|12-09-2012, 02:15 AM||eBay Motors #1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Storm chasing truck, need all the help on Mods I can get!
All comments, no matter how small, are appreciated.
What's up guys, I'm new here, and as you can tell by the title and my Username, I'm a current?/future storm chaser. A little background info so you can better understand what I'm trying to do, and assess my current knowledge. I'm currently a Meteorology Major at Virginia Tech, on track to graduate, depending on internship opportunities, in 2.5 years or less. I drive a 2009 5.3L CC 4x4 LT 6sp. Silverado, with a 6" BDS lift on 33" MT ATZ's.
I have been planning, for a long time, on turning this truck into a storm chasing vehicle, but have been waiting for the right chance to do it. However, after a multitude of conversations with my dad, he's decided that when his current company truck (an 08 3500HD CC 4x4 6.6l Dmax Dually with a long bed), is fully paid off (by the company), he'll trade me for the one I have now, any his company will help sponsor some upgrades. The lease ends in a little under 2 years, so I have plenty of time to save up for whatever he decides not to cover.
I realize this is a very long ways away, but I am intent on making this truck as efficient of a storm chaser as possible, with maximum HP to get away from that tornado when needed, along with not completely plummeting in the MPG area. Meteorology (especially severe weather) has always been, is, and will always be, my passion, so I have no problem dumping loads of money into the truck.
My ideas and mode of operation will probably change over the course of the next few years, so I'll most likely be updating this thread every couple days and replying as much as possible, so I can perfect the truck. I am in no way mechanically inclined, having no hands-on experience with installing aftermarket products to any vehicle at all, but, with the help of my roommate (mechanical engineer), and my uncle (Formula E driver who works on his car himself), I'm going to try to install everything I can myself, to save on cost. Of course there will be things I won't be able to do, so I'll get the rest done at a local shop.
If you've made it this far, thank you for your time, I know that was a lot to read. So, lets get to it.
The end goal is to make a truck to travel to and through every sort of weather situation, including blizzards, strong winds from the RFD from a tornado, hurricane force winds -120mph, hail, low standing water (less than 2ft), muddy country roads, and whatever else mother nature may throw my way, while being able to travel 750+ miles without needing to have to refuel, when neessary.
For a while at least, this truck will also be a daily driver. I'll be on bike when weather and distance allow, but I'll still need the truck quite often.
For those who didn't read the novel I wrote in the beginning, the project truck is a 2008 6.6L LMM CC 4x4 LTZ with a Long bed
The list will be incomplete for a while, but here is what I have planned now.
- 1. BDS 7" Suspension Lift with Fox 2.0 Shocks and Rear Glide Leaf Springs instead of 5" Blocks.
- 2. 35x12.50 Mickey Thompson ATZ Radials.
- 3. 20x?? XD Dually Rockstar Rims. (Very Likely to Change)
- 4. S&B Cold Air Intake
- 5. Magnaflow 4" Turbo Back Black Stainless Steel Dual Exhaust Kit
- 6. N-fab 6 step Nerf Bars for Long bed
- 7. Road Armour front Stealth Winch Bumper w/ Pre-Runner Guard
- 8. Road Armour Rear Stealth Bumper
- 9. Suncoast 6Pac Gmax Tranny Upgrade Kit
- 10. 4x PIAA 510 Fog Lights (Mounted in Road Armour Front Bumper)
- 11. Rigid 40" SR-Series Hybrid LED Light bar
- 12. Edge Juice with Attitude CTS Tuner
- 13. 4.88? Gears for both differentials
- 14. Fender Flares w/ cutout to fit 37s Easier
- 15. Snow Stage 3 Water/Meth Injection System
- 16. Complete body Rhino Lined or Line-X'd
- 17. Bed shell to mount stuff on
- 18. Air Dog II 200 GPH Lift Pump
- 19. ARB Air Lockers For both differentials
- 20. 10x Rigid Duallys defused 2 (5 mounted on each side of the front windshield)
- 21. 62 Gallon Titan Replacement Fuel Tank
- 22. Airflow Snorkel
- 23. Cognito Pitman and Idler arm Support Kit
The list will continue to grow rapidly. I'll add in all the meteorological mods later on.
This is what the thread was meant for
I have so many questions it's unbelievable. I would also love any additional comments or recommendations you may have. The more detail the better.
1. I would really like to get my horsepower safely up to around 550, what else would I have to do to get it there?
2. Would I be able to run 550hp without hurting the upgraded transmission and engine? If not, what all would I have to replace?
