FROM THE DRIVER SEAT
There is a great deal going on in this story, and we wanted to show you the highlights. This is by no means a step-by-step or how-to story as it is more an overview of what and how we made our truck go faster. With that said, these parts shouldn't be overlooked as just go-fast, gearhead eye-candy. Each part installed steadily increased horsepower and the culmination of each part really turned our little 4.8L into a respectable street prowler. There aren't too many naturally aspirated 294ci V-8s producing more than 300 rwhp and we're proud to say this one does. Admittedly, 150,000 miles is a little late in the game to start squeezing horsepower out of a work truck, but it handled everything we threw at it without a hiccup. Our only areas of concern were the necessary fuel line fittings, hoses, and adapters that were required to make the new fuel rails work with the factory high-pressure fuel line. Also, the front steam line had to be replaced with a dealer part because of intake clearance. Lastly, we needed a shop press to install the trunnion bearing upgrade for our factory rocker arms and didn't realize it until everything was torn down. Thankfully, each challenge wasn't too difficult to overcome, thanks to Sweet Performance Products fuel hoses, a 6.0L steam line from a GTO, and the purchase of a press. Now that you know what we know, there shouldn't be any surprises if you follow our lead. We're happy to report our only shortcoming was following the truck repair manual's new valve stem seal instructions. We did what it recommended and slid them down the valve stem within a .712 inch tolerance rather than using a 9mm deep-well socket and tapping them all the way down the valve stem (which is what our common sense told us to do, but we didn't listen). Not every valve stem seal seated properly and after sitting for a couple of days, cylinders 5 and 6 were filled with half a quart of oil-bummer. Our engine was hydrolocked and rather than take it back apart, we're going to swap in a GM Performance Parts crate engine. Check out next month where we'll unveil the future for Project Novakane.