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Balancing Act - 2001 GMC 2500 HD Crew Cab

Front Passenger Side View
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted October 1, 2006
Photographers: Sean P. Holman

This Colorado GMC walks the line between work and play

Somewhere between overly blinged and horribly bashed lies the perfectly balanced multitasking pickup truck. An illustration of this is Joel Felzien's '01 GMC 2500 HD Crew Cab. Felzien, who hails from Fort Collins, Colorado, has built a rig that can work like a dog, 'wheel like a crazy thing, and look pretty darn good doing it. "This truck is a dream to drive," Felzien says. "It's been from Colorado to California to Tennessee and back at sustained highway speeds of over 75 mph while pulling a trailer." We say that's not bad for a rig rolling on 40-inch rubber. Clearly, Felzien has successfully executed a tricky balancing act.

Carrying a large spare tire can be a problem. Loose in the bed is unacceptable, and besides, it gets in the way when you want to haul cargo. Felzien solved these issues by mounting his spare 40-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw and 20x10 Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheel on a bolt-in Wilco Products Prerunner Tire Gate. In this photo, the Gate is mounted outward for maximum cargo bed utility, but the Tire Gate can also be mounted inward.

The upper A-arms are made from 8081 T-6 billet aluminum that features a titanium component. The A-arms encapsulate the upper ball joints and feature snap rings to ensure durability. Two Fox Shox remote-reservoir shocks and one Fox Shox air shock provide sufficient damping for even big-air flights. All shocks were fitted with polyurethane bushings to help create a smooth ride.

A clean and uncluttered exterior appearance was created in part by a two-tone paint scheme. The top of the vehicle is the factory red paint, while Paint by Krusty in Greeley, Colorado, painted the sides of the GMC bright red using Martin Seymour paint. Other exterior mods include a Goodmark steel cowl hood, Bushwacker fender flares, and a custom Extreme Engineering prerunner bar. The prerunner bar holds a pair of Hella FF1000 halogen off-highway lights, while a pair of PIAA lights reside in the front bumper. Felzien tucked the rear bumper closer to the body by relocating the mounting brackets. He also relocated the trailer hitch in the same fashion. Even with 8 inches of suspension lift, significant modifications had to be applied to the front fender area to fit the 40-inch tires. Felzien cut 4 inches off the rocker panels and capped the ends; he trimmed the front body mounts; and he removed fender material.

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