Dodge Debuts Return of Power Wagon and Viper-Powered Quad Cab
Dodge revealed two new Dodge Ram pickups in June at the DaimlerChrysler Chelsea Proving Grounds. The all-new '05 Dodge Ram Power Wagon roared out of a pile of dirt at the "ground-breaking" ceremony, followed immediately by the roar of a Viper V-10 in the new '05 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Quad Cab. The '05 Dodge Ram Power Wagon heralds the return of the model after a 25-year hiatus.
Bully Dog SEMA Project Diesel Adrenaline
Bully Dog Technologies' plans for SEMA 2004 are captured in these images of the company's new concept truck, Diesel Adrenaline. It's based on a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 equipped with a Bully Dog-prepared Duramax diesel. The bright-yellow truck is planned to roll on 22-1/2-inch Alcoa wheels on top of a 6-inch suspension lift. Bumpers and running boards are being supplied by Off Road Alloys to give it that real heavy-duty look. For more information on Bully Dog Technologies, go to www.bullydog.com.
Goodmark/Stylin' Concepts '04 Chevy Silverado Giveaway
Win the truck of your dreams. Enter now for your chance to win this '04 Chevy Silverado loaded with all the custom necessities, including a Goodmark hood; Street Scene body kit, grille, and mirrors; Corsa exhaust system; APC wheels; In-Pro Carwear euro taillights; Hypertech Power Programmer; Gaylord's tonneau cover; Altech LED line of fire lightbar; Nu Image flame gauges; Belltech lowering kit; Powerslot brake rotors; One Trick Truck door handles; Owens floor mats; and Billet Specialties billet antenna. In addition to all these goodies, the truck will feature Goodmark's signature "flame on black" custom paint. All entries must be received by 11/10/04. Fill out the easy-to-use online entry form at www.stylinconcepts/sweepstakes or contact: Stylin' Concepts, 7820 E. Pleasant Valley Rd., Independence, OH 44131, (800) 401-7089. Start date: 8/2/04 End date: 5:00 p.m. EST 11/22/04 Mailed entries mailed by 11/22/04 and received by 11/29/04
Comp Cams Offers Instructions Online
Have you ever taken on an engine project only to find that you've lost the instructions? For those of us with short memories who make a list, then promptly lose it, Comp Cams has the solution to your assembly-instruction needs via the Internet. Simply go to www.compcams.com/technical/instructions/ and select the Comp Cams product instruction sheet you need, print it out, and head back to the garage.
Currently, the online assembly instruction sheet assistance program is available for most of the more common Comp Cams engine components, such as lifters, rocker arms, belt drives, geardrives, timing sets, and other tools. Best of all, the files will be sent to you in PDF format for printing out on your home computer. The files are small enough that most dial-up Internet connections will handle the download easily. For more information on the new assembly instruction sheet program or any of your other valvetrain needs, go to www.compcams.com, call the toll-free Cam Help tech line [(800) 999-0853], or contact your local Comp Cams dealer.
Gale Banks Engineering's 800hp Twin Turbo Silverado
The power-mad turbo techs at Gale Banks Engineering are at it again. By the time you read this, we should've tested this bad-to-the-bone turbocharged Silverado, presumably hazing the tires all the way through the quarter-mile. Stay tuned.
Chevy Truck '05 Roundup
New for '05, the slick, little Super Sport Roadster gets a Gen. IV 6.0L LS2 V-8 engine with 390 hp backed with your choice of a standard Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission or the optional Tremec M10 six-speed manual transmission; the engine cosmetics also get a tune-up with a new engine cover.
In addition, the company has retuned the steering system for more precise on-center feel and reduced low-speed effort; revised the exhaust routing (two pipes from the muffler for a quasi-dual exhaust - whatever that means); changed to a "dead pedal" design to accommodate the manual transmission option; and replaced the traction control button with an embossed SSR logo (manual transmission only). Other additions include self-supporting gas-hood struts and a sound system with CD player and MP3 playback capability (1SA package only). That's not all: GM designers built a line of New Regular Production Accessories (RPAs), including but not limited to an auxiliary gauge package (volts, delivered torque, outside temperature) and a Windbreak. They also added a body-color package that includes body color on auxiliary gauges (volts, delivered torque, outside temperature), engine cover insert, and pickup bed strips. And finally, they added a new exterior color, Aqua Blue, to replace the Ultra Violet.
