2001 Chevrolet Silverado (and a project truck eventually)

[size=150]2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500[/size]
My daily driver - when I get my license in less than 6 months - is a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab 2WD 4.8L V8 with the 4L60-E transmission. This was my dad’s first “new” car (it was bought and brought right back when the buyer didn’t like it) at the time and he’s treated it overall pretty well. Oil changes and all other regular maintenance was on my dad’s list of priorities. The truck didn’t have much to start with as it was a base model LS, but 13 years later it has a 7" FabTech suspension lift, 33" Nitto Grappler tires (great traction in off-road situations), AEM Cold Air Intake, and it’s programmed a bit. I’ll post pictures soon enough.

The only complaint I have with how my dad has used it would be that he raised the fuel cut-off/rev limiter to 6200 RPM, which is a dangerous zone when you’re talking about a truck that peaks off at 5200 RPM to start.

• No major repairs have been required of us, aside from a fuel pump eventually going out.
• Great overall towing capability; just watch that coolant temperature and you’d be fine.
• Extra clearance for our fishing trips down at the lake.
• Lovely V8 sound.
• An impressive average fuel consumption of 13 MPG! :smiley: sarcasm
• Soft ride.

• Thanks to towing without proper equipment, we have a head bolt that is cracked and leaking exhaust gas out of the head. Let this be a warning that when you lift your truck more than 6", you get the PROPER axle ratio to handle the stress.
• Fuel consumption. I need a diesel in it. :wink:
• Horrible output from that 4.8L V8. Numbers from factory were 285 hp / 290 lb-ft, but probably are around 300 hp / 305 lb-ft today

[size=150]2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD[/size]
I have a project in mind if I’m lucky enough to graduate, let alone attend college for Mechanical Engineering, that breaks down to this: I’m going to take a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab 4x4 and do as Diesel Power Magazine said and raise the towing capacity from 15,750 lbs to 18,000 lbs (just above the current max for 2014/2015 Heavy Duty 2500 trucks). Apparently this is legal in the United States as long as it’s done properly. So here’s a short list of what I plan to do for that truck:

  1. Build up the 6.6L Duramax Diesel under the hood. I want the output to be around 500 hp and 1000 lb-ft from the truck’s stock 235 hp @ 2,700 RPM and 500 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM. Parts include
    • new turbocharger
    • supercharger
    • port and polish heads for better airflow and because I don’t want larger cams
    • new bottom end
    • gauges to monitor boost pressure, transmission oil temperature, axle oil temperature, and intake temperature
    • full exhaust system (one that allows me to keep the emission controls because I’m eco-friendly like that)
    • two stage leaf springs, they’ve been featured by Mr.Truck.com and seem to work as intended
    • original sized tires but All Terrain, preferably General Tires
  2. Find a good aftermarket 6-Speed manual transmission rated for at least 1200 lb-ft of input torque.
  3. Begin fluid testing. This will involve monitoring engine oil and coolant, transmission oil, and axle oil temperatures.
  4. In addition to fluid testing, I will need to do some stress analysis on the drivetrain as well as the frame.
  5. If needed, which it most likely will be, begin fully boxing the frame.
  6. Steering and drivetrain upgrades will be required; General Motors can’t seem to design a good independent front suspension for lifts and/or extra power.
  7. If it doesn’t already have it, find all stock parts to the truck and put them on. I want it to look brand new, but with an engineer’s touch.

Set Budget: $25,000 excluding price of the truck
Guessed total time: about 1-2 years depending on work, funds, and possible speed bumps