rims are fitted with 235/80R17 Cooper Discoverer S/T tires.

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