The chrome exterior package is now available on LS models, and LS and LT models get freshened interior trim. The OnStar safety and security system becomes standard on all models, and the availability of the power-adjustable pedals option is expanded. Steering wheel-mounted radio controls come standard on all models, and the 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard on all K1500 (4WD) models. As for the sound system, ETR AM/FM stereo with CD player, touch-screen navigation radio, and Homelink Universal programmable transmitter options are now available on all models, except the base LS. And Sandstone Metallic, Bermuda Blue, Metallic are the new exterior colors.
There's not much to change here, since the model was introduced last year. The only thing worth mentioning - and this, just barely - is the new Superior Blue Metallic exterior color.
Chevy Silverado/Silverado Heavy Duty
The most significant news for the Silverado is the introduction of the hybrid version of the 1/2-ton 1500 Extended Cab model. We'll review this next month. In addition, GM's squeezed a few more ponies: 310 hp from the Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8, which is available on the 4WD Extended Cab with standard box. The company is adding a power sunroof package (available late 2004 on Extended and Crew Cab models) with universal transmitter and overhead console, and are making front disc/rear drum antilock brakes standard on all models, except with Quadrasteer. The model line also gets a 3.23 rear axle ratio standard on 2WD models as well as a 145-amp alternator standard.
The Snow Plow prep package includes a 160-amp alternator, and there's a new hood and grille design for Heavy Duty models as well as new exterior colors, Dark Blue Metallic (all except Silverado SS) and Silver Birch Metallic (Silverado SS). OnStar driver safety and security system, featuring Gen. VI hardware with analog/digital coverage and upgraded hands-free capabilities, becomes standard on light-duty LTs; available on LS; standard on heavy-duty Silverado LT Extended Cab and Crew Cab; and available on 2500HD and 3500HD models.
Civilians can only buy two-door Blazer models; the four-door models are for fleet sales only. The General's offering a smoker's package that includes ashtray and lighter as standard on all models. It gives another spin on the Blazer, doesn't it?
Chevy's touting improved fuel economy for the Tahoe, a 2WD model available on the Z71 off-road package, an improved cooling system, and enhanced passenger comfort with quieter operation. The rear liftgate with lifting rear glass is standard on all models, and OnStar driver safety and security system is standard on all equipment groups. Touch-screen navigation radio is available, and the LS and LT models get revised interior trim. A 160-amp alternator replaces the 145-amp version as standard, and an upgraded tire-pressure monitoring system with individual tire alert is available. Redesigned assist steps for improved aerodynamics and durability is added, 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels are now included on the LT package, and the new exterior colors are Sandstone Metallic and Bermuda Blue Metallic.
Chevy Trailblazer, Trailblazer Ext.
The Trailbalzer gets the Gen. IV Vortec 5300 V-8 with Displacement on Demand technology (Ext. only) and side-curtain airbags, offering side-impact protection for front- and rear-outboard occupants. The OnStar driver safety and security system is available, as is an MP3 radio feature on LS, along with navigation radio touch-screen upgrades. The seats are also upgraded for more comfort and better finish quality. The new exterior colors are Superior Blue Metallic, Emerald Jewel Metallic, and Graystone Metallic. The new interior colors and combinations are Ebony, Ebony/Light Cashmere, and Light and Dark Gray.
Along with the Tahoe, the big Sub' gets improved fuel economy, and a 2WD 1/2-ton model becomes available on the Z71 off-road package. As we read it, the Suburban gets about the same entertainment/navigation/OnStar/interior trim/exterior upgrades, including the new rear liftgate with flip-up rear glass as standard on all models. It also sees some tuning of rear axle ratios with the 3.42 ratio becoming standard on 1/2-ton models only; the 3.73 ratio is standard on 3/4-ton models only. A revised tire-pressure monitoring system with individual tire alert system is now available on 3/4-ton models (does not include spare tire). An engine oil cooler is only available with 3/4-ton models with the Vortec 8100 V-8. The transmission oil cooler is only available with trailering equipment or 3/4-ton models. The new exterior colors are Sandstone Metallic and Bermuda Blue Metallic.
'04 Ford F-150 Wins Truck Interior Of The Year
The '04 Ford F-150 truck captured another major honor, Truck Interior of the Year, at the Auto Interiors Show in Detroit. More than 5,400 automotive industry executives selected the Ford F-150 to win the award based on its overall interior design, functionality ,and vehicle innovation. Other finalists in the truck competition included the BMW X3, Chevrolet SSR, Dodge Durango Limited, and the Nissan Armada. The Auto Interiors Show held at Cobo Conference Center is the largest industry event in the world dedicated exclusively to car and truck interiors.
