2004 Chevy Silverado SS - Whissle
An SS, The Way Chevy Should Have Made 'Em
When talking with Chris St. Aubin, the title holder of this red Chevy SS, he mentioned his muse for the build was creating a Chevy sport truck the way Chevy should have designed it. We've chronicled the AWD Chevy SS's weaknesses in previous issues, and Chris has modified and upgraded darn near every component to make a ridiculously fast red blur that Chevy engineers would drool over. It's not just fast, though; this Silverado is a comfortable daily driver that has no problems attending hot-rod shows or audio sound-offs.
Starting with a new '04 Chevy SS, Chris had a decent platform, and he wasted little time in making the Silverado a tire scorcher. On went the typical mods: an intake, a programmer, and an exhaust. But after some time, the performance didn't garner a big smile. Off came the regular and on went the exotic. A ProCharger P-1SC supercharger was bolted on and the smile got bigger. As is the case with shiny new toys, this too left a little to be desired, so Chris made the plunge and pulled the 6.0L LQ9 engine and had Midstates Machine add a Schnieder Racing camshaft, Mahle forged pistons, ARP bolts, and balanced the rotating assembly while also placing pins in the crank. The GM 317 heads received a full port and polish, only to be filled with air by a much larger ProCharger D-1 huffer. All of that compressed air is sent through a huge front-mount intercooler, via custom air inlet tubes and a ProCharger blow-off valve. Now 12psi of boost fills the engine and sends power to the tranny that was built with billet servos, larger accumulation pistons, a TransGo shift kit, and 2,600rpm torque converter. Other go-fast goodies include Arizona Speed and Marine long tube headers and custom 2--inch exhaust, which was bent by Iowa Muffler with Aero mufflers. All of this performance is enough to roast the tires, as the AWD system kicks in with 4.10 gears. At best estimation, the SS should be throwing down 550 hp to all four wheels. Now a smile is always on Chris' face.
As an install manager for an audio shop in Urbandale, Iowa, Chris knows a thing about audio systems. Chad Ades teamed up with Chris to build a system with the focus on sound integrity, rather than just license-plate rattling. Controlling the system is an Alpine IVA-W205 head unit, processed by an Alpine PXA-H701 and Audio Control EQL. The signals are sent to an MTX TA-7801 for the subs, an MTX TA-7804 for the highs, and finished with an Xtant 1.1. Chad built a sub box that was stealthily mounted under the rear seat and houses four MTX 8-inch 5500 subs. The sub box was outfitted with red Varad lighting for cool night effects. After altering the seat brackets, the rear seat now folds forward and reveals the MTX Thunder Axe component crossovers. Those components provide true 5.1, thanks to a custom-built dash with fiberglass speaker pods. Video is played through the Alpine DVD player and on three Alpine TME580 screens.
Other sweet interior modifications include the charcoal suede seat inserts, headliner, visors, pillars, and door inserts, all of which were handled by Accurate Auto Trim, in Ames, Iowa. An overhead console houses an Alpine monitor and the rearview mirror gauge pod contains boost and fuel pressure gauges from Auto Meter. The SS was running and sounding great, but it lacked some of the overall appeal Chris was going for.
He remedied this problem by adding a Reflexxions cowl hood and Jason tonneau cover. He also deleted the amber coating inside the stock SS headlights and bolted on a billet Bow Tie. To help the Silverado look and handle more like a sport truck, a Belltech 2/3 drop was installed, which consisted of drop spindles, leaf springs, and Nitro Drop shocks. Energy Suspension bushings were installed throughout and an ADDCO rear antisway bar keeps the rear stable. Dropstar DS-05 22-inch wheels were bolted on with 305/40R22 tires for a fat contact patch. Stopping the 5,800-pound truck is a Tri-Piston big brake kit from SSBC, in red of course. Chris also took the time to powdercoat the spindles, GM Performance Parts diff cover, sway bar, and upper and lower control arms in matching red.
Turning on rails and screaming from a dead stop, the SS is ready for anything thrown in its path. He says the SS project is complete, but are they ever? For now, Chris wanted to thank his wife April, his family, Nick, Joey, Craig and Jason from MTX, and SS Posse for their support.
Truck Build In Progress