The topic of what constitutes a sleeper is one of the most divisive and hotly debated in the scene, but we’d wager that anyone would struggle to argue against the sleepiness of Dylan Matwijow’s turbo LS-swapped Hyundai iLoad.
First published in the July 2023 issue of Street Machine
Dylan has owned the van since the start of the year, buying it already done with the turbo LS combo, engineered and all. “I bought it from a mate of mine after Powercruise. The second it was for sale, I told him I’d buy it no matter the price; I just had to have it,” he says.
Dylan’s mate originally purchased the van as a standard workhorse, with the bulk of the car built by Trent Smith and the crew at JM Auto Repairs. “It had a knock, so after a few beers with some mates, the term ‘LS the world’ came into reality,” says Trent.
The process of swapping the LS was a pretty simple one, with the van requiring very little modification to accept the Bowtie transplant. “Believe it or not, the fitment of the LS engine into the iLoad engine bay was really easy, with no modifications to the firewall, steering or sump,” says Trent. “We even used the standard throttle and shifter cables!”
The LS1 itself copped a fair tickle by P&J Truck Repairs. Capacity went from 5.7 to 6.3 litres using a Callies stroker kit for crank and rods, along with CP-Carrillo Bullet pistons. Up top are 241 heads and a standard LS intake manifold, while a Crow Cams boost-grind stick works the valves. Engine management is standard GM, and the mill drinks PULP 98.
Although an LS would’ve been plenty on its own, we’re happy to report this one also has a sweet power adder. Mounted midway along the iLoad’s underbelly is a Precision turbocharger, feeding the LS combo 12psi for a best of 515rwhp to date. “That’s low boost,” Dylan clarifies. “It has intake temp issues we need to sort, because with bugger-all room, it has a small intercooler. Once we sort that, it’ll make a lot more.”
Completing the driveline is a TH400 ’box, which sends power to a custom nine-inch diff that still retains the iLoad six-stud set-up and ABS sensors. “Everything under the car is done really well without any major cutting,” Dylan says. “Even the wider nine-inch wheels fit under the standard tubs.”
Not only is this all bloody awesome, but it’s also street legal. The whole lot is fully engineered in NSW, and Dylan says it shows. “Usually cars with conversions like this have things that don’t work, but the a/c, power steering and everything work as normal – it’s still a perfect work van.”
The 2009-model tradie hauler is exactly that for Dylan, acting as his daily drive and work van for his business, DM’s Mechanical Servicing. “The wife drives it a lot as well, and my young fella loves going for drives in it and egging me to get on boost,” he says.
In the couple of months Dylan has owned the sleepy van, he’s just spent his time neatening it up and enjoying it. “I fixed some oil leaks,” he says. “I love using it on the street; it gets so many strange looks! My wife smoked a WRX in it after they laughed at us for what they probably thought was a broken exhaust, so it’s a lot of fun.”
As for future plans with the iLoad, Dylan naturally wants more ponies. “I’ll probably put it on E85 and sort an intercooler, and then we can shoot for hopefully around 700hp,” he says. “I’m also debating putting a choppier cam in it for a meaner sound, but then that might ruin the sleeper factor, so I’m on the fence about that one.”
Even with a lumpier stick, we reckon it’d still be the snooziest van getting around.
2009 HYUNDAI iLOAD
|9in, 35-spline axles, 3.7:1 gears
Trent Smith and Tomi Raikko at JM Auto Repairs Wollongong; Phil at P&J Truck Repairs; B at Somoracz Racecars; Jim at Speedy Diffs; Fred at Protrans; Kev at Rocket Industries; Kon at Wollongong Auto Services; CV Performance; DM’s Mechanical Servicing; Imperial Bodyworx
Got a car that looks mild, but goes wild? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Sleepers, Street Machine, Unit 9/3-5 Gilda Court, Mulgrave, Vic 3170. Or email: [email protected].