In this fantastic episode, Lightning fulfills one of his dreams by hosting Jake McKiddie of Phat Phabz, while the crew welcomes Dave Graham as the newest member of The Truck Show Podcast. Proudly sponsored by Nissan, in association with Banks Power, this is The Truck Show Podcast.



The following transcription of The Truck Show Podcast was generated using a speech recognition software, and will contain errors. Please review the timestamp and listen to the corresponding audio for accuracy. 

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Jay “Lightning” Tilles (0s):

Holman, I cannot express to you how excited I am for the guest on this truck. Show Podcast.

Sean P. Holman (6s):

Hey Lightning, how excited are you?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (11s):

That excited?

Sean P. Holman (14s):

Thank God we don’t sit across from each other. I, don, if anybody has seen the podcast, dude, you know, we have a long table in the middle and I’m at, I just filled all of it. I’m on one end. Well, it’s not very wide. I’m on one end of the table and you’re on the other end of the table offset from each other. So there’s no danger of an HR incident, right? Happening. I mean at least not from that. It’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33s):

Short, but at least it’s thin. Right,

Sean P. Holman (36s):

Right. Well that’s like, oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38s):

Dang it. All, right? Well I’m, it’s, I’m

Sean P. Holman (40s):

Very excited. And it. Apparently also a spring I don know

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42s):

What to,

Sean P. Holman (43s):

Alright, I feel like this is a horrible way to get into the show, but welcome back to The Truck. Show Podcast. This is episode 300 and something and we’re excited for

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (52s):

Keeping exact count.

Sean P. Holman (53s):

You’re right. ’cause we got an awesome guest tonight. But we also have another awesome guest tonight that we wanna introduce you to. And we also have a bunch of five star hotlines from you guys. And so we, we gonna, we’re gonna cover all of that and more on this episode of The Truck. Show Podcast. But not before we think our presenting sponsor. Nissan. If you’re looking for a new truck, put Nissan on the list. Go for a test drive at your local Nissan dealer. And to find out more, go to Nissan where you can build and price a frontier, A Titan, a Titan xd. The Titans have the industry’s best five year, 100,000 mile warranty. And by the way, Lightning the Frontier. Yes. Full NMO build. Was that the L Auto Show in the OVR?

Sean P. Holman (1m 34s):

I guess we’re calling the OVR Landing Outpost. And It is sick. Who built it? Nissan. It’s an a NMO

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 41s):

Built, it’s an actual NMO in-House

Sean P. Holman (1m 42s):

Built. Yeah. It has NMO tent NMO lights on it. Really? Dude. Super cool. Yeah. Are,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 46s):

Have you shared any of this on our gram? Yeah,

Sean P. Holman (1m 49s):

Absolutely. So if you go to Truck Show Podcast, you can see some of the cool vehicles that we found over at the LA Auto Show and in our 25,000 square foot OVR mag booth.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 59s):

Are you just showing off? Yes. Is that, is that humble brag?

Sean P. Holman (2m 1s):

That was not humble at all.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 2s):

No, it wasn’t. Congrats on the OVR booth. I’ve heard good things about it. That’s a pretty big accomplishment, I gotta say. And for those of you that don’t know, if you don’t live in la, which many of you don’t, the LA Auto Show is huge. I mean there is the New York Auto Show, the Chica, what is Detroit Auto Show? Chicago. Chicago. The, all the big ones. This is one of the big ones. Yep. And there’s debuts anyway. Like, so OVR Magazine, which is j bitty just a few months ago, year ago. And now is, you’re grown outta your own britches.

Sean P. Holman (2m 29s):

Let’s hope so. Yeah. No, we had a, it was a, a crazy good show. We’ve got some stuff we’re working on for next year already, which is super, super freaking exciting. But yeah, we had something like 31 or two overlanding vehicles on the main show floor. This was the first time of the LA Auto Show in 116 years that they’ve had a non OE on the main floor.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 49s):


Sean P. Holman (2m 49s):

Kidding. And they chose us. Couldn’t be happier. We had a, a great time. And

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 53s):

We also wanna thank Banks Power who make an incredible monster exhaust system for Holman. Yes, it’s right. Your 2018 to 2023 Jeep Wrangler jl, both three six naturally aspirated and two liter turbo. It sounds great. It’s half the weight of the stock system. It’s half the sides of the stock system. Stainless steel. And it’s a high tuck high clearance as part of the monster exhaust. It includes the monster muffler, which, which has a really great authoritative growl without any drone at highway speed. So we’ve already installed ’em on a bunch of three sixes and two Ohs And. it And it really makes the two oh sound a lot better than it does ’cause the two’s kind of weenie. Wouldn’t you admit I mean it sounds kinda like a vacuum cleaner.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 35s):

That’s what I mean by weenie. Yes. All. right. Go to Banks, type in your year, make and model and find the Jeep exhaust for your rig.

2 (3m 47s):

The truck show. We’re gonna show you what we know. We’re gonna answer What? The truck, because truck with the truck show. We have the Lifted, we have the lowered and everything in between. We’ll talk about trucks that run on Diesel and the ones that run on gasoline. The truck show. The truck show. The truck show. Whoa, whoa.

3 (4m 18s):

It’s the truck show with your hosts. Lightning and Holman.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 24s):

Alright. Holman. I have wood I mean, I, I don’t like to brag. Brag. Is that what But I mean? It seems like a, a really weird way to get into an interview. The thing is, I have wanted to talk to Jake McKiddie for six years now and I don’t know why I haven’t Oh no, I do know why I asked twice and he said no. Oh, you did ask. He never told me that you asked. No, I I sent them messages when we first started and they said no. Why no, I think what happened And don don’t think that or he said, not now. I don’t think Jake’s gonna cop to this All. right. Are you gonna call him out? No, I’m not. But, but I think listen to you big words. Maybe I will. I don’t know. We’ll see. When do we get him on the phone? I’ll call him out, out on it. I think, I think what happened is that we know so many people now, like we have like one degree of separation.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 10s):

I think he heard that our show’s legit after 300 and however many episodes. I would hope we were legit at this point. And I think enough of his customers are our fans. Okay. That they said, you, you need to do this if they call and I called and he said, I’m in. I’m like, okay, we’ll talk to you tonight. So for people who don’t know the company, we’re gonna call us Phat Phabz. And we’ve had their show truck customers who are owners of those vehicles on the, on the show before. I’ve been thinking all day about this, how can we tell people who don’t get what they are, who they are? And I think I have it. You’re in love with Roadster shop. These guys are the Roadster Shop of the Body Drop community. I like that analogy.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 50s):

Does that make sense? Absolutely. It’s like if you’re a hot rod guy, you’re gonna have this pro touring chassis set up for whatever drive a, these guys do that quality of work

Sean P. Holman (5m 57s):

May be better, but for body dropping trucks and laying them out on the ground as low as they can go and they build the whole truck, the floors, the chassis, everything. So that other than it being completely slammed, it looks like it came outta the factory that way.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 14s):

That’s what I love is that I can’t find any flaws with any of their builds. And don don’t know. Let’s, let’s get Jake on the phone if you don’t mind.

5 (6m 30s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 31s):

Is this one Mr. Jake? McKiddie. It’s Lightning and Holman truck. Show Podcast.

5 (6m 36s):

Hello. Yeah, that’s me.

Sean P. Holman (6m 38s):

What’s going on?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 40s):

We have wanted to speak to you. I Lightning have wanted to speak to you Jake for over six freaking years. And I don’t know what’s taken us this

Sean P. Holman (6m 50s):

Long. I I know it, I know it’s been taking so long. What? Apparently you reached out to him in our early years and he told you no. Is that true?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 56s):

Jake? I think that did happen. Jake. Do you recall turning me down over Instagram?

5 (7m 1s):

No, I don’t recall that at all.

Sean P. Holman (7m 2s):

Oh, you don’t really?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 4s):

No. Really. He’s blocking me out. He’s dusting the, the bad, the ugly memories. Yeah. Right.

