Igot my first car when I was 15. It was a ’73 VW Baja Bug, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Since it was an older vehicle, I used it to begin learning my wrenching skills. It started with little things like changing the fluids, rotating the tires, and upgrading the lights. I never did anything big to it because I was afraid of breaking something. After that, I owned several other vehicles until I came to my first real project truck: my ’89 Toyota 4x4 pickup. This is the truck I did the majority of my wrench turning on. But even with that truck, I was always afraid of messing something up, or doing irreversible damage.
That was a while ago, but even with the latest vehicles I’ve owned, I have always worried about voiding warranties or breaking something expensive. That all changed while working for Truckin
magazine. This job has made me desensitized to cutting up brand-new vehicles. Almost every month, I find myself dealing with some sort of tech article that involves taking apart a perfectly good vehicle. As I sit here writing this, my hands are stained and aching from doing a cam swap on a 2014 Chevy Silverado with less than 10,000 miles on it. A week ago, I shot a lift kit install on a brand-new 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD—that’s a $65,000 truck in case you were wondering. So now when someone says, “I want to bag and body my 2015 GMC Yukon,” I don’t look at them like they have six heads.
How do you feel about doing extreme modifications to a brand-new vehicle? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a plate being welded onto the underside of a 2014 GMC Sierra after having the transfer case crossmember support cut down.