This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue.
Chelsey Hennig of McKellar, Ont., has a Duramax background that dates back to 2010 when she bought a mid-2007 Silverado with an LMM Duramax. That truck was featured at SEMA in 2012 and gained lots of popularity in the industry, as it was supported by many brands. It had such mods as a 10-inch suspension lift, 40-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers, and a 5-inch MBRP Turbo-Back Exhaust with a 6-inch tip. She named it Girlymaxx. However, she sold it in 2013 because she ultimately wanted more performance gains that Girlymaxx couldn’t achieve. Shortly after that, she bought a 2008 6.4L Power Stroke, which she was able to easily modify up to 600hp. She sold her 6.4L in December of 2015 to avoid imminent oil cooler failure, and that’s when she bought her dream truck, a very clean 2006 GMC Sierra LBZ Duramax with less than 80,000 miles on it.
Looks, Mods, and Upgrades
You’ll be amazed when you see the outside of this truck. “A literal ‘old man special’ or ‘unicorn,’ never winter-driven and always taken care of,” Hennig says. She loved how clean this truck was when she first bought it, but when she drove it in wintry conditions once, she realized she made a huge mistake. Winter driving completely ruined the looks of the truck for her, because plowing crews in Ontario use a compound of salt and brine for clearing the roads. Since then, she has never winter-driven it again. It can look ugly when the compound gets kicked up onto your truck. She’s actually continuing the truck’s previous lifestyle, as the prior owner never drove it during the winter. This truck features a 6-inch Rough Country suspension lift, 20x10 Fuel Lethal wheels custom-wrapped in purple 35-inch Cooper STT Pro tires, custom badges, a color-matched front end, AFE intake, MBRP Exhaust with a 4-inch down-pipe, custom powder coating, Anzo headlights and taillights, and EFI Live with the DSP5 switch tuning by Canadian Diesel Online.
The truck is an SLE trim, but Hennig recently revamped the entire interior with full leather and aftermarket heated seats. She also made the inside look more like that of an SLT trim by installing heating controls, steering wheel controls, and heated rear glass from that trim. The only non-SLT feature it doesn't have is the Bose speaker set and 6-disc CD changer.
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For the Love of Diesel
Hennig mostly uses her truck for hauling her dirt bike; she races in women’s motocross. She loves how her LBZ looks and performs while hauling her motocross. Of course, the LBZ has more than enough power, but it’s most convenient to use a full-size pickup to carry such a bike around. Other than that, she simply uses the vehicle for daily driving. At this point, she simply doesn’t see herself driving anything other than a diesel. We can all understand from her that once you’re used to that extra dose of power and the higher ride height, you’ll never want to drive a smaller, non-diesel vehicle again. When you drive any lifted diesel like hers, you feel empowered on the road, both literally and figuratively.
“I like to call my LBZ Girlymaxx 2.0,” Hennig says. “This truck is incredibly clean and fully loaded. Some people have given me comments saying, ‘Why didn't you keep your LMM?’ ‘Why did you buy a 10 year old truck?’ Stuff like that. When I sold my 6.4, I knew what I wanted: a clean, low-mileage LBZ and after a few months of searching, I found it. The LBZ is my dream truck; no DPF, no DEF, and an incredibly reliable engine. I love my truck!” Many might think that older engines are more reliable because of no DPF or DEF, and that’s definitely true with Chelsey’s truck. Of course, we all know how much of a hassle emissions systems are to maintain.
Currently, as it’s been snowing in Ontario late this fall and now that it’s winter, Hennig hasn’t done much with her truck while it’s in storage. However, she has taken her fog lights apart to install LED Concepts Halo rings in them. In January, Hennig also put together an enhanced hands-free sound system to make driving more safe and convenient. It’s a full touch-screen system with Clarion navigation and Apple CarPlay; she plans to install it in the truck when the snow melts. Vehicles as old as 2006 didn’t come with hands-free systems as options from the factory, but you can always buy an aftermarket system, and it never hurts to install one. When the weather gets warmer, she plans to do more motor work, including installation of a larger turbo from BD Diesel (either a Powermax or a Supermax), and an MBRP down-pipe.
Staying True to Values
We can now understand it’s clear that Chelsey doesn’t want to give this truck up and is very optimistic about keeping it running nicely for many years to come. “It's one of those trucks where, in 20 years, I want it to be just as clean as it was in 2006,” says Hennig. Let’s not blame her; if you had a 2006 that was so clean, wouldn’t you want it to stay that way? Although Hennig truthfully finds a diesel unnecessary overall, she’s become so accustomed to the diesel life that she never wants to drive a gas vehicle again. If you store your truck for the winter and only use it during warm weather, you’ll probably get longer life out of it.
BD Diesel Performance
Canadian Diesel Online
LED Concepts Lighting
Rough Country Suspension Systems