I really liked your Throwdown article in Issue 1; I wish more guys were willing to actually have fun driving their trucks. I was wondering how you guys recorded your performance numbers, did the trucks really stop that fast?
The numbers for braking were very low, and while they might not be perfect, they were consistent, so we feel it was still a good comparison. We used a GPS to determine speed to eliminate speedometer error, fully applied the brakes at the same point over several passes, and averaged out the results. Also, keep in mind that the best distances came from trucks with massive brakes and racing tires. Previously we used a radar gun, which is the preferred method, because it calculates the instant speed begins to drop. We use a GPS data-acquisition system from Racepak (racepak.com) for the 0-60 and 1/2-mile times. It gives us speed and position and works great for measuring acceleration very accurately. It also works when we have a finish line like in the 1/4-mile, but we're not familiar enough with it to be able to determine distance when it comes to stopping, where each "finish line" will be different. For the autocross numbers we used an old-fashioned stopwatch.
In regards to your '00 Chevy project truck, the truck has high mileage because it was well used, so keep with that theme of usefulness for the rest of the build. I would like to see a mild static drop, some interiorupdates that would put the truck closer to new car specs without going overboard on budget. However, the most important thing I want to see is to swap in a new 6.2L crate engine that GM has out. There is one that comes with headers, cats, ECM, etc. that I believe is C.A.R.B. approved for you guys. I would like to do this same swap into my own 4.3L and see how difficult it is to wire and mesh with the factory gauges and such. Splurge here a little if you can. Good luck.
Believe us, we'd love to swap an LS engine under the hood and show everyone how it's done, but there's all sorts of red tape involved with regards to staying emissions legal. It's not impossible to do it, and is a worthwhile topic, so we'll keep it in mind. If our truck were an OBD1 model we could show you how to install an E-Rod engine from GM Performance Parts and be done with it, but the engine isn't approved for '96 and newer vehicles. However, you are correct, it does come with everything from the computer to the catalytic converters and the evaporation canister. There are several candidates for that exact swap, and we'll be sure to show the entire process as soon as we can.