It’s Alive! First Startup of Project Stella’s Blueprint 383

When we last left Stella, she was under the knife at Overpower Customs getting a new heartbeat thanks to Blueprint Engines. The surgery was scary for everyone involved but success was achieved, and she is back in business. New organs and some fresh blood will give our ’95 Chevy C1500 a new start in life, while offering us a fun new truck to drive around dependably and daily. We can’t wait to drive it!

Naturally with most projects, the devil’s in the details so instead of rushing to the road, we gave Trey at Overpower all the time he needed to make our girl perfect and proper. A new cooling system from Mishimoto had to be installed and the Dakota Digital gauges needed testing, but once the last bolt was turned and the Red Line engine fluid was poured, it was time to turn the key. The tension in the room was thick, but Trey was cool as ice. The key turned and the engine cranked, just as he expected. A deep rumble from the Dynomax exhaust filled the bays and smiles were on every single face in the room. Only thing left to do was take it for a spin and listen for any weird noises—oh, and burnouts. We’ve just gotta do some burnouts!

As we complete the testing and tuning on our new Blueprint 383 combined with our 5-speed American Powertrain transmission, we will be swapping out the hood for an Autometal Direct cowl hood and adding a new roll pan from AVS on the web. We will be painting these pieces ourselves using Automotive Touchup RTS paint and lining the bed with a DIY bedliner from KBS Coatings. Stay tuned for that in the next issue, but until then, let’s check out the current state of this smooth OBS.

Blueprint Engines

Overpower Customs

Centerforce Clutch

American Powertrain



Autometal Direct

Our Blueprint Engines 383ci Stroker engine looks amazing in the engine bay of an OBS Chevy truck. We swapped out the factory V-6 motor mounts for factory V-8 Chevy mounts and added a Vintage Air Front Runner pulley kit. The combination is amazing to look at!

For cooling, we turned to Mishimoto for its sleek looking, well-performing hardware. This is a 6.2-liter (383ci) diesel cooling system that Trey recommended for additional cooling. To make it all work correctly, Trey installed a factory OEM diesel coolant reservoir and made a trick aluminum coolant transfer pipe.
Blueprint Engines does the engine testing and break-in before it ships so all we had to do is fill the 710 juice, coolant and power steering fluid. Then it’s ready to rip!
The Vintage Air Front Runner kit is a complete pulley system that includes the alternator and A/C compressor. We chose polished and we’re so glad we did!
Red Line is our fluid of choice for engine oil, power steering and transmission fluid. Time to get the truck out of the shop!

Stella’s interior has been fully replaced with TMI Product’s newest setup. This dual bucket seat setup comes with a center console and cup holders along with a new headliner. The details in the seats are impressive, and we can’t recommend TMI enough.
Also spicing up the inside of the cab is the new floor stick shifter that is attached to our American Powertrain 5-speed and these amazing Lokar door handles. So clean!


Take another look at that beautiful engine bay. What a unit!
Before we go in for some final tuning and some new body panels, we had to give her a rip around the block. She spins the tires like nothing, but I have a feeling we will be replacing the rearend soon, and maybe some tires.



In the next issue we will give you some DIY tips and tricks to painting body panels. We have this Autometal Direct, 2-inch raised steel cowl hood designed for the ’88-’98 Chevy GMC C/K Pickup, ’92-’94 Blazer Jimmy, ’95-’99 Tahoe Yukon and ’92-’99 Suburban. It is stamped from heavy gauge steel with a fully finished, factory style underside. These hoods bolt on using existing hood hinges and latch.
We will also be installing this new tailgate from LMC Truck. It’s a factory replacement so you know it fits perfectly, and the company offers all the hardware you need to complete the swap.
Finally, we will add a new steel roll pan from AVS on the web. They make amazing products so check out their ad in the back of this book!
To paint these panels, we will use Autometal Direct’s RTS (ready to spray) automotive paint. This is automotive paint for customers who have their own spray equipment including an air compressor and paint gun, although they make products is an aerosol can as well. The proper paint reducers have been added for ease of use, paint flow and dry times. All colors are mixed to your original paint code per order, and wooden mixing paint sticks and paint strainers are included.
To finish it off, we will brush on this KBS bed liner. This is a tough and flexible thick, black, protective coating designed to protect against corrosion and abrasion while withstanding impacts and improving traction. It’s easy to do in your driveway!


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