Sean P. Holman (7m 11s):

Alright. We

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 11s):

Have a lot to talk to you about I

5 (7m 12s):

Don. Barely remember what I ate yesterday. Much less what happened years ago.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 16s):

Exactly. All. right. We have a quick intro. Don’t move Jake. Hang tight. Here

3 (7m 19s):

We go. Truck famous, hero star. VIP Ace, big wave. Hot shot truck. Famous Big shot. Big deal. Big gut, big cheese. Heavyweight, superstar truck. Famous. That’s what you are.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 35s):

So Jake, you are truck famous, whether you like it or not. Did you, when, when you started lowering trucks, did you ever think that your name would really, really mean something important to the scene?

5 (7m 47s):

No, I don’t, I don’t think I ever went into it. I was gonna be somebody or do something, you know, it was just, back then, it was just something that you wanted to do it, you know, it was fun. It’s, it’s nothing. It’s today where it’s a business and a reputation and everything else. It was, it was just, you know, what you wanted to do

Sean P. Holman (8m 9s):

And then you just happened to be really freaking good at it, apparently.

5 (8m 13s):

Well, I, it’s not just me, you know, I did it by myself for many years. But, but building a, a team that specializes in their own little thing, you know, your sheet metal guys, your frame guy, your part guy. It, it takes a team to be able to, to, to build these trucks day in and day out.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (8m 32s):

So before we hopped on the phone, Jake Holman here, put it in perspective, he said, made a comparison. And I wanna see how you feel about this, that Phat Phabz and,

Sean P. Holman (8m 42s):

And Hold on before you give him the comparison. If you don’t like this comparison, actually Lightning said it and if you do like it, then I definitely said it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (8m 52s):

He, he said that Phat Phabz is the Roadster Shop of the Body dropped Truck World. How do you, does how does that make you feel?

5 (9m 2s):

I I mean I’m not mad at it. Okay.

Sean P. Holman (9m 5s):

All right then, then And. it was my idea. That was definitely me.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9m 9s):

The thing is Jake is that we have seen countless Phat Phabz trucks, whether it’s LST or Float truck meat or wherever they are. And they’re always flawless. And they look like, as Holman said a few minutes ago, they came off the production line at gm, you know, they’re like, since wind is there a, a body drop Sierra 3,500 hd. Like,

Sean P. Holman (9m 34s):

So that was one of the things that for me, that I’ve seen several of your trucks in, in person, well many over the years, I mean dating all the way back to, you know, when I was doing Truckin Magazine stuff and things like that. But what I’ve always been amazed with is the quality and the build is imperceptible from what you would get at the factory. Whether it’s something as simple as the interior trim or dorsal plate, even though the body is, you know, six inches or, or the floor is six inches higher than it was or whatever. It, everything just comes together and, and looks like it was originally built that way. And to me that is such a, a hard thing to do.

5 (10m 9s):

Yeah. That’s I mean. And that’s, that’s where you’re I mean. You can go down a rabbit hole as far as, you know, speaking about that there, there’s, there’s, you know, trying to make a truck a pure factory, but lowered. and then you got all the other guys, which are mostly mini truckers, I guess you’d say, that are upset that they’re all cookie cutter trucks or, or you know, whatever the, whatever the case is, they’re saying there’s no body mods to ’em. There’s, you’re not going that deep into it. But a lot of those guys don’t realize what it takes to do. One of these new trucks are body mods. They just don’t, they don’t see ’em.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 41s):

Well, So I, I wanna give some some perspective here. You have been the first to drop some of the newest Duramax platforms where you have to, you have a, a Diesel particulate filter to contend with. You have, you’ve done the first tundra that I’m aware of, the new body style tundra you’ve done. All the first guys are taking, they’re buying a brand new version. The latest model, like the la the first new tundra the guy could get his hands on. He basically delivers to you with no miles or there have been a lot of those type of vehicles that you get with zero miles on straight from the dealership lot. And the guy’s like, this has been my dream to be the first guy on the planet with this truck on the ground and you are the guy to hack into it.

5 (11m 25s):

I feel like that’s been happening a lot since 2013. Whenever I built that 2014 Chevy Seima back then, that was, it seemed like it really took off then, you know, it it’s been the, the newest body style or of almost every make. We can’t say that we, we can’t claim that we’ve gotten all of them, but we’ve gotten quite a few of them. Of every brand new body style And it harder and harder and harder to do with the modules and the wiring and, and, and trying to make everything happy to go down the road. It’s, it’s proven to be quite the bit difficult.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 0s):

And I would imagine Costco’s up too, which we’ll get to in, in a minute here. I wanna rewind the clock a little bit. How did you get into this? Were you, were you a mini trucker? Were you a sport truck guy? And how did you start this company? And again, it was just you in a small shop and were, were you always in Choctaw, Oklahoma? Yeah. Tell us your background. I was

5 (12m 20s):

Born and raised here in Choctaw. Being a, a kid in high school, I worked at McDonald’s. That was my first job. You know, a lot of people will be ashamed of that. And I I mean It is because I worked at McDonald’s. I made $5 and 25 cents an hour. I think it was minimum wage at the time. But the local shop at the time was Jimmy Broyles. It was, it was Auto Trends, which was a big name back in the, in early two thousands. And

Sean P. Holman (12m 44s):

Huge name. Yeah. I

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 45s):

I home, I remember seeing Were there ads for Auto Trends or

Sean P. Holman (12m 48s):

Yeah, yeah, I’m pretty sure I mean we, yeah, there’s a, I’m sure yeah, all the shows I mean that was like, oh, it’s the latest Auto Trends build, right. I mean it was a big deal. Yeah.

5 (12m 55s):

Yeah. They were in there rolling in a club called Pleasures, really big car club, lot of quality rides. So me coming up into this, being 16 years old, I remember specifically it was $3,800 to bag your truck. It didn’t matter what it was. Mini truck, full size, whatever, it’s $3,800 And. it

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 14s):

Sounds to me like a, in high school, remember Earl Shive, I’ll paint any car for 99, 99 Earl Shive. Like they’re doing any bag drop for 3,800 bucks. That’s funny.

5 (13m 24s):

Yeah. Yeah. So the, me being in high school, I didn’t, I don’t even think I had $38 in my bank account, much less 3,800 So I. I couldn’t do it. I had a little less 10. I was a mini trucker. Don’t like to admit that a whole lot, but yeah, whatever. Well, no,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 37s):

Well, what we, we have to tell you that on this show, we have found that seven outta 10 times we’re talking to people who are important to the industry today. And

Sean P. Holman (13m 47s):

Guess where they started?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 47s):

Guess where they started? They’re all mini truckers. They were, when you, like from a, from Finnegan to like all these, or to, to builders, shop owners, manufacturers, they all, and some of the guys you wouldn’t even expect like guys at oe, they were mini truckers back in the day. So I. I, that is nothing to be embarrassed of.

5 (14m 5s):

No, I I’m not saying I’m embarrassed of it, you know that that’s the roots, that’s the, the history, the story, everything else It is just today I’m like, Ugh, mini don don’t, I don’t fit in one much less. You want one anymore. So it, you know, you grow up and you have a little bit better or you know, higher end taste, you know, a full size, any type of full size over a mini truck to me. But no, I’m, I’m not embarrassed of of mini trucks or, or anything like that. It, all the guys at the shop gimme, because I, I tell ’em all the time, you know, I, I turn my nose up to a mini truck and almost every one of ’em has a damn mini truck. So they gimme a lot of crap about it at the shop and I’ll get off track all damn day long. But we like

Sean P. Holman (14m 40s):

That. That’s, that’s how the show rolls by the way.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14m 41s):

We got plenty of time. We got plenty of time for you my friend. We waited a long time each on the phone.

5 (14m 46s):

My, my dad had a welder in his garage, And, it was one year for my birthday. They ordered, I asked them for an airbag kit for the front or whatever the case was and, and ended up bagging my little less 10 in their garage. And next thing you know, I’m tooting around this pile of junk that’s hacked up. You know, it, it’s hacked up and you know, ’cause we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. and then you see another guy, you meet another guy that has an S 10, he is like, oh, I want that done. I’m like, yeah man, I can do that. So then we hack up his truck together, you know, probably charge a guy 200 bucks to do this, you know, and I ruined his truck and then guess what? He has a buddy that wants it done. And then it just turned into word of mouth.