3. Would I be able to install a larger fuel tank to replace the current 36gal one?
4. What could I do to increase MPG?
5. What could I do to increase the longevity of the truck overall?
6. What does an airdog pump do? Should I look into getting one?
7. Are the PIAA lights street legal in Virginia? (I know you can have them as long as they are covered, but can I drive with either the fog or driving lights on at night if needed?
8. Would the water/meth injection system cause any problems in the long run?
I'm going to post this thread for now and finish it tomorrow, It's 5 in the morning and I need to get to bed!
Last edited by StormChaser; 01-24-2013 at 03:58 PM.
|12-09-2012, 03:53 AM||eBay Motors #2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Zanesville, Ohio
I wouldn't do a big lift like you are thinking... you need to think of the on road, high speeds handling mixed with high winds, going tall is not going to get along with those, so I would keep it as leveled - 4" lift, with 33's or 35's just incase you need the ground clearance. And for lights, I wouldn't mess with the PIAA and just go Rigid. Not knocking PIAA, they are good, but if you're going to be in that extreme, Rigid is something you can count on a lot better, and they will still function if you did damage them, and they still stand behind their product, they just want your pictures and story on how you broke them. For fuel tanks go, go Titan to replace your stocker, you can get a 55 - 60gal there. Wouldn't do a bed mounted transfer tank with a shell though. Don't forget the winch for the pumper, get onboard air system, and be sure to have chains, straps and rope for quick rescues, Bubba Rope is what I suggest.
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD WT, Victory Red, 4x4, ECLB, Duramax(LML)/Allison, Heavy Duty Towing Package
Insalled: Amp Research, Amsoil, B&W, Back Rack, Bushwacker, Code Alarm, Cognito, DRP, FASS, Goodyear, H&S, Hypertech, Mayhem, MBRP, Plasti Dip, Precision, Ranch Hand, Rhino Linings, Rigid Industries, Rough Country, S&B, Titan, Warn, Weather Guard
Need the Guts to Install: Frost Fighter, Snow Performance, Autometer, ATS.
http://www.dmaxstore.com, Your Duramax Diesel-Only Shopping Resource
|12-09-2012, 04:18 AM||eBay Motors #3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mt-Tremblant, Canada
X2 on rigid industries lighting!
PIAA makes awesome products maybe just use their bulbs in your headlights but exterior lighting nothing will kill rigid. No chances of cracking lens, bulb out or cold.
Bumpers, I'd go with Fab Fours
Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com Free App
2011 LML crew, short box, full matte black wrap, Pro Comp nitro leveling, 305/60/18 ProComo AT xtreme,Pro Comp 7033 18's matte black, Bushwacker pocket fender, weather tec visors & mats,S&b CAI, MBRP 4"filter back black, Fabfours front-rear, smittybilt 12000x2o, Bedslide 1000pro, RigidIndustries all around and under! All wiredHDH
Oh and lots of Thule Racks!
|12-09-2012, 04:54 AM||eBay Motors #4 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
2. If trans is built good you'll have no problems at that level and the engine should be fine aswell.
3. Yes, Titan Tank is one that I saw someone mentioned.
4. Again EFI live, forget the Edge Juice w/ Attitude. Lift and big tires will make it worse.
5. EGR delete, keeps all the exhaust out of your engine.
6. AirDog has its own water seperator and finer filter (you can also run CAT filters on it) for better fuel filtration, it also pumps fuel to the injection pump which helps keep high hp fuel demands met and will just help the lifetime of he injection pump as its not working as hard.
7. Cant help with this.
8. As long as you keep a lower amount of alcohol its pretty safe. But there are stories of pumps not shutting off and people hydrolocking their engines. Most of that can be prevented with solenoids.
This might be a dumb question but oh well; wouldn't you want the vehicle as low as possible to allow less wind to get under the vehicle? iirc I saw a clip on the stormchasers that are on he discovery channel and they had a redish van that was all Line x and i thought they made body panels that extended almost all the way to the ground.
Built Front End
|12-09-2012, 05:14 AM||eBay Motors #5 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
You should try and get your dad to do some of the preventive maintenance now before you get the truck. Something like an EGR delete or blocked plate atleast is relatively cheap but prevents exhaust gases from being circulated into the intake. Or an AirDog just will filter the fuel better and lessen the chances of a problem with the injectors or fuel system from dirty fuel. It also reduces the work the injection pump has to do and increases its life.
