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1986 Chevrolet 4x4 Standard Cab - Changin' Time

Posted in Features on October 1, 2000 Comment (0)
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Change is good - especially if you are Tim McPherson of Ballwin, Missouri, who, after logging countless miles on his '86 Chevy fullsize to and from work, decided both he and his truck needed a change.

"I bought my truck new and drove it for 12 years. Then I decided to do a major transformation on it," he said with a grin.

After Tim had committed himself to his new project, his first stop was to Rich Thomas Performance in Arnold, Missouri, for some extra horsepower. Starting at the block, the factory 350ci V-8 was bored 0.030-inch over, balanced and blueprinted with a compression of 11.5:1.

Inside the newly massaged block resides a virtual who's who list of aftermarket high-performance products. The Holley 730-cfm carb, which was blueprinted by Rich Thomas' craftsmen, allows fuel and air to flow effortlessly through the Victor Jr. manifold, then to the ported and polished Brodix Track 1 heads. The Competition Cams valves and Doug Herbert cam provide good airflow, and the Ross pistons create more than adequate pressure. A Unilite Comp 9000 distributor and Mallory Pro-Master coil take care of all ignition requirements, while the MSD 8-1/2 Super Conductor plugs complement the system. Responsible for expending the spent gases are a set of Hooker ceramic-coated 1-5/8-inch headers, and a 40-series Flowmaster muffler with 3-inch pipes. While still not satisfied with his creation, Tim and Rich Thomas Performance decided that the final touch to the already impressive powerplant would be to add a NOS Sniper kit for another 150 hp on tap.

The Chevy 400 Turbo transmission with a TCI Shift Kit was addressed by Copeland Transmission of Byrnes Mill, Missouri. The TCI torque converter, which has a stall speed of 3,400 rpm, works in perfect harmony with the TCI flywheel and the B&M Mega Shifter. Tim installed Auburn gears in the 10-bolt corporate frontend, while using a Lock-Right limited-slip in the rear 14-bolt full-floater.

In charge of elevating his creation to the proper altitude, Tim called upon Rough Country's 6-inch lift kit and springs, while using Heckethorn shocks at all four corners. Tim also incorporated his own custom fabricated traction bars, driveshaft loops (both front and rear), and axle trusses in the design of his suspension. With this newly added height, there's more than enough room for the 16.5 x 12-inch Welds on 36x14.50x16.5 Super Swamper TSL Radials to turn.

Looking inside Tim's truck proves to be just as impressive as looking at the engine and suspension. For sound, Tim installed a Kenwood/Pioneer stereo system with a 200-watt amp for the front and another 100-watt amp to handle the two subs. The custom covered RCI seats with five-point RCI harnesses are attached to the 2-inch Smittybilt steel rollbar.

To apply the Red with the Blue and the White pearl, race-themed, DuPont-painted, checkered-flag design, Tim called upon Charlie Hardy of Guess Who Customs of Otto, Missouri. In addition to the awe-inspiring graphics, all exterior trim pieces, moldings, and badging were scrapped for new ones, and a chromed 10-inch drop bumper was installed to compensate for the added height while towing. In front, Tim's eyes are shielded by a painted-to-match Lund visor and deep-tinted windows. The front grille and bumper were also given a once-over by Tim.

Even though it took more than 12 years to turn this mild-mannered Dr. Jeckle into a full-on Mr. Hyde, at OFF-ROAD we're sure that Tim has created just the monster that he intended. Just hope, however, that he doesn't decide to change it again. Could any of you fathom a leaner and meaner Mr. Hyde? Neither could we.

DR. JECKLE TO MR. HYDE SPECIFICATIONS  
Vehicle '86 Chevy 4x4 standard cab  
Owner/hometown Tim McPherson/Ballwin, Missouri
Engine 350ci Chevy V-8 bored 0.030 over; Doug Herbert cam; Ross pistons; Brodix Track 1 heads; Cloyes timing chain; ported, polished heads, balanced and blueprinted
Aspiration 730-cfm Holley carb; Victor Jr. manifold; Hooker headers; and Flowmaster exhaust
Transmission 400 Turbo Chevy; TCI shift kit; TCI torque converter; TCI flywheel; B&M Mega Shifter
Axles/differentials Auburn gears in the 10-bolt corporate frontend; Lock-Right limited-slip in the rear14-bolt full-floater
Suspension 6-inch Rough Country; Heckethorn shocks; custom-fabricated traction bars, axle trusses, and driveshaft loops
Wheels 16.5x12-inch Weld Racing
Tires 36x14.50x16.5 Super Swamper TSL Radials  
Estimated value $22,000

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