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A 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Pre-Runner That’s At Home In Any Environment

Posted in Features on June 15, 2015
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When you are surrounded by sweet off road vehicles day in and day out, it stands to reason that you’d want your own dirt worthy ride. That’s the case for Eric Rivera of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. and this sweet 2013 GMC Sierra 1500.

Rivera works for King Shocks, and such he’s up close and personal with many of the hottest rides being built. It just stands to reason that he’d want to have one for himself. Being a total pre-runner guy as well as a father, he opted for this 2wd crew cab.

Thanks to the King shocks and Deaver springs, landing after getting air in this runner is not a concern.

He took his stocker to Rebel Offroad in Laguna Hills, CA., where they handled everything but the paint. First, they installed the Ready Lift Suspension Mid Travel suspension kit to the front end. It features boxed and extended upper and lower control arms that attach to the factory spindles. Also used was the RL heavy duty Heim equipped extended tie rod kit.

Then came the custom-made 2.5 King Shocks with cool (get it?) Finned Reservoirs and Compression Adjusters. The springs are King units too and when all is said and done, the travel is a full 13-inches. Not bad for a “mid-travel” system.

Hitting big whoops are no problem thanks to the Readylift Mid Travel suspension system that is backed up with King 2.5 coilover shocks that feature finned reservoirs and compression adjusters. The R! Concepts brakes outshine the stockers and feature drilled and slotted rotors.

Any off roader needs good suspension, but it also needs good brakes, that’s why Rivera when with R1 Concepts slotted & drilled rotors in the front and added R1 High Performance drum brakes to the rear end. Speaking of which…

The rear suspension has been drastically upgraded with a set of Deaver Suspension leaf springs that utilize Blitzkrieg Shackles. A set of King 2.5x10 piggyback shocks soak up the bumps, of course. The combination gives the GMC an impressive 16-inches of rear wheel travel.

Rough terrain requires a rough wheels and tires to handle it, so this prerunner gets around on 17-inch Method NV wheels that have been equipped with Toyo 35-inch Open Country tires.

Rounding out the suspension is done with a quartet of Method 17-inch NV wheels that have been shod with hard-core 35-inch Toyo M/T Open Country tires. The matte black finish of the Method’s really works well with the black truck, and the combination of Toyo and Method have literally won Baja, so Rivera should have no trouble when running his GMC at the events he goes to.

With the additional travel, it was decided that the front fenders needed a bit more room for the wheels to fit into when compressed, so a set of Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass fenders were installed. Adding 2-inches worth of flare with a 1-inch rise, the Glassworks units give plenty of additional room for wheel movement and look pretty sinister, too.

That’s especially true after LGE*CTS Motorsports in San Dimas CA. painted them to match the factory black paint. They also painted the Sierra logo’s, front grill and door handles as well as all the chrome and exterior plastic to match the body color. LGE*CTS also trimmed the rear quarter panels and painted and installed the rear Mazzulla offroad bumper.

The Wright Fabrication custom-made radius front bumper is equipped with a skid plate as well as a 21-inch Outlaw LED lightbar. The unit was color matched to the body by Sara at LGE*CTS Motorsports.

The Wright Fabrication (Garden Grove, CA) custom-made radius front bumper with skid plate is a work of art. It too was painted by Sara at LGE*CTS Motorsports and features plenty of room and welded on tabs to mount the Outlaw LED 21-inch Radius light. There’s a set of twin quad Outlaw LED light pods placed along the A-pillars as well, so having enough light to complete that long trail ride is assured.

There’s little doubt that the 5.3 liter GM engine makes good power, but hey, what’s the fun in that? Rivera added a few goodies to make the internally stock engine give all it can. A Volant Cold Air Intake system ensures that all the fresh, cold air the engine can handle is provided while the Magnaflow Off-Road Pro Series Mufflers and factory headers gets the spent fuel out quickly. The Optima Red Top battery provides plenty of cranking power, even on the coldest mountain mornings.

