The explosion in popularity of sport trucks can be traced directly to the introduction of the sleek and decidedly modern-looking (at the time) '88 Chevy Silverado pickup. When the '88 model was introduced, Chevy took the wind right out of Ford and Dodge's respective sails, and it would be years before they would recover with new body styles for their own trucks. So, 1988 was a banner year for Chevy truck owners, and since then, the aftermarket has bent over backward to provide all manner of styling and power upgrades for this popular pickup. The Silverado's body has changed many times over since then, but the smooth fascia and sculpted body lines of the '88-'98 models (and up to 2000 model-year for Tahoe and dualie models) still make these trucks viable candidates for customization. With the amount of aftermarket support available, you can still build one of these trucks into a respectable street-stomper, show-stopper, or heavy hauler.
Since Chevy revamped not only the body styling of the Silverado but also the powertrain choices during the last decade, the used truck market has exploded with owners looking to unload their older trucks in an effort to pick up a newer model. In short, it's become a buyer's market. We routinely see guys taking as little as five G's for a loaded '96 Silverado extended cab with a lift kit and custom rolling stock already installed. In many cases, the cost of the modifications is all some owners are looking to regain when parting with their once-precious ride. Put simply, you can come across a steal of a deal on one of these trucks without looking too hard. Now for the not so great news. These trucks do have their fair share of problems, which around the office we like to refer to as gremlins. We call them gremlins because 9 out of 10 owners cop to having most if not all of these problems with their Chevys. Annoyances like dash gauges that fluctuate for no apparent reason, slow-acting power windows, and fuel pumps that go out every 30,000 miles are just a few of the most common. We've also seen quite a few trucks that go through right rear taillight bulbs like a fat kid at a doughnut shop.
When we went used truck shopping for a good tow vehicle, we did so with the knowledge that at some point we'd have to fix some or all of these problems. After doing the math, though, we still found these trucks to be an excellent deal. With 110,000 miles on the odometer now, ours has begun to show its skin and the gremlins have begun to attack. Thankfully, we've avoided servicing the truck at the dealer by making the repairs ourselves and sourcing the parts through CK Resto. Here's a look at some of the fixes we've made to our '96 Chevy 3500 Crew Cab dualie.