'18 ZR2 EC V6 My First Truck Build - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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'18 ZR2 EC V6 My First Truck Build

I'm somewhat afraid to document this as then I'll have a record of how much I spent and I know I already spent to much, but what the hell, it's only time and money.

So I'm on my third week with my new truck and I've added quite a bit of add-ons. My intent with this truck is not for a daily driver, but a fun weekend/vacation vehicle that I can escape with. I haven't owned a truck since my 2004 Ford Ranger FX4 L2 and I didn't even have that a year as I traded that and my SVT Focus for a Mitsubishi EVO8. So this will be my first truck build ever. I also own a Miata and and an Outback.

Also, need to make this disclaimer so I don't lose my job, I work for General Motors as an IT Business Analyst in Austin, TX and my views/opinions/comments are solely my own and not General Motors in any way shape or form.

With that out of the way, here's my ongoing build of 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Extended Cab V6 in Summit White:

So my intent was to buy a Deepwood Metallic Green Diesel Extended Cab ZR2. Flew up to Denver, CO and had an awful experience at a dealership and ended up walking out, getting a Lyft and flying back to Austin. Two days later I picked up this in Temple, TX with a awesome dealership experience. I talked myself into the V6 saying I could spend what I saved not getting the diesel.





I ordered the Thule Rack through GM Accessories and yes I got an employee discount on the truck and GM Accessories. I discovered that GM includes the locks, rails, fit kit much cheaper than Thule does even without my discount.

Next, I ordered the center console insert off of Amazon.

I then ordered the Decked system through GM Accessories, while their price is more than most, it does include a toolbox and dividers, which they don't state in their description. This I installed myself and it was fairly easy, just time consuming.





The Leitner Designs Bed Rack meet my requirements of being modular, having a high static weight capability and still able to use the bed of the truck without having to remove the rack, yes it is expensive, but I think it's worth it. I got the rack through Rack Outfitters here in Austin and had them install it. And that is my truck in their You Tube video.

Next up was the WeatherTec mudflaps and window visors. I liked the look of their mudflaps and I liked that the visors are in channel and not stuck on with tape.

I originally planned to use my existing Thule cargo basket for the roof, but it was to tall and couldn't get it in my 7' garage doors. So I ordered the small universal Rhino Rack Platform and the half rail extension. Unlike the Crew Cab, Rhino doesn't make a fixed rack/platform for the extended cab. I knew this would leave me with space on the roof rails on each side. Figured the high-lift jack could go on one side and the flag pole could go horizontal on the other side. I was planning to be able to put the spare tire on the Rhino Rack so ordered the heavy duty holder from Rhino, but the holder mounts in between the rails on the platform meaning it can't be centered in the platform and therefore the tire wouldn't fit on the platform properly, so I ordered the Rhino Spare Tire straps. This looks like it will work.











Yes, I know I can't get out of my garage with the spare tire up there, but it was raining today, plus my garage is air conditioned so I thought it would be a good day to see how everything fits.


I also added a 3 gallon gas RotoPax and 2 gallon water RotoPax. With the Lox Mounts for both.









Still waiting for the MaxTrax to come in, but installed the mounts for them on the rack and here you can see I mounted the high lift jack on the passenger side roof, I bought the mounts for the Leitner rack, but the jack takes the whole length, so I mounted on the Thule roof rack, the only problem mounting it this way is the bracket that holds it down doesn't line up to be able to easily put a pad lock through, so I'll have to get some other kind of lock.









The spare tire will go back under the truck, until I go off-road. The flag pole and rotopax will be stored in the garage until needed and the high-lift jack fits nicely in the skinny drawer of the decked system. The mounts will stay on the truck, but as it lives outside until I can get the third bay of my garage cleaned up, I don't want stuff walking away.



I have a bunch of other things to add later, but this should do for now.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 11:01 PM
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 11:25 PM
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Sweet ride and tasty upgrades...off to a great start!

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 06:30 AM
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Looks great, curious what dealership in Denver you had troubles with?

2018 Colorado ZR2 Diesel CCSB Satin Steel, 1" RC leveling kit, 285/70/16 Falken Wildpeak AT3Ws, Timbren SES to prevent sag.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Looks great, curious what dealership in Denver you had troubles with?

