As part of our continued improvement for 2012, we're opening up our Readers' Rap section to those of you having a hard time getting an answer to a tough truck question. Send in whatever is stumping you and if we can't answer it, or if we think your question is going to help out other people with a problem, we'll send you free truck gear. It's just that easy. Also, if we did something to tick you off, did something that you liked, or even if you want to make a suggestion, feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to respond. This month's free giveaway is a pair of Mechanix gloves to protect your mitts while turning those wrenches. For more info, check out

Smog Woes,
Hey guys, I hope you can help me since you are in California and probably know the smog laws really well. I am in Texas but will be moving to California to be back with my family. My truck is an '03 Silverado 1500 2WD. Originally it had the 4.8L in it with a 4L60E but I have made some modifications. The truck now has a 6.0L with a cam and headers and tune. Also, I put in a 4L80E transmission with a higher stall torque converter. Will I be able to get this truck to clear smog in California? I have heard it's quite difficult to bring in modified vehicles from out of state. I love this truck and would really hate to have to turn it back the way it was or sell it. Please give me good news.

Stephen Wayne
Austin, Texas

You are in luck…sort of. Your swap to the 6.0L engine will not fail you because that engine was offered in the 1/2-ton truck line in both the SS truck and under the Max option. Also, the transmission will be fine too. Where the fuzzy area comes in, are the cam, tune, and headers. You did not mention if the headers are full length or shorties with the catalytic converters still in place. We know you Texas guys usually take all that stuff out. Most of the shortie headers are CARB approved as long you keep the Y-pipe factory. How big is the cam? If your truck rumps like an old small-block, you can forget getting it to pass even if you adjust the tune. Plan accordingly. You shouldn't have to sell your truck, but it appears you may have to swap a few parts back on. Also keep in mind the visual inspection. Some smog check stations just pop the hood and make sure everything looks OK, but others go over everything with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the engine beauty cover from the 4.8L is in place just in case they check the VIN. One other thing that needs to be addressed is the truck's weight. In California, pickup trucks are commercial even though they really aren't. A certified weight certificate is required to gain your DMV registration as well. Look to a commercial moving company. Many have certified scales on premise and charge a small fee for the paperwork to get you legal. We wish you luck!

I love the way the cover truck on Issue 12 looks with the Yukon front end. I think the sloping front end along with the standard cab shortbed dimensions fits the two body styles perfectly. What parts would I need to make my '07 Silverado look like the cover truck and besides the expensive dealership, where can I find the parts?

Rodrigo Cabeza de Vaca

We agree with you, Ivan's GMC looks great with the Yukon clip affixed to it. The list of parts needed to perform the swap is pretty long, so we'll give you the highlights. You'll need a Yukon hood, grille/bumper, both fenders, radiator core support, both headlights, both foglights, grille insert, all of the mounting bolts, and you'll need to make a custom wiper cowl. The great thing about needing all of these parts is they can be found at for much less than the dealer would charge you. We've done a similar swap with LMC and we're impressed with fit and finish of their parts.

Whoa Hoss!
I use my lifted '03 Super Duty V-10 for towing and I know that my 37s make it hard for my factory brakes to get everything to a halt, is there any way to get better braking with my stock calipers?

Jeff Mason,
Dixon, California

The easiest upgrade would be a new rotor and pad combo. EBC Brakes makes components for your Super Duty. The next option would be a hydraulic boost system that uses the power steering pump rather than engine vacuum to charge the brake system. Hydratech makes a master cylinder for your application that can be installed in a day and dramatically improve the pressure and stopping power at the caliper. Check out and for more info.

Truckin' Staff,
Heys guys and gals how are you? Love the mag, I don't deploy without it! Anyways, I wanted to know what you suggest for lowering a 2006 Chevy Silverado extended cab. I already put a 2-inch drop shackle on the rear. I want to stay with my 22s on 305/40R22 tires. Do you think a 2/4 is good?

Mike Smith
San Antonio, Texas

First off, thank you for your service, and for volunteering to keep all of us safe. In regards to your Silverado, a 2/4 kit would be a nice, drivable drop for your 22-inch wheels. Right now, your 305/40R22 tire measures in at 31.61 inches tall, whereas that truck came with a 245/70R17 tire that comes in at 30.5 inches tall, so your current setup is already a full inch taller than factory. Basically, you've added a taller tire but you're trying to lower the fenders onto that increased height. A 2/4 will not rub with your current tire, but it may not provide you with the custom look that is the end goal. Unless your tires are fairly new, we'd recommend going with a 3/5 drop and going to a smaller tire. A 275/40R22 or even a 285/35R22 will provide you with plenty of contact patch and protection for a 10-inch wide wheel, but will also shrink the overall diameter for a truly custom look. Thanks again for your sacrifices and send us some photos when it's dropped and looking good.

Lowering Questions:

Dan Ward,
I've been following Novakane since its inception and absolutely love it. It actually helped me decide what my next vehicle would be and I've had my '05 Silverado standard cab short bed 4WD for months now. I have been looking and contacting and phoning many people as to how to lower my 4WD to a 4/6 at the lowest, 3/5 is okay too. Nobody out there can help, yet people on forums say it's no problem. I'd love to pick your brain a little regarding lowering a 4WD.

Randolph, New Jersey

Hey Dave,
Thanks for keeping tabs on our Novakane project, it sure is a blast to drive and completely different than the typical lowered Chevy. To drop your 4WD, I'd recommend going with parts from McGaughy's, as they have a full complement of 4WD lowering parts. For the front of your truck, a 2-inch drop spindle and torsion key would suffice and they have a 6-inch C-notch that would give you your desired rear drop. For all of their lowering parts, go to If you go big on the LS horsepower and launch in 4WD high, you could have a real screamer on your hands. Happy tire smoking! – Editor Dan

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article