Case Studies

2011 Silverado 3500 Armored Truck


Katech Performance has been focused on building the highest quality engines for the Motorsports and Street Performance community for 35 years. Katech is widely known around the world for our racing accomplishments, and engine development.  Katech Performance was approached by an individual that wanted to convert a production 3500 series diesel truck into an armored vehicle. The customer needed the full-size heavy, duty truck to be able to handle the extra weight of armor plating. The trucks’ performance and handling characteristics would have to be substantially increased.


There were many challenges facing the Katech team, as this was a non-traditional, off-road vehicle project. It was different than our typical sports car builds or the lightweight, high specific output race engines. When typical vehicles are converted into armored cars, they are equipped with 4,000 pounds of bullet-proof material. The extra weight has a negative effect on the performance and handling characteristics of the Silverado. In order to increase the power output of the 6.6 liter Duramax diesel, Katech replaced the turbocharger with a larger unit in order to increase the amount of air that is supplied to the engine. The vehicles’ computer was then calibrated on a chassis dynamometer to unleash the power of the modifications. The transmission and rear end were also fitted with high capacity covers to increase the amount of fluid and also cool the transmission and rear end. The next challenge was to upgrade the suspension on the Silverado, in order to cope with the 4,000 pound weight gain. The truck was fitted with Fox racing shocks, and larger sway bars were installed to enhance handling. Axle travel limiting straps were utilized to control the rear axle travel. The heavier the car the longer it will take to stop. To shorten the stopping distance on this heavy duty truck, we installed cryogenically treated, cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors with high performance brake pads.


Katech overcame the diversity of this project and was able to successfully modify the heavy duty truck. After the modifications the Silverado’s power output increased 36 % and the 0-60 time improved by 14 %. This accomplishment shows that Katech Performance is capable of tackling any project that is proposed by its’ potential customers. We took a bone stock Silverado 3500 and modified it to handle the extreme stresses of nearly 2 tons of extra weight. Through innovative ideas and 35 years of expertise Katech was able to take on a diverse task and overcome it successfully.