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  • Coal-State Rocket: This West Virginia 2015 Silverado 2500HD Can Really Fly

Coal-State Rocket: This West Virginia 2015 Silverado 2500HD Can Really Fly

’Max Effort

Brian Lohnes
Oct 1, 2018
Photographers: Adam Dobbs
Let’s get right to it: The beautiful ’15 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD shown on these pages is owned and built by Aaron Scarbro, a diesel enthusiast who admits he doesn’t compromise or simply “settle” for anything—especially when it’s related to his truck.
It doesn’t take a trained eye to see Aaron’s rig is a perfect example of maximum effort— going all-out, full-on, and doing anything necessary to reach a goal. For Aaron, getting the most comfort, power, fun, and family time from the Silverado is the main objective, and it appears he has ticked all of those boxes with this 870hp daily driver.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that I can drive this truck 5 or 6 hours with my family onboard, make 7-second [eighth-mile] dragstrip runs, and drive it back home without any problems,” Aaron says. Yes, he often races it with the car seats still strapped into the backseat.
As it goes with so many trucks we feature, Aaron says he had all intentions of leaving the ’15 Silverado—nicknamed Large Red Riding Hood—stock when he purchased it. That notion lasted only briefly, though, as Aaron started with bolt-ons and ECM tuning. “In 2016, I installed the dual CP3 injection pumps and then upgraded the turbocharger and the fuel system,” Aaron explains. “Since this is the truck I drive every day, all the modifications are designed to not affect me being able to use it to get to work.”
The stock long-block handles the 840 hp and 1,459 lb-ft of torque the 6.6L Duramax LML engine churns out, as well as wide-open abuse on the dragstrip. “One of the highlights of this build was having Dmitri Millard of No Zone Diesel at my house, in my little one-car garage, rebuilding my transmission,” Aaron says. “He taught me so much, and I was really shocked by how quickly he works. The guy knows his stuff, and to have him at my place doing the work was a bonus. We had some beer along with some pizza, and I got a really great hands-on education.”
Photo 2/18   |   It’s hard to believe Aaron Scarbro bought this ’15 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with the intention of leaving it bone stock and simply driving it as is. Things have taken a massive turn for the cool, as his work on the truck brings it to this high level.
It is a rig that was built really smartly. Take the wheels, for example. “I always wanted a set of American Force Rebels, and for a while I was saving up the money to buy them,” Aaron explains. “I found a guy who was willing to swap the stock wheels off of this truck for these 22x12 American Force Rebels, and I said yes immediately. The wheels were a little rough when I got them, but I brought them to Fabtech Custom Metal Fabrication in Beckley, West Virginia, which cleaned them up and powdercoated them for me. You can see the red accents if you look for them,” Aaron says.
You can see that same level of pride and attention to detail throughout the truck. Under the hood, the induction system is packed with a Fleece Performance Engineering–prepared BorgWarner S468 turbocharger that’s installed with Wehrli Custom Fabrication’s S400 tubing and a big AFE Power 5R dry filter. The major components in that system are powdercoated black and Bengal Red to match the truck!
When asked why he scored this particular truck in 2015, Aaron says, “Well, I kind of love all the trucks out there, but this one made the most sense. Pretty much all I have ever owned and driven are Duramax-powered trucks. I have had an LB7, LMM, and this LML. I know how to work on them, and I know how to make power with them.”
While making power is one thing, actually putting that power to the pavement separates the trucks that look good from those that run hard. This Silverado covers both bases. “How?” you ask. Well, from a suspension standpoint, the front is enhanced with parts designed to keep things stable under a severe load. Parts such as a Dirty Hooker Diesel centerlink steering stabilizer bracket along with the company’s tie-rod sleeves manage toe under hard launches, and backing out the torsion bolts frees up some front suspension movement.
In the rear is where the real business takes place, and even that’s accomplished with a simple and effective approach, featuring McGaughy’s Suspension 2-inch drop shackles for the springs and Mean Street Performance traction bars (painted to match the truck), as well as removed overload leaf springs. Between helping more weight transfer and allowing the rear end to actually squat and plant, the suspension mods are all the rig needs to cover the eighth-mile strip in the low-7-second e.t. range.
Photo 3/18   |   This is the view of Aaron’s Silverado most people see on the dragstrip. Even driving away, the truck still looks really good. This has been a family project, and those back doors on the cab are where the car seats get loaded in.
Photo 4/18   |   Having the right parts and pieces is one thing, but having the right look is another. Aaron worked hard on the details of this rig to get them right. From the way the truck sits to small visual touches, he’s crushing it.
We all know projects like this are never really done, and Aaron explains he’s laying out an interesting path for this Silverado. “We are thinking about doing an engine for the truck and really making some power, but there’s also another route we’ll likely take,” he says. “I have another truck we want to drag race seriously and run in the 5s with. I’m going to need something to tow that one with, and if I slide a dualie axle under this one, it would actually make some sense as a tow rig.”
No matter what the future holds for this rig, its present is fantastic. When you combine family, a budget, a small garage, and thousands of smartly invested dollars in good parts, you end up with a truck that can literally do it all. Aaron Scarbro’s ’15 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is proof you don’t need to be the richest guy on the block to have an awesome hot rod. He hauls his kids, wife, and work around during the week, but during the weekend, Large Red Riding Hood makes potential wolves look really, really bad.
Photo 5/18   |   The trusty 6.6L Duramax LML engine in this rig was modified in stages. After starting with basic bolt-ons, Aaron got serious and upgraded the fuel and induction systems. Now the truck can cruise for hours, cover the eighth-mile in 7 seconds, and drive back home.
Photo 6/18   |   The big Duarmax is a snug fit in the nose of the Silverado. For a truck that gets driven every day, drag raced, and used all the time, this is an astonishingly clean and tidy engine bay. Aaron is a stickler for the details.
Photo 7/18   |   An Air Dog II-4G lift pump is an important piece of the effort to keep the engine supplied with fresh fuel. The setup doesn’t just deliver fuel; it also separates water and other junk out of the diesel and keeps the high-pressure pumps, injectors, and fuel lines happy.
Photo 8/18   |   Traction is an essential element of drag racing, right? These Mean Street Performance traction bars keep the Silverado hooked up and rolling down the strip. By transferring the axle’s propensity to rotate into the frame, the bars help plant the tires hard, which makes for quicker times.
Photo 9/18   |   The Allison six-speed automatic transmission is beefed up to keep pace with the engine’s output, with pieces like this heavy-duty Derale 40-row, dual-pass transmission cooler. The unit’s fan moves 800 cfm of air, keeping things cool under the toughest conditions.
Photo 10/18   |   Aaron got these American Force Rebel wheels in a trade deal. They were pretty rough when he got them, but Fabtech Custom Metal Fabrication applied the powdercoat, and they look like a million bucks now.
Photo 11/18   |   Because this truck is used day in and day out, Aaron decided to keep the stock interior intact. The baby seats fit perfectly in the back.
Photo 12/18   |   This Edge Products CTS monitor takes care of delivering all the vital statistics Aaron needs when driving, racing, or hauling with his Silverado. He decided using this compact package is better than adding more gauges.
Photo 13/18   |   That 7-inch exhaust tip lets the world know there is plenty of horsepower being made upstream. This is one of the cleaner Silverados we have seen in our travels. It is slick from every angle—even this one.
Photo 14/18   |   The Fleece Performance Engineering–prepped billet BorgWarner S468 turbocharger is mounted by way of a Wehrli Custom Fabrication S400 kit Aaron had powdercoated black and Bengal Red to match the rest of the truck. This is an 870hp program, kids!

