Video: Knocking On The 11s In a Smooth Turbo LS-Powered Silverado

Photos by Javier Padron

We love that anything with a turbocharged LS goes fast. Cars, trucks, SUVs, you name it. In this case, Brandon Brown went to the truck side of the ledger by starting with his 2011 Silverado standard-cab pickup and has been working on it now for about three years.

Though maybe to some it’s still a work-in-progress, we consider it to be quite well-sorted and rounded out just as it is. And the fact that the whole thing hides in a half-ton pickup wrapper makes it all the better.

Already in the low 12s, Brandon is currently looking to get into the 11s and based on what the recipe is at this point, it’s safe to say that mark isn’t too far away.

The 5.3-liter (a 327 for some of us old-school guys) LM7 long-block is mostly stock. Its 799 heads are equipped with Harland Sharp roller rockers, which move LS7 lifters. The updated valvetrain is moved by a Comp Cams split-pattern-grind cam that specs out with .610-/.605- inch lift on intake and exhaust, respectively. Duration at 0.050-inch tappet lift is 223 and 226 degrees on intake and exhaust, respectively. It has a 110-degree lobe-separation angle and Brandon installed it with a 4-degree advance. Brandon also added a Holley high-rise intake and it’s home to a Chevrolet Performance Parts 90mm throttle body and a set of Injector Dynamics 100 lb./hr. fuel injectors.

The mighty little 5.3 likely ran pretty good on its own, when Brandon said it was the “all motor” combination. The healthy Comp Cam grind and Holley intake are good bits on their own, but boost is always better and the truck is now spec’d out with a custom turbo system of sorts. This includes an 80mm Magnum Performance turbo and a CX Racing 4-inch-core intercooler. A Turbosmart wastegate and blow off valve keep the boost in check and the system is further completed with an updated CX Racing hot-side kit and a custom Nelson Performance kit for the cold side of the turbo. Nelson also provided the truck’s tune.

Other supporting cast pieces for the turbo setup include a Snow stage-2 water-methanol injection kit, a 3-inch downpipe and 3-inch exhaust with a Magaflow racing series bullet muffler. A Magnaflow 3×5-inch single-in, dual-out tip completes the exhaust system. Supplying the much needed additional feel to the combination is an Aeromotive Stealth 340-lph in-tank fuel pump. F Bomb Diesel Performance also did a Hydroboost brake conversion for the truck.

Putting the resulting power to the wheels is the truck’s surprisingly stock 6L80-E six-speed automatic transmission with a 3600-rpm stall Yank torque converter. The trans is connected to a Driveshaft Specialist custom 5-inch aluminum driveshaft and Got Torque differentials then set up Brandon with a bolt-in Ford 9-inch reared that’s fitted with 4.10 gears.

Appearance-wise there isn’t a whole lot to mention on the truck and we like that as its relatively stock-looking vibe aptly spells “sleeper.” Other than a set of Racestar 93-series Truckstar wheels (17x7s front and 15x10s rear) and a McGaughys 4/7 drop kit, Brandon has kept the look on the QT.

As you can see in the above video, Brandon has already pedaled the truck down the track in the low 12-second range. We’d wager 11s are not far off, with a bit more tuning and boost being the final piece of the puzzle for this super-cool combination.

About the author

Miles Cook

Miles Cook began his automotive writing career at SEMA, then spent a year at Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance covering the ’90s import scene. He then worked for Car Craft magazine, where he became the de-facto Ford guy on the staff. Next, he went to Mustang Monthly where all Mustangs were the mainstay. Miles is well versed in vintage and late model Mustangs as well as GM, Ford, and Mopar musclecars. His expansive background ensures that Miles is right at home writing for Power Automedia.
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