Carl's story starts out when he was in high school. During His Jr & Sr year of high school he was cruising around in a Ford Escort. He had always been a fan of the S10 pickups. His dad had a Blazer and when it came time for Carl to graduate his parents asked him if he would like it as a graduation gift. His mind still set on finding a pickup to customize he declined the offer. So instead they bought him a tool chest to help him in his new career as a mechanic at the local Ford dealership. His parents once again threw the Blazer idea by Carl but, again his answer was no, he wanted a pickup. A year later in 1993 he caved and the Blazer was now his.
After purchasing the Blazer he started customizing it. Initially he was interested in the Mini-truck scene but it wasn't long before he got bit by the drag racing bug, that was around 1994.
So the swap began. He started out by putting a small block in it. After the newfound horsepower destroyed the rear he decided it was time for a 9-inch and ladder bars. Over the next couple of years he added a roll cage and changed the small block out for a big block. The Blazer was running in the 12.90's back then. Along with drag racing he drove it all over the place. He even participated in a few legs of the Hot Rod Power Tour in 97 & 98. After he returned home from the 98 Power Tour the oil pump pickup came loose and toasted the crank.
Here's where things were about to get serious.....
Over the next 7 yrs Carl tried his hand at fabricating his own tube chassis. Not bad for a beginner but it wasn't up to his standards. He played with a couple of other trucks. Both of them had v8's. The truck pictured ended up going 10.60 with a 350 and some spray.
In 05 he got involved with a local chassis shop called GoFast Productions, he sold his other truck because it was time to get serious with the Blazer. Working part time in the shop and part time on the Blazer he and the crew at GoFast got started. They cut everything back out of it and spent the next 3 yrs building it.
First they built the 7.50 legal firewall and back chassis. Next was to hang a Dana 60 with Chassis Engineering Outlaw Ladder bars and coil-overs. Using the stock front frame they rolled the axle center line forward 2" to make the tire look better in the wheel well. A buddy of Carl's and the owner of GoFast wanted him to actually stretch the front fenders 6" but he really didn't like that idea. Setting the truck up with a big block and turbo 400 was next.
Carl had always wanted to twin turbo a big block for it so the project started going in that direction. They built headers and mounted the turbos. After looking at it they pulled the plug. "There just isn't much room in these things". Not wanting to get rid of the passenger seat or run alcohol they again went with nitrous.
They finished the truck in the fall of 08 with a 540 and some spray. At that time the Blazer weighed 3300lb and went 9.70 on the motor and 8.90 on the bottle. During the next year they ran the truck at Pinks All Out at Us131 Motor Sports Park in Martin Michigan.
The next 2 years they put together yet another engine. A 598ci big block that dyno'd 960 at the flywheel before hitting it with spray. With this combo they ran 9.50 on the motor and 8.70 on the bottle weighing 3400lb . He knew it had a lot more in it but, they didn't spend enough time trying to sort it out.
After a few years, the sound of the load exhaust left him with a bad headache and ringing in his ears. Seeing as the truck was driven a couple times a week, he made the decision to change the setup once again. Since he had always wanted to twin turbo it but knew it wouldn't fit he had read up on the LS platform. It seemed people were having a lot of success with it, so to Carl it was a no brainer decision to go LS.
They started out with a 60,000 mile junk yard 2005 5.3, OBX headers, Ebay a2a intercooler, Borg Warner s366, and a fast XFI 2.0/XIM system. Even with the smaller LS it was a tight fit, but his dream of being twin turbo was finally a reality.
He did all the fab work and installation himself (except for a few machined parts done by his buddy Randy) at their shop with the guidance from GoFast (Jimmer) along with Hutch & Derrick(from VED). What they ended up with was this...
Late Summer 2013 it was time to head to the track for the first time. Since he was new to fuel injection and turbos they were a little on the slow side. The first 2 passes got them a high 11 and low 12 sec. With the help of a couple friends they were able to tune it down to 9.92 with 14psi of boost. We want to remind you that other than a set of valve springs to help control the valves better, this was with an untouched 5.3 junkyard engine. They never pulled the heads or timing cover at this point in time.
They were able to make it back to the track for some more tuning, and they were able to get it to run 9.80. Being completely blown away by the success of the combo as well as the newly installed 315/60 drag radial(They had been running 31/16.5 et streets previously) they wanted more! So they decided to have a cam ground for it and slapped it in with some ARP rod bolts, LS9 head gaskets & Arp head bolts. The next couple times at the track they were fighting gremlins in the fuel system, they killed a fuel pump and plugged up the injectors. After figuring that out it was back to the track in the late fall of 2013. The Blazer ran a 9.20 with the new cam.
Over the winter they made a few more changes and added a fiberglass bumper and hood. With some more boost(19 psi) they were able to get it to run 8.90' in the spring of 14'.
After many years of saying that he wanted to do Hot Rod Drag Week he took the plunge and was lucky enough to get registered. Now it was time for a huge commitment and undertaking. With the way the chassis was built he would be stuck in the unlimited and 8.90's just wasn't going to cut it so they put together a 406 for it. They also needed a trailer to tow all of the extra gear and there definitely wasn't room for anything inside the truck.
After spending the summer building the trailer(and prepping the truck to tow a trailer) and building the new motor, Drag Week was approaching fast and they had yet to test the new setup. The Saturday before they were supposed to leave for Oklahoma, they took it to the track and made a few passes. The results were less than encouraging. They ended up blowing a head gasket and pushed out a freeze plug. With all of the water leaking out onto the tires, Carl hit the wall.
This was devastating seeing as they were scheduled to leave in 6 days for the big event. But the guys at GoFast weren't going to let this stop them from seeing their buddy participate in the biggest drag racing event of the year. They all came together to help put the truck back together. They replaced the fender and grill, straightened the hood mounts and radiator support, and re-fiber glassed the hood and bumper. Along with taking the engine out to fix the head gasket and freeze out plug.
As the 2014 season ended Carl let his 17 yr old daughter climb behind the wheel of the Blazer. He tamed it down for her on her first pass (it ran 10.70's leaving in second gear with 8 psi and shifting 5000 rpm) and he hopes to get her licensed next year.
This winter the plans are to go through the whole truck and freshen the motor and trans. He also wants to refine all the systems in the truck and learn more on the fuel injection/turbo so, he can crank up the power and hopefully get it in the 7's this Summer!
If he goes to Drag Week 2015, Carl will have 9,000 plus members screaming at their tv's cheering him on. We're glad to have you as part of the V8 S Series family Carl.
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