This is the final installment in our mild buildup of Jake, the better half of our sibling rivalry with brother Elwood who appears also for the final time in our sister book Chevy High Performance. For some reason known only to the folks at CHP, they renamed his bro Delwood. Go figure.
Up until this month, we have focused on transforming our California Transportation Department castoff into a reliable and more powerful hauler. To refresh your memory, we added a DynoMax after-cat exhaust and new catalytic converter, a set of HPC-coated DynoMax headers, and a Hypertech chip that combined with the Hypertech Power Charger affectionately dubbed the "soup bowl" all was worth a strong 68 lb-ft of torque and 44 hp!
Along the way, we also added a Penda under-rail bedliner and those trick stainless steel Hide-a-hooks, a Summit hidden trailer hitch, roll pan, and a flip-up license plate to give the GMC a little bit of style. We also lowered our truck with a complete front and rear kit from Eibach that worked perfectly along with a set of Edelbrock shocks. Now it was time to add a little style to our efforts.
Two big projects lay in our path to transform Jake from a Cal-Trans refugee into a bona-fide street cruiser. First, we needed to change that faded industrial orange, and we also needed a stylish set of tires and wheels. We decided to attack the rolling stock first.
We were looking for something polished but not too flashy. Wheel Vintques offers an incredible selection of wheels that will fit the 11/42-ton GMC/Chevy 5x5-inch bolt pattern, and we landed on a set of 17x8-inch Billet Rally wheels with a 5-inch backspacing finished off with a reproduction set of early Camaro Rally wheel center caps and a set of McGard wheel locks just to ensure Jake doesn't get mugged in some deserted parking lot. We decided to go with something a little different with a set of 255/50R17 Hankook Ventus ST tires. These tires have an aggressive tread pattern that are intended as all-season light truck and SUV tires that offer exceptional dry handling combined with solid, predictable performance in the wet and a good tread life.
Now it was time to do something about that orange paint. We decided our best bet would be a great paint job at a decent price, so we sought out our local Earl Scheib dealer.
One of a car crafter's biggest hurtles is surviving what has affectionately been called "paint jail" where your car becomes incarcerated for months at a time. Not so with Perry Girakhoo and his crew at our local Earl Scheib. We delivered Jake on Monday morning and by Thursday evening we had a stylish pickup where shabby old Jake had once been. Including removing a half-dozen dings and dents, Perry and crew smoothed out Jake's rough spots, hit him with a basic primer coat, and then applied a 100 percent acrylic-urethane silver coat that, with the Pro 3 version, includes a clearcoat finish. They did the job in a matter of a few days, and the price for just the paint job, including painting the doorjambs, came to just under $550.
While your local Earl Scheib dealer can also do the bodywork, the hot ticket is to perform the bodywork separately and then deliver your cruiser to them with as much detail work as possible already performed. For example, we removed the C/K1500 emblems and also stripped all the rubber trim around the doors to make the masking less troublesome. That's the process that worked the best for us and represented the least amount of downtime. Then, to protect our new paint (after a month cure time), we also invested in a new Covercraft car cover.