June 1st 2000, that was the day it became mine, #180 of 2200 built in 1993. Over the past 11 years, there have been many ups and downs and like most Syclone and Typhoon owners, it’s been a love/hate relationship. I have a closet full of trophies, plaques and awards dating from 2000 to about 2005, but that’s where it stops. After that, things just seemed to take a turn for the worse, problem after problem seemed to pile up and it seemed to be a losing battle.
During the 2005 SyTy Nationals, the first problem that started this snowball effect was a failing front differential. Being 1200 miles away from home didn’t leave many options, there were a couple, but I chose to remove the differential and get it rebuilt by a local shop just outside of Kansas City, MO. All seemed well after getting it back and reinstalled in the truck, but after two hours of driving east on I-70, signs of an improperly installed seal in the newly rebuilt differential became the new problem. Rather than risk leaking out all the gear oil and causing more damage, I was fortunately close to another Typhoon owners house in Columbia, MO where I was able to stop and remove the prop shaft and separate the CA axles to allow me to continue on my way in two-wheel drive. Once back home I made a few phone calls and was able to get a refunded for the labor costs on the rebuild, but was still left with a lot of work I was not expecting to have to deal with.
I had planned on installing my new 50# fuel injectors after I got back since I didn’t have the time to program a new chip prior to the event, I decided to keep on going as planned and just rebuild the differential when I wasn’t working on the tune for the injectors. The tune however became a more frustrating problem than the differential. Even with multiple members of the SyTy.net community helping out, there continued to be an issue with restarting the truck after it was at operating temperature. After countless reburns on the chips, I threw in the towel and just stepped away for a while.
Some time after that I moved the truck down to its current location and a friends house since he had plenty of property and I was there most of the time anyway. The third part of this snowball happened when the truck was not even being used, it was parked next to a 60 foot tall spruce tree that just happened to get struck by lightning during a summer thunder storm. The strike was so violent that it split the tree in a corkscrew pattern, the dirt around the roots had literally been blown away exposing them, including the one that went under the truck and over to the basement, also blowing out one of the windows. So now on top of the differential and the injector tune issue, the partially running truck was turned into a non-running truck. It was then pushed around the yard a few different times until I was able to get it running in “limp mode”. Fortunately I had backup chips to use, unfortunately I did not have a backup ECM which is what it ultimately needed. I did eventually acquire one in exchange for some powder coating work, but by this time I had most of the truck ripped apart tracing out electrical problems and was just tired of looking at it and the mountain of work it needed. The truck got parked and I moved on with other projects.
August 2011, the SyTy Nationals were taking place in Denver, CO this year and I had been giving some thought as to what I wanted to do with all of my projects, not just the Typhoon. After some careful considerations, I decided the Typhoon was going to stay and get a new lease on life and that I would sell off some of my other projects. Taking a breather from the SyTy community and all of the drama, along with the fun stories from the Nationals, which I was unable to attend, renewed my interest and got me thinking about what I would like to do with it now.
If my truck could talk, it would have a rather colorful story to tell. It’s unfortunate troubled past branded it a salvage title having been stolen once prior to my ownership in 1999. It would later be stolen once again in my possession in April 2002, to once again be put back together. It has had a moonroof installed at some point during its first 7 years, maybe even before it left the dealership, it has had its roof rack removed, every single window replaced, repainted at least once and last but not least its been struck almost directly by lightning. Having sat untouched for nearly 6 years, the elements have also taken its toll on the paint and some of the sheet metal.