Operation Muscle Truck Part 5

December 22nd, 2009

Housecleaning for a Special Guest

ST-1001-Motor-Lead

Photos by Mike Finnegan, Travis Noack and Marcel Venable

When we last visited the Muscle Truck project, a dedicated group of gearheads had gathered at Editor Noack’s house to remove the old 305-ci small-block engine and 4L60-E AOD tranny in preparation for a wicked new power plant. The “motorvation” will be provided by a righteous HT383 stroker long-block courtesy of GM Performance Parts. But, before we stuffed the new mill between the frame rails of Travis’ Silverado, we had to tidy up the decade-old engine bay. You wouldn’t invite friends over without cleaning up the house a bit, would ya? Neither would we.

Housecleaning for a Special Guest

ST-1001-Motor-Lead

Photos by Mike Finnegan, Travis Noack and Marcel Venable

When we last visited the Muscle Truck project, a dedicated group of gearheads had gathered at Editor Noack’s house to remove the old 305-ci small-block engine and 4L60-E AOD tranny in preparation for a wicked new power plant. The “motorvation” will be provided by a righteous HT383 stroker long-block courtesy of GM Performance Parts. But, before we stuffed the new mill between the frame rails of Travis’ Silverado, we had to tidy up the decade-old engine bay. You wouldn’t invite friends over without cleaning up the house a bit, would ya? Neither would we.

We relied on some good old-fashioned elbow grease and products from KBS Coatings’ line of restoration materials to clean and paint everything within the engine bay of the truck, including the new engine. Once the house was in order and the guest of honor was dressed to impress, we stuffed the stock 4L60-E tranny with a B&M shift kit and a new torque converter, and then dropped the masterpiece in place.

Check back next month for the wrap-up of this installation and our driving impressions of this revitalized street truck. For now, sit back, pop open a cold one, and check out the progress of Operation Muscle Truck.

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Since our cleaning products are environmentally friendly, we had no qualms about going nuts with the pressure washer at the public car wash and allowing it to flow right down the drain into the sewer system. This is a big deal because in our neck of the woods that stuff ends up dumping right into the ocean. The EPA will love us for this.

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Marcel got busy restoring the core support with more elbow grease and spray paint.
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Marcel is a wizard with a paint gun so he was tapped to lay down the color.

 

 

 

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Here’s another look at the lengths we went to protect every surface of the HT383 engine.

 

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Here’s a cool cleaning tip: remove oxidation from brass fittings with Taco Bell hot sauce. It works just as well as carbonated soda does on a battery terminal.

 

 

 

 

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Whether you are a mechanic or not, GMPP has you covered when it comes time to mount the accessories to one of its crate engines. The hardware is clearly labeled and the instructions are easy to understand.

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Once we tackled the majority of the restoration work, Marcel brought the engine hoist out once again and had the HT383 swinging in the air in preparation for its reunion with the transmission.

 

 

 

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In addition to servicing the transmission pan, we hooked up with the guys from B&M to firm up the transmission’s manners. A 2,000-RPM stall converter will help the holeshot without making the truck a handful on the street, while a Shift Improver kit will make the shifts happen faster and more precisely. The Shift Improver kit is an economical way to improve transmission performance at home and only hand tools are needed to do the job.

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Once the converter was slid onto the input shaft and the flex plate was bolted up to both the crankshaft flange and converter, the engine and transmission were joined once again.

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SOURCES
AIM Industries
Dept. STTR
260 S. Hibbert
Mesa, AZ 85210
877.480.3793
www.airbagit.com (http://www NULL.airbagit NULL.com)

Baer Brake Systems
Dept. STTR
2222 W. Peoria Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85029
602.233.1411
www.baer.com (http://www NULL.baer NULL.com)

bonspeed Wheels
714.666.1966
www.bonspeedwheels.com (http://www NULL.bonspeedwheels NULL.com/)

B&M Racing
818.882.6422
www.bmracing.com (http://www NULL.bmracing NULL.com/)

The Choppin’ Block
Dept. STTR
5553 W. Barstow Ave.
Fresno, CA 93722
559.275.2901
www.choppin-block.com (http://www NULL.choppin-block NULL.com/)

GM Performance Parts
www.gmperformanceparts.com (http://www NULL.gmperformanceparts NULL.com/)

KBS Coatings
888.531.4527
www.kbs-coatings.com (http://www NULL.kbs-coatings NULL.com/)

Kinetik
888.522.8346
www.kinetikpower.com (http://www NULL.kinetikpower NULL.com/)

PML Inc.
310. 671.4345
www.yourcovers.com (http://www NULL.yourcovers NULL.com/)

Ridetech
Dept. STTR
350 S. St. Charles
Jasper, IN 47546
812.481.4786
www.ridetech.com (http://www NULL.ridetech NULL.com/)

Toyo Tires
800.678.3250
www.toyotires.com (http://www NULL.toyotires NULL.com)

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