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2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - Bad In Black

Chad Keeter’s Ever-Changing Chevy Should Not Be Taken Lightly

Jason Sands
Feb 4, 2015
Photographers: Jason Sands
We’ve run across Chad Keeter from Franklin, Virginia, three different times in the past few years, and throughout this period, his truck has been lifted, lowered, and outfitted with a multitude of different wheel and tire combinations. The ’07 Chevrolet Silverado has been a reliable tow rig no matter what modifications have ensued, and the truck has been consistently drag raced since it was new.
We finally got Chad to sit still long enough to give us a rundown on his truck’s latest specs: an ultra-reliable compound-turbocharged setup that runs high 7s in the eighth-mile, gets 22 mpg, and tows an enclosed trailer and race car with ease.
Despite having an estimated 650-plus hp, the 6.6L LMM Duramax engine in Chad’s Chevy has never had the valve covers removed, and it also still has factory-stock head gaskets, injectors, and rotating assembly. Since Chad’s truck has more than 80,000 miles on the odometer and has made hundreds of dragstrip passes, we were curious about what he did to make his truck fun and fast, yet reliable. As it turns out, a simple combination of parts, along with careful tuning and engine monitoring, are the keys to the engine’s success.
Photo 2/18   |   The valve covers have never been off the 80,000-mile engine, despite the fact that it’s been modified since it was virtually new. The current compound turbocharger combination puts down about 650 rwhp, along with 1,100 lb-ft of torque.
The most obvious upgrade to the Duramax engine is the brightly painted compound-turbocharger system, built by the now-defunct Extreme Prejudice Racing. The setup features an AFE air filter and a 75mm BorgWarner S400 turbo that feeds the LMM’s original unit (which has been updated with a Bullseye Power Turbos BatMoWheel compressor wheel). Both turbos combine to produce a little more than 50 psi of boost, with about 57 psi of drive pressure.
The truck’s fueling has also been modified, but again, the changes involve just a few well-placed parts. The factory lift pump was a weak link, so an AirDog 165-gph lift pump was installed to maintain fuel pressure in the PPE ported fuel rail. While most big-power trucks are upgraded with a dual CP3 injection pump setup, Chad’s stock CP3 was modified by MaxdOut Diesel to provide more flow.
At anything beyond stock power levels, Allison 1000 automatic transmissions need some help, and the unit in Chad’s Chevy was no exception. The ’08’s transmission was pulled and rebuilt by Diesel Addiction Performance with a SunCoast Stage 4 rebuild kit. The torque converter was also upgraded and replaced with a Precision Industries triple-disc that was designed for better low-rpm and part-throttle fluid coupling.
Photo 3/18   |   The Bilstein shocks give the truck a slightly nose-up launch at the dragstrip. With a best 60 foot time of 1.70 seconds and a best eighth-mile time of 7.88 seconds at 89 mph (roughly 12.0 seconds at 111 mph in the quarter-mile), the 7,100-pound truck is quicker than most people expect.
While the Silverado’s suspension has been set up in a few different configurations (stock height and lifted), the latest stance, dropped 3.5 inches under stock, was attained with DJM rear shackles and hangers, along with lowered torsion bars in the front.
Since high-boost, 4x4 launches can break things, the front end also received a fair share of upgrades, including Moog idler and pitman arms, Rare Parts tie rods, and a Crank It Up Diesel centerlink. So far, the front suspension has been bulletproof. The only rear-suspension upgrade was the addition of Diesel Addiction’s traction bars.
Photo 4/18   |   Inside, the Chevy is virtually stock, save for boost, fuel pressure, and a number of other gauges located both on the A-pillar and inside the dash. EFILive is Chad’s choice for programming the Duramax engine. The current Adrenaline Truck Performance tune by “Idaho Rob” is selected via a five-position switch (right).
Other than its lowered stance, what really sets this Chevy apart from the crowd is the flawless paint and bodywork by Chad’s buddy Cliff Hatcher, including smoked lights and Mazda Green paint on the traction bars. The overall look is smooth yet mean, which was just what Chad was going for.
While many enthusiasts have extensive plans for the future, Chad has actually throttled back a bit with the mods on his diesel. “The truck has always been reliable, towed my trailer up hills without ever breaking 1,100 degrees on the pyrometer, and is fast enough to beat most street cars,” Chad says. With the success he’s had with the truck so far, it’s hard for us to argue, as a reliable 650hp truck is on just about everyone’s wish list.
Photo 5/18   |   2007 Chevy Silverado Rear Three Quarter
Fast Facts:
Year/Make/Model: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
Owner: Chad Keeter
Hometown: Franklin, Virginia
Odometer: 80,387 miles
Engine: 6.6L Duramax LMM V-8
Fuel: AirDog 165-gph lift pump, PPE ported fuel rail and rail plug, MaxdOut Diesel modified CP3 pump
Air: Factory Garrett turbocharger with a Bullseye Performance BatMoWheel compressor wheel, 75mm BorgWarner S400 atmospheric turbo, AFE filter
Exhaust: MBRP 4-inch exhaust and 6-inch tip
Transmission: Allison 1000 automatic with a SunCoast Stage 4 rebuild kit, and ML Precision Industries torque converter, assembled by Diesel Addiction
Horsepower: 650 hp
Torque: 1,100 lb-ft
Tires: 305/50R20 Toyo Proxes ST
Wheels: 20x10 Gear Big Block 726MB
Suspension: Bilstein shocks, Moog idler and pitman arms, Crank It Up Diesel centerlink, Rare Parts tie rods, DJM rear drop shackles
Axles: Stock, with 3.73 gears and PPE rear differential cover
Body: Smoked lights and paint matching by Cliff Hatcher
Fun Fact: Chad’s need for speed doesn’t stop at his truck. He also has a 9-second Honda drag car. “People hate getting beat by the diesels,” laughs Chad. “But they really hate getting beat by the Honda more.”
Boost, Boost, and More Boost
When taking a look at the A-pillar, we expected to see the normal boost, pyrometer, and transmission temperature gauges, or maybe fuel-rail pressure. What we didn’t expect was three boost gauges. What’s going on here? Well, as it turns out, proper tuning was an important element of Chad’s build, so he decided to monitor drive (exhaust) pressure, overall boost pressure, and interstage boost pressure. After trying a couple of tunes that made 60 to 65 psi of overall boost but scary 90- to 100-psi drive pressures, Chad settled on an “Idaho Rob” EFILive tune from Adrenaline Truck Performance. Chad says he likes the calibration because of its balanced boost and exhaust pressures. As it turns out, this balanced tune is also the fastest down the track!
Photo 18/18   |   Triple Gauge Pillar

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