Ford '05 Super Duty
For '05, the Ford Super Duty sees a host of functionality, capability, and convenience improvements. First off, it gets increased tow ratings across the board, with a maximum tow rating of 17,000 pounds, as well as an increased payload capacity as much as 5,800 pounds in the F-350 dualie; on average, payload improves 500 to 1,000 pounds for F-250 and F-350 pickups. The TowCommand System, a combination of standard and optional features that makes towing easier, including an industry-first factory-installed trailer brake controller, is available.The new SDs get a power increase. The 6.8L three-valve Triton V-10 is rated at 355 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, and the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel increases to 570 lb-ft of torque. In addition, a new front suspension is said to improve steering, ride, handling, and maneuverability in 4X4 pickups and all F-450 and F-550 cabs. It also gets a boost in braking, with larger rotors and larger, stiffer calipers. Even the parking brake is larger and stronger.Additionally, it gets a stronger frame and design changes that cap off the new capabilities with a bolder, tougher look up front as well as 18- and 20-inch wheels and interior refinements.
This Buick Rainier with a Chevrolet TrailBlazer front end grafted onto it is actually the upcoming TrailBlazer SS in training. The TrailBlazer SS will arrive in 2005, possibly as an '06 model. The new AWD TrailBlazer SS will be powered by a small-block V-8, with chassis and brake engineering courtesy of GM's Performance Division. The new front-end styling is said to allow greater engine cooling. As soon as we get one, we'll test that theory out.
NewScientist.com reports that Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS), based in Anderson, Indiana, will be one of the first companies to market another type of wireless weapon. The $9,000 Close Quarters Shock Rifle projects an ionized gas, or plasma, toward the target, producing a conducting channel to deliver a debilitating shock. It will also interfere with electronic ignition systems and stop vehicles.
"We will be able to fire a stream of electricity like water out of a hose at one or many targets in a single sweep," claims XADS President Peter Bitar. They didn't say how many vehicles the device can stop, however.
As with last year, we're giving you six months to build your interpretation of the coolest '98-or-older sport truck. This time, however, we've increased the budget to $6,000, not including the purchase price of your rig. After you build it and send us the photos and receipts, we'll determine the winners with a panel of sponsor judges. We'll judge your creation in terms of overall appearance as 60 percent of the score, quality of interior as 20 percent, and engine detail the remaining 20 percent. If we have a tie, the overall appearance will be the deciding factor.
Here's what you get if you build the most outrageous truck within our rules and win the Grand Prize. In addition to having your achievement captured in a full feature in Sport Truck magazine's print and online editions as well as on JC Whitney's Web site, JC Whitney will award a $1,000 JC Whitney gift certificate. For the Low-Buck builder who wins our First Prize, we'll feature your truck as described above and JC Whitney will award you a $500 JC Whitney gift certificate. We also have a Second Prize consisting of the same feature exposure as the Grand and First Prize winners as well as a $250 JC Whitney gift certificate.
How To Enter
What we need for you to do is mail us a copy of the registration of the truck you're planning to build and "before" and "after" photos of the truck (3/4 front, 3/4 rear, engine, interior) along with copies of all the receipts for build parts, paint, and contracted labor. You don't have to have the completed truck to register, either. You can enter with just the "before" photos and docs and fill in the blanks later. We highly recommend, however, that if you split your registration, you include the "before" images and docs with your final entry.
At any rate, the Sport Truck/JC Whitney Low-Buck Challenge starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on 7/1/04 and closes for entries at 5:00 p.m. PT on 12/30/04, with mailed entries postmarked by 12/30/04 and received as designated by 1/6/05. For a downloadable entry from, go to www.jcwhitney.com or www.sporttruck.com.
World's Quickest Power Stroke
The folks at Diesel Innovations in Houston, Texas, blasted the quarter-mile in 11.74 at 115 mph in their 5,900-pound (with driver) Ford turbodiesel Power Stroke. The run came last May at the World Ford Challenge. The diesel is powered by a stock engine with a bigger turbo, Borla exhaust, computer chip, and nitrous. Currently, they're running a stock suspension, but are planning to put a four-link under it. Once that's in, they're looking for 11.30s. Congrats to the crew: (from left) Tommy Collums, David Lott, AKA Power Stroke Racer, wife Amanda, Chris Muncy, and Doug Wilson. For more information, go to www.dieselinnovations.com.
Johnny Lightning Performance Records Amazing 9-Second Pass
Johnny Lightning rocked the fans at the NMRA Ford Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway earlier this summer with a mind-blowing 9.88 at 133 mph e.t. That's a very quick lightning indeed.