More Four-Cylinder Power!
I have an '85 S-10 that's my project truck as well as my everyday driver. It has the stock 2.5L four-cylinder in it. My problem is that I can't seem to find anything at all for my motor - no intake, no performance chip, no header or exhaust system, nothing for it at all. I'm hoping I can get more performance out of this engine and keep it alive for years to come. I hope you can give me some advice. Keep up the awesome work on the magazine.
Russ Brafford
Maryville, Tennessee

While it took some serious research, after hours on the phone, we found some options for you from Daniel at Godfather Customs and the guys at Performance Center Wholesale and www.truckperformance.com. Godfather Customs [(800) 898-1240] has throttle-body spacers and a carburetor conversion for your truck. The company even offers some clutch options, electric fan conversion kits, plug wires, Flowmaster mufflers, high-flow catalytic converter upgrades, and a K&N filter that will allow more airflow. Clifford Performance [(909) 303-2333] makes a header and DynoMax has an after-cat upgrade for the truck (PN 17471). Comp Cams [(800) 999-0853] also has some valvetrain parts for your engine that could really get your motor purring. Also, if you turn to page 56, you'll find a whole story devoted to four-cylinder power bolt-ons.

Dime-Baggin'
I have an '95 Chevy S-10 Extended Cab with 2-inch dropped coils up front and 4-inch blocks out back. I was hoping you could help me out and tell me what I need in order to put airbags on my S-dime to make it drag; I want to stay away from a body drop for now, though. Please help me. I'm on a tight budget, so I need to do it right the first time.
Alan D.
Summerville, South Carolina

Since you weren't very specific on how fast you want to go or the configuration you want to run (front, back, and side-to-side), or if you plan on doing the install yourself, I recommend calling FBI at (877) 324-6464. For that particular truck, you will need to notch the frame and run a four-link or some type of link setup to drag it. You'll also need to move your gas tank up, or get a fuel cell. Oh, and you'll need four 'bags and at least four valves just to do front and back. If you want to be able to do side-to-side and other combinations, then go with eight valves. Being on a budget, you can use 3/8-inch-or-smaller valves; you won't need much bigger than that to meet your needs. You'll need all the fittings and air line to plumb the system. You will probably want to run at least two 5-gallon tanks to provide enough constant air, and at least two heavy-duty compressors to fill the tanks. You need switches, or whatever you have in mind to use as a switch box; a pressure switch to control the pressure in your air tanks; and a solenoid to run the compressors to. Never run the compressors straight to the battery because they draw too much amperage. FBI has full kit options that will save some bucks. Just look around and compare prices, but don't sacrifice quality - you get what you pay for. Good luck.

TBI Tricks
I was wondering about some easy bolt-on mods that can get my TBI 350 into the 400-450hp range. It's in a '95 GMC Sierra - in a two-wheel-drive extended-cab shortbed configuration - that has 94,000 miles on it. The only additions that I've made so far are a 2/4 lowering kit, 17x8-inch rims, throttle-body spacer, Flowmaster exhaust, K&N filter, and B&M shift improver kit. It runs pretty well, but I'm constantly being outgunned by newer trucks. I haven't seen many engine and performance articles or buildups on these trucks. I was also wondering if you would like to do a little buildup on my truck. I am in college and finances are tight. I would appreciate your expert advice on my truck. Thank you for time.
Jason McClelland
via e-mail

First off, we'll pass on the buildup of your truck. But thanks for playing. Secondly, if you're really in the market for some serious horsepower, you'll have to start thinking supercharger. These are usually good for 80-100 hp, are smog-legal, and really can make your ride fun. The down side is that you're going to need a rich uncle or inheritance to finance the upgrade as most kits are in the $4,000-$5,000 range. Also, keep in mind you will be bolting a performance part onto a tired engine, so don't expect miracles at the dragstrip. In a perfect world, you should freshen up the engine first, then add the blower, but in the world of a poor college student, you'll have to beg, borrow, or steal just to get the blower for your truck, let alone rebuild the engine.