5 (15m 26s):

And that’s how the business got started.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 29s):

At what point did you actually open, you know, get a thousand square feet enough to fit a couple of trucks in and, you know, welder and chop saws and all that stuff?

5 (15m 37s):

Yeah, So I probably ran outta my parents’ garage for man, probably three or four years, five years, maybe longer until I finally actually got a shop in town. I was probably 15 minutes away, right off the, right off five 40 and actually had a shop there and I think I was there for five years and then ended up moving in to a bigger shop back behind that. I moved in with a painter buddy of mine named Charles. We ended up having to shop together for another three, four or five years until I decided I was gonna slow down. I didn’t wanna do this anymore. ’cause I still had a full-time job throughout all this where I was driving an 18 Wheeler. And I would just work nights and weekends, dude,

Sean P. Holman (16m 17s):

The air. That’s insane. What, what were you an over the road or was it a last mile delivery job or?

5 (16m 22s):

I was a local truck driver that picked up, used coconut oil and I went to restaurants. Oh, interesting. Okay. And yeah, So, it, I always smelled

Sean P. Holman (16m 30s):

Like french fries.

5 (16m 32s):

Yeah, like french fries,

Sean P. Holman (16m 32s):

Like old, old french fries.

5 (16m 35s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 35s):

Not didn particularly bad, by the way. So I

Sean P. Holman (16m 37s):

By the way. I’m not, I’m, I’m not even kidding. I Lightning has a bag of McDonald’s in here right now. So listen full of french fries and I can smell. So it’s almost like a smell of cast because as you’re talking about that I can smell the fry oil.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 52s):

Yep. Would you stop

Sean P. Holman (16m 53s):

Digging in the bag?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 54s):

Huh? I got a fry left.

Sean P. Holman (16m 55s):

Oh geez. It’s all cold and soggy. It is a little bit, A little bit, yeah, no, it tastes good

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 60s):

Until it’s like cold, then it’s

Sean P. Holman (17m 2s):

Back. It’s gotta be close.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (17m 3s):

It’s, it’s not, it’s not

Sean P. Holman (17m 4s):

Particularly great. It’s not great. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (17m 8s):

So you’re, you’re rolling around, picking up everyone’s cooking oil, hauling it, some kind of interesting tanker truck. And and where is the jump off point where you say, I can do this full time. I have enough clients or what is that tipping point?

5 (17m 22s):

Yeah, so I, I moved away from the city and, you know, I met my wife, we settled down. We, we, we moved back to Choctaw to put my daughter through the same schools that I went through. And that was me trying to slow down out here. don don’t remember how many years it was. I just worked in a 60 by 40 next to the house. And then the company that I worked for ended up selling out to like a, a large company that was just all corporate. And me and that company didn’t see eye to eye. I think this was probably 20 14, 20 15. And that was when the point where I walked away and said, well, I’m gonna regret if I don’t ever try this full time. So at that point I went self-employed and have never gone back.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (18m 3s):

And what was the first build that put you on the map? Was it that 14? Was it Silverado or GMC or was there something before that?

5 (18m 12s):

2010. I took my first truck to SEMA. I’d been going to SEMA since probably 2006. And then finally built it. It, it was a truck that was lifted. It was on the cover of Truckin. It was red, had planes down the side. I don’t remember it. I had it lifted. It was, it was, it was probably nine, 10 feet tall in the air. Holy back up and ended up pulling all that chassis out from under it. Built a chassis and put it all the way underground on 24. So that, that was more or less the, that got me triggered, I guess you’d say, to, to build more. So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (18m 45s):

The fact that you put it up in the air and then went to SEMA with it and then slammed it, like,

5 (18m 51s):

Yeah, well it, it didn’t go to SEMA lifted. I, I got the truck in a trade. It was already lifted whenever I got it. But taking a truck that was Monster Truck Sky High and then lowering it was, to me, I, I thought that was pretty cool. And then it was pro charged and all kinds of fun stuff back then, but,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19m 10s):

And what was the first truck that someone brought you brand new that you looked at and said, are you sure? Like, this has zero miles on it?

5 (19m 21s):

I think it was my own truck. It was that, that 2014 Chevy back in 2013 that I was, I put a feeler out on the severed ties page. I’ve been in severe ties for since 2006 as well, I think. But there,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19m 33s):

So, you know, know Brett Oak, you know Brett Oaks then.

5 (19m 36s):

Oh, I’m not gonna admit that. Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19m 39s):

Oh, wow. Well Brett’s been on the show. So I.

Sean P. Holman (19m 42s):

Brett would make sure he would never admit to knowing us either. So, it, it’s fine. That is

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19m 46s):

Entirely possible. Yes. Brett’s told us stories that we had to edit out, let’s put it

Sean P. Holman (19m 50s):

That way. so we, yeah, we’re like, oh, oh hey, you know, this goes out in the world. Right. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19m 54s):

He, but dude, Brett was on like, when we were in the old studio over in Anaheim, like, what’s that, two, three years ago? No, four, six years ago.

Sean P. Holman (20m 2s):

Whatcha talking about?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (20m 3s):

Is it six years ago?

Sean P. Holman (20m 4s):

It’s been five years, yeah, years.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (20m 5s):

Holy crap. I just saw Brett. So there

5 (20m 7s):

Might be a few stories with Brett that I’m involved with.

Sean P. Holman (20m 11s):

We might have those on the cutting room floor from previous podcasts just saying, look,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (20m 14s):

Don don’t know how he deals with other people. I love Brett. I think Brett’s super rad. I I have only good stories for Brett, but like, I don’t, I I didn’t hang around him with him in his mini Truckin days. I met him to a mutual friend, Steve Brown at Alpine. He was hanging around Alpine and, and we were, I was in the install bay and we just, I I I love the dude. So anyway, you were, you were doing severed ties and, and you dropped that you said what year?

5 (20m 40s):

Yeah, it was a 14. I was trying to get somebody to bring me one, I was trying to get somebody to buy it because it was a new body style in 21 because, because I really wanted to be the first one to do one of those and, and had a couple people interested, but nobody, it started getting close to the time. ’cause I think I had a seen the spot through Truckin for the, for a truck that was gonna be a new body style. And I couldn’t get anybody to bring me one So I finally just went to the dealership. They, they had started getting rebates on ’em, So I finally went to the dealership and just bit the bullet and bought one. And you know, it, it goes back to the, you know, trying to build a truck in four or five weeks back then. I, I’ve done a bunch of that crap.

Sean P. Holman (21m 22s):

That’s, that’s the one where you’re

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (21m 23s):

Like, that’s the real sea SEMA crunch.

Sean P. Holman (21m 24s):

You’ve got the, the saw all and you’re like, where do I start?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (21m 28s):


Sean P. Holman (21m 29s):

That’s probably the, the worst part,

5 (21m 32s):

The worst SEMA crunch I’ve ever done. I had two employees at the time. It was me, Kyle, and Sean. so we were still pretty small in the 60 by 40 here next to the house. And we did that brand new F-150 when they, they first came out, they were aluminum and we did that new Escalade. We did both of those in four weeks. Dang.

Sean P. Holman (21m 51s):

Start to finish. Dang. I Think we was that Escalade, the one we saw at Lone Star throw down several years ago?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (21m 56s):

Yeah. What’s the Escalade is owned by the, the Rolex jewelry salesman. What’s his name? We’ve had him on the show before. I’m spacing out. He’s got

5 (22m 2s):

He, yeah, Schulman. Yeah,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 3s):

Schulman, yeah. Yep.

