Kevin Vail’s sky high 2016 Chevro­let 2500


START­ING IN 1918, CHEVRO­LET BE­GAN MAK­ING ITS VERY OWN PUR­POSE-BUILT PICKUP TRUCKS. From farms to city work and fac­to­ries, pickup trucks be­gan to take their place as the work­horse of the au­to­mo­tive world. As time passed, Chevro­let not only changed with the times, but also adapted the plat­form in which it built its trucks to suit the loyal buyer.

It be­came ap­par­ent to Chevro­let ex­ec­u­tives that the com­pany’s trucks were not just for work to its cus­tomers; they were be­com­ing a life­style choice.

Nearly 50 years af­ter its start with trucks, Chevro­let re­leased one of its most loved trucks of all time: the C10/K10 series. By adding com­fort and con­ve­nience to the al­ready re­li­able line of trucks, the game was changed to say the least.

Fast-for­ward an­other 50 years, and now Chevro­let is cel­e­brat­ing its 100th year of pro­duc­ing one of Amer­ica’s fa­vorite ve­hi­cles, the Chevy Sil­ver­ado. Pack­ing more com­fort and more power into them than ever was the main goal for the de­sign en­gi­neers at GM, and now af­ter the many years of R&D test­ing, its safe to say that the love for this GM truck will go on for years to come. Whether buy­ers are load­ing them with con­struc­tion sup­plies for an­other tough day at work, body drop­ping them onto the pave­ment for hobby and show, or lift­ing them far higher than the fac­tory ever ex­pected them to be, Chevy al­ways has a loyal cus­tomer base it can al­ways count on for sup­port year af­ter year.

No mat­ter what ve­hi­cle you may be pas­sion­ate about, there comes a time in al­most ev­ery car en­thu­si­ast’s life where his at­ten­tion span gets much shorter than it used to be. We no longer can achieve the long-term sat­is­fac­tion of driv­ing a fully mod­i­fied ve­hi­cle once it’s been “out of the shop” for a while.

This is get­ting more and more com­mon to see in truck “scenes” these days; own­ers sell their builds a month or two af­ter fin­ish­ing them just so they can start a new project to out their pas­sion into. That, or per­haps some of you re­ally just hate sav­ing money... take your choice.

When it comes to Kevin Vail’s per­sonal Sil­ver­ado daily driver, he chose op­tion B. Af­ter hav­ing a lifted Me­ga­cab Dodge for years, Kevin de­cided it was time for a change and “Got out of Dodge” as he says. Af­ter some de­bat­ing and shop­ping around, Kevin de­cided to join team Chevro­let and bought him­self a brand new 2016 Sil­ver­ado 2500HD in Deep Ocean Blue Metal­lic; and ever since that day, quite a lot has hap­pened to this once mod­est-look­ing blue bowtie.


Hav­ing come from a lifted truck prior to the new truck choice, it was ob­vi­ous to Kevin that driv­ing a stock height truck wouldn’t last very long, be­cause se­ri­ously, who wants to roll stock? Enough time surf­ing the web un­doubt­edly brought Kevin to the web­site of Full Throt­tle Sus­pen­sion, where he was able to re­search and choose a cus­tom sus­pen­sion sys­tem built just for his truck. Then the time came to sit by the win­dow for mul­ti­ple days straight just wait­ing on his much-an­tic­i­pated UPS de­liv­ery. (Writ­ers Note: No ,he ob­vi­ously didn’t re­ally wait by the win­dow for days, but we all know that feel­ing of wait­ing on parts right?)

When the big day fi­nally came, a few mum­bled com­plaints could be heard from the de­liv­ery driver who had the task of un­load­ing the FTS 10-12-inch sin­gle reser­voir sus­pen­sion lift. Af­ter de­liv­ery and in­spec­tion, all the avail­able parts were sent to pow­der­coat. Anderson Per­for­mance Coat­ings took the time to prep and coat the parts in Alien Sil­ver metal­lic. The sil­ver against the blue metal­lic paint re­ally pops, which helped with some other de­ci­sions made later for the truck’s fu­ture.

With the help of Kevin’s friend Charles Kopach, the 2500 HD be­gan to get trans­formed from stock to shut down the block. As the lift was be­ing in­stalled, Kevin said it was ex­cit­ing to watch the Sil­ver­ado climb higher to­wards the sky.

Once the kit was in and the mea­sure­ments could be made, the cru­cial task of pick­ing the wheels ar­rived. In a world of so many solid wheel op­tions, it is never easy to pick ex­actly what wheel will set off the look of what is best for the driver and the truck it­self. It is all about per­son­al­ity. It was an easy de­ci­sion for Kevin though, or­der­ing a mas­sive set of Amer­i­can Force Lib­erty SS8S. Be­ing fa­mil­iar with the lifted life, Kevin new a set of 20x12 wheels just wouldn’t cut it for a 10-inch or more of sus­pen­sion lift. That be­ing said, the specs he de­cided on put those to shame. The set of four Forces were built to be 26x14 inches with a brushed fin­ish cho­sen to ac­cent the sil­ver pow­der on the sus­pen­sion, as well as stick out a lit­tle ex­tra in a world full of pol­ished wheels. With a set of 37x13.5-inch Fury tires, this is not the truck any me­chanic looks for­ward to per­form­ing a ro­tate and bal­ance on if it comes into their shop. Lift with your legs kid. This wheel setup isn’t light!

To get some ex­tra per­for­mance out of the 6.6L Tur­bocharged V8, an EFI live soft tune was added as well as an EGR delete… sh­hhh. An up­graded LB7 pas­sen­ger side up-pipe, a 3-inch HSP down-pipe and a PPEI cold air in­take were also added to help the flow of air, which in turn pro­duces more power.

Next on the list was ex­haust to re­ally get this Sil­ver­ado sound­ing as good as the new per­for­mance made the truck feel. Flo-pro 5-inch pipes lead to a 7-inch tip uti­liz­ing an axle dump exit. With a few more de­tails like color match­ing the chrome trim and a Car­riage works grille, the truck was ready to roll through re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties all over Florida, en­sur­ing neck braces for ev­ery­one in sight.


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