When the Trailblazer SS went online for the 2006 model year, GM enthusiasts welcomed the SUV-on-steroids with open arms. Not since the GMC Typhoon had an AWD-equipped mom-mobile attracted the sort of speed freak who wanted big power in a large package.
Here we are almost ten years after the very first one rolled off the assembly line, and gearheads continue to flock to these family haulers like they’re going out of style. Despite its near 5,000-pound curb weight, there’s just something about that 395 hp LS2 lurking under the hood that makes the owners of these big boys giddy like a school girl on her first date.
Recently, one of PCM of NC‘s newest customers brought his bone stock, inaugural-year Trailblazer SS to their shop. After a 326 rwhp and 338 lb-ft. baseline pull was made on PCM’s in-house Dynojet, the Trailblazer’s owner was looking for a sizable increase in power and an improved soundtrack without sacrificing drivability or reliability. He was intrigued by their V2 camshaft, but wanted something with just a bit more oomph.
Alvin and Kelly Anderson of PCM then decided this would be the perfect opportunity to create their Attitude V3 bumpstick (225/235 .61x/.62x on a 113 LSA), which PCM claims gives the engine an aggressive idle and a nice little 10-15 bump in horsepower over their own V2 camshaft.
Obviously, you can’t imply slide in a new camshaft and call it a day – so PCM included a Brian Tooley Racing Deluxe Install Kit to compliment the camshaft upgrade, as you do, whenever you swap out the cam. After all, you can’t rely on the same ten-year old valvetrain components spec’d for the stock camshaft. While they were in there, they also attached a Melling 10296 oil pump for improved oiling efficiency.
PCM then further modified the SS with their Performance Package 4 kit, that includes a 160-degree thermostat, PCM of NC’s Airbox Intake with Stock MAF, an LS1 Electric Fan Kit (does not include fans, but can be added!), a rubber line transmission cooler kit (front mount or brake duct mount), a powerbond underdrive pulley with new belts and bolt, and a three wire battery cable kit.
A set of FAST 33-pound injectors keep the thirsty LS2 fed, while a pair of Kooks headers and a catalytic converter-equipped Y-pipe further increase power, sound, and exhaust flow without sacrificing emissions compliance. They keep the exhaust fume smell and raspiness down as well.
Wanting to give the Trailblazer increased drivability, with the ability to slash a few tenths off of the quarter-mile time, PCM installed a Circle-D 3000-stall torque converter into the 4L70E gearbox.
Once it was all buttoned up and strapped back down to the dyno, the Trailblazer laid down an impressive 423 hp and 403 lb-ft. to the tires… which is a gain of 97 hp and 65 lb-ft! IN the meantime, the truck is still docile around town and is as reliable as the day it left the showroom. We look forward to seeing what this thing does at the dragstrip, but in the meantime, check out the attached dyno and idling videos to get a better idea of this truck’s new personality!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.