2006 GMC Duramax
Janette Wike has always been interested in hot rods and fast things. And she’s always up for a good race. So when she bought her GMC Duramax in 2006, it was a natural progression to figure out how to make it go faster and look cooler.
Janette came by this obsession with fast and fancy cars naturally. “My mom worked for General Motors for 30 years,” she explained. “She and my dad always had something cool in the driveway.”
Janette also had an older brother with friends always around working on doing something to the engines in their cars. “I actually married my brother’s best friend who was a total gearhead, so I’ve always been around it all my life,” she said.
“My husband (Sean) really got me into trucks. He had a super awesome collection of ‘62-‘72 Chevy trucks when I met him and we just had a ton in common. I knew right away he was totally the guy for me, not just because he was into fast rides but because he was a super bad ass just like myself.”
Together, they decided to turn their passion for trucks into a business.
“We just recently started getting in the diesel industry,” Janette explained. “My husband really likes working on trucks—adding more horsepower and changing them up. I am more into being different. I like having something that nobody else has.”
Although it was her husband’s idea to open their own diesel shop, Janette sort of likes the idea of being the owner and “boss lady” of Wacko’s Kustom’z Diesel Performance Shop in Grove City, PA. They also both also have regular 9-5 jobs besides the diesel shop.
The concept of Wacko’s Kustom’z was to take older pickups and reconstruct them doing motor swaps with diesel engines and making custom trucks.
The Wikes own several trucks (the count now might be up to 12), four being diesels. Janette owns her 2006 GMC Sierra AKA “Big Black” (which she parks during the cold, harsh Pennsylvania winters), and also a 2010 custom shortbed Chevy Silverado which she drives year-round. Sean owns a 2002 Chevy Silverado six-speed and a 2006 Chevy Silverado (the shop truck).
“But we’re in the process of our latest build, my 1971 shortbed stepside motor swap with an LBZ Duramax,” she said.
Modifying trucks has become a passion. “Stock sucks,” she explained. “Why wouldn’t you modify?”
The list of modifications on her 2006 GMC has gotten quite long. “We bought it off the lot and basically started cutting away, she said. “A straight axle swap was the first thing on the list.”
From there Janette added 37-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ tires, 20- x 10-inch Sota Off-road Wheel's, Custom 8-inch suspension lift by Wacko's Kustom'z, SAS Dana 60 Front w/ Dana Lok 3:73 gears, Fox remote reservoir shocks, EFI Live tuned by Idaho Rob of ADP. ERG delete, PCV re-route, Magna-Flow 4-inch dual outlet exhaust, 3-gauge cluster including rail pressure, boost & pyrometer, Fass Fuel System, S&B Air box and Filter.
And she’s not done yet. Still to come will be twin turbos.
“I always knew with my kids getting older I wanted a 2-door single cab. Something different,” she said. “And since Chevy never made that an option in a Duramax, we were definitely going to do it so we took out the torches and began cutting.
The mods she’s done on the 2010 Silverado shortbed include: 35-inch M/T Fierce Attitude Tires, Motor Metal black 962 Wheels, 6-inch lift, Fass Fuel System, S&B Air Box & Filter, EFI Live tuned by Wacko's Kustom'z, Magna-Flow 4-inch dual outlet and Custom pink interior accents.
Although this project is also in the works, Janette is not sure what’s next … although a cool custom paint job is being considered. Something that can give it a “one-of-a-kind” look.
Although Janette admits she spends “way too much time and expense to measure,” sometimes you just do things because it brings you pleasure. And adding horsepower and creating a unique look is one thing that brings her pleasure.
Also, Janette enjoys working with Sean on these unique builds. “My husband is mostly the mastermind behind all our builds,” she said. “He knows everything when it comes down to it … but that doesn’t mean I’m afraid to get my hands dirty and offer my opinions. Like I said before, I like something that nobody else has, I like to be different so I make sure that always happens.”
Janette explained that Wacko’s Kustom’z is a family business and the employees who work there are just like family. “They are always there whenever we need them. They are always willing to help and pitch in when we ask.”
Sometime down the road (hopefully in the near future) Janette and her team at Wacko’s Kustom’z would love to participate in a SEMA build.
“I have never been to Vegas for SEMA but I know that sometime here in the near future I’m gonna get there,” she said. “Being a female in the diesel industry and having a build at SEMA is a lifelong dream of mine. You don’t see very many females involved and if I can do anything to change that that would be great. If you’re ever in the PA area, stop by and say hello, and check out our latest builds on our Facebook page.”