5 (22m 4s):

So he he owned it at one time. Okay. He ended up rapping it. But yeah, it was, I think it was a 2015 Escalade. We built it for our buddy Carlos in New Mexico. He’s actually the same one of owned the, the 21 that I’ve got here as well. But, so that was the year my dually got stolen. We, we pulled that twin tar or I loaned my truck, I think I Think we loaned my truck to a guy named Twig that had the twin turbo Blue Tahoe that we had out there, an Acura boot that year that dually got stolen in the parking lot. so we ended up having to drive that F-150 from Vegas back to Oklahoma. Oh that, you know, we, we built it in two weeks and sent it to paint and were was forced to drive that damn truck back.

5 (22m 44s):

So. it was a good maiden voyage for guess

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 47s):

The problem is you problem is you were dealing with a guy named Twig I mean that’s your first tip right there, you know what I’m saying? Like, now wait, so you, you prove though that you could build a truck, send it to paint, get it done for SEMA and then drive it home like it was durable. It didn’t break down on the way, way back to the spot, right?

5 (23m 2s):

Yeah, yeah. I mean hell, we drove it back and then I Think we turned back around and drove it to severing the Southwest a few weeks later back in Arizona and Phoenix area.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (23m 12s):

So when you’re taking a truck and you are, you’re slamming it so it’s on air, it’s notched, it’s, or it’s a full chassis. What are the hurdles to get you, we talked about wiring, that’s, I can’t even imagine how you get past the wiring or the plumbing, right? Or the brake lines. So much of you have to consider everything like, because there’s provisions on the factory frame for all these, for for all these, these cables and pipes and tubes and such and brackets. Yeah. Are you just stripping it clean or are you starting fresh with a new chassis that you’ve designed in cad? Take us through that.

5 (23m 46s):

We’re semi up to date. We still use two dimensional software. We’re not, you know, we’re not road or shop. We don’t have that kind of money, but we still use two dimensional software. We’ll design a chassis before we ever take a vehicle apart. We’ll have, you know, the basic guidelines prior to, you know, actually work on the vehicle. But, you know, we’ll still do, you know, a lot of our suspensions carry over, you know, like our C tens and our O bss, they, they utilize pretty much the same front engine cradles, our 99 all the way up to present day half tons. They’ll use the same engine area, you know, just different upper control arms or control arm lengths and stuff like that.

5 (24m 27s):

So, you know, the hard part’s been done. It’s been fine tuned over the years to be able to reuse a lot of the, the r and DI guess you’d say.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24m 36s):

Let’s talk about the chassis specifically though. So you have, and you joked about Roadster shop, like they were doing it kind of the hard way, you know, like old school way for a really long time. And they brought in, you know, 3D magic Mike, who is a CAD genius. If you guys don’t follow Mike at, at roadster shop, you should because he’s building the most, the world’s most expensive Dotson ever Dotson pickup. And they’ve got him going there. So like that would, maybe that’s your next step is, is turning out chassis. But how, how do you, or I should say turning out chassis in mass, right? The way that they do that’s kind of become their business model, right? But how do you do them now you, you do the 2D drawings and then you, you’re welding it up, but how are you coming up with all the provisions, all the, the, the, the bracketry to hold everything that’s, you know, hung off that chassis

5 (25m 28s):

That is done old school, same way, same way. I guess what you’re saying they used to do it, it’s, you’re, you’re making brackets for every little thing that mounts to it. You know, like the, these newer one ton duallys, like the, the 20 and newer, there’s a little bit goes into those because you have to reuse the gearbox. ’cause there’s sensors in the, the gearbox. So you are integrating those tabs and everything into the front frame section and as well as the sway bar and some other stuff. So that there’s, you know, It is real primitive, but it, you know, it still can save you a ton of time by placing that into a computer, you know, rather than sketching it on, on a piece of paper or on a frame table or whatever.

5 (26m 9s):

But you know, it, to me it’s still primitive because I can, I see what’s out there and what’s available, but you know, it comes with a lot of knowledge and, and seat time as well and, and trying to learn the programs to be able to do that. It’s almost kinda intimidating to try to learn it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (26m 27s):

Well I I guess you’re kind of like a painter, right? Is that you’ve painted so many, the guys who’s, who’s painted hundreds and hundreds of cars or trucks, he just knows the subtleties, the art behind it, right? How thick to lay something down versus not or whatever. All these things like you built so many of these now CAD may or may not help you.

5 (26m 50s):

Well I don’t, I don’t think it could hurt, that’s for sure. But yeah, you know, I mean we’re, I, I don’t like the idea of saying we’re set in our ways because that means you’re not progressing, you know, with technology, the technology always, you know, you know, we always have to be trying to push everything forward, you know, especially when you’re get these newer vehicles and how much harder they are to do, you know, we’re on the verge of that point right now.

Sean P. Holman (27m 14s):

You look at on the vehicles, it’s not just the technology and the vehicles, but it’s how they build them and things such as panel gaps and tolerances are so much tighter than they used to be. The the margin for error, you know, they’re, most of ’em are, are welded by robots and they’re verified by lasers of the factory. Well you

5 (27m 31s):

Used to have the, I I wanna point out the, the, the gaps on these newer vehicles. The, the 2022 F-150. We just had SEMA. It was, it was like the cloud gray. Yeah, that guy, that owner owns a detail shop and a body shop. And when he dropped that truck off, I took about 25 pictures and sent to him and showed him every gap that was wrong on that truck. ’cause it’s aluminum, right?

Sean P. Holman (27m 54s):

Yeah, but it’s a for, so,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (27m 57s):

So there’s

5 (27m 58s):

A handicap there.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (27m 60s):


5 (28m 1s):

But I sent him all these pictures of this truck and, and stated to him, I was like, dude, like this is, this is horrendous from the factory. And, and there was somebody, somebody comment on one of our posts saying that, you know, That one door or that it was the front door on the passenger side doesn’t match the rear door. And, and you know, they’re, they’re just talking a bunch of about, you know, the truck not matching if you’re gonna spend this much money having to see him and blah blah blah blah, it should match. And the one guy says, yeah, who painted that door? And the owner guy on our page and said, Ford, Ford painted the doors.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (28m 37s):


5 (28m 37s):

Just did not match from the factory. But I’ve seen that. But later, we, later on, we, we found out that they only ran that color for one year because of the, how hard it was to match that color. It was only available in 2022. You can’t get it in a 23 or 24.

Sean P. Holman (28m 53s):

Look at a,

5 (28m 54s):

That color just doesn’t match

Sean P. Holman (28m 56s):

Billet silver on a Wrangler JL or a Ram truck and billet silver on lots of cars. They put on all sorts of stuff. If you look at it in the sun, direct sunlight, especially a, on like a low sun angle, it, they always look like they have tiger stripes as if the metallic in it didn’t spread evenly. It kind of congealed on it. And I’ve seen so many trucks from the factory with that color where the paint quality does

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 22s):

It look, look like? Does it look like the paint came out and bursts?

Sean P. Holman (29m 25s):

No, it looks like the flake came out and bursts. Oh, So it’s like flake heavy and then it’s light, then it’s flake heavy. Then it’s like, and you’ll see like a tiger stripe pattern. And I had somebody go, oh man, that thing got repainted. I’m like, no, unfortunately I’ve seen a bunch of ’em like that. And it’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 40s):

Like, it’s like the air compressor was broken, like it was pulsed as it as it was spraying the

Sean P. Holman (29m 43s):

Metallic I mean you just don’t know. I mean the, the, those, you know, a factory has certain maintenance intervals and they’re swapping paints and running, you know, only a couple colors at a time sort of a thing. And you know, there’s like, when you build a truck time of the, the panel gaps and stuff, they do like a random check where they’ve built the body and it’s welded up by the robots. But jigs move over time. So there’s certain intervals that they have to replace the tooling at the factory where it stamps out the pieces. ’cause what they’ll do is they’ll have a finished body go into like a quarantine area and they have a laser 3D scanner that scans the entire body to see if anything’s outta tolerance. So they know if the tools are wearing out, but there’s a certain amount of those that they let go by before they replace the tools because any downtime is, is lost

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 28s):


Sean P. Holman (30m 29s):

Yeah. So the cars are not the same. The one car next to the other that look identical at the car lot are always gonna have some sort of variance and tolerances depending on when it was built, where it was Bill.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 39s):

Dude, you don’t even want to talk about my TRX. I’m telling you the hood, I’ll take you out there right now. And the hood is so wonky. I was like, Oh my God. It’s depressing. It’s a quarter inch on one side and three it’s on the other. Like take,

Sean P. Holman (30m 49s):

It’s a body shop. That’s an easy fix. I mean just an alignment thing.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 52s):

I I know it’s just, but like it came that way from the factory.

