What Is This?
You may be asking, "Hey, what exactly is 1500tt.com all about?" Perhaps
you're thinking "What the heck does the 'TT' stand for?" Well, you've come to the right place.
This page will explain a little bit about who we are, what we're doing and why we're doing it.
Probably about 3-4 years ago at this point, I was in between vehicles
after my last used car died and my dad was looking to buy a new truck. Instead of trading it in
and getting nothing for it from a dealer, he decided to let me have the truck instead. It was a
1996 Chevrolet 1500 W/T, green, with the 4.3L V6 and an automatic transmission. It had, oh, I don't
remember, maybe 98,000 miles on it when I got it, back in 2003? Since then, we've been through thick
and thin together. I drove it out to Ohio for a while to be with my girlfriend at the time, I towed
a camping trailer out to Seattle, Washington with it and had a great trip. We've been a lot of places
and I logged a lot of miles on it; currently up to 193,000 miles and still counting!
Oh sure, I had a few scares with it since I've owned it, as with any
vehicle. I had to put some parts into it - new fuel pump, new water pump, new tires, shocks, tie rods,
wheel bearings, rotors, etc... I thought I blew up the engine in it once when it started smoking and
I checked and there was coolant in the oil! Turns out, a new intake gasket and a full engine flush
later, it's still going strong! I've driven it probably another 10,000 miles since then without issue!
That GM 4.3L V6 is a heck of a sturdy engine and has a surprising amount of power for a small engine,
while getting decent gas milage to boot. The only other major issue so far has been the transmission,
which after over 175,000 miles on it decided to start slipping in 3rd and 4th gears. It was rebuilt
by Ronnie over at Macedon Auto in Macedon, NY and has been running better than ever with a shift kit
and a GM factory shift improver that was never installed. (GM had problems with the old 4L60E
transmissions slipping and "easing into" gear like an old woman. They finally offered a dealer fix for
it that was never installed on my truck, but the aftermarket shift kits really help a lot too firming
up the shifting so it's not as sloppy.)
Since owning this truck and in my travels, I've found out a lot about GM
trucks from other owners and automotive enthusiasts. I did a lot of research on the 4.3L V6 and in
particular learned about the unfortunately short lived GMC Typhoon and Syclone trucks from the early
1990's. For those of you who have never had the privilege to see one in person or drive or even just
ride in one before, the Syclones and Typhoons (Referred to as Sy/Ty's) were unique GMC trucks to say
the least. The Typhoon was a Blazer-ish looking truck and the Syclone was like the S-10 small pickups.
Both had the 4.3L V6 engine coupled to a 4L60 automatic transmission and drivetrain out of the AWD
Astro vans, so they were 4 wheel drive. The great thing about these trucks, however, was the fact GMC
put a factory turbocharger and water cooled intercooler in them. The 4.3L Turbo V6 was rated from the
factory at around 285HP and more importantly, 350 ft-lbs of torque. This, coupled with the AWD
drivetrain, made these killer performers and quite the sleeper, housed in a truck. Many say a stock
Sy/Ty can beat a Corvette off the line in a drag race, however the boxy truck design kills them
at high speeds.
Since finding out about these trucks, I've been in love and especially
excited about my own truck being a 4.3L V6. (Oh sure, at first I was cursing my dad for being cheap
and not getting a V8 because I was worried a V6 in a full size truck couldn't get out of it's own way.)
Now, I see my truck is open to a whole new world of performance and customization based off the
Sy/Ty's. So, my aspirations, and the purpose of this website, is dedicated to my transforming a
plain-Jane 170HP V6 CK1500 Chevrolet into a high performance 300+ HP turbocharged one of a kind truck!
Oh sure, for a while, I just wanted to buy a Syclone or Typhoon, but why not work with what I've got
instead and make a project out of it? That's much more fun and interesting than buying something
that's already made. (You fellow car enthusiasts, mechanics or engineers out there will agree with me!)
So, out of all this, Project 1500TT is born! Right, so what's the 'TT'
stand for? No, it's not "Twin Turbo" as many TT's stand for. (Most notably the Supra TT. Of course,
depending on how things go, maybe it will end up standing for that?) However, originally, the 1500TT
is supposed to designate the CK1500 as a "Turbo Truck". I'm planing on using most likely either a
Garrett or Banks Turbo and an air-to-air intercooler as opposed to the Sy/Ty's Water-To-Air
intercooler, as it is much simpler. Extensive modifications to the truck and especially to the engine
will be needed to turbo it, mainly to strengthen the engine internals to withstand the boost and
actually to reduce the stock compression ratio of the engine in preparation of adding a turbo.
The stock Vortec 4.3L V6 surprisingly enough has a 9.2:1 compression ratio, which is considerably high
for a stock engine at the time. However, for maximum boost performance, an 8.5:1 or 8:1 compression
ratio would be more optimal to allow for more boost pressure without risking internal engine damage
from too high of pressure. Another plus of the 1996 model year 4.3L V6 "W" engine code is the fact
they come with a roller cam stock, which is usually a performance add-on. This will allow us to
add a higher lift and duration roller cam without having to modify the lifters or pushrods.
For more information, be sure to check out the following links to the
left: Click on the "Project" link to see what we're planning to do to the truck over the course
of the entire project. To see where we are at, be sure to check the main page under the "News"
section, as well as clicking on the "Progress" menu option. For photos, check the "Photographs"
option (duh, right?) If you'd like to help out the project, you can click on the "How Can I Help?"
link as well as checking out the "Advertisers" and "Sponsors" links. If you'd like to tell us what
you think or have questions or comments, feel free to E-mail us though the "Contact Us" menu option.
If we ever manage to complete this thing and would like to see it, we hope to update our location
under "Schedule" and "Promotions", depending on the event. We're hoping to have a really cool
truck when we're done and want to show it off everywhere we can, be it an auto show or at a race
track, and we want you to come see it in person! Thanks again for stopping by and we hope you find
this site both entertaining and informative. We hope to spark an interest in you perhaps to
pursue your own dream project - remember, your only limitation is your imagination!
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