The Mecham LSS features an STS remote-mounted turbo system with dual-level electronic boos
Back in the days when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was pumping iron and laying brick, during the era of pony car excess and CB radio crazed "muther" truckers, Dennis and Kyle Mecham built a limited series of grand touring Trans Ams that they dubbed the Macho T/A. The year was 1977 and these early domestic "tuner" cars sold very well.
Flush with success, the brothers formed DKM Design, Performance Inc. in 1978, expanding the program to more than 200 cars sold through a Pontiac dealership network. They also designed and marketed a Macho Z Camaro during this era and then formed Mecham Racing in 1982, promptly winning Pontiac's only SCCA Trans Am Championship.
The pair then took a 12-year sabbatical until 1997
when they formed Mecham Design, Performance to
launch their new Mecham T/A, the Z29R Camaro, the DuMans Corvette, the DuMans Grand Tahoe, and a new high-performance sport truck, their own Mecham LSS Silverado.
With Mecham's performance heritage and wild sense of design, we were expecting the unexpected from this truck - and we weren't disappointed.
Buried underneath the sheetmetal, styling cues, and premium content was a truly unique approach to turbocharging a truck. The turbocharger is mounted near the rear axle, under the cargo box. Rick Squires of Squires Turbo Systems (STS) in Orem, Utah, is the turbo expert behind the unusual placement of the turbocharger. In fact, according to Rick's marketing rep, John Peoples, STS was awarded a patent on its system of remote-mounting a turbocharger.
Dennis Mecham, managing director of Mecham Design, Performance, says his firm designed the LSS Silverado as a high-style, high-performance sport truck capable of being driven daily. He's built quite a few turbo cars and he's always had a keen sense of style and performance, so his choice to go with the remote-mounted turbo is telling.
The high style is apparent in the build of the pickup; the performance level is asserted in the impressive acceleration figures claimed. The stock 5.3L engine's performance at 4,500 feet was an underwhelming 17.22 at 89 mph, going 0 to 60 mph in 10.29 seconds. At 6 pounds of boost at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the STS turbo system accelerated the LSS pickup from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds and blasted through the quarter-mile in just 14.74 seconds at 96.65 mph.
Now that's getting into serious sport truck performance territory.
The interior was styled and stitched by Northwest Auto Leather in Vancouver, British Colum
The Mecham LSS (Luxury Super Sport) is designed to be a high-performance daily driver with
The hood louvers are a special part from Mecham Design, Performance.
For sporting performance, the LSS rolls on 20x9.5-inch EVO chromed, forged-alloy Weld whee
The cool-looking high-performance diff cover is from T/A Performance in Scottsdale, Arizon
The intake tube bends around the body into the wheelwell and enters the engine bay through
The STS remote-mounted turbocharger kits use Garrett turbochargers and TiAL wastegates. Th
This view of the STS remote-mounted turbo shows how the intake is routed over the framerai
The LSS's nose is restyled with a billet grille insert and Bow Tie emblem from Precision G
What's A Remote-Mounted Turbo And Why Would You Want One?
Now why would a turbocharger guy put a turbocharger so far away from the engine? Doesn't that degrade the performance of the system? What about increased turbo lag? How do you supply oil to the turbo's bearings? In turns out there are several performance advantages in remote-mounting a street-driven vehicle's turbocharger. Too many, in fact, to do justice to in the limited space we have here. For that, you'll have to pick up the June issue of Sport Truck magazine. However, we'll leave you with the following.
Rick Squires asserts his turbocharger systems can be installed in four to six hours with standard tools and average mechanical ability. After watching the crew remove the stock exhaust and install the turbocharger and intake track up to the throttle body in about 30 minutes, we think his assessment is accurate. The beauty of this design is its simplicity. You don't need to make any major modifications to your vehicle to fit the turbocharger system. You don't have to move alternators or install brackets; the STS system bolts on using factory mounts. And, if the tests go as planned, we'll be reporting on a California emissions-legal turbo system that's easy to install, adds 100 hp or so, and improves your fuel mileage.