Sean P. Holman (30m 54s):

Well hood’s one thing, it’s your quarter panel and your door touching and stuff. That’s,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 58s):

It’s, it’s not awful, but it’s, it’s noticeable. It’s embarrassing. So on, on your,

Sean P. Holman (31m 3s):

You should sell that

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 3s):

Thing on your nope, on your chassis. On your chassis. How much of the original, I’m looking on your homepage right now at Phat Phabz dot com by the way, we didn’t say this. P-H-A-T-P-H-A-B-Z Phat Phabz super nineties name there. Yeah.

5 (31m 17s):

That, that was, it was really cool to misspell back in 1999 you had the internet and

Sean P. Holman (31m 22s):

So you didn’t get to like a,

5 (31m 24s):


Sean P. Holman (31m 24s):

Sucks you didn’t get to like 2016 or something. Go, let’s just take out the vowels too on top of it. No dude, this, this is

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 29s):

All, this is Lincoln Park Corn, all those bands that were all misspelled, you know, like everything was

5 (31m 35s):

Yep. Yeah. And anymore, if you’re on the phone, you’re trying to give an email address or a a web address. It’s p as in Paul, H as in as as in apple. T as in it’s, they’re

Sean P. Holman (31m 44s):

Like, what? Hey, I emailed you

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 46s):

Chassis. Are you, I’m scrolling through the, the photos like you’re 91 to 2000 Chevy GMC 3,500 rear kit. It looks like you’re using a fair amount of the stock chassis. Or am I smoking crack?

5 (31m 59s):

So that, that’s, that’s probably just the rear kit that we’ve got. If you go to full frames on, on the website under the store. I see.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 6s):

There you go. Pretty much

Sean P. Holman (32m 7s):

So. it actually is Lightning smoke crack there. It

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 9s):

Is for sure. When did you start offering full chassis? Because you were building trucks for the longest time for probably over a decade, right? Yeah. And you said, oh, there’s money in parts.

5 (32m 23s):

So I. I I was never really a fan of getting into the parts, but the people or customers calling, asking, you know, they would see a truck done and they’re like, whoa, I’m across the country. Sell me that chassis or whatever the case is. So it, it turned into, hey, we should probably jig this ’cause that’s a third guy that’s called last two weeks at once, one of these. And we’re like, you know, we can make some money by doing this. So that’s how it kind of turned into a part still. And then on top of that was we were installing other manufacturer’s kits, you know, we’re paying for kits and they weren’t, let’s let’s keep this

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 2s):


5 (33m 2s):

They weren’t the greatest.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 3s):


Sean P. Holman (33m 4s):

So if you wanna say the words, so we know we

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 7s):

Promised to Bleep it out

5 (33m 8s):

Of of whose

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 11s):

No, he was saying if you wanted to drop a curse word to describe the, your competition. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (33m 15s):

Feel free. Or if you wanna name your competition either way, we, we

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 19s):

Love all that.

5 (33m 21s):

Well it, it just, it was, it was one of those deals that, that, you know, you’re tired of modifying somebody else’s parts that we just got to a point where we’re gonna design our own parts, we’re gonna do this instead, we’re gonna build our own kits that we’re installing and, and then at that point, you know, you’re building a jig to build all this stuff, you might as well offer it as a kid. So, it kind of, we kind of got thrown all into it at the same time.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 41s):

So what has been the most difficult truck to drop of all time?

5 (33m 49s):

The brand new Escalade.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (33m 51s):

Really? Okay. Because why? There’s,

5 (33m 55s):

They come with a independent rear. So you’re transitioning that and, and this, this, so man, here’s the thing. There’s, there’s the, the, the new Escalade and then we did that brand new Denali, right? So they’re, they’re very, very similar as far as what they are, but that Escalade was probably three times as hard as that Denali. We just, the Escalade just given us fits from day one. But I mean then we just drove it to SEMA and back. So it’s not, it’s not whooping as no more, but we’ve got it, we got it pretty much lined out. It’s, it’s almost a hundred percent I mean it’s a hundred percent that it runs down the highway.

5 (34m 35s):

And does I mean I I think it does 115 on the highway. I can’t confirm or

Sean P. Holman (34m 41s):

Deny that. Well, in Mexico

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (34m 42s):

It does. Right. In Mexico. He’s been told that. Right, right. He he loaned the keys to someone and they told him that he did that. Exactly. Totally fine. Right? Yeah. So that was, that was fun. So, so the Escalade and so the, the, how did you end up solving that? How far did you have to raise the floor in the back to accommodate all the links?

5 (35m 0s):

So the, it’s I mean it’s the longer version of the Escalade. So you know, it’s got its rear seats. It does not have the third row, but you know, it’s got 30 by twelves in the rear of it right now. And, and you know, the tubs are a couple inches from the window or a couple inches from the bottom window.

Sean P. Holman (35m 16s):

Are the

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (35m 16s):

Inside of the tubs touching? No, no, he’s not, he’s not dragsters. Well I mean it’s getting close

5 (35m 26s):

On all these newer body styles. The 19 and newer GMs, the bodies are so much bigger than they have been in previous years that I mean, to be honest with you, I could put a 32 on this thing And, it would still clear, or, or you could put 30 twos on it. This one’s, you know, the sheet metal’s an inch over the 30 inch tires. But the, the brand new dually, the 24 dually we just had at SEMA, I was trying to push for these Wheel manufacturers to do 32 spread as well. I can fit 30 twos in the front of that truck. Dang. They’re just, they’re so much bigger and they’re allowing for larger wheels and tires.

Sean P. Holman (35m 58s):

They almost need to have that big of a Wheel and tire. So that your kind of signature, the, the look. Well, yeah, but the, the, the signature proportion that you’ve had over the years of these big wheels tucking inside the Wheel wells, the, the trucks have gotten so much bigger and the Wheel wells are so much bigger. You, you almost need to go to that size Wheel so that the Yeah, that sort of like Phat Phabz proportion stays alive.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (36m 24s):

Well I’m look at this So, I’m gonna flip this around whole Can. you

Sean P. Holman (36m 26s):

Imagine you spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on a truck and the wheels look small when you’re done. Well, look, look,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (36m 31s):

Look at this. So this is, I was, I was thumbing through his photo gallery on Phat Phabz com,

Sean P. Holman (36m 35s):

A ram dt

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (36m 36s):

And I’m looking at, at Ram dt, right?

Sean P. Holman (36m 38s):

I’m sorry Ram DS

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (36m 39s):

So that’s fourth gen Ram, right? And so he’s got, I’m guessing those are maybe 20 twos and they look like marbles. They look like tiny little marbles in there, but they tuck

Sean P. Holman (36m 47s):

So nice. They

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (36m 48s):

Do Tuck Knight, but they just look too small by comparison. I, I noticed you don’t do all that many Rams. Is that just because your clientele hasn’t requested them? Or what is, what’s, what’s the reason?

5 (37m 0s):

Yeah, you get very few Rams or Fords, you know, the, the majority of the, the lower market’s gonna be a Chevrolet. Everybody wants the Chevrolet pickups or the, or the GM c So that, that takes up a lot of our time of doing those. So, you know, that’s our, our number one. If, if it’s, if it’s GM I mean I mean, look, what was it Dino’s, over the weekend they said there was 9,000 trucks there. Chevy only I mean that can, that you’ll never get that at, at a Ford show or a Ram show. Put Fords and Rams together, you’re not gonna get that anywhere close to it. So they’re just not as popular.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 34s):

Holman, that goes back to my theory about Ford F1 fifties So I wanted Oh. no, let’s

Sean P. Holman (37m 39s):

Ask, let’s ask Jake. Here

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 40s):

We go. Let’s ask Jake. He’s a third party, independent third party, right? So Jake, the number one truck in the world or in the country, right, is a Ford F-150 also the world and also the, and there are some that say it’s the most quote unquote modified truck, right? And I say it’s most modified because guys are bolting on roof racks and things that are for like work trucks, trucks. They they’re work trucks, right? They’re

Sean P. Holman (38m 5s):

Fleet vehicles. See, know what’s funny is you’re gonna get so much hate mail from this because this has already been adjudicated by our audience on The, Truck Show Podcast. And you are re-litigating the,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 15s):

The case I because I don.

