Project Over/Un­der: Part Two

We Freshen Up a 4.8L LS1 With K&N, Jet, Hyper­tech & JBA

Truckin - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

We freshen up a 4.8L with K&N, Jet, Hyper­tech & JBA

Typ­i­cally, when you read mag­a­zine sto­ries about in­stalling af­ter­mar­ket per­for­mance parts on LS en­gines, the main goal is to ex­tract every avail­able horse­power num­ber out of the en­gine. If the owner of the truck isn’t happy with the re­sults, you may read about a whole other set of go-fast parts be­ing in­stalled the next month. Don’t get us wrong, we like horse­power as much as the next guy, but some­times on these tried-and-true plat­forms—like the 100,000-mile 4.8L en­gine in our case—all the ex­per­i­ments have al­ready been done. The guess­work has been taken out of the equa­tion, and un­less you want to spend thou­sands of dol­lars and un­lim­ited time swap­ping dif­fer­ent brands of parts for just a few more elu­sive ponies, you can trust the ex­perts and find a bolt-on com­bi­na­tion of parts that makes all the power you’re go­ing to find with­out forced in­duc­tion or a com­plete en­gine re­build.

Our bolt-on bo­nanza started with a call to Jim Hairston, long­time drag racer and owner of both JBA Per­for­mance Ex­haust and Pertronix. Be­tween the two com­pa­nies, we sourced the Shorty head­ers, cat-back ex­haust, Flame Thrower coils, and 8mm plug wires. With the spark and ex­it­ing air cov­ered, we moved to the in­com­ing air and con­tacted K&N for an FIPK air in­take and JET Per­for­mance for its Powr-Flo throttle body and mass air­flow sen­sor. Fi­nally, we wanted a re­li­able off-the-shelf tune for the truck, so we con­tacted Hyper­tech for a Max En­ergy power pro­gram­mer.

Our old friend Thomas Stevens re­cently opened Pow­er­house Per­for­mance in Simi

Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, and has al­ready made a name for him­self do­ing ev­ery­thing from diesel per­for­mance up­grades to full chas­sis-up clas­sic truck builds, so we knew our en­gine up­grades would be a no-brainer for Thomas and his tal­ented crew. They also helped us out by go­ing the ex­tra mile and re­plac­ing our ther­mo­stat, oil pres­sure sen­sor, and oil and fuel fil­ters while we were there.

Af­ter a hard day’s work, we were back on the road in what seemed like a to­tally dif­fer­ent truck. The in­crease in power and throttle re­sponse was truly im­pres­sive. We re­ally think we found the sweet spot be­tween the money spent and the added power and drive­abil­ity. We will no doubt log many miles in our Sil­ver­ado with this setup.

AF­TER: We breathed new life into the old LS, and it in turn breathes a whole lot bet­ter. AF­TER

BE­FORE: Here’s our well-worn 4.8L, vir­tu­ally un­touched by hu­man hands as far as we can tell (save for oil changes). BE­FORE

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