For most car and truck enthusiasts, speed and power are 2 of the top tier must have items in their ideal vehicle. Of course, the Syclone and Typhoon came with both from the factory with its 13 second timeslips and 300hp 4.3 V6 powerplant and still reigns as one of the quickest production trucks ever made. But for some, stock isnt fast enough and the desire to push boundaries comes into play. For SyTys owners, shaving off the first second on your quarter mile time comes relatively cheap and easy….everything after becomes a delicate balance of proper modification combinations and your checkbook.
ISTR: Sean, we remember what seems like so long ago of you as a young child walking around the parking lot of the SyTy Nationals surrounded by hundreds of trucks and owners. How long have you actually been around SyTy and owned your truck?
SK: I’ve been around SyTy since I was born in 93 since my dad was the original owner. I grew up to be passionate into cars just like my dad and fell in love with the Typhoon. I’d always try and help my dad wrench on it when I was little and even went to the 3rd Annual SyTy Nationals in 2000 held in Kansas City. He saw the passion and always told him I wanted it when I got my license. Well, as the day came when I got my license I was handed the keys to my dream vehicle. I made a promise to my parents that I’d stay focused in my life and not do drugs. I’ve kept that promise ever since as I’m now 24.
ISTR: What where your goals when you got your truck and have they changed over the years?
SK: When I got the Typhoon, it had the basic reliability mods, polished engine bay, chrome ZR1s, and cowl hood. So basically it was a great starting point. I haven’t really touched the exterior much as it was always taken care of and daily driven even through Chicago winters. The first summer owning it I spent most of that time cleaning up the frame and detailing everywhere I could. Of course like every other car guy, I wanted to go faster! I wanted to get into tuning and pushed the stock turbo into a 12.9 quarter mile and was actually very happy with that power level. But, I still had the itch and went with a bigger turbo and pushed that into the low 12s. Every winter I always did some modifications, and like everything else I was noticing the weak links. I then had the trans built, added a converter and still wanted to go faster. Then came tearing half the engine apart while still in the truck to do vortec heads, custom cam and an even larger turbo (72mm). I finally got my 10 sec pass and proud to say it’s a record for stock bottom end. So yes, I guess my goals did change over the years!
Sean has added custom racing seats to pilot his Typhoon while under the hood lays a 10 second powerplant.
ISTR: Tell us a story or a memorable moment youve had with owning your truck.
SK: Hard to give a good story as I’ve had many, but I’d say the most important memory was my 10.71 pass on the stock 100k mile bottom end engine. Many don’t realize the struggle to get into the 10s. Sure you can buy all the go-fast parts, but you have to have all your ducks in a row. Getting into that power level, I began breaking parts like the transfer case viscous clutch locking up which took out the CV shafts and front diff. I broke the output shaft on the built 700r4 too. So yes, it was a challenge. Took 100+ datalogs to get it just right and learn what the truck liked. Playing with suspension settings at the track. With 4 or 5 low 11 second passes, I got my 10 second time slip. All the hard work and of course money paid off!
ISTR: You’re truck is stout and has been a proven build that has gone 10s now. You also could daily drive it and it’s fully street legal. We know you’ve had some small setbacks but overall, you achieved a very respected goal in the SyTy community. How hard was that to achieve and what advice can you offer others who are trying to break into the 10 second club?
SK: Since owning the Ty, if a problem ever came up I always tried to get it back on the road in a short amount of time. I drive it a lot compared to most and built it so I could drive it reliably. Like I said above, it was a challenge when getting into this power level to still keep my sanity as their were times I had enough. At the end it was worth it to know others were just as happy as me and can show what these trucks can do when you spend the time and dedication to bring a truck into this level.
Advise I would give is, if you’re planning on getting into the 11s or even 10s, please do your research on what the other fast guys are doing. Yes, get the good go-fast parts, but make sure you spend the time making sure your tune is 110% before you go spend time and money at the track. Ask others what they suggest as that’s what I did. I’m always here to help!
You wont find this Typhoon on a trailer. Sean showing off at a local Chicago car show.
ISTR: What are your future plans or goals for the truck now that you have gone 10’s, are you going to try for 9’s or is your focus going to go into other areas of the truck?
SK: My goals since I’ve gone 10’s is to keep it on the road. The “Typhoon 2.0 Build” was the build to get the truck “finished” the way I dreamed of and do things the right way meaning – built engine and trans with the supporting tuning equipment. The body is in good shape considering it was a Chicago daily for 16 years. I have 2 doors I want to get painted to swap out due to some rust. Underneath is really clean so I’m happy with that. The engine bay is the way I want it. Since I went to the track with the new 2.0 setup earlier this year and ran 10.49, I know their is more in the truck. I learned what it liked and what I need to do for next time. I do plan on racing again SOON. As far as goin 9s, it has the parts to do so it’s just a matter of…DO I TRY? I mainly want to now focus on the body work and get it the way I want it even though I’m proud of what it currently looks like. Also want to add a rollcage since I’m at this power level just for piece of mind.
ISTR: You now offer services under SK Kustoms. Tell us more about what you are doing and the services you offer.
SK: SK Kustoms, well since my dad used to have a side business (RK Kustom) dealing with ATR and Kenne Bell and also selling custom embroidered carpet mats and got that reputation in the SyTy community, I want to follow in his foot steps. I’m dedicated to these trucks and have basically done it all. Since guys have seen my progress over the years, I want to help others get their truck to a level they dream of as some don’t have the time or motivation. Right now, I’m doing a full suspension build and have done a tune on another Typhoon. I’m starting off with projects that I can get done quickly such as tune-ups, suspension work, tuning, go-fast parts as I work full time and do this on the side while getting it done in a timely manner for the customer. It would be great to turn this into a full time gig, but for now I’m helping the local midwest guys.
- Forged DSS Pistons
- Eagle Rods
- 4 Bolt mains
- Nitrated Stock Crank
- Half Filled Block
- Ported Brodix -8 Heads
- Custom Cam
- Precision 72mm Turbo with fender exit
- 3.5″ Exhaust
- 120lb Injectors
- Holley Dominator ECU
- E85 fuel
- Stage 2 4L80e with Circle D Billet Single Disk 3,200 Converter.
- LED Cluster
- Dome lights
- Racing Seats
- Grant 3 Spoke Steering wheel
- Holley 3.5″ Gauge screen
- Pillar Gauges – Boost/Trans/Fuel Pressure
- Bravada Outside Temp/Compass display in the upper Console.
- JSM Front Viking Double Adjustable Coilovers
- JSM 4 Link with Viking Coilovers
- LS1 Camaro Front and Rear Polished Calipers (polished by SK Kustoms)
- ABS Delete
A JSM adjustable 4-link rear suspension keeps this Typhoon riding smooth on the streets as well as hooking hard on the track.