Jose Galvan’s Second Chance ’88 OBS Comes to Life
By Fuelish Media
Life happens. That’s a given, but it’s the ups and downs that forge who we are. Jose Galvan of Houston is someone who, like most of us, has experienced his fair share of those ups and downs, and at one point regretfully sold his ’88 Chevy truck before he could finish building it due to … well, life.
This weighed on Jose for a while, as he had put a lot of time and money into the project, only to have to part ways with it before he was truly ready. We definitely understand, as it’s tough to be a truck guy when you don’t have a truck! Years later, he was finally able to pick up another C1500 (a ’91 Silverado) and promised himself that he would hang onto it until it was 100 percent done. As you can see, he kept that promise to himself, and we’re glad to be able to share it with you here.
Jose happened upon the truck while at a show, and it immediately caught his eye. It had been built by a local shop and after a few months of making the rounds at various events it was put up for sale. Although the truck would need some potential issues addressed underneath, it was in otherwise pretty nice condition. The green/champagne two-tone paint was in great shape (with stake pockets and antenna already shaved and resprayed), so it made for a great jumping off point from which Jose could rebuild his dream.
From the get-go, Jose wanted to swap the engine out to move away from the original TBI setup. So, of course, an LS swap was in order and, more specifically, an ’02 5.3L. The only problem was that, at the time, LS swaps into OBS trucks weren’t as common as they are now becoming. As Jose shared, “One of the most challenging parts of this build was the engine swap. When we started, we had to figure out how to make things work. Air conditioning and small things like throttle pedal brackets were not mass produced, so Dave Flint and Martin Blanco spent time coming up with solutions. Usually, a few months after it was done, the aftermarket had parts available!”
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Dressed in Holley valve covers, a custom intake by Octane and Iron, Speed Engineering headers, and a Drive Junky serpentine belt setup, the new engine is unarguably better than the ol’ L05 in every way. Don’t get us wrong, the Gen I and Gen II small-blocks will always rule, but when it comes to upgrades that give modern-day driveability, the LS is tough to beat! When it came to the transmission, Jose kept things easy and reused the 4L60 that was already mounted to the truck.
While the engine swap was getting done, Jose decided to also move onto redoing other parts of the truck. “We have a saying in our circle: ‘Well, it’s already apart we might as well keep going!’” The benefit here was that Jose and friends were able to take their time and make sure everything was done right and exactly how Jose wanted it.
With the body mostly taken care of, with details such as the factory mirror delete panels scavenged from a tow mirror–equipped OBS, Jose focused on new mods, like a modified bed floor and wheeltubs by Pristine Auto Customs, before taking care of the air suspension revamp. After dropping off the truck at Slaughter House it received a new step notch, Air Lift airbags, a two-link/diagonal link setup in the rear, and new NFamus upper and lower control arms up front. With Belltech shocks at every corner, the truck soaks up bumps with ease and keeps the 20×8.5 and 22×10 Raceline Sonoma wheels and Nitto tires in check.
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The interior had already been taken care of when Jose bought the truck and features a custom leather-upholstered bench seat with matching door panels and fresh loop carpet. In a bout of rebellion, the factory steering wheel was retained, but Dakota Digital gauges can be seen just beyond the wheel’s Chevrolet logo. In addition to the American Autowire wiring and Vibro Solutions sound deadening, a complete Vintage Air A/C setup keeps Jose cool on those hot Texas days when it’s otherwise just too nice out not to cruise.
When we asked Jose about the most memorable part of building the truck, he told us, “I would have to say, seeing it drive under its own power after the engine swap. This was a major learning experience for me, and seeing the truck actually run and drive was something I won’t forget.” We totally get it!
Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Closure.