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Time Warp: 2018 GMC Denali 3500HD

A Tandem Dualie Straight From the Future

Phil Gordon
May 9, 2019
A time warp, by definition, is a hypothetical discontinuity in the flow of time that would move events from one time period to another. In theory, this could lead to items from the past, or the future, appearing right here in the present day. Like time travel, many people believe creating something that wasn't originally built is just too outrageous or taboo, but Cesar Cornejo ignored his critics and decided to go forward with his dream to design and build an original tandem dualie straight from the future. We've all seen tandem-axle trucks dating back to the Mazdas and Nissans in the mini-truck world, but what we haven't seen is a tandem-axle dualie. So Time Warp is capable of conjuring up thoughts of both the past and the future.
Photo 2/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd Rear 3q
Cesar was familiar with heavy-duty trucks in the construction business he's involved in, so when he wanted a heavy, hard-labor vehicle, it made sense to purchase an '18 GMC Denali 3500HD new from the dealership. The diesel is considered the workhorse of the GMC family, with a 6.6L turbodiesel V-8 with 445 hp paired with a six-speed transmission and a maximum payload of 7,153 pounds. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 23,300 pounds. When it comes to a full-functioning beast like the GMC, Cesar envisioned it working harder, more efficiently, and becoming an anomaly at the shows and the worksite. With only 10 miles on the Denali's odometer, it was hauled over to Southern Off Road for the brand-new build.
Photo 3/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd
The build got fun when the fenders were redesigned to fit a double axle, and custom 5-ton Meritor axles were built by Differential Engineering. The axlehousings were modified so the ABS would still function, and the factory axles were narrowed 4 inches. For the suspension, Jeff Kelderman of Kelderman Air Ride was contacted and parts from several of the company's air-ride kits were pulled and custom mounts were designed. A Cognito 12-inch lift was mounted in the front along with the air-ride in the rear. Two four-links were created for the new tandem axles. Overall, Jerry Harding and Dave Belzer spent around 450 hours on the suspension and assembly.
Photo 4/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd Front Suspension
Photo 5/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd Rear Suspension
Once the suspension and tandem axle was complete, Cesar turned his attention to the exterior. He enlisted Fab Fours (based on the good relationship they had in the past) and added Vengeance front and rear bumpers. Rigid lighting was mounted throughout the bumpers and a Rigid lightbar was centered in the front bumper. A DB Customz grille was installed with a Denali on it. A rear rack was mounted on the bed and modified to fit the fuel cell to make room for the four-link. The bedsides were custom made from fiberglass to provide a large enough opening for the new axles.
 
To design the GMC to work as a true 6x6, there is an air actuator, which engages the driveshaft that comes out the back of the #2 axle and drives the #3 axle. To make the Denali function properly, Cesar upgraded the braking power by using an SSBC big brake kit and a 19-inch Fab Fours rotor. Finally, Cesar contacted Jason Sandusky at American Force Wheels, which outfitted the tandem rig with six 28x16 American Force Trek Super Dually wheels and wrapped them in Fury tires.
Photo 6/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd Wheels
Cesar maintains full use of the tandem dualie for everyday work through his construction business. The GMC has been so steady and flawless, he brought it to Las Vegas for the SEMA show and proudly displayed the work done. He wishes to thank all the hands that helped complete this project: Kelderman, Fab Fours, Cognito, Fury Tires, American Force Wheels, Southern Off Road, and specialists Jerry Harding and Dave Belzer for designing and partnering on such an amazing truck. Even though a tandem-axle dualie was never produced, Cesar's dream was to leap forward in time, using cues from the past, and design something he envisioned but has never been produced.
Photo 7/16   |   Time Warp 2018 Gmc Denali 3500hd Interior
Inside the Build
 
Year/Make/Model: 2018 GMC Denali 3500HD
Owner and City/State: Cesar Cornejo; Rome, Georgia
 
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Cognito 12-inch front kit, modified Meritor front differential, Fox adjustable shocks
Rear Suspension: Two four-links, Kelderman air-ride on both rear axles, Firestone 8979 airbags, dual Viair 400c compressors, three-gallon tank, Haldex height control valves
Brakes: SSBC
 
Drivetrain:
Engine: 6.6L turbodiesel V-8, 445 hp and 910 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic transmission
Rearend: 5:18 gears, two Meritor axles
 
Body/Paint: Fab Fours Vengeance front and rear bumpers, Rigid dualie lights, Rigid lightbar, DB Customz grille, modified Fab Fours rear rack with fuel fill, fuel tank relocated to bed, custom-made bedsides from fiberglass, custom tandem-axle conversion done by Jerry Harding and Dave Belzer
 
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: Two 28x16 and eight 28x8.5; American Force Trek Super Dually
Tires: 42x15.50x28; Fury Country Hunters MT

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