With these modifications, the truck was fast and handled better than any truck I had piloted, however if you look at the "before" photo, then you'll understand the body of the Sierra didn't have a straight panel on it. The paint and body pros at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California, worked their magic and transformed the body into an arrow-straight metal sculpture covered in PPG's Envirobase black with flat clear and stripes unlike any other muscle truck. Theresa Contreras, L&G's resident paint artist, masked off Camaro-style bare metal stripes complete with grinder marks before applying the black on the hood and tailgate. The look is incredibly sinister and custom-truck cool. Other body mods include a Sir Michael's rear roll pan, bodyworked Chevy HD hood to fit the GMC, Recon LED lights, shaved tailgate handle, and T-Rex X-metal grille inside an LMC Truck grille shell and LMC bumper. From head-on, the truck looks so pissed off most motorists look in their rearview mirrors and engage their blinkers to get out of the way. For those that don't move over, I let them hear the fury of a 3-inch TIG-welded exhaust flowing from a Banks' Monster muffler and Stylin' Trucks' through-the-body exhaust tip. It's an unforgettable sound.
Rather than just covering the bed with a tonneau cover, 714 Motorsports sprayed the bed in protective Bullet Liner, and the team at Chassis by Aaron Iha created aluminum wheel tubs to clear the 315/35R20 Nitto tires and narrowed axle. A large hole was cut into the bed behind the axle for the 20-gallon Aeromotive fuel cell, while Pro Precision Billet battery brackets fitted with Red Top Optima batteries flank the fuel cell and help add some much-needed weight in the bed. Contrasting against the black backdrop, the aluminum wheels tubs, fuel cell trim ring, and billet brackets perfectly complement the bare metal racing stripes and bare aluminum found on the BMF wheels.
After a few bolt-ons, the Sierra was handling its own on the autocross course. Unfortunate
Twelve psi of boost from a Magnacharger TVS2300 is force-fed into a Chevrolet Performance
L&G Enterprises spent countless hours making the body straight and then applied the PP
The interior of Project Novakane is all business. Once strapped into the Corbeau LG1 seats and Corbeau four-point harness, the first thing you see is the fabricated aluminum dash, Autometer gauges working in conjunction with a Stack race data logger, and Grant steering wheel bolted to an ididit steering column. All of the factory plastic (dash, door panels, steering wheel, etc.) was ditched in favor of aluminum panels expertly shaped and welded by Chassis by Aaron Iha. Rojelio's Upholstery wrapped the headliner, back cab panel, kick panels, and A-pillars in black leather for a clean and finished look. No need for a radio in this ride with the sweet sound of the LSX engine under your right foot. Slick custom billet switches from Keep it Clean Wiring control the lights, ECU power, and engine starter. With the starter push-button depressed, all that is needed to rock and roll is to select first gear and ease the clutch out—it's a rush that never gets old.
Cutting straight to the point, Novakane is a dream come true. Behind the wheel on public roads I feel like Ken Block ready to unleash some YouTube shenanigans at a moment's notice, and out on the track I feel like an assassin ready to inflict my will on the competition. We've raced the truck in California, Texas, and Kentucky, and won several events. It's been the source of headaches, late nights without sleep, maxed-out credit cards, and unadulterated excitement. From the start, this project has been a team effort, and I'd like to personally thank the following in no particular order: Harley, Aaron, Ben, Chris, Dale, Theresa, Luis, Kyle, Sammy, Dr. Jamie, Ernie, Eric, Steve, Bob, Blake, Brock, Tim, Alan, Kevin, Bill, Jesse, Nate, Kris, Drew, Butch, Justin, Max, Jacob, and Matthew. Finally, I'd like to dedicate this truck build to Eddie Orozco, a super-talented welder at Chassis by Aaron Iha's shop who spent many late hours working by my side on the truck and was seriously injured after a skateboarding accident.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
2004 GMC Sierra
Owner and City/State:
Dan Ward • Foothill Ranch, California
Type: Chevrolet Performance Parts LSX376 6.2L with 12-point ARP fasteners
Induction: Magnacharger TVS2300 supercharger (12 psi), Banks air intake, LS7 90mm throttle body
Exhaust: American Racing Headers 1⅞-inch long-tube headers, Chassis by Aaron Iha 3-inch TIG-welded exhaust, 3-inch Banks Monster muffler
Fuel System: Aeromotive 20-gallon fuel cell with A1000 fuel pump, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, 60-psi injectors, Holley A350 fuel hose (-8AN)
Ignition: MSD truck coils, Moroso 8mm plug wires, DEI heat loom, NGK TR6 plugs
Cooling: Flex-a-Lite dual electric fans, BeCool aluminum radiator, BeCool antifreeze
Tune: Holley Dominator ECU, Holley LS wiring harness with drive-by-wire tuned by Eric Rhee at Westech Performance Group
Built by: Dan Ward
Output: 694 hp and 673 lb-ft (engine dyno) , 596 rwhp and 585 lb-ft (chassis dyno)
Transmission: Tremec T-56 Magnum with Ram 10.5 twin-disc clutch, Hurst billet shifter, McLeod release bearing, Quick Time SFI bellhousing
Rearend: GM 10-bolt with welded and narrowed axle tubes, 3.73 G2 gears, Eaton TrueTrac, Dutchman alloy axles, Mag Hytec diff cover, Royal Purple synthetic gear oil
Front suspension: Lowered 8 inches with Chassis by Aaron Iha CNC-cut upper and lower A-arms, McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles, QA1 double-adjustable coilovers, Hotchkis 1½-inch sway bar
Rear suspension: Lowered 9 inches with Chassis by Aaron Iha back-half with C-notch, triangulated four-link with adjustable aluminum upper links, QA1 double-adjustable coilovers, Hotchkis 1-inch sway bar
Brakes: AP Racing/Stillen 14.25-inch disc with six-piston calipers (F) and 14-inch disc with four-piston (R), Hydratech Braking hydraboost, Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve
Wheels & tires
Wheels: BMF Novakane 20x9-inch (F) and 20x10 (R)
Tires: Nitto NT-05 275/40R20 (F) and 315/35R20 (R)