When Chevrolet released the Silverado SS in 2003, many performance vehicle enthusiasts were on the fence about the intended purpose of this truck. GM diehards had been asking for several years for a truck that could compete with the ford Lightning. GM decided to come to the market with this 5,300-pound extended cab truck with several fancy options. Several would argue that Chevy missed the mark by producing a heavy all-wheeldrive truck with a backseat. The silverado ss looked stunning with its monochromatic paint and shiny 20-inch wheels, but it certainly did not evoke the street brawler fear that the Lightning is known for. the ford was easily running 13s at your local dragstrip due to its lighter weight and supercharged 5.4L engine. The silverado ss was a mid-14- second truck, which turned off several performance-minded buyers. Luckily, not everyone turned their back on the ss, as several enthusiasts embraced the potential of these trucks and began to modify them with excellent results. such is the case for long-time best friends, Jeff bullock and Darren Mooneyham.
Bullock purchased the truck brand new in 2003 as his daily driver. He and Mooneyham began tweaking on the sinister-looking black pickup, in efforts to make it more potent to unsuspecting competitors. first, a few bolt-ons were added. that wasn't enough to satisfy them, so they installed a supercharger on the 6.0L engine. eventually, that combo began to feel slow, so they tore out the stock engine and supercharger, and called the team at speed inc. (schaumburg, illinois) to build something even more aggressive. the silverado ss came from the factory with a 364-cube, 345hp LQ9. this engine shares the same gen iii architecture as the everpopular Ls1, so it is a prime candidate for modifications found in the huge LsX performance aftermarket. Bullock decided that 364 cubes weren't enough, so he went with a 427ci build starting with a Corvette C5-R engine block. speed inc. spec'd out the combo, starting with a set of ported Ls6 cylinder heads and a CoMp Cams 232/242, 110 roller cam. the tall truckstyle oeM intake manifold was replaced with a high-flowing fast LsX 90mm composite manifold, along with a ported 90mm throttle body. A set of long-tube headers help to expel the combustion gases, which then pass through a Corsa exhaust system. instead of going with a supercharger again, it was decided to give nitrous a try on this new combo. a single jet nitrous express wet kit was installed, along with some fuel system upgrades. the factory pCM was customtuned by skinner performance (Joliet, illinois) to handle the larger injectors and 427ci engine combo.
The drivetrain and suspension on this silverado are basically untouched from the factory, save for two sets of 3.73 gears instead of the original 3.06 sets. it still rolls on the oeM 20-inch wheels and 275 goodyear tires that it came with. braking is still handled by the factory 12-inch disc brakes up front, and 12.79-inch discs out back. one good thing about this Chevy truck is that it never hurt the factory owing capacity rating of 7,500 pounds. No doubt that towing capacity is probably higher now, given the performance upgrades and better gearing.
Moving into the interior, we find plush leather seating and power everything. this truck is definitely all about cruising in comfort and style. the guys installed a nitrous and fuel pressure gauge into the dash to monitor the bottled horsepower. a series of switches and toggles keeps things neat and easy to reach for whenever the urge for speed is felt.
Sadly, Jeff bullock passed away before getting his chance to experience the 427ci and nitrous combo. his loving wife, Kelly, and best friend Mooneyham were determined to see this project through to completion. it was something Jeff would have wanted them to do since he was never a quitter. the combo put down a blistering 11.80 at 121 pass on factory tires. bullock's family and friends still take pride in his pickup, almost certain that his spirit rides shotgun with them when they are out driving it. when asked why he continues to treasure this truck, Mooneyham claims he is "just trying to keep Jeff's dream alive."