Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Try it free for 14 days
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • |
  • |
  • July 2013 Under Pressure - Editorial

July 2013 Under Pressure - Editorial

Project Trucks: Best Of The Best

Jason Sands
Jul 1, 2013
Photographers: Jason Sands
Recently, I got asked the question, “What is the best modification you ever made to your truck?” My impulsive response was: “Which truck?” I wasn’t trying to be difficult, but the answer varied from truck to truck, depending on which project vehicle we were talking about. So, I decided to answer the question once and for all—for both myself and the readers.
Photo 2/2   |   July 2013 Under Pressure Editorial Project Rust Bucket
Project Vehicle Number One: ’97 Dodge 3500
This one really made me think, because I wasn’t exactly happy with how the project turned out. At the time I abandoned the truck, it was low on horsepower, high on EGT, and very smoky. Still, though, it had its good points, and even a favorite. For me, the BD Intercooler was a hands-down winner. In a back-to-back tow test, EGT dropped more than 200 degrees, and towing at 70 mph was possible versus a mere 55 mph. While I wasn’t crazy about the truck as a whole, it was hard to argue with the success I saw from that intercooler install.
Project Vehicle Number Two: ’89 Dodge D250
Another tough choice, because I liked everything on this vehicle so much—from the 47RH swap to the Turbosmart wastegate to my 500hp NX nitrous system and the tough-as-nails 62mm S300 turbo. And while the turbo was a very close second, I have to give a nod to the 14mm injection pump that was built by Scheid Diesel. After I tried a 14mm/4mm cam plate combo that seized up on the test stand, another one was built, and it has been reliable ever since. I’ve even whacked the 3,800-rpm governor a couple times, driven the truck thousands of miles, and best of all: The 370cc pump had the Wheaties to dyno 972 rwhp on spray—with 1,855 lb-ft!
"What’s my favorite modification? Depends on the truck."
Project Vehicle Number Three: ’95 Dodge 2500
My favorite part on my ’95 Dodge is actually a collection of them: the Garmon Power Package. With a simple assortment of parts honed over the years, Jeff Garmon’s expertise took my 12-valve from an anemic 215 rwhp to 433 rwhp. Best of all, EGT wasn’t that bad, boost was near the danger zone but still safe, and the truck went from 16-second quarter-mile times to 13-second ones. Now you see why so many trucks are “Garmonized.”
Project Vehicle Number Four: ’02 GMC Sierra
While I only had my GMC for a few months, I still had it long enough to form some opinions about it. With a couple EFILive keystrokes, we were able to add more than 100 hp, but that wasn’t the fun part. Erick Brown from Brown’s Diesel dabbled in a couple of TCM screens besides the engine stuff before I was sent on my way. Now, I dislike Allison transmissions, but after letting the 1000 learn via 10 half-throttle, 10 three-quarters throttle, and 10 full-throttle 0-to-60-mph runs, the transmission shifted awesome. It hit second gear particularly hard, which put a smile on my face every time it shifted. To go from not liking the Allison 1000 to it being the favorite part on that truck was a big surprise for me, but I couldn’t deny how well the TCM tuning made it drive.
Project Vehicle Number Five: ’08 Ford F-250
Now, I’m cheating a little here, because I haven’t had a Ford project of my own—mainly because every single member of the staff has had one. But I have followed my buddy Mike Dillehay’s 6.4L Project Godzilla from the start and ridden in it at every stage. I posed the “best modification” question to him, and here’s what he had to say: “It would be the Elite Diesel High Power turbos, hands down. The truck ran a 12.48-second quarter on a stock fuel system, and at 8,300 pounds. It was smoke-free, ultra responsive, and kept pulling all the way to 140 mph. Hard to beat that.” I’d have to agree.
So there you have it, and now you can see why the “best modification” question is so hard to answer, because it varies so much based on usage, and from truck to truck. What was your best modification? Shoot me an email and let me know.
- OF

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS