Taylor Brendle’s 1300-hp Single Turbo LB7 

Eat. Sleep. Breathe. Diesel. These are the four main ingredients to a happy and healthy life for a young 20-something performance diesel junky. As son of James Brendle, owner of Custom Auto, a specialized Duramax-performance shop based out of Idaho Falls, Idaho (and owner of Ultimate Callout Challenge plus the Northwest Dyno Circuit) these four things couldn’t be more on point for Taylor Brendle. Taylor has spent his teen years growing up around some of the highest horsepower Duramax trucks in the country, so it came as no surprise when it came time to buy and build his own truck, no corners would be cut and no expense would be spared to be sure he had one of the cleanest, strongest running setups around. The 2001 Chevrolet regular cab 4WD truck had seen its fair share of abused miles, but with some elbow grease and time, it’s turned into a shining ruby both on and off the street. Looking to compete in the newly formed Northwest Dyno Circuit’s single turbo class, the engine, transmission and drivetrain would all need some major TLC to give it a fighting chance on the chassis dyno to put down the 1000-hp fuel only goals they’d hoped for.  Because of class rules, they’re over-fueled and under-turbo’d, yet many of the trucks in this field have no problem making 800 hp or better.

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Building the Motor

Specializing in performance-built street and competition Duramax engines, Custom Auto offers a complete in-house service, including full machining and assembly. With access to state-of-the-art equipment and an experience machinist, the old worn out engine was pulled and upgraded to support just about everything they could think to throw at it. Starting off with a clean 0.020 over bore, the engine block, crankshaft and Industrial Injection Alternate Fire camshaft were machined and upgraded with keyways for added strength. The rotating assembly was assembled with new Clevite bearings, Carrillo billet connecting rods and new to market low compression Carrillo forged pistons. The bottom end is tied together with an Industrial Injection Gorilla girdle, pinned main caps and ARP main studs with an ATI Damper residing on the end of the crankshaft.

“Injectors that can supply more than enough fuel to surpass 1800+ horsepower.”

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Heads and Fuel

Cylinder heads were upgraded with fully loaded competition heads from Industrial Injection; these included full CNC porting, Torque Lock thread-in injector cups, billet injector hold downs, unshrouded valves, 95-lb.valve springs and chromoly pushrods. Of course, ARP head studs with GM Grade C head gaskets keep the heads sealed to the block. When it came time to up the fueling being fed to this newly assembled beast, Industrial Injection was once again called upon for a set of their massive King Cobra injectors that can supply more than enough fuel to surpass 1,800+ horsepower. To keep up with the rail pressure demands of such large injectors, a custom Industrial Injection triple CP3 kit was installed with three of their 85-percent stroker pumps all being fed by dual FASS 220gph lift pumps.’

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Turbocharging Duties

Looking to be competitive in the NWDC’s single turbo class, Brendle turned to High Tech Turbo for help with a custom 80mm S400 unit that could support upwards of 1000 hp while keeping decent street and spool-up characteristics in the regions 4,000 ft.+ elevations. The turbocharger is installed on a Custom Auto remote mount turbo kit that hangs the turbo off in the passenger fender well and includes a 45mm waste gate to help keep boost pressure under control when the two stage 400 hp nitrous system is engaged. Helping to keep charge air temps down is a Banks Technicooler and custom high flow intercooler piping, all built in-house by Custom Auto. Custom engine tuning is handled by Starlite Diesel, who spent multiple hours in the seat and on the dyno, fine tuning the large single turbo system to keep drivability at its best, while maximizing horsepower and torque on the dyno.

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Dyno Domination

While ¼ mile track passes were always part of the plan when the build started, dyno domination was the main goal and the Allison 5-spd transmission was sent off to Dmitri Millard of No Zone Diesel for upgrades strong enough to handle the 1300+ horsepower goals. Working his magic on the inside and using only the best parts offered by Suncoast Transmissions, the all billet transmission controlled by an ATS Copilot has held up to over 40 dyno pulls and multiple ¼  mile track passes without missing a beat. The drivetrain remains relatively stock, with the exception of the swap to 3.42 Yukon gearing. The truck sits on 20×10 Fuel Overdirve wheels and 305/50 Nitto 420 tires.

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Show Quality Paint

On the cosmetic side of things, the chipped, dented and peeled factory white paint was smoothed out and sprayed with this custom one-off two tone fade by Jeff Call of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Countless hours went into the bodywork of this high-mileage truck, and the attention to detail on the paint scheme is unmatched by almost any we’ve seen, especially in a day when custom vinyl wraps are all the rage. The metallic red paint on the topside of the truck grabs every ounce of sunlight and catches your eye from just about every angle. A Royalty Core grille was bolted on up front and also went through the paint booth to match with the two-tone paint scheme. The factory hood was replaced with a Reflexxion cowl induction unit that helps add to the aggressive stance and look to this purpose-built dyno smasher. A set of paint matched traction bars were also bolted on to help maintain traction and prevent axle wrap on both the street and chassis dyno rollers. Inside the cab, things are left pretty basic with an Edge CTS Insight monitor and a triple gauge set of analog gauges to watch turbo boost, exhaust back pressure and fuel pressure. Inside the bed of the truck, you’ll find the home to dual 15-lb. Nitrous Express nitrous bottles and a 6-inch miter cut MBRP exhaust stack.

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Through the course of the 2015 Northwest Dyno Circuit, Brendle’s single cab put on quite the impressive showing for the Single Turbo class, with fuel only passes averaging 950-1000 hp week in and week out, with nitrous pulls in the 1,300-1,400-hp range, this little red wagon can make short work of those Nitto tires on the street. While the truck isn’t considered a “daily driver” it does still see quite a few street miles and was driven pretty long distances to different events, where it still averaged 14-15 mpg running 80 mph. Brendle states the lack of an air conditioning unit as his least favorite modification made under the hood. During the off season, Brendle makes no immediate plans of any serious changes to the setup and just wants to spend some seat time enjoying the truck.

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“Two stage 400-hp nitrous system”

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