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Work Continues on Dax Shepard’s LT4-Swapped Chevy OBS Pickup

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 2021-04-22 John McGann
a car engine: 001-Dax-shepard-lt4-swapped-obs-chevy-heat-exchanger © Hot Rod Network Staff 001-Dax-shepard-lt4-swapped-obs-chevy-heat-exchanger

After a few weeks working on a new show for the MotorTrend App, Hot Rod Garage co-host Lucky Costa has resumed working on customer cars at his shop, with one of them being this 1989 Chevy 454SS. It belongs to Dax Shepard, one of the hosts of MotorTrend's newest show, Top Gear America.

a car engine © Hot Rod Network Staff

Dax purchased this low-mile beauty about a year ago and did some basic work on it but quickly decided it needed some substantial help in the horsepower department. He sent it to Lucky with the basic instructions to make it faster. He and Lucky discussed several options before deciding a Connect and Cruise package from Chevrolet Performance that consists of a 650 hp LT4 crate engine and 8L90 automatic transmission.

a close up of a sink © Hot Rod Network Staff

Lucky dropped the new engine in place of the stock TBI 454 using motor mounts from Elevated Concepts, Inc.

a close up of a sink © Hot Rod Network Staff

Though it looks massive, the 8L90 isn't much larger than the TH400 this pickup came with, and it fits the transmission tunnel with no modifications required.

© Hot Rod Network Staff

Since getting the engine and trans in place, Lucky has been working on wiring and plumbing. One of those components is the supercharger's heat exchanger. He started by removing the A/C condenser. Note that the air conditioning system had been previously evacuated.

Lucky has a couple heat exchangers in storage from past projects to use as mock-up parts. Here, he's fitting one of the shorter, wider ones.

a man wearing glasses © Hot Rod Network Staff

After trying three different-shaped exchangers, Lucky determined that with a little trimming of the core support, any one of them would easily fit with the A/C condenser pushed a little closer to the radiator.

a hand holding a piece of luggage © Hot Rod Network Staff

Some trimming with tin snips achieved the clearance he was looking for. He will clean the edges up with a file before permanently installing the exchanger.

a man holding a camera © Hot Rod Network Staff

With the condenser moved back closer to the radiator, there will be plenty of room to fit the heat exchanger behind the stock hood latch.

© Hot Rod Network Staff

This is approximately what the completed assembly will look like. Lucky said he will look for an exchanger that is a little wider and has both inlet and outlet fittings on the same side to make routing of the fluid lines cleaner. Stay tuned as we continue to update work on this exciting project.


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