Sean P. Holman (38m 16s):

But you’re not, but you’re, you’re qualifying it and you’re setting Jacob not with the parameters of the discussion No, but with what you want him to

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 25s):

Believe. But I, no, but I reset this and I said that from the

Sean P. Holman (38m 28s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 30s):

Listen, listen, listen. A-hole, in the very beginning, in the very beginning I said modified. and then you said, oh well what about roof racks and things like that and, and storage trades and all this stuff. I’m like, no, no,

Sean P. Holman (38m 39s):

That’s not, not what was

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 40s):

Said. I meant modifying for like no enthusiasm, automotive enthusiasm, right? You no,

Sean P. Holman (38m 45s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 45s):

Wheels, tires.

Sean P. Holman (38m 47s):

You went off a survey that included all modifications for all vehicles and then you said, no, those don’t count. I only wanna include these things. So then you became the arbiter of what was a modification? What

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 59s):

Was it? Hell, I did. Yeah, I did,

Sean P. Holman (39m 0s):

Of course. And all of these guys emailed us and said, Lightning, you’re an idiot because I’m a small business owner who has a work truck that has matching wheels to my boat that I tow. Sure. Because because

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 12s):

I That’s a minority. See there

Sean P. Holman (39m 14s):

He goes, no, no, I’m dead. That’s a qualification.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 16s):

No, but that’s but he’s telling us that dude, he’s talking about Chevy owners.

Sean P. Holman (39m 19s):

No Chevy owners No. Are telling

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 20s):

Him no. He’s the one that said it. That’s what sprung the topic. Alright, Jake, what say you do people modify more Fords or Chevys?

5 (39m 28s):

I see Chevys here, but I am from Oklahoma, which is oil field country. So you see a ton of white F1 fifties and f two fifties everywhere with grill guards, with running boards, everything else in them.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 43s):

But those are mods that people have to have to do a job not mods that

Sean P. Holman (39m 46s):

They wanna have not necessarily mods still mods.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 49s):

It’s still mod.

Sean P. Holman (39m 50s):

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jake. It’s still ah, mod Lightning that blew up in your face mother fucker.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (39m 59s):

Wow. We got home in a curse. That was awesome. Yeah. I’m gonna do it again. That was

Sean P. Holman (40m 2s):

Fun. Oh, you know what’s funny is every time you have a guest that you think will be sympathetic to your bullshit, they, they go, they turn on me, they turn on you. Do

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (40m 11s):

You know don Don’t care every time. Do you know? I don’t care at all. It’s,

Sean P. Holman (40m 14s):

It’s what I like to call podcast magic. It’s awesome.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (40m 17s):

I don’t mind at all. Listen, I believe what I believe facts be

Sean P. Holman (40m 20s):

Damned Jake. I’m sending you a $5 bill in the mail. See the difference between Lightning and I is, I’m gonna thank you for that and send you a $5 Bill. Lightning’s gonna ask when you can build him a chassis for his next truck.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (40m 33s):

I, I for free. I have, listen, I have lusted out So I have, I’ve asked some of your customers what it would cost to get into brand new truck, zero miles and, and slammed in doing the Phat Phabz work to it. And I can’t, I can’t afford it based on what I, I know about your, your customers and I, I lust after it. I want it, but unless I hit the lottery or get a new job, I’m, I’m hosed.

5 (40m 59s):

But you keep any of those $5, you’re not ever gonna afford it anyway.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 5s):


5 (41m 6s):

You’re gonna have to keep those in your pocket.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 8s):

Exactly. Hey, tell us about the white tundra that was sitting outside of the central hall at the, at the SEMA show.

5 (41m 16s):

Yeah, brand new Tundra brought to us with paper plates on it. It’s like we was talking about before, but he wanted the first one and we obliged it took us I think almost a year to do That one. Whoa. It was, man that’s to Toyota can suck. I’m, I’m not a fan of that. I I, we got the whole, damn, we got it all put back together, all the emissions were put back onto it. You know, obviously there’s no tune or anything you can do with those. But, you know, relocating the, the, the wires underneath the dash, not underneath the dash, but the, the, oh what do you call ’em?

5 (41m 60s):

The boots? Oh yeah. Where the wiring harness enters through the firewall. Yep. Are you

Sean P. Holman (42m 4s):

Talking about like for the one of my sheet metal? The harness or for the hybrid? Was it a hybrid one?

5 (42m 8s):

No, it wasn’t a hybrid. Okay.

Sean P. Holman (42m 10s):

Lucky you.

5 (42m 10s):

Woo. But right, so we end up having to relocate one. There’s one on either side. So basically the harness just kind of does a big U and goes back inside the other side. So o one of my sheet metal guys got to it and didn’t pull the, or didn’t label the wires going out, which isn’t usually a big deal because when you pull those out on any other truck, they go back in one place. Not the case with Toyota. They, they like to use almost the same plug on everything and they all interchange and a blue plug plugs into a black plug, which you would normally think a blue would plug into a blue receptacle, not the case.

5 (42m 52s):

Everything in the back of it. We end up at the, the, the guy that owns the F-150, the 22 F-150 we’re talking about with the door. He’s the one that ended up doing the paint work on the tundra. We had everything labeled on the back of the truck with the rear sensors, the parkade sensors, the taillights, everything else. So when we put it all back together, we peeled our little tapes off. Should have left those. ’cause that poor guy was, he pulled it all apart, had it all painted, went to put it back together and realized that the parkade sensors, taillights, the one 10 plug, everything was the same plug, And it all interchanged on the back of the trucks.

Sean P. Holman (43m 25s):


5 (43m 27s):

That’s what we ran into, into underneath the dash was there was a, a large camlock plug, probably 30, 40 wires in it that interchange with another one as well as those other plugs. The, the, you know, probably the 12 to 14 pin plugs that interchanged with other ones. I was, I FaceTimed the owner, his wife has a Sequoia that’s brand new. It’s a 22 as well. I think So I ended up FaceTiming him one night. He’s in Georgia so he was at 11 o’clock at night. I’m at 10 o’clock at night FaceTiming and he’s underneath his wife’s dash ripping everything apart to FaceTime me to show me what it’s supposed to look like. Oh

Sean P. Holman (44m 5s):

That sounds like a

5 (44m 6s):

Nightmare. Just trying to get this thing. Yeah, because it was, that sounds like certain things would work. Like the, the windows would roll up and down, but the mirrors would work, the radio would come on, but the volume wouldn’t work. You

Sean P. Holman (44m 15s):

Know, that sounds like was

5 (44m 15s):

Doing weird stuff.

Sean P. Holman (44m 16s):

That sounds like doing this podcast with Lightning where where sometimes like certain things will work. Yeah. And things flash and It is just really painful. I I’m very intermittent. Yeah. So but it wasn’t a can bus issue or it was

5 (44m 32s):

No, well well I mean I don’t, I I still to this day don’t know how we had two of these things backwards And, it didn’t pop any fuses that that still blows my mind. I I don’t understand that. But, but we were able to get ’em switched around just by trial and error and, and you know, that FaceTime to see what that new tundra or Sequoia looked like And it was able to get it all switched around, fired it up and drove it to the exhaust shop. So So I mean

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 56s):

It was a, it’s crazy because you don’t like have all data or any of these services that would have wiring diagrams because no, it takes at least six to eight months, sometimes longer for this stuff to filter through to like a mechanic’s databases where if you drive into a shop you’re brand new 24 and the mechanic’s like, I can’t help you. I have no date on this. You have to take it to the dealership. And of course in many cases the dealers don’t even know how these things are wired. Like they just, I’m

5 (45m 23s):

Running, I’m going through that right now with a 24 duly. We, you can’t delete ’em, which deleting is illegal. You should never do that. That’s right. so we put, you

Sean P. Holman (45m 32s):

Heard it once again on The, Truck, Show Podcast, deleting is bad. Don’t do it.

