MARCH 2000


by Dan Sanchez

The Truckin' Nationals Plays Host
to Our Industry Performance Test

Truck Shootout #3

Our day began with a quick lesson in drag racing from Jim Hughes of Hughes Performance. Here he demonstrated to our group of participants the techniques of staging and running down the quarter-mile.

Despite the fact that we had half the number of trucks for this year's Performance Truck Shootout, we are very appreciative of the efforts put forth by the participants who did make the trip out to Phoenix. Considering the drive to Firebird Raceway in Phoenix is a long one, it did take an extra effort--in terms of food and lodging--to attend this year's meet. Nonetheless, there was an excellent representation of bolt-on performance items on several different trucks. The Performance Truck Shootout is a forum in which after-market manufacturers of performance truck products can demonstrate the amount of horsepower and torque increase that their products are capable of achieving in a real-world environment.

Although dyno results work well, the numbers vary depending on the temperature, the time of day the test is conducted, and who is operating the dyno. But on the dragstrip there's no room for errors, and the quarter-mile times are indicative of the amount of power increase you would receive on your own truck if it were outfitted with the bolt-on performance items demonstrated by our participants.

Editor Dan Sanchez and Editorial Director Kevin Wilson welcomed everyone to the event and gave a bit of instruction to the participants as to how the event would be carried out.

Although this is not an open competition, the quickest truck was Guy Lavy's 11.09-second Syclone. This truck made a few passes before the NHRA track officials banned it from the track. Apparently they thought it was a stock truck, and it didn't have a driveshaft loop, full cage, and other safety features

Our day at the track began early when our participants started showing up at 6 a.m. NHRA officials checked each truck, and Jim Hughes of Hughes Performance Products, a veteran drag racer and instructor, gave our participants a lesson in dragstrip etiquette and safety. Once the safety concerns were attended to, the participants were allowed to run on the Firebird Raceway track as many times as they felt necessary. Many of them experimented with different combinations, while others simply wanted to improve their quarter-mile times.

The morning session afforded us the opportunity to gather as much information as we could about all of the prospective participants and their vehicles before the afternoon sun invaded our weekend retreat and made life on the track unbearable. Although we don't tout this as a competition, everyone always wants to know who was the fastest. This year, that distinction belonged to Guy Lavy of Chatsworth, California, who brought out his '91 GMC Syclone that was slightly "tweaked" by Kenne Bell. The Syclone is 50-state emissions legal and ran on 92 pump gas and a catalytic converter. With 18 pounds of boost pumping into a modified 264ci V-6 block, the Syclone proved to be too tough for most of the other competitors. Although Guy's truck was the fastest, it didn't exemplify a typical upgrade that most consumers would do or could accomplish. Likewise, trucks such as the Airaid Chevy Silverado accomplished a 13.21-second quarter-mile pass at 102.61 mph, with a 150 shot of nitrous oxide from NOS. This '99 Chevy was also equipped with an Airaid air intake system, Flowmaster exhaust, and a Hypertech performance computer upgrade. Equally impressive was the Arizona Speed & Marine truck, which was outfitted with only a Whipple Supercharger, ASM headers, and an after-cat exhaust system. This truck managed to pull off a 13.52 quarter-mile time at a speed of 102.32 mph.

Many of them experimented with different combinations, while others simply wanted to improve their quarter-mile times.

Although there were some very impressive trucks at our third Performance Truck Shootout, we couldn't help but notice the performance of TRD's Toyota Tacoma. This '97 model truck was equipped with a 3.4L V-6 and ran an incredible 12.02 at a rate of 112.59 mph at the quarter-mile pass. This truck was equipped with the TRD/Eaton Supercharger, high-flow headers and exhaust, and a 125hp shot of nitrous oxide from NOS. With 6 pounds of boost and lots of nitrous, this truck also required the use of 103-octane unleaded racing fuel.

The other trucks in the field were just as impressive, including the two propane-injected Ford and Dodge diesels from B~y Dog Technologies. Both big rigs ran low 15-second quarter-mile passes. Equally impressive were the two Ford Lightnings from Ford SVO. Both trucks ran consistent low14-second quarter-mile passes. The lowest time was 13.9 seconds by Jason Demehak from Ford SVT.

All of the participants had something to he proud of and they definitely showed off their respective components. The real benefit of this event is for the consumer. This show offers consumers the opportunity to see the potential benefits that can be reaped from adding various performance products to their pickups. Each of the participants had their vehicles photographed and there was a short biographical statement that informed attendees about what components were on each truck. Obviously, there are some trucks in our shootout that can be duplicated at a minimal cost, but there are some that had extensive modifications that are more expensive to duplicate. Nevertheless, take the information provided here and apply them to your own truck.

Alan Rodriguez, Oak Park, California.
Alan has brought his Lightning to all of our shootouts, and Phoenix was no exoeption. This time he had some computer problems that limited his times to only one good pass. This truck, however, is outfitted with a 351W and a Bassani header and exhaust system. The Vortech supercharger makes more than 20 pounds of boost and is aided with a lSOhp NOS nitrous oxide system. With this much boost, the truck requires 100-octane unleaded racing gasoline.

