Zane & Josh Merva
The Merva Brothers - Co/Founders, GM-Trucks.com
GM-Trucks.com is always trying to stay on the bleeding edge of General Motors vehicles and the aftermarket accessories that owners install on them. That’s why we occasionally purchase long term pickups to better understand the ownership experience of these extremely popular vehicles. Our last truck, a 2011 GMC Sierra All Terrain, continues to serve us well all these years later, but became outdated in 2014 when the K2 generation of trucks was produced. We never had a chance to purchase a 2014-2018 Silverado but had a half dozen close friends who let us work on theirs.
So when GM announced that the 2019 model year Silverado and Sierra would be brand spankin' new, we knew we had to have one. Thus, a year long effort was set into motion during the Winter of 2017-2018. Internally, GM-Trucks.com declared war on the 2019 Silverado. We could cover it, we would own it, we would be THE place for owners of the T1XX generation to call home. To do that, we had to have one ourselves.
We saw the surprise unveiling, followed trim level news, ordering information, factory startup, placed an order the first day we could, then waited (not so) patiently for it to arrive. In September 2018 we took delivery of our new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ. Here it is a few seconds after the first time we saw it.
What’s the plan?
We’re going to make our new Silverado work for us and you. Over the next few years we plan on transforming our truck, installing loads of aftermarket parts, and reviewing everything in the process.
Our thought process behind this Project Truck is simple. We originally wanted to buy a Silverado Trail Boss but found that Chevy wouldn’t let us get it with the all new 6.2L V8. That engine and the brand new 10-speed transmission was reserved for those who purchased an LTZ or High Country. With the 6.2L being more important, we acquiesced and ordered a more expensive LTZ instead. Thus, our mission to replicate the Trail Boss’s off-road stance and beefed up attitude but with a legendary 6.2L engine and a more luxurious take on things was born. We've decided to call it….
Project Trail Beast
More than just a name, Project Trail Beast is a set of core vehicle modification goals that we’d like to accomplish with our 2019 Silverado LTZ. The ultimate goal is to create the truck that Chevy should have made… a Trail Boss with a 6.2L engine. Thankfully, we’re not bound by factory parts anymore, so we can go a little more hardcore than Chevy would have.
Our goals include:
Suspension Lift: We’ll take our Silverado and raise it a modest 2-4 inches. More aggressive tires are a requirement and aftermarket rims are being considered to complement the higher stance without sacrificing driveability. Beefed Up Performance: 420-horsepower stock isn’t bad…. but isn’t nearly enough. We’ll explore adding a supercharger to our 6.2L and work with leading brands to install performance intake and exhaust systems. We’ll also check in on the custom tuning scene and how the 2019 models can be modified on the inside. Updated Lighting: Even though most of our Silverado has high tech LED lighting, there are still some conventional bulbs. We’ll replacement all with the latest LED tech and add additional illumination around our truck. Expect us to talk about and review industry players such as Sylvania and Baja Lights soon. Utility Accessories: We'll explore bed covers, floor mats, security products, custom keyed locks, ceramic coatings, and a wide range of other accessories that any truck owner may use or need on their vehicle. From Adams Polishes to Husky Liners, we’ll look at what works and what does not. GM Official Accessories: GM is upping their game and offering lots of performance and visual accessories right from the dealership. We opened up a parts account and immediately started buying. How do these products perform? Are they worth the price? We'll let you know
Help Us Out! What Do You Want?
Do you want a particular product reviewed? Can't decide on a truck safe? Or confused about Ceramic Coatings? Let us know! We’ll do our best to review anything we can on Project Trail Beast. Do you work for a company who has a product you’d like us to look at? We can do that too.
It's time to get installing. We have a fat pile of accessories we've already started to work on. Each product, each experience, we'll share with you. Stay tuned for more updates on Project Trail Beast.
Hey guys, I want to work on my truck and upgrade it but i dont know what i should do. What are some things you have done to your engine and drive train to enhance performance and add durability?
*I drive a 2014 LTZ 5.3
So I tried searching in the forum and I'm not sure if it's working right, but I only found one post that addressed this, but the OP I guess gave up on it. I apologize if this post is a repeat.
I have a 2015 Sierra 1500 AT and I love everything about it.... except a couple of things I'm working on adding (leveling kit (done), larger tires (done), trailer brake, wireless charger, any mods I can do to the touch screen, etc.). One of those would be a trailer brake control. I would really like to avoid having to use an aftermarket switch, but in doing the research, the wiring harness in the truck won't allow for the addition of the factory module and I don't want to have to try to figure out how to reprogram the ECU to show up on the dash. So, I have to go aftermarket. I purchased the Hopkins Insight controller to try to avoid having the bulky box near my legs but got to thinking how I can adapt the factory switch (which I ordered) to work with the Hopkins controller.
First issue, there's a third button for the Hopkins that the OEM module doesn't have, which isn't a big deal, I can figure that one out.
Second, and main issue, is the rheostat or slider switch. I will end up doing some testing on it but I wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with this or might know where I can find the specifications or diagrams for both the OEM switch and the Hopkins. My goal is to hide as much of this aftermarket install as I can, minus the display and third button.
@pgamboa I thankfully stumbled upon your videos awhile back and was wondering where you obtained your electrical connectors? I want to be able to attach the factory switch as clean as possible and wanted to try to find the right connectors.
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
Here is a quick rundown of some accessory products for GM trucks we found exciting at this year’s SEMA show and hope to try out ourselves on our long-term tester Silverado.
Lund Aeroskin Bug Deflector
Josh eyed the Aeroskin bug deflector at the Lund booth. New Hampshire has its fair share of bugs and our new 2019 Silverado would look great with a form-fitting bug deflector. We also have a lot of salt and sand on our roads and highways. This product looks like it will keep the leading edge of the Silverado’s hood from being pitted and scored.
Lock’er Down Extreme Console Safes
If you follow GM-Trucks.com you know we have a bit of a thing for under seat storage lockers and other types of security products. The Lock’er Down extreme console safe looks great. It has optional gun magnets for just twenty bucks if that’s your thing.
These are just two of the many great new products for Silverado, Sierra, Canyon, and Colorado. For a full list of the product category winners check out the SEMA list here.
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