5 (45m 37s):

We rebuilt every bit of the DPF and put it all back onto this 24 because you couldn’t delete it. Correct. so we, you know, we built the, the, oh what’s the, the Diesel exhaust fluid container, which thank you Chevrolet. All that glues in from the bottom. So you, it’s not like a fuel pump that bolts in from the top. It all glues in, of course not from the bottom. so we had to, we had to figure all that out and ugh. And you know, as we end up having two hoses hooked up backwards on the particulate filter, the, the, you know, the two hoses go up into one sensor. It’s a a pressure differential. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 10s):

The Delta pressure

5 (46m 11s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 12s):

Yep. Delta pressure sensor. Yep.

5 (46m 14s):

Yep. so we had those two backwards Friday a sensor And, it allowed me to drive 250 miles before it threw a code on the dash on the way to SEMA. ’cause we were driving this truck ’cause we’re not punk bitches. So we, we got, it started to count me down miles that, you know, it told me that I had 174 miles before it shut me down to 65. And we got into Albuquerque and met up with some buddies there that knew somebody at the Chevrolet dealership and they’re in there trying to figure this thing out and at least just clear the codes. I was like, man, just clear the damn thing and I’ll get the Flagstaff and I’ll find somebody else to clear ’em there. I was like, I’m driving this to M truck to Vegas dealership couldn’t, couldn’t get it done. so

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 55s):

We, so did they

5 (46m 56s):

Literally in that right now,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 57s):

Did they do a forced regen? Like was the DPF clogged or you, it was because you flipped the two sensors pre and post DPF?

5 (47m 4s):

Yeah, they’re, they’re saying that I fried the sensor, which there’s not a whole lot going on in that sensor. So since I’ve put another one on it, but since it’s in the, the re it’s not a reduced engine power. The truck still runs fine, but it, it’s speed limited to, to 55 right now. But with the 30 inch wheels on it, that’s more like 66, 67. So you can still run down the highway if

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (47m 24s):

You wanted to. So I wonder if it thinks that the DPF is full because the sensors are off like so you,

5 (47m 29s):

I I think it does.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (47m 30s):

Yeah. As an, as an aside. So can I tell you this? So my day job is working at Banks and what we did is we got the first 24 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate in California that we were aware of. I went up in a high desert, picked it up and brought it back to the shop and the guy said, whatever you wanna do to it. Like put some parts on it, sent it back to me. Young dude owns a wrecking yard. Super cool. Anyway, what we discovered right away is that we hacked off the exhaust pipe and put on our five inch monster exhaust And. it dropped the back pressure enough that if you drove down the street 10 miles, you’d get a reduced engine power notification because it threw off those two sensors. And, it thought that the DPF, the Diesel particular filter was full of soot even though it was brand new and empty and was nowhere near needing a, a regeneration cycle.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 19s):

So like the sensors are so much more sensitive in the 24 than in the 23 as they are in Oh yeah. Up, up, up in the front of the truck where the intake, the math sensor is new, it’s digital instead of analog. There’s a new pressure sensor. So if you are, if you change out your cold air intake, It is looking for an air filter that maybe gets deformed or tod and sucks air around it, the pressure changes And, it sets off light and sends you into limp mode. Right? So there’s all these new tighter tolerances on the tighter tolerances on the 24 that didn’t exist on previous generations of the ax. And it’s just So, I, I feel your pain. Like so we, we can’t even put our exhaust on a brand new truck because it flows too much.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 2s):

That’s literally the reason. so we have to, we’re creating a a, a module, an electronic module that will go in line of those two sensors you just talked about and will lie to, lie to the ECM to tell it. It’s a different pressure than it actually is. so we can incr decrease the back pressure out the tailpipe just anyway. It’s like that’s been our hell for the last six months or so since having our hands on that truck.

5 (49m 25s):

Well, whenever you get those sensors ready, I needed one yesterday,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 30s):

We will. We’ll, yeah, well it’s probably gonna be middle of the first quarter. Like we have to start ground up. No one’s like if you go get any of our competitors, like if you go by, whether it’s a Chinese exhaust or one made domestically, if it sws up to it increases in size from the four inch stock up to a five inch and you try and put on your brand new durmax, it’s gonna throw check engine lights. so we have to solve it electronically.

5 (49m 53s):

So you’re, you’re feeling my pain when I say these things are getting harder and harder at work on

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 57s):

Big time, big time. Like I don’t even know what you’re

5 (49m 59s):

Doing. I think OM doesn’t want us to work on them.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 1s):

No, they don’t. I think you’re right. I mean with global B and all the other stuff that they’re doing. Right. How one module can check the other module and overwrite it. Ultimately, like in the Ford, I was just talking to a friend of ours, the, the guys who were offering, starting in 21 with Ford, they locked everybody out basically. So the only way to tune a 23 and a 24 Ford, I actually, I don’t even think the 20 fours are available yet. The 20 threes is, you have to put an older generation ECM in there And it will work. Yeah. But they have to hot plate it, open it, change some wiring in there, res solder, new components on, and then give it back to you basically. But they’re not using a 23 ECM. They’re giving you a 2020 or earlier ECM in your 2023 truck.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 46s):

And man, it’s just a lot of, lot of hoops to jump through. From

5 (50m 49s):

What I understand, these are global C now instead of global b.

Sean P. Holman (50m 54s):

Hmm. Well that would suck if that was true.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 57s):

I’ve not heard anything about

5 (50m 58s):

That. Thanks for the, I can’t remember who was telling me that. Somebody at SEMA I went and talked to said that these are on global C, just like the new Corvettes are. Oh, I must,

Sean P. Holman (51m 10s):

Well that’s,

5 (51m 11s):

And like this truck has a E 42 computer in it where the 23 had an E 41. So they, you can’t can’t touch ’em.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 18s):

Right. I mean it’s gonna take HB tuners a little while. ’cause they’re gonna, what HP tuners does, they’ll take the actual ECM you send yours, they use it either as a core, they open the ECM, they heat it up, they open it like a clam shell and they remove components. And basically I say it like if you had a castle and a moat around the castle, they will build a bridge over the moat into the castle or they’ll airlift Right. You know, you into the castle and that’s how they’re doing it. And they’re doing it with literally just wires and solder. Like they’re not reprogramming any chips necessarily to get past it. They’re hard

5 (51m 50s):

Wiring, they’re unlocking it,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 51s):

They’re just hard wiring around it. And then they send it back to you with this new wiring inside so you can then upload a flash through the OBD port. So that was one of those things that I was really interested how you were pulling off, because I remember your trucks were slammed and I go, there’s gotta be a DPF under there. Like did he raise the passenger seat to move to make room for the DPF because that, that canister is two feet long and a foot around. Yeah, they’re huge. It’s huge.

5 (52m 14s):

Well that having a raised bed floor, we, we just basically moved everything back. I think it’s probably back maybe two and a half feet. You know, it’s, it’s tight. It’s still really tight to the floor and tight to the ground, but it’s, everything’s just been kind of pushed back and, and one of the guys at the dealership, dealership said that that distance right there could be changing my pressures in the particular filter. I was like, oh yeah, this is gonna be a nightmare trying to get this truck to run. Good.

Sean P. Holman (52m 41s):

It’s, it’s crazy how all the things we used to know, you just one little change that you don’t think will be a big deal is they’re so sensitive.

