2005 Chevy Silverado Quarter-Mile Stormer
If there is one thing every diesel-performance enthusiast can agree on, it’s the notion that horsepower and torque are addictive—no matter what your preferred brand, engine, or body style are. The more you have, the more you want, and Roger Motichka, the owner of this ’05 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, can attest to that firsthand.
A thoughtful and planned out build schedule has taken his truck from being a bone-stock highway cruiser to a rig that has nearly dipped into the 11-second sphere on the dragstrip. All this e.t. goodness comes while wearing street tires and still pulling off more than 20 mpg on the highway with the cruise control on. A hot-rodder his entire life, Roger has been ripping the quarter-mile since he was old enough to drive. When he bought his first diesel truck, it was not with the intention of turning it into something that dispatches muscle cars with regularity on the 1,320, but as it turns out, that is exactly what the truck has turned into since Roger assumed ownership.
“I bought this truck in 2009, and let me tell you, it was the ultimate grandfather truck,” Roger says with a laugh. “This thing had a bed canopy on it. The truck was 100 percent stock and was really well taken care of for the 98,000 miles that were on it.” Since Roger grew up in a farm family, trucks were a constant part of his life, but they were typically older gassers. He was looking at getting into something different, and the Chevrolet platform appealed to what he was looking for at the time. After a few years of owning the truck, he got the itch to turn it up.
So, how did the modifications begin? “My cousin had a Ram with a programmer in it and his truck would outrun mine, so I got a programmer, too,” Roger explains. “It did not take long for upgrades to happen. The truck’s 6.6L Duramax engine was treated to a larger exhaust system, a cold-air intake, and lots of typical bolt-ons. After a while, I thought I had a pretty quick truck that would be great for towing.” What he actually did was give himself the first taste of the performance potential that was sitting under the hood of his Chevrolet. And, after hitting the dragstrip for the first time, the real modification process began. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, Roger’s truck got more power and his need for speed grew.
“I have tried to make every move count with this truck,” Roger says. “I have researched upgrades and put money aside for them. This certainly takes some funding to do, especially if you want to get it right with each step you take.” For instance, when the factory Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission finally spit the bit after years of upgrades and “spirited driving,” Roger went to Advanced Diesel Works and, rather than take the quick and cheap way out, ordered the top-shelf SunCoast Diesel Transmissions rebuild kit with billet everything. “The only thing this transmission does not have is the company’s newest clutch packs, because we were about four months ahead of their release,” Roger explains.
Advanced Diesel Works is responsible for the Chevy’s major upgrades, highlighted by a Screamin’ Diesel Performance compound-turbocharger system that pairs a Garrett Stage 2 4094 atmospheric turbo with a BorgWarner S480 to make big boost, big power, and big fun whenever Roger decides to stand on it. Interestingly, when asked about his favorite upgrade, Roger’s answer is not “the turbos.” “The turbos are fantastic, but my favorite upgrade is the engine’s EFILive ECM calibrating,” Roger continues. “Handheld programmers are fine and they work, but there’s nothing better than a system like EFILive where you can put the time in dialing in the way an engine runs, then see real results. Justin Dall at Advanced handles the calibrating. We worked on the chassis dyno using my data logs and made fueling and timing changes accordingly. I have a truck that runs low-12-second quarter-mile e.t.’s, can get 24 mpg on the highway, and doesn’t blow black smoke. I’m not into making smoke. I want the truck to run clean and efficiently.” Roger says he and Justin have a good relationship, and when he suggests trying some things on the dyno that have freaked Justin out, the tuner has always taken the, “I break it, I buy it,” approach. That type of testing and experimenting has brought the truck to the level it is at today.
You’re probably wondering how this truck runs so quickly on stock rubber. We asked Roger that very question and he gave us the inside scoop. “The suspension is a big reason why this truck works. We lowered it 2 inches with drop shackles in the back and via torsion bars in the front. The CalTracs traction bars obviously help as well, but with the truck lowered and the suspension work we have done, it does not experience the toe-in and toe-out problems lifted trucks have.” One of the other reasons it does not do that is because there have been bracing components added to the front end and the front halfshafts have been upgraded. Those modifications were made because of the abuse the drivetrain takes on the strip. Front halfshafts? You bet! Roger launches this truck in four-wheel drive and leaves it there all run. That’s not to say there hasn’t been breakage along the way. He fragged the GM-installed Gov-Loc differential and replaced it with a Detroit Truetrac, which has handled everything thrown at it ever since.
“My normal launch routine is that I engage four-wheel drive and bring the engine up against the torque converter between 1,800 and 2,000 rpm,” Roger tells us. “I normally leave the starting line with about 18 psi of boost. The truck has had a best 60-foot e.t. of 1.67 seconds, which was recorded on a run I made in Minnesota. It had never hooked that hard, and my neck paid the price for that one!
“One of the things we worked on with regard to the EFILive program was defueling at the shifts. Stock programming brings fuel volume all the way down to 40 percent, which causes the truck to nose over. We’ve set it at 87 percent. That’s another reason this truck runs down the track as smoothly as it does. The shifts are great. If you can believe it, the truck has a completely stock 245,000-mile transfer case in it!”
As we headed to deadline, the Duramax in Roger’s rig had never been apart, and he was saving money and hunting for the parts he wants to use.
Fast Facts:Year/Make/Model: ’05 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
Owner: Roger Motichka
Hometown: Post Falls, Idaho
Odometer: 242,000 miles
Fuel economy: 22 mpg
Engine: 6.6L Duramax LLY V-8
Fuel: FASS Titanium Series 150-gph lift pump with Caterpillar 10- and 2-micron filters, Pacific Performance Engineering Dual Fueler LBZ CP3 injection pumps, modified injectors by U.S. Diesel Parts.com, EFILive tuning by Justin Dall at Advanced Diesel Works
Air: Stock intercooler, AFE Power hot-side pipe, Screamin’ Diesel Performance compound turbochargers with a Garrett Stage 2 4094 and BorgWarner S480, AFE Power air filter
Exhaust: Stock driver-side manifold, BD Diesel Performance passenger-side manifold, custom 4-inch downpipe into a 5-inch Magnaflow system
Transmission: Allison 1000 five-speed automatic, SunCoast Diesel Transmission billet internals assembled by Advanced Diesel Works
Horsepower: 807 hp
Torque: 1,559 lb-ft
Tires: 265/70R17 Bridgestone Revo 2
Wheels: See Fun Fact
Interior: Auto Meter Competition Instruments three-gauge A-pillar pod, Isspro gauges, custom 3-gauge panel by BilletBadges.com
Chassis: CalTracs traction bars, Pacific Performance Engineering support braces, Fabtech Motorsports tie rods, EBC slotted brake rotors and yellow stuff pads
Suspension: Lowered 2 inches
Axles: AAM 1150 rear axle with stock gears and Detroit Truetrac differential, Mag-Hytec rear-differential cover
Body: Custom badges from BilletBadges.com and tinted light lenses
Fun Fact: Roger got the wheels for free, for towing his cousin’s blown-up truck home for him. They’re from a local Les Schwab Tire Center, and he has no idea what they are called.