The Wastegate

When Do You Become A Fanatic?

Published in the December 2009 Issue December 2009 Column

I'm beginning to notice a pattern. And it's not just me, I'm actually trying to avoid it. But you kind of get sucked into it.

Everyone (ok, almost everyone) starts out with a bone stock diesel pickup. And of those, I'll bet 90 percent made this comment in the first week of owning it: "I'm just going to leave it alone."

Two weeks later, most of those people are standing in front of a counter somewhere, asking for a price on anything from wheels to exhaust systems, programmers and lift kits.

It's a downward spiral from there. Or upward, depending on your point of view. An exhaust system turns into an intake and programmer. Programmers turn into huge LCD display monitors with on-the-fly tuning abilities. Wheels turn into tire combos, and the sizes always change enough to make you either "need" to lower or lift the truck.

Lift and lower kits turn into shocks and air bags. Somewhere in there is a hitch, running boards, roll pan, HID lights, bed liner and fuel tank. And if you didn't build the transmission to begin with, it's probably on its last leg by now. Like everything else, if you're going to build it, might as well do billet shafts and a torque converter.

Over half of the truck owners who've made it this far will become bored with whatever power setup they have and will somehow manage to fund a new turbo. But if you're spending that much, you might as well get head studs. Better safe than sorry, right? Since the motor is now torn down enough to do head studs, what a perfect time for some more fuel mods! Injector nozzles, CP3 modifications, p pump and vp pump alterations, lift pumps, twin CP3s. anything goes now. You might as well upgrade the intercooler and change the flyweight while you're at it. I think most men understand that there little difference in explaining a $1,000 charge verses a $10,000 charge when the credit card statement shows up in the mail. So who's going to notice a water/methanol injection kit, nitrous or some custom tuning?

It's at this point where you decide how big of a fanatic you really are. Because (if you own a V8) you know that rods and pistons are next on the list if you keep pushing it. And if you've been around enough shops, you know that once that line is crossed, that motor is coming out of the truck twice a year. Not necessarily because it needs to. But more for the same reasons for why you took the chain and rear tire off your bicycle every other day as a kid. It's fun to take things apart.

That's where I'm at right now. Pistons and rods, or start over. I hate to admit it, but I'm throwing in the towel. I don't want to cross that line, mainly because I can handle the taking apart, but the putting things back together is a struggle.

That, and the next truck I get, I'm just going to leave alone.

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