5 (52m 52s):

Yeah. And they’re becoming more and more sensitive is the, is the problem. But which keeps you on your toes. It keeps you learning. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (52m 58s):

Now let’s, so something that Holman has been covering for quite some time is the ADAS systems, ados, ados, I’m sorry, ADOS systems, which are your proximity sensors, is it lane keeping as well? Are they, are they all those sensors included? Holman, So,

Sean P. Holman (53m 13s):

It’s basically the, the safety, you know, automotive safe safety systems.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 20s):

For example, my TRX we talked about on the show a couple times. So Jake, if I were to, I put 30 sevens on, it came with 30 fives, I would go 30 sevens and And it. Technically I can go into the computer using my a, my taser Z automotive taser little module and I can say it’s got 30 sevens And, it will take it And, it will recalibrate the, the speedometer So it reads accurately. However, if do that, it disables my lane changing or lane keeping. It disables the proximity on cruise control. It disables a bunch of these features if I do that because it throws off the angle ever so slightly. Which

Sean P. Holman (53m 55s):

Is weird because on my same year wrangler, no problem.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 59s):

I think it’s where Can, you Can

5 (54m 0s):

You not have it recalibrated?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 2s):

No, I don’t think so. So

Sean P. Holman (54m 3s):

On the wranglers you can have all that stuff recalibrated, but they work up to like a three and a half inch lift and 30 sevens for some reason on the RAM platform. It causes a bunch of errors where adaptive cruise doesn work and then basically so, so a DDoS, which is gonna be federally, a lot of it’s fam federally mandated. So it’s basically all the advanced driver assistance system is what it stands for. There’s gonna get to be a part where bumpers and things like that, that aren’t compatible with all that are gonna cause a problem in the aftermarket. And I wonder if like we get to a point where if the safety system isn’t working, the truck won’t run.

5 (54m 40s):

Oh, I’m sure. Think about your, your I mean, once again, I’m from Oklahoma, so there’s a lot of one ton duallies with flatbeds on them. Yeah. My brother, he’s a kicker. So he has, he always has me put his flatbeds on his truck and you know, you lose the, wait, I think he had a Ford at one time that had the sensors that were in the, you know, he likes the, the, the amenities of a, of a nicer truck on the inside. Sure. So yeah, you know, Ford has the sensors in the taillight that you delete, you know, I think he’s got a brand new Denali right now, but we just put a new hay bed on it for him with the spikes on it and all that cool stuff if you’re into that type of deal. But you know, all the rear bumper sensors that are in it and the, the taillights that go into that.

Sean P. Holman (55m 21s):

Yeah. What people don’t realize it’s,

5 (55m 22s):

It’s always a

Sean P. Holman (55m 23s):

Is Chevy came out with those rear corner steps and now Ford has ’em on the 20 fours, but Chevy came out with ’em first and everybody’s like, oh that’s so great. The only reason Chevy came out with that is ’cause they needed the blind spots sensor to be somewhere And it can see through the plastic where your foot goes. That’s the only reason

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 40s):

They’re, I didn’t know they were behind them.

Sean P. Holman (55m 42s):

That’s where the Chevy sensors are. They’re in that foot area. And if you look at it, there’s a footpad that is textured and then a flat face that’s like out at a 45 degree angle or whatever, that’s your sensor. And so a lot of people don’t realize, well in the Chevy truck, so if you remove the factory rear bumper for a tray bed or something like that, or you know, some sort of upfit on the consumer version, I don’t think it’s an issue on the chassis cabs. But if you’re doing a 2500, 3500 where you’re removing the pickup bed, now you have to worry about the sensors. And that’s where they are. They’re in the steps of the rear bumper. Gotcha.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (56m 13s):


5 (56m 15s):

We found that out the hard way. You know, when you body drop on these duallys that you don’t want that front step or the, the bumper step. so we just went through and shaved them and, and never paid attention. There were sensors back there in that first one that we did. So that came back to bite us in the ass. But two that we’ve done five of ’em now. The, we did the first two together, the second two, we cut little holes in the bumper, we painted the sensors smooth and painted the plastic and kind of protruded it through the bumper. It doesn’t look the greatest, but it keeps it functional. On this 24, we went a step a little bit further and they cut the hole into the shaver. You know, we basically built the, the piece of sheet metal that goes into the bumper.

5 (56m 55s):

They cut the inspection hole in it and then they recessed a piece of plexiglass into bumper.

Sean P. Holman (57m 0s):

Oh, there you go. Okay,

5 (57m 1s):

There you go. Yeah. And then body worked over it and it works great. I mean the, the, all the backup sensors, the, the proximity sensor, everything that it works great. And you don’t,

Sean P. Holman (57m 9s):

I’m a big fan of that. It’s

5 (57m 10s):

Not visible now.

Sean P. Holman (57m 11s):

Yeah. If, if you can build a truck and keep all that stuff working while still having a full custom, to me that’s super rad because it shows like a different level of engineering acumen.

5 (57m 21s):

Right? Right. And, and that, that goes back to, to one of those deals where, where, you know, I call ’em, you know, the, it’s usually just the mini truckers that say this stuff, that these, you know, these new trucks are cookie cutter and, and there’s no body mods. There’s plenty of body mods on one of these new trucks. You just don’t see ’em and stuff like that. You don’t, you know, if you don’t know that there’s a sensor behind that step and then you shave that step, it still has to function and go down the road and not have all the beeping and the lights on the dash. So you have to put that sensor back in there. But you, even though you don’t know that it’s there, there’s a mod there.

Sean P. Holman (57m 52s):

Honestly, You know what I mean. I think it’s kind rad when you put that work in and somebody’s like, oh, this thing sucks. It doesn’t have any body working. You’re like, if you only knew, you have no idea because you know what, the next guy’s gonna copy you if they can, oh, there’s nothing there and it’s gonna go, wait, how did they do that? Right? Like there’s right, there’s something to it. I’m, I’m, I would use. Well

5 (58m 8s):

I love it. Have you ever seen the amount of work that goes into one of these beds?

Sean P. Holman (58m 12s):

Well, it’s crazy

5 (58m 13s):

On the duallys that there, they’re, first of all, we take the whole bed and raise it up two and a half inches first. And then we, we did that because the, it’s kinda like the Ford, you know, in the Ford Duallys, the, the back glass is about two and a half, three inches above the bed rail, right? Yep. The, the bulkhead. Yep. You know the Chevrolet, the new Chevrolets are kinda like that. so we raised that up. We raised the bulkhead, the whole bed up to match the bottom of the back glass. So that got us about two and a half inches. And then on top of that, we’re cutting the hips and raise the hips up another two to two and a half inch

Sean P. Holman (58m 46s):

Spin. Yeah, because the body line is on the side. So basically like a Super Duty uses an F-150. It’s the same cab essentially. But what they did is they lowered the bedsides. The reason the F-150 is up to the bottom of the wi of that rear glass and a Super duty isn’t is because Ford wanted a shorter bedside so you could reach into it because the truck’s taller. Oh. So it’s a couple inches lower. So if you raise up the bed to keep the, the head of the bed, even with the bottom of the glass, now your body lines don’t match. So now you gotta go through and make those body lines with the doors flow into the bed. And people don’t realize that’s a lot of fricking work, dude.

5 (59m 21s):

Yep. We’ve done it five times because what, so we’ll get rid of that step down or at the bottom at the same time. so we just build a whole new sheet metal panel that goes from top to bottom that has the new body lines in it, you know, two and a half inches lower, and then that gets rid of the fuel door on the driver’s side and the step at the bottom. And then we’ll just do the other side. You know, that gets rid of the step. But it’s a lot of work. There’s so many man hours in the bed on top of raising the bed floor and doing the panels on the inside and doing the full tubs into it. There’s, there’s so many hours in doing one of these beds and you know, you’ll get guys call all the time. How much do one those trucks? And you tell ’em, they’re like, that’s boring. The truck. Like, yeah, it’s a

The Truck Show Podcast is a production of truck famous LLC. This podcast was created by Sean Holman and Jay Tillis with production elements by DJ Omar Kahn. If you like what you’ve heard, please open your Apple podcast or Spotify app and give us a five star rating. And if you’re a fan, there’s no better way to show your support than by patronizing our sponsors. Some vehicles may have been harmed during the making of this podcast.