Built Front End
|12-09-2012, 05:17 AM||eBay Motors #6 (permalink)|
EFI'd and lovin it
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Roswell, NM
I would not lift it. My CCLB leveled is like driving a kite in high winds. I would not dream of making it any taller.
You need to upgrade the front end of that bad boy to handle abuse. I would level it with a cognito Kit ( norcal Truck)
Install center link, pitman arm, upgraded tie rods
Get some good 10 ply tires (BFG, Toyo, Nittos) 33"s will get you through 24" water
Install a 52 gallon titian tank
Replace stock exhaust
Tune With EFI Live
Replace bumpers with Ranch hand, road armor, or similar. I would make sure it is built well and not just pretty
Install rigid off road lighting. Like the guys said they will work even if they are cracked or broken off
I think 550hp is probably a little much for a storm chaser. The last thing you want to do us bury the thing in a field because you spun all 4. Plus 550 in the snow could get you killed.
06 2500 CREW CAB 4X4 LBZ LOONNGGGGG BED
EXHAUST,EFI LIVE,DSP5,TPTUNED BY KORY WILLIS,S&B COLD AIR INTAKE
AUTOMETER GAUGES, TRANSGO JR, BLOCKED, TIE ROD SLEEVES...
O7.5 3500 CREW,DUALLY, LMM, ROYAL UTILITY BED...STOCK......ISH
This is not only your forum you have to share it with over 80,000 others
|12-09-2012, 06:22 AM||eBay Motors #7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Look out your window, see that van?
Sell the truck and get a van to mod.
You dont have to get out of the vehicle to get in the back and access all you equipment - big plus when high winds or angry mobs are throwing stuff at you.
Lower bed height for loading and more cargo area too.
'12 Express Van
|12-09-2012, 07:37 AM||eBay Motors #8 (permalink)|
Offical LB7 "Tech"
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saint Johnsville, NY
Definately dont lift it that much.
Add to the list...
-Snorkle and sealed intake
-Pitman and Idler arm Braces, and tierod sleeves
And dont just level it because 4x4 will be useless if the front axles are not level.
2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD, Limited Edition, CC,SB
EFI Live V2 w/dsp5 MAX EFFORT by Idaho Rob,
EGT's Never higher than 1150*
Cognito Braces, and ATP Sleeves, BD Manifold, ARP H.Studs, BATMO, M.P. mod, MA Aluminum Bleeder, PPE Boost Valve, Banks Ram Air- Intercooler- Wastegate, FASS 150, LBZ FPR, Shimmed FPRV, Built Trans, 4" MBRP turbo back exhaust w/6"tip, Corsa Muffler
@180,000-New injectors from Lincoln Diesel, CAT Adapter/filter/spacer
Air Lift, Bilstein Shocks, Leveling Kit, Recon LED tail lights & over cab lights, 20" Forged Aluminum WELD Racing Rims, 295/55/20 Nitto Trail Grappler Tires,
MANY More extras inside...
|12-09-2012, 07:54 AM||eBay Motors #9 (permalink)|
^^^ Needs more $ for mods
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Look up the thread "zombie apocalypse murder truck". He's got his whole truck line x'd.
Definitely build the transmission. Going into limp mode while trying to outrun a tornado would be counter productive!!!!
2007.5 GMC 2500HD Z71 SLT
20x9 Ultra Predators, 285 55R20 Nitto Terra Grapplers, EFILive Autocal DSP5 (ATP) 5" Diamond Eye SS w/muffler, Diamond Eye Downpipe, Transgo jr. Isspro Ev2 gauges, PCV reroute, EGR blocked, Cognitto UCA's, pitman/idler arm supports, Bilstein 5100's, MA Stainless tierod sleeves, Billet grille, Roll N Lock, Line-X, AFE stage 2 intake, Chrome tow hooks, WeatherTech visors, Spyder LED Tail lights, Cree reverse lights, B&W Turnover ball, 1500 tailgate spoiler, Loadlifter 5000 airbags, wirelessOne
2013 Forrest River Wildcat Extralite 293 REX
^^^ My Killer Custom EFILive DSP5 (stockish) mount
Last edited by AJ 72; 12-09-2012 at 07:56 AM.
|12-09-2012, 08:08 AM||eBay Motors #10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: upstate nj
35's and especially 37's will KILL your fuel mileage, as will 20's (37's will almost certainly require a gear change in the diff's.) if you expect to be in mud you really want to stay in the 18" or lower category. the more sidewall you can get the better off you are, this will allow you to run aired down more effectively and less chance of severe rim damage when doing so. plus replacement costs are much less on a smaller rim/tire.