KENNETH ALLEN FOWLER’S TARMAC BURNING 825HPLMM
Kenneth Allen Fowler’s Tarmac Burning 825 HP LMM
When 28-year-old aircraft mechanic Kenneth Allen Fowler purchased his 2010 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, he had no intention of building it into a low-slung street/strip terror. The Remlap, Alabama, resident purchased the truck with a 6-inch lift kit and large 35-inch tires installed, but the truck was otherwise completely stock and in excellent condition. But like most gear heads, Fowler couldn't resist wrenching on the truck and soon turned to Brad Kerr at Diesel South in Trussville, Alabama, to breathe a little more life and fun into the LMM Duramax.
They started by installing a built Suncoast Allison transmission and triple disk torque converter in the truck along with a Screamin Diesel Performance add-on compound turbo kit for more power for the LMM. The kit uses an S475 turbo with a billet compressor wheel to work with the factory LMM VVT turbo to spool quickly and make tons of power on the top end. After enjoying the truck lifted for a while, Fowler and Kerr decided they wanted to go to the drag strip with the GMC and be competitive, so they removed the BDS lift kit and began to go to work transforming it into what we see today.
To replace the 35-inch off road tires and wheels, Fowler chose a set of Fuel FF19 22X12 forged aluminum wheels and low-profile Toyo Proxes S/T 305/45R22 tires that don’t scream drag racer, but do look great on the truck. For improved braking, Kerr installed a Power Stop Z36 kit with slotted and drilled rotors and aggressive pads within new Power Stop calipers front and rear. Chassis work continued by lowering the front suspension and installing Cognito steering braces along with FFR Fabrication tie rods and a larger diameter Bell Tech sway bar to help the truck handle the curves as well as blast down the strip. In the rear, they lowered the truck by removing the over-load springs from each leaf pack and installed a 3-inch drop shackle. Then to improve traction off the line, they installed a set of Caltracs bars to control the rear axle. Finally, to tame the ride while allowing them to make adjustments to dial in the truck they installed adjustable QA1 shocks on all four corners of the truck.
With the suspension dialed in Kerr and Fowler turned their attention back to the engine, but were determined to leave the long block untouched; and in fact, are not even running head studs, and the stock head gaskets are still intact as the heads have never been removed. With bolt on parts in mind they continued to build on the foundation they laid previously with the SDP compound turbo kit by having the stock compressor cover powder coated to match the rest of the kit along with an afe Power hot side boost tube. To enhance the fuel delivery to the engine bay, they installed a Diesel South fuel sump and FASS 150 filter and pump system in the fuel tank and on the frame rail near the fuel filler. Then at the engine, Kerr installed a PPE Dual Fueler kit with an additional Bosch CP3 to go with the factory CP3 in the valley. The team at SDP designed and cut a custom billet aluminum pulley for the second CP3 to match Fowler’s Fuel FF19 wheels and powder coated it Illusion Royal Blue to match the rest of the underhood performance parts. The pair of CP3S combine to deliver plenty of high pressure fuel to a set of 60 percent over S&S Diesel Motorsport fuel injectors.
On the exhaust side of the engine, Kerr installed a set of PPE manifolds and uppipes to improve the exhaust flow over the stock units. From the exhaust outlet of the factory turbo in the valley, the SDP kit feeds hot exhaust gases to the S475 turbine then out through the length of a 5-inch diameter MBRP exhaust system that terminates in the stock location with a 6-inch diameter black exhaust tip. Clean air is drawn into the S475 from the atmosphere through an afe filter then after it is compressed it is sent directly to the factory turbo inlet for additional boost. After the intake charge leaves the factory charger, it is carried to the factory intercooler through an afe boost tube and out of the intercooler to the engine through the SDP intercooler tube and high-flow Y-bridge intake.
To clean up the engine bay more, Kerr rerouted the coolant hoses and reworked the Duramax wire harness to make it one of the cleanest Duramax engine bays we have seen. With base line compound turbo tuning from PPEI, the truck has put 825 hp and 1,350 lbs-ft of torque to the dyno rollers. Kerr and Fowler are targeting 900 hp on the stock engine and turbo. They hope to get there with custom PPEI tuning specific to their package of parts and possibly some more fuel upgrades if needed. In its current state at 7,155 lbs, he has run a best 1/4 mile ET of 11.6 seconds at 120 MPH and has put down mid to high 7-second ETS in the 1/8.