John Elway in Englewood. I hope no one experiences what I did. I can't give details, but I can assure you I have brought it up to GM Corporate.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 02:59 PM
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John Elway in Englewood. I hope no one experiences what I did. I can't give details, but I can assure you I have brought it up to GM Corporate.

That sucks, I hate when dealerships don't treat people right, especially if you flew to Denver to pick up a vehicle. I will be sure to avoid them.

2018 Colorado ZR2 Diesel CCSB Satin Steel, 1" RC leveling kit, 285/70/16 Falken Wildpeak AT3Ws, Timbren SES to prevent sag.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 02:35 AM
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Good looking truck!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2018, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Slowly but surely, I'm adding everything I purchased. This weekend I added the Thule fairing, but it caused a loud whistling, must likely due to hitting the Rhino Rack that extends far forward of the front bar. So I took it off. I'll try it again if I ever take the Rhino Rack off:





My MaxTrax came in, so readjusted the mounts to fit properly. Only ordered two, as I previously purchased 2 knock-offs. At least I showed some minor constraint in the purchasing dept.





The most important purchase so far has been Browneye's Extended Cab platform for my 12 year old Lab Noah. He was afraid to lay down without the platform. For a big guy 110lbs, he fits better than I imagined. Browneye does awesome work and shipped them out fast and nicely packed, he takes great pride in his work and it shows.






And total aesthetic but I haven't had a personalized plate since my Golf R, so I bit the bullet and have this plate for 5 years. Ordered it today:


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Small update, some more parts came in and a minor fix from my day at Rally Ready.


The Leitner Gear Boxes came in, and was able to get them keyed the same:









Got the keypad programmed around 4th of July, finally got it installed, got the location idea from this forum. Installed with industrial velcro so that I can remove it when I need more safety.





Went to Rally Ready a few weeks back, they run a truck course and have open truck days about once a month, it was really cool to run, however my bed rack did slide back on the passenger side and one of the screws bent, so had to have the bracket and screw replaced for good measure. Luckily Rack Outfitters, changed them out for me and didn't charge. There was one other ZR2 there and a whole lot of Raptors. I hit a gate post with my driver's side mirror and it cracked the mirror, luckily that was all, the housing was able to be popped back in place with no scars. As I received massive credit card bills for all the stuff I ordered for this truck and my Miata, I went with an Ebay knock-off mirror for 1/3 the price of OEM. So far it seems fine and the quality was decent for $50.00.






One of these days, the third bay of my garage will get cleaned out and the ZR2 will be able to be garaged.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 04:52 PM
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I'm not sure how to feel about that rack, I was planning to build something similar as I hand't been able to find anything in the marketplace that I liked, but there it is all pre made, and time saving, I especially like the gear pod concept as you can allow access from the sides of specific parts of the bed, very cool! Great build btw.

Last edited by ZuluRomeo2; 07-30-2018 at 04:55 PM.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure how to feel about that rack, I was planning to build something similar as I hand't been able to find anything in the marketplace that I liked, but there it is all pre made, and time saving, I especially like the gear pod concept as you can allow access from the sides of specific parts of the bed, very cool! Great build btw.

I went around and around on bed racks, Leitner's bed rack had absolutely everything I wanted, except for "beefy" aesthetics. IMO the best part of the Leitner rack is the sliding rear cross bar that uses thumb wheels. I really didn't want to impede using the bed of the truck for tall items. It's really a great, well thought out design. I do wish the rack used the bed stakes, I wasn't happy about the movement from the Rally Road event, considering it had very minor weight on it. But I doubt Leitner designed it for that kind of relatively high speed off-roading. Once my RTT comes in, I'll really be able to test the robustness of the bed rack off-road. The specs are 1000lb static, 500lb on-road and 250 off-road. Not bad for a rack that only weighs 70lbs. The Leitner accessories make it really easy to add the things you want and it's all very clean looking. I'm sure you can build something cheaper, but I doubt it would have these "clean" aesthetics.