Our Bad
I need to point out that there is an error in your article on the '96-'99 5.7L Vortec modifications. The article states that there are two injectors that "spray" fuel through plastic lines to a poppet valve. This is incorrect. This engine actually uses eight separate injectors that are enclosed in a large sealed fuel bowl that sits just behind the throttle body on the manifold. The injectors have a thin plastic pipe that runs to each cylinder. I put one of these engines in a '97 S-10 Blazer four-door.
Phil Chivers
Plano, Texas

Well, it would appear that even the tech gurus on staff here at Sport Truck occasionally fall victim to their humanity. You're correct: The '96 through '99 5.7L V-8 has eight small-diameter injectors that fit tightly in a small fuel block housing mounted toward the rear of the manifold. Yet, when we confronted our staffer with the new info, he made a really good point in his defense. This new information only proves the editor's point about the limitation of this fuel injection system. These injectors were made for a limited time, making them expensive to replace, and the intake manifold will not accept a larger injector to provide more power. The same injector used to fuel the 5.7L engine also fueled the 4.3L and 5.0L. The diameter of the tube running down to the intake runner and the obstruction of the poppet valve itself limits the amount of power these Central Port Injection systems can make. The parts available for the CPI system are very limited, which would also prove that they are not good candidates for enhanced power.

After making the changes to our CPI Tahoe, it ran pretty good. But the truth is that the intake and exhaust change increased airflow, but the fuel injection couldn't keep up with the increase in air. This is proved by the air/fuel ratio results from the dyno runs. Stock, the engine had a 12.12:1 air-to-fuel ratio; after mods, the ratio changed to 14.1:1. This means that the motor was running very lean, which could eventually be detrimental to the engine. The readout shows the mass airflow sensor and O2 sensor picked up the increase in air volume that the performance parts supplied. The problem is that even though the computer was told to fatten up the mix, there wasn't enough injector to supply the engine the needed fuel to make use of the added air. We are currently looking into ways to get the CPI to flow more fuel. You think it would be simple - well it's not. The small injector doesn't have a large enough coil to operate under higher fuel pressure, making the injector go static (failure). The next step is to see how far we can push the programming. We haven't reached the end of our resources yet, but stay tuned. We'll keep you posted. Thanks for helping us set the record straight.

Seeing Red Over Green
I'd like to start off by saying that I've been a subscriber to your magazine for about 10 years now, and I've always felt you have done a great job. I enjoy the features and tech articles but never thought I would write a letter until now.

I was shocked to see your article "In the Weeds" in the May '04 issue. I have no doubt that Mr. Sauceda put a lot of effort into his ride. He did a complete package - paint, wheels, suspension, interior, and sound system.

However, given how many young people read your magazine, I feel it was irresponsible for you to glorify and make jokes about the green leaves all over his truck. My wife doesn't like to see pictures of bikini-clad women all over the house, so I leave my magazines face down for her benefit.

There is absolutely no reason why I should feel I have to hide Sport Truck so my two young children don't see pictures of illegal drugs sitting openly on a console. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I wonder how many high school libraries subscribe to your magazine. Sport Truck wasn't around when I was in high school, but we did have Hot Rod. It wouldn't surprise me if every school that has a subscription cancelled it because of that article. There are so many great trucks out there to do features on, please try to be more responsible about which ones you pick in the future.
David Riedlinger
via e-mail

Obviously, we struck a nerve as your letter was the only one we got about this story. OK, we'll admit, the fake pot leaves on the console may have been going a bit too far. But hey, this is the theme that the owner selected and this is how he displays his truck. So we, as reporters, were merely reporting the facts with words and photos, not editing for morality. One thing we will take issue with in your letter is the bikini-clad comment. In the last year, we ran one cover with a woman in a bikini, and that was for the Swimsuit Special. The rest of the covers have featured women dressed in fairly conservative attire, stuff that you would see at the malls and at high schools. Why would you have to place the issues face-down at home when they sit in newsstands at grocery stores where kids see them every day? And as far as we know, we have yet to have one high school cancel any subscriptions because of the "In the Weeds" article. On the other hand, we are glad you felt strongly enough about the issue to give us your opinion, and we thank you for being a long-term subscriber. We're glad you find the other information in the magazine regarding trucks is worth keeping the magazine around, even if it is face-down.