Fast Facts

Year/Make/Model: ’15 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Owner: Aaron Scarbro

Hometown: Beckley, West Virginia

Odometer: 25,000 miles

Engine: 6.6L Duramax LML V-8

Programming: EFILive with tuning by PPEI

Fuel: Dynomite Diesel Performance 100-percent-over injectors, Wehrli Custom Fabrication Twin Fueler with Dual Exergy Performance Sportsman CP3 injection pumps, Derale 13-row fuel cooler with dual fans, AirDog II-4G lift pump, G&R Diesel sump

Air: BorgWarner billet S468/87 (.90AR) by Fleece Performance Engineering, Wehrli Custom Fabrication S400 install kit, AFE Power 5R dry air filter

Exhaust: ATS Diesel Performance Pulse Flow manifolds, Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust 5-inch tubing, muffler, 7-inch tip

Transmission: Allison six-speed automatic by No Zone Diesel, billet C2 hub, sun gear, Fleece Performance Engineering AlliLocker torque converter lockup controller, Derale 40-row dual-pass transmission cooler, 800-cfm fan

Horsepower: 870 hp

Torque: 1,439 lb-ft

Tires: 305/40R22 Toyo Proxes

Wheels: 22x12 American Force Rebel

Suspension: Dirty Hooker Diesel centerlink steering-stabilizer bracket, tie-rod sleeves, torsion bolts backed out (front), McGaughy’s Suspension 2-inch drop shackles, overload springs removed, Mean Street Performance traction bars (rear)

Axles: Stock

Body: Window tint, badges blacked out, color-matched painting by Street Dreams of Beckley, West Virginia

Interior: Edge Products CTS monitor, Auto Meter Competition Instruments Cobalt 60-pound boost gauge

Fun Fact: “The best thing about building this truck was the long nights working in the garage with my wife and friends. Whenever I get enough time off work to go to events, it makes all that time worth it,” Aaron says.



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