Fred & Brice Pettey, Anaheim Hills, California.
Here's another serious truck that requires a large investment but pays off big. Piloted by Brice, this 502 big-block uses a set of Ballenger headers and a Lingenfelter intake system. A modified Premier Performance 700-R4 automatic is linked to an Art Carr 3,500-rpm stall converter and transmits the power to a Strange Engineering-equipped Fab-9 rearend. The truck uses a nitrous kit and 4.30 gears to tear up the pavement with a set of Goodyear racing slicks.

Phillip Kiassen, Aberdeen, Idaho.
This stock 5.9L diesel uses a Van Aken CPC performance chip and the Bully Dog propane charger. This injects propane into the cylinder as a means of adding a boost of horsepower to the diesel engine with excellent results. With a manual five-speed transmission and wheels and tires provided by Las Schwab, this diesel surprised us with times faster than a stock Chevy Silverado Standard Cab. This system is 49-state emissions legal.
Rob DiCarlo, San Dimas, California.
Although Rob had some problems with his truck, the 355ci small-block is outfitted with a Vortec supercharger pumping out 14 psi of boost. A set of Hooker headers and Flowmaster exhaust are also used in conjunction with a Z-lndustries custom PROM, and a multiport fuel-injection system. The truck also uses a modified 4L60E automatic with a 3,000-rpm stall converter and a 4:10 geared rearend. A small shot of nitrous oxide also helped to propel this serious truck into some quick quarter-mile times on 92-octane fuel.

Guy Lavy, Chatsworth, California.
This highly modified 264ci V-6 runs 18 pounds of boost to create nearly 650 hp. Yes, this is expensive to duplicate, but it's certainly worth it: The truck is 50-state emissions legal, has a catalytic converter, and runs on 92-octane fuel. The truck also uses a Kenne Bell air intake system, a shift-improvement kit, headers, and an after-cat exhaust system.
Jason Demehak/David McGuire, Dearborn, Milchigan.
The two guys that ran the most quarter mile passes were the Ford SVO guys with the white and red Lightnings These stock trucks ran consistently low 14 second passes; the white one running the best at 13.9 seconds. This just goes to show that the Lightnings are the world's fastest production pickups.

John Levitz/David Edelman, Scottsdale, Arizona.
The 5.3L Vortec V-S is stock with the exception of an Airaid air intake system, JBA headers, Flowmaster exhaust, and a Hypertech chip. An NOS nitrous oxide system provides an additional 150 hp. This is another very impressive truck that runs well on 92-octane fuel and is 50-state emissions legal.

Kevin Kreak, Santa Ana, Cailtomia.
This give-away pickup was built by Line-X and features a 5.3L V-B that has been modified with a Whipple supercharger. The truck uses a PaceSetter exhaust and 20-inch Billet Specialties wheels.

Sean Murphy, Huntington Beach, California.
Sean took a 2 2L turbo engine out of a wrecked, limited-edition Shelby GLHS and placed it in this Rampage. The stock engine makes about 12 pounds of boost. When equipped with a k&N intake and a 50-horse nitrous oxide kit, this lightweight, front-wheel-drive truck ran extremely well on a set of BFG Drag Radials.

Phillip Klassen, Aberdeen, Idaho.
The second member of the Bully Dog team was this F-250 Ford diesel with the same propane charger and a Superchip PROM installed The miles per hour that this truck ran show the potential that this 49-state legal system has for increasing top-end horsepower and torque.

Paul Latham, Poway, California.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that some modifications have been made to this truck. Equipped with the TRD supercharger that makes 6 pounds of boost, this truck also uses a 125hp nitrous oxide system from NOS. The 3.4L V-6 has also been massaged to handle the abuse of extra power, slicks, and a 4.10 rearend ratio. With all that cylinder pressure, the truck required 103 octane.

Ed Capen, Chandler, Arizona.
We featured this truck in our Dec. '99 issue, and it ran a mid14-second quarter-mile pass. Since then, the guys at ASM tweaked the computer, and this truck ran almost a full second faster than it did before. The truck uses a Whipple supercharger that makes 7 psi of boost, a Hypenech chip, a Whipple intake system, as well as ASM headers and high-flow exhaust. A stock 4L60E is also used, along with the factory rearend using 3.73 gears.
'86 S-10
Robert Smith, Tempe, Arizona.
Take a beat-up S-10 and slip a '40s-looking fiberglass body over it, and you end up with a clean-looking street-rod pickup. These guys have been doing this conversion for several years, and since the truck resembles a '40 automobile, any engine swap is applicable and legal. This one uses a stock 350 with a Flowmaster muffler and an Arizona Speed & Marine chip. The intake was also upgraded to an ASM TBI system and uses a 700-R4 automatic.
Doug Blocker, Prescott, Arizona.
OK, we wanted to see what you could do without any emissions restrictions and invited Doug and his awesome '57 Chevy to our event. His truck uses a 408-cid small-block Chevy that is equipped with a host of NASCAR-style engine components. It makes 680 hp, and the truck handles like it's on rails. With a Ford 9-inch rear and 3.70 gears, Doug's truck is set up more for SCCA racing than it is for the quarter-mile track. Still, this wheel-hopping '57 managed to pull off some decent times.


MARCH 2000