It started life as a 3.9 liter 5 speed truck. When I acquired it, it wasn’t running right. After fixing it, and driving it for a week or two. It was clear I wasn’t going to be happy with the anemic V6 engine. After having owned everything from S10’s (With a LT1 swap), GMC Sierra, Ranger and Mazda. I was really impressed with the build quality versus the other trucks I have owned. So I decided that instead of selling it for something else, I was going to use it as the foundation for my next project.
It began with removing the stock V6 and transmission. I measured every aspect of the engine compartment and mocking up everything using an old engine block and a 2pc bellhousing 4l60e transmission. Once measurements were taken, the truck was completely stripped down. The entire doghouse, front suspension, bed, interior, fenders and hood were all removed. Basically all that was left was a cab on the frame.
The truck had previously been involved in a collision, and the right front frame horn was slightly tweaked. I was able to repair the damage, as well as strip the frame to bare metal and repaint it. All the suspension pieces are either new or powdercoated. All the suspension bushings were replaced with Energy Suspension poly bushings. The front springs are 3″ drop springs, and the rear are 3″ drop leafs.
The engine compartment was stripped and painted with Sublime Green Pearl base coat/clear coat. The Firewall was slightly modified to allow for distributor cap clearance. The engine has been positioned 2″ back from the stock engines location, and lowered approximately 1.5″ to aid with lowering the center of gravity to aid in handling.
The engine is mounted into the frame using a 1/4″ aluminum engine plate and a universal bolt in transmission cross-member. Stock side mounts/saddles were not used, but the frame side saddles were retained.
The exhaust consists of late model Chevy Truck (98′ Silverado 4wd) headers mated to 2.25″ down pipes to 2.5″ duals through Cherry Bomb turbo mufflers dumping at the back of he cab.
The engine currently is a mild 355 Small Block Chevy. It is topped with a Edelbrock Performer RPM intake (slotted for the center bolt heads). It is topped with a mechanical secondary Holley 650 fed by a Holley fuel pressure regulator and an Edelbrock Quietflow fuel pump mounted on the rear frame. It pulls from a bed mounted 10 gallon fuel cell. All fuel lines are Russel Pushlok hose with AN fittings. There is no return line.
The ignition system is a MSD Grid mated to a MSD 6AL and a MSD ProBillet 2 distributor, MSD crank trigger and a MSD HVC coil. The factory engine wiring harness was modified, the factory ECM is retained as are the factory gauges. The only non-functional gauge is the tach. An Autometer 5″ monster tach, an Innovate LC-2 wideband and Autometer dual pyrometer gauge setup has been installed. The ABS, air bags and air conditioning have all been retained. The A/C compressor is currently not mounted as I am still looking for a serpentine belt setup that will work with the motor plate.
The stock radiator has been retained.
The transmission is a rebuilt (by me), TH350 with a 3,000 stall, custom shift kit, dual fed, deep pan, B&M transmission cooler. It is shifted by a TCI outlaw shifter and sends power through a custom 3.5″ driveshaft. The rear differential is the stock 8.25″ diff. I am currently trying to source a R/T 9.25″ disc brake differential.
It is currently rolling on 275/60/15 Nitto 555t Drag Radials. The brakes have been upgraded to drilled and slotted rotors mated to Hawk track pads and all hoses are -4 braided stainless hoses. All metal brake lines have been replaced with nickel copper line.
I am currently saving parts for the new engine build. It will be a stock block all forged 355 fed by a single cast wheel s480.