Rendering: Nate Shrum

I've heard from many of you inquiring about the status of Project Novakane, our in-house '04 Sierra go-fast build. Unfortunately, the news I have to share isn't very exciting. As of this writing, it is December 20, 2010, and the truck is still torn apart and the engine is waiting idle for a few more bits and pieces. Despite the rumor that magazine editor's get handed everything on a silver platter, we still have to pay for much of a truck build, and my wallet has more lint than Benjamins. See, we really do go through the same struggles you do when turning a stock truck into something worth talking about.

Since the last time we ran a tech story on Novakane's engine build, I had my buddy Aaron Iha, of Chassis by Aaron, fabricate really trick upper and lower control arms to help keep the front end stable at high speeds and during extreme cornering. Sr. Tech Editor Bob Ryder then stepped in and carried several suspension pieces (including those new A-arms) to the pros at Specialized Coatings, in Huntington Beach, California, for a durable and beautiful black powdercoating (check out the story on page 120). There was no way I could bolt those gloss black components onto the beat-up and ugly frame, so I stripped the front framerails to bare metal and painted it semi-gloss black. That was a three-day chore, but it was definitely worth it. I also have new Bilstein shocks that will finish off the suspension improvements.

The engine is where I've come to a screeching halt. Little things have held me up like having a baby, the holidays, and my mortgage. All that's left to buy are the essentials such as: little fittings, clips, sensors, custom driveshaft, clutch hydraulics, and the ever-important computer tune. Funny how life gets in the way of going fast. Thankfully, tax return time is just around the corner, and as long as the wife doesn't read this column, I'll have the SoCal air filled with tire smoke soon enough.