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Silverado Sleeper: The 1500 Horsepower Half-Ton You Never Saw Coming

As the majority of car guys can relate to, inspiration for a build can strike at any moment for any given reason. For Jeremy Pate, the blank canvas was a seemingly benign 2004 V6 Silverado. While most people staring at a 4.3L half-ton don’t really envision power numbers in the thousands, Jeremy saw the potential for a fully-built street truck that will one day carry the highest bragging rights in the Midwest.

The humble single cab hides a fierce powerplant

I first met Jeremy at the Street Car Takeover Friday night meet at the Twin Peaks in Indianapolis. The SCT team set up a mobile dyno for participants to run their cars on, and after a few cars got their numbers, a little blue truck backed its way onto the rollers. I watched a few screaming runs on the dyno, and knew this truck wasn’t your run of the mill street truck. After the dyno runs, I caught up with Jeremy, and he showed me exactly what makes his Silverado a serious force to be reckoned with.

Simple yet effective.

Under the hood is where most of the magic happens. Replacing the V6 is a fully built LS-based 388CID 5.3L motor built by ERL Performance, featuring Callies Magnum crankshaft and connecting rods, along with Wiseco pistons. Slapped on top are Frankenstein Engineering Dynamics CNC ported heads, Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold and a BTR Stage 3 Turbo camshaft.

The monster 5.3L LS based motor is a stark contrast from the 4.3L V6 originally in the silverado.

But the real performers for the LS-platform powerhouse are the twin Borg Warner S371 turbochargers with billet wheels. Keeping them cool is a massive front-mounted intercooler made by Shearer Performance. Having all this capacity for forced induction means nothing without a stout fuel system to back it up, so Jeremy went with a Motion Raceworks system including 200cc injectors, and a Magnafuel fuel pump and pressure regulator.

Twin-turbos make everything more fun.

The rest of the drivetrain is equally as impressive, including a 4L80E transmission fully built by Bilbrey Automotive, a custom aluminum driveshaft, PEM Racing spooled 9-inch rear end and staggered Billet Specialties wheels front and rear. Jeremy opted for a shorter exhaust system, with side exits cleverly located in both sides of the front bumper.

Little Blue has a modest look about her

On the outside, this sleeper looks like a clean lowered truck on some nice shoes, but definitely doesn’t scream 1500 horsepower. Jeremy runs a combination of Nitto Motivo tires up front, and NT555Rs out back.

“I bought these after trying numerous drag radials. For a half-ton truck that makes over 1500 horsepower, I need all the traction I can get, and I feel the Nittos stand up very well.”

Jeremy likes the grip the NT555Rs provide

Jeremy has spent eight months on this build, totaling 1,546 man hours, but he declined to tell us how much he’s spent on it due to his desire to stay married to his wife (I don’t blame him). His goal of becoming the fastest street truck in the Midwest is now within his sights. The truck put down an incredible 1503 horsepower and 1,210 foot-pounds of torque on the most recent dyno run, and is said to have the highest numbers on a stock ECM setup.

street car takeover indy 30

As I watched Jeremy give a solid run down the drags, I had to remind myself that the boost wasn’t turned up, and he was running the truck on a mild setting. I can’t wait to see this thing turned all the way up, running at full-tilt, against a worthy competitor. I guarantee anything that goes up against Little Blue is in for a surprise.

The Silverado was a crowd favorite at SCT Indy.

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