Producing 300hp, the stock GM 5.3 liter engine has been enhanced with a Magnaflow Off-Road Pro Series Mufflers and a Volant cold air intake system.

Though Rivera installed the pieces, he had Tad at Superior Automotive of Placentia, CA. do a special tune. The result is that the engine is now putting out a dyno proven 299.56 hp at the wheels and 296.80 of beautiful torque. As with the stock engine, the stock interior of the GMC is the result of 30 years of GM listening to their customers in that it’s nice. We’ve built many a classic pickup, and no matter how hard we tried, it still wasn’t as plush as a new truck interior. That being the case, Rivera didn’t touch anything, but did install a Kicker sound system that features twin 10-inch subs that he stashed under the rear seat.

For the bed though, he added a Bed Rug carpeted bed kit and capped it off with a Truxedo Lo-Pro soft bed cover. The bed can be a big trunk, but with the easily removable carpeting kit and by folding up the bed cover, it’s instantly a cargo hauler again. There is a spare Toyo/Method tire and wheel hiding inside the bed though. It’s the perfect place for it, and anything else needed on a long weekend out in the fun.

Sometimes even tough tires need a backup, so an extra Toyo shod Method wheel rests in the bed. That bed is plush thanks to the Bedrug carpeting kit.

Rivera says that before he owned this truck he had a clean standard cab 2 seat Silverado that I used to tow his 2 seat sand rail to the desert. But, he sold the sand rail to pay for his wedding, and was toy-less for a bit. With the addition of their first child, the 2 seat truck was not going to cut it. And since he has such a great and supportive wife, he was able to purchase and build the truck he has always wanted. Awwww.

His initial goal was to build a vehicle that appeared as if the factory had made it. The right way, at least. At a glance, the truck appears like your standard leveling kit equipped Sierra. But looking deeper, the truck is clearly modified. He now has a beautiful, daily-driven truck with just enough mods to safely and comfortable go play with his family in the desert. With more than 30k miles in the first year with at least 1/3 in the dirt, the truck has traveled the Mojave Desert to San Felipe and everywhere in between.

And all with his family by his side. This pre-runner is truly made for fun, no matter where the Rivera’s want to find it.

It’s hard to tell what’s more American, the eagle or the GMC Sierra 1500?

Manufacturer: GMC
Wheelbase: 146-inches
Overall Length: 231-inches
Overall Height: 75-inches
Track Width: 88-inches
Weight: N/A

Manufacturer: GM
Builder: Tuned by Tad at Superior Automotive
Horsepower: 300
Torque: 300
Induction: EFI
Air Filter: Volant Cold Air intake
Exhaust: Magnaflow Off-Road Pro Series Mufflers
Cooling: Stock
Plumbing: Stock
Wiring: Stock

Front Suspension: Readylift Suspension “Mid-Travel” Kit, 13-inches of wheel travel
Rear Suspension: Deaver Leaf Springs, 16-inches of wheel travel

Shocks/Front: King 2.5 Coilovers W/ Compression Adjusters and Finned Reservoirs
Shocks/Rear: King 2.5x10-inch W/ Smooth Body Piggybacks

Front: R1 Concepts Slotted & drilled
Rear: Factory Drum with R1 High performance pads

Wheels: Method NV 17-inch
Tires: Toyo Mud Terrain 35x12.50x17R

Bodywork: GMC Badging, Door Handles, Front Grill, And Side Mirrors, Including The Rear Mazzulla Offroad Bumper, Painted To Match Stock Color.
Paint/Graphics: Painted by Sara @ LGE*CTS Motorsports

Seats: Stock
Steering Wheel: Stock
Dash: Stock
Gauges: Stock
Shifter: Stock
Radio/Intercom: Kicker Sound System With Twin 10-inch Sub Woofers

This Sierra features everything that a pre-running person could want.
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