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SquareD – Cody Veibell’s Duramax-swapped ’81 Chevy K2500

There’s a new wave of truck trends breaching the classic automotive industry: High-quality overland vehicles, diesel engines, and trucks built to do “truck things.” Cody Veibell’s ‘81 Chevy K2500, known as “SquareD,” is a perfect example.

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The truck has been in the Veibell family since new and survived two generations of kids learning to drive and attending high school. After languishing in a field for years, Cody delivered the truck to Cam Miller and his team at HS Customs with the goal of building a high-end, hot-rodded off-road truck. The guiding thought was, “what if Chevrolet built a squarebody truck today?” He was also adamant about having late-model Duramax diesel power to ensure power and reliability for both regular driving and towing.

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

The biggest hurdle for Cam and his crew was cutting off and redesigning the front half of the frame to get the massive Duramax engine low enough to clear the stock hood. The HS crew then boxed and smoothed the frame and engineered custom front and rear suspensions using a Dana 44 front axle and a 14-bolt rearend, both with 4.10 gears and Ford disc brakes. A GM transfer case kicks things into 4WD.


Towing was a must for Cody, so a custom hitch receiver was hidden behind the license plate, and towing assist air bags were installed in the rear. EVOD cut the custom 20×12-inch wheels, and HS Customs put extensive thought into the front wheel design by making the center cap double as the hub locking mechanism. It wouldn’t be a 4×4 without those massive 37×12.50-inch Toyo Tires.

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

The heart of SquareD is the 6.6-liter LB2 Duramax diesel engine delivering more than 700hp and 1,200 ft. lbs. of torque with the help from a Danville billet turbo, Industrial Injection CP3 pump and injectors, and a FASS fuel system. HS Customs fabricated the 5-inch stainless exhaust and custom engine bay paneling. Handling all that power is a billet Allison transmission.

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Getting things “square” on these square bodies is not simple. “They were never straight from the factory,” Cam says. “They were work trucks.” In addition to making the body straight, HS Customs shaved the drip rails, rear bumper, and marker lights and moved the fuel filler into the bed before applying the custom-mixed two-tone PPG paint.

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

Inside, Interior Revolution used Hydes Leather and plaid inserts to recover the stock seat, door panels and dash, opting for purposeful black rubber floor mats instead of carpet. Dakota Digital gauges and Vintage Air were fitted into the new dash from LMC Truck.

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

SquareD Lifted Squarebody, hs customs, diesel swap squarebody, duramax squarebody, 1981 Chevy k2500

Bold style and impeccable craftsmanship will make SquareD a tough truck to top. In the meantime, Cody and his family will be hooking up the boat, venturing off the asphalt, and using this truck as it was built to be used.

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Photos by John Jackson

Associate Editor

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.