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2006 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD - Sleek Silverado

This Twin-Turbo'd Duramax Has Its Sights Set On 11s

Mike McGlothlin
Aug 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
Photo 2/12   |   2006 Chevy Silverado 3500 Hd left Front Angle
The age of hot rod diesels is in full bloom. Truck owners these days are definitely treating their diesels like prizes, and rightfully so--most of them have thousands of dollars invested in them. Some set out to build 700hp monsters right off the bat, while others build their rigs progressively, with a long-term power goal or quarter-mile time in mind. Mike Walker of Reeds Spring, Missouri, decided to pursue the latter power-adding method--over time he would build a twin-turbo'd, streetable, reliable truck sporting one of the cleanest looks around. And he would do all the work himself.
Ordered with GM's slick, dark green metallic paint option, Mike wanted to make the truck's engine bay look equally unique. A twin-turbo kit from MPI, which utilizes the factory variable geometry unit, offers both an awesome look once you pop the hood, and since Mike is still running the factory injectors and injection pump, makes for a virtually smokeless truck on the street. The factory Garrett VGT combined with the 2.8-inch inducer low-pressure Garrett turbo provides plenty of extra air for the LLY Duramax to breathe in. An upgraded BD Diesel exhaust manifold and a custom 4-inch straight-pipe route exhaust gases out a 5-inch tip.
Photo 3/12   |   With just 37,000 miles on the clock, Mike's '06 Chevy 3500 HD has come a long way, and he plans on doing a complete teardown and buildup on the Duramax mill this winter.
For fuel, Mike installed a 150-gph fuel system from AirDog. And knowing that he needed fuel pressure to be maintained while on the throttle, he also installed a race fuel valve from PPE.
The Duramax is calibrated via EFILive, courtesy of former Diesel Power Challenge contender "Idaho" Rob Coddens. And thanks to Rob's fine-tuning, Mike's truck has run an impressive 12.5-second quarter-mile pass at 107 mph.
In the future, he plans to step up fuel delivery by adding another CP3 injection pump from ATS Diesel, which will probably be on his truck by the time you read this. "Slowly but surely, I'll turn it into a racing truck," Mike told us. "My ultimate goal is to get it into the 11s and keep it a reliable daily driver."
Harnessing all the LLY's power and getting it to the ground is a Stage V six-speed Allison transmission from Sun Coast. A triple-disc 1058 torque converter, also from Sun Coast, has proven bulletproof so far and can be locked manually thanks to an ATS Diesel CoPilot lockup controller.
With nothing but performance, durability, and consistency in mind, Mike upgraded the front end with an SD tie-rod sleeve and centerlink kit from PPE. This rules out problems the factory independent front suspension may give him during aggressive four-wheel-drive launches. Also a preventative measure, he added a set of CalTracs traction bars to avoid any issue with rear axlewrap. A set of Rancho RS9000 shocks also allows Mike to adjust the truck's ride, depending on whether he's at the track or on the street.
A set of 33x12.50R17 Mickey Thompson MTZs mounted on 17-inch Moto Metal Wheels amplifies the truck's looks tenfold, yet maintains its sleeper image. In fact, most people wouldn't assume this was a mid-to-low 12-second truck while sitting beside it at a stoplight--but they'd be wrong.
Mike told us that installing everything on the truck himself has given him a real sense of accomplishment, not to mention everything he's learned along the way. It would be safe to say that Mike is a perfectionist when it comes to his Silverado. So much so that when we approached him about snapping photos of his rig, he cringed at the thought of a few water spots possibly showing up in the magazine. We'd say it came out perfect, much like the rest of the truck.


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