Once they were satisfied with the chassis and power in the truck Fowler turned to Classic Collision in Oneonta, Alabama, to give the truck its stunning looks. The original white paint was in excellent shape, so they had a good place to start and simply cut and buffed the factory paint to give it a show quality finish. But to dress up and customize the truck to Fowler’s liking, they had to remove the factory trim and get rid of all the chrome. So they painted the bumpers and GMC Denali grille emblem
to match the factory paint. Then they installed black crystal headlights and smoked the rear tail lights and third brake light to make them look almost black when they were not illuminated. To make sure the lights could still be seen Fowler installed VLED'S LED lights in all the lighting positions around the truck. The team at Classic Collision also reworked the front fenders to allow the large 22X12-inch wheel and tire combination to clear without rubbing at either end even with the lowered stance of the truck.
When combined with the black accents and dark tinted windows the truck takes on a contrasting white and black theme that has led to the affectionate nickname of the “Panda” for Fowler’s street/strip terror. After the truck was completed, the first serious competition he entered with it was the 2017 TS Performance Outlaw event where he won the inaugural All Truck Shootout that included show-n-shine judging, 1/4-mile drag racing and 1/8-mile speed/stop challenge. He also finished in the top 10 in the TS show-n-shine and made it to the semi-finals in the highly contested ODSS 7.70 Index class. The truck is certainly built for both show and go!
Like most gearheads, Fowler says that the truck is not finished, and after going from stock and lifted to lowered and powerful on the stock engine internals, we have no idea what he will pull off next. We won’t be too surprised to see Fowler and Kerr meet their 900 hp goal on the stock long block, but where will they go from there, what will they wring out of the LMM once they finally crack it open and go to work on the internals? We look forward to seeing what’s next! UDBG
Classic Collision handled the paint and body customization that included installing a color matched Denali grille emblem as well as the painted front bumper and black crystal headlights that replaced the stockers.
Opening the hood of Fowler’s truck reveals a hidden beast with a gentle heart in the form of a completely stock LMM long block, down to the stock head bolts and original gaskets, with an Illusion Royal Blue powder coated Screamin Diesel Performance...
To help the original CP3 supply plenty of fuel to the Duramax and the 60% over S&S Diesel Motorsport injectors the team at Diesel South installed a PPE Dual Fueler kit with a second Bosch CP3. Notice the custom billet CP3 pulley that SDP machined to...
After ditching the passenger side factory battery and coolant overflow tank, the space was filled with the SDP Billet S475 compound turbo kit to boost the performance.
The team had the compressor cover on the factory LMM turbo powder coated to match the rest of the intake components including the afe Power hot side boost tube.
After lowering the truck Fowler chose to go with a set of Fuel 22X12-inch forged aluminum FF19 wheels wrapped in low profile Toyo Proxes S/T 305/45R22 low profile tires. Notice the custom fender work that Classic Collision performed to fit the huge...
After removing the 6-inch lift kit Fowler and the Diesel South team lowered the front end to get the axles nearly level for the best drag launch and installed a Bell Tech sway bar and FFR Fabrication tie rods to beef up the stock IFS components.
Looking at the back side of the front axle you can see that they also installed a set of adjustable QA1 shocks to tune the truck for optimal launch characteristics.
The rear was lowered by removing the overload springs and installing a set of 3-inch drop shackles.
Looking under the rear bedside fender you can see the FASS 150 and Diesel South fuel sump to upgrade the factory fuel delivery as well as the Caltracs bars to help the Panda to hook up on the drag strip.
Spent exhaust gases are expelled through a 5-inch diameter MBRP exhaust system that terminates in the stock location with a black slash cut 6-inch diameter tip.
Moving under the rear of the truck you can see that Fowler installed a set of adjustable QA1 shocks in the rear of the truck as well to help dial in the performance and keep the tires planted to the tarmac.