Sometimes a truck just isn’t big enough for the task at hand. Normally, that would be a matter for a car salesman, but sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. With his 2016 GMC Sierra Denali, Scott Beckstead needed a bigger truck to accommodate his family and his scout troop. Did I say bigger? What I meant to say was longer.
It all started with the need to fit more bodies into his vehicle. Scott has a family of seven, and most trucks can fit six at the most. Seemingly having no other option than to get a second vehicle, he decided to do something a little (okay, a LOT) unorthodox: stretch the truck out and make it a six-door behemoth. Scott lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and knew about a shop in nearby Centerville that specialized in body and bed extensions. Brian Wood is the owner of Custom Solutionz, Inc. and StretchMyTruck.com. The general manager of the shop, Riley Gold, spoke to us and gave us the lowdown on how this feat of engineering is pulled off.
The very first thing they do is purchase another duplicate cab that matches the original truck. They cut the front of the donor truck off, cut the back of the original truck off, and do a whole heap of custom body work and fabrication to line the cabs up straight and graft them together. The next step is to make a custom-built center door that has the front contour of a rear door and the rear contour of a front door. Riley says, “We basically cut each door in half and then swap the front and back so that the body lines all match up.” They get the body work in place to make sure it all fits, then pour fiberglass molds of the new custom truck door. That way they can replicate it if there’s ever an insurance issue, if the truck gets damaged, or if we get that exact same truck for a build in the future. Next, they pull parts out of it and build a thin metal structure out of aluminum to serve as a mount for wiring and such. They put together door harnesses and tie them in with the interior harness. Finally, they have custom laminated glass built for Fords, Chevys and Dodges, depending on what year they are.
“The difference between what we do and what other guys do is they just add metal onto the existing rear door and then just bolt on a rear door and leave it,” Riley says. “We didn’t want to do that because the body lines and the window lines don’t line up and don’t look factory. When we do it, we build a custom center door from scratch and make it from the ground up to fit exactly as it should instead of modifying something to make it fit. We just make something that fits to begin with.”