For most people, the simple act of telling them they can’t do something is enough to ignite a rebellious and defiant spirit that is suitable to fuel the accomplishment. Any parent is well familiar with this and most of us have that one friend that if we tell them they can’t do something, then you can rest assured they will be hard at work trying to prove you wrong.
Recently, we were in Detroit Michigan to meet up with Terry (Jake) Delecki and get an up close and personal view of his 2007 Chevy Silverado. While Jake had a couple of friends and some family helping him with his build, you can be sure that there were a lot of others who questioned his ability to put it together. Jake set out to show that he had what it took to put together a heck of a truck. By the looks of both his overall creation and the attention to detail, we would say that he nailed it.
Jake purchased the truck about two years ago. “I always had the intention of doing a build with it,” Jake explained. “At the time, it had quite a bit of damage and the box sides were rusty and dented, but I planned to do the fiberglass bedsides anyway, so that was no big deal. I didn’t really plan to go this extreme with it, but I had a buddy that bought a kit with all of the parts to do a build. He wasn’t able to do it, so I got a great deal on it.”
The truck was torn apart on July 7th and then the rig was on its way to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes by July 29th. “Anytime I wasn’t working at my job, I was working on this,” said Jake. “I pulled it into my dad’s barn and I did all the welding and cutting and building myself.” He admitted that Neil, the owner of Griffin Fab Works, was always available for late-night texts and questions; this was a huge help.
Not only was the kit gotten secondhand, but this kit is one of two that were produced at the time, so no instructions were readily available. The support that Jake was able to get from Griffin Fab Works was invaluable during the build. It’s clear that Jake is proud of his work and it shows in the details.
The original 5.3-liter stock engine with a cold air intake made enough power to keep the truck moving, but plans are in the works for an upgrade soon. The original 4L60E transmission has been upgraded with an 1800 stall converter and shift kit while the original transfer case handles the four-wheel drive responsibilities. 4.88:1 differential gears keep the wheels turning, and the front axle remains open, while an Eaton Detroit Truetrac keeps both the rear wheels digging.
Drilled and slotted rotors from R1 Concepts make sure that the big Chevy can come to a complete stop in a satisfactory distance, and while all of that is great, the real star of the show is the Griffin Fab Works suspension components. Jake is quick to point out that if he wasn’t able to get such a good deal on the parts, he would have never been able to do the swap.
That being said the front suspension of the big Chevy consists of a Griffin Fab Works four-wheel-drive LT kit. The kit replaces all of the original suspension components with tried and true parts that are built to the high-quality expectations of the Griffin Fab Works crew. The kit results in the rig being bumped and strapped at 16 inches of travel, but the removal of the four-wheel drive components can net an additional three inches of travel. Jake explained that he maintained the four-wheel-drive system because of the harsh Michigan winters and the comparatively low power output of the stock Chevy motor.
“Here in Michigan ,we run a lot of trails and having the option of four-low is always good,” said Jake. “Plus, with the low horsepower when I run it at the Silver Lake sand dunes, having four-wheel-drive really helps. When I’m up there I run it the whole time!” Additionally, Jake admits that when he purchased the kit from his friend, the kit was already set up for retaining the four-wheel-drive components, so he kept them.
Dampening on the front of the Chevy is handled by two sets of King shocks. The first includes King 2.5-inch-diameter remote reservoir coilover shocks. Those are backed up by an King 3.0-inch-diameter remote reservoir triple bypass shocks. A set of King 2×2-inch hydraulic bump stops handle the forces involved when the suspension is soaking up the big hits. RCV Performance 300M axle shafts with 934 inner CVs and RCV outers work hard to keep the front wheels turning when the going gets tough.
The rear suspension consists of the Griffin Fab Works short-course style four-link system that is bumped and strapped at 18 inches of travel. King 3.0-inch-diameter remote reservoir internal bypass coilover shocks with compression adjusters handle the big hits in the rear. King 2.5-inch hydraulic bump stops (limited to two inches of travel) make sure that those big hits don’t do any damage.
A Griffin Fab Works Jeep Speed Fuel Skid works in conjunction with a JAZ 32-gallon fuel cell to make sure that plenty of go juice gets to the engine. A Corvette fuel filter and regulator ensure things flow smoothly.
Exhaust from the current motor is directed through a stainless muffler with an axle dump. On the outside of the big Silverado, a modified factory front bumper and Mazzula off-road rear plate bumper contribute to impressive approach and departure angles, while also adding a bit of personalized style to the rig.
Of all the features of the truck, probably the first thing everyone sees are the FiberwerX fenders. These give the front of the rig a stance and look that is more common to the prerunners of the West Coast than the truck trails of Michigan. Jake admits that while this can make things a bit tight on many trails, the Silverado shines brightest on the big jumps and washboard trails around the Upper Peninsula and Silver Lake Sand Dunes areas of Michigan. Now that the truck is finished, Jake looks forward to making trips to other places in the country to really enjoy its new capabilities.
Jake does have future plans for the Silverado that include a crew cab conversion, custom interior roll cage, and a 6.0-liter motor swap with LS3 heads and an LSA supercharger. Additionally, a 6L90 transmission will also be swapped in. Jake elaborated, “No one really runs a 6L90 transmission with big power because they’re on the expensive side and it’s hard to build them to handle the abuse that this will see. My dad runs Phil’s Transmission in Clio, Michigan, and he is the one that built the current transmission and gears. They’re always looking to try something new, so it’s cool to give them that opportunity. If it works, then great, and if it doesn’t, then we’ll try something else. Either way, all of that will be done by next summer, so this is probably the last time the truck will be like this.”
Jake has put over twenty thousand miles on his rig since the initial build, so we look forward to seeing the final outcome. There have been no significant issues since he finished the current work, and that speaks well of the Griffin Fab Works kit, as well as Jake’s attention to detail during the build. Without question, Jake has shown everyone that he has what it takes to create one amazingly capable rig. It will be breathtaking to see what comes next for him.