This Mud Truck Takes an Epic Bath
How’d you think your buddy’s truck would fair in these conditions? Judging from the boneyard of Howie’s Mud Bog – this is where mud trucks come to show their mettle or leave as scrap. What we’re looking at here is a Chevy Silverado chassis and frame with nearly four feet of lift. That’s no ordinary kit. The Silverados generally come in two flavors – beastly diesel or V8 unleaded.
However, this ain’t no normal Chevrolet off the line. Our best guess based upon the engine sound and performance was that it’s a classic 572 big block engine. Let’s take a look at that, shall we? If you’re going to go wrestling in the mud, you’re going to need the proper engine. The ZZ572/720R is not your typical big rig motor. While it’s more than capable of handling some of the toughest challenges the road can offer – it was designed with much more in mind.
Starting off from scratch, fresh off the assembly line, it packs an easy 700 hp at 6125 rpm and 600 lb ft of torque at 5250 rpm. On the surface, that in of itself isn’t impressive. When we take a look at the factory default settings of something like the Duramax, we see that both in terms of lb ft of torque and horsepower that this is nothing to shatter the record books.
However, keep in mind that in order to take a truck through the sort of conditions you’d see â a diesel is practically useless. More importantly, it’s far from the end of
However, keep in mind that in order to take a truck through the sort of conditions you’d see – a diesel is practically useless. More importantly, it’s far from the end of the line in terms of getting this monster mud truck ready for action.
What Makes This Frankenstein Tick
Big Mud needs a few things in order to be successful. First, a can do attitude, an eye for the right aftermarket modifications, a great set of tires and a transmission that’s capable of ultra low gear traction. All of these components require some careful engineering. Fuel Injection, friend. Fuel injection and a transmission that’s able to drop to that low, low gear to get every pound foot of torque possible. When dealing with trucks that don’t take prisoners, a common feature is going to be pure ethanol injection (sometimes with nitrous) and absolutely no rev limiting. What’s rev limiting? It’s a device that comes standard fitted in most combustion engines to limit the maximum revolution speed.
It’s designed to keep the engine running within specs – not above and not below. In order to get the full amount out of your mud truck, this has got to go. However, doing so can severely open up your truck’s engine to damage it would otherwise not experience. If you’re willing to take the risk and bear the cost, this, too, can be your result. The wheels seem to break down into two basic success stories: long, flat angled wheels usually with a straight rim directly locked into the axle or conversely smaller mud tires with wide mud grip paddles. The danger is the middle ground. Either go long with deep tread or go stout. But ultimately, it always comes down to how reliably you can push that engine to get every last horse out of it.
Taking this Chevy Mud Truck Up a Notch
In order to bring this truck in line with what’s necessary to take on four and a half feet of swampy bog with enough friction to rip an axle free, you need something that runs on firewater. That’s right, folks – we’re talking straight ethanol fuel injection. In order to keep from breaking the block on this brand new 572, they’re using a blower motor to both vent exhaust above the deck as well as keep the engine from chewing itself apart. Additionally, you’re not going to find a Chevy Silverado lift kit of this caliber in your average Advance Auto Parts. These are custom pieces designed to handle the strain and added weight of a beast engine and the shock of slamming it all over the place. This 572 blower motor, as pictured, is capable of over 1400 hp. Our best guess was it was running somewhere in the 930 to 1000 hp range. Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments section!