Part V It's as addicting as Rock Band, Facebook, and texting, combined. Horsepower-once it gets into your veins, there is no turning back. After doing several basic modifications (including Banks air intake, headers, exhaust, and programmer) to our '04 GMC Sierra, dubbed Novakane, and seeing immediate results, the desire to go faster never relinquished its stronghold. Knowing our tired 4.8L, with 150,000 miles on the odometer, wouldn't hold up much longer to the extreme abuse we were putting it through, we opted to make the most of its last days by bolting on the same parts you may be considering for your truck. Rather than pull the engine, we left it in place, and we also didn't remove the factory aluminum heads thinking the average Joe wouldn't want to pull them either. For the shade tree mechanic, all of these installs could be done in your garage and depending on your engine's history and modifications, you could expect similar horsepower increases.

Nitrous. That word either brings curiosity or a big smile to your face. There are many myths about nitrous, but the fact is, if you install it correctly on a healthy engine, it will produce more horsepower per dollar than any other mod. We bolted on a NOS drive-by-wire wet kit from Holley and were amazed at how easy each part was to install. The kit included everything we needed, looked great once installed, and performed beyond expectations.

Electric fans are finally being used on most new 1/2-ton trucks because the manufacturers realized what we've known all along, the initial cost is quickly an afterthought once more power, better cooling, and better mileage is experienced. Using an application-specific dual 15-inch fan kit from Flex-a-Lite, the 4.8L quickly responded to the easy install.

With our little V-8 making more power than ever, we didn't call it a day, rather we ordered a full complement of parts from Comp Cams and FAST. The UPS driver delivered a new Tri-Power Xtreme cam, FAST LSXRT 102mm intake manifold, billet fuel rails, also from FAST, and the necessary installation parts (valve springs, keepers, seats, locks, seals, and trunnion bearings). To make our truck run its best, we called Sean, over at SoCal Tuning, to make a couple of pulls on Superior Automotive's dyno and dial in our ECU. The end result showed a 294ci engine producing 297 hp at the tire before the nitrous, and 346 with the spray.

Helping get our LS engine get over the 300 naturally-aspirated rwhp mark, we bolted on an ASP Racing underdrive pulley set and saw the dyno read 306 rwhp. With nitrous activated, the 4.8L produced an astounding 361 lb-ft of torque and a respectable 301 lb-ft without spraying the go-juice. Gentlemen, start your engines.

Read on, as we show you how, with several vital upgrades, we made our Sierra a tire-roasting kick in the pants.