I really like the looks of the bed rack used on the AEV ZR2 concept, but the Leitner is much more functional IMO.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emulous74 View Post
I went around and around on bed racks, Leitner's bed rack had absolutely everything I wanted, except for "beefy" aesthetics. IMO the best part of the Leitner rack is the sliding rear cross bar that uses thumb wheels. I really didn't want to impede using the bed of the truck for tall items. It's really a great, well thought out design. I do wish the rack used the bed stakes, I wasn't happy about the movement from the Rally Road event, considering it had very minor weight on it. But I doubt Leitner designed it for that kind of relatively high speed off-roading. Once my RTT comes in, I'll really be able to test the robustness of the bed rack off-road. The specs are 1000lb static, 500lb on-road and 250 off-road. Not bad for a rack that only weighs 70lbs. The Leitner accessories make it really easy to add the things you want and it's all very clean looking. I'm sure you can build something cheaper, but I doubt it would have these "clean" aesthetics.


I really like the looks of the bed rack used on the AEV ZR2 concept, but the Leitner is much more functional IMO.
I agree with everything, I will probably build something just because. And yeah the factory bar looks cool, but that’s it.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 10:33 AM
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BTW, The load bars from that rack are what they call 80/20 channell if you ever need more you may be able to get them more reasonably from a generic supplier. One of the other concerns for my use with that rack (which don't get me wrong here I think it's great) would be loading a 4 Wheeler, or really any other wide cargo where the rear stanchion could interfere. Here are some pics of what I am going to build, I am thinking about making some longitudinal bars out of the 80/20 that would allow me to mount a yakima or similar aerodynamic bar above the cab of my truck for longer items such as Kayaks.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 09:49 PM
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I do wish the rack used the bed stakes, I wasn't happy about the movement from the Rally Road event, considering it had very minor weight on it. But I doubt Leitner designed it for that kind of relatively high speed off-roading.
How much movement are we talking about here?

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 10:54 PM
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What exactly is that keypad for?



Otherwise, it looks like you are gearing up for the zombie apocalypse. Sure hope that comes soon.....it will help cull the herd.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 09:52 AM
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What exactly is that keypad for?
Cab access, it is GM accessory.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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So folks, I've decided to put this on pause. With the announcement of the Bison ZR2, it gives me a good reason to switch to a diesel, with after averaging 12mpg means I have to carry a lot of extra gas on deep excursions.



Right now, everything I've done to the current truck is completely removable and transferable to the new truck. So hopefully I'll get the new truck in Jan and will be able to pick this up. So stay tuned.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2018, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Alu-Cab RTT finally came in from Africa, just put it on last night. Will get more pics of it opened/used. But everything you read about it being a beast and set-up in less than 30 seconds is true:






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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Went on a short camping trip this weekend to a private campground in central Texas with about 150 people, not my ideal camping trip, but a great excuse to try out my new RTT. Between the Alu-Cab and the Clam Screen Quick-Set 9879 Escape Shelter, to set up camp including opening the tent, the two poles for the entrance canopy, the ladder, the screen shelter and unloading the truck took a whole 10 minutes. I knew the Alu-Cab would be simple, I was amazed an t how well engineered the Clam Screen Quick-Set was, no poles to attach, you simply push and pull on the straps and the whole thing just pops up. I had the 3 of the optional walls up as it was raining that day, those are just velcro and 4 attached straps. Couldn't of been more easy.











The Alu-Cab was great, need to put a hook at the top of the interior to hand a fan and a light, but otherwise felt secure, good ventilation (it was just hot outside). Getting up in the middle of the night and having to navigate stairs wasn't as easy as walking out of ground tent, but I didn't fall. All in all I'm really happy with it.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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My Birthday Present: 2014 Schutt Industries XVenture XV-2 Demonstration Model:


XV2-E Trailer Package includes:
  • Elevating Rack System
  • Yeti 400 Portable Power System
  • 22 Gallon Fresh Water System And Skid Plate
  • On Demand Triton Water Heater System
  • Shower Head W/8Ft Hose
  • Propane Tank W/ Mounting System
  • Lockable Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
  • Line-X Coated Bed Interior and Exterior Toolbox and Fenders

This Package also includes:

  • Additional Odyssey Battery
  • Swing Away Spare Tire Carrier
  • ARB Simpson III Tent and Annex (Having them remove this for a discount)
  • Galley Table
  • Silver Grey Wrap

They are adding the Elevated Rack Lift Assist for me.


I'll be driving from Austin to WI to pick it up once they get it ready and payments clear. I'm very excited.


Obviously will need some better tires and little touch-ups here and there, but well under half the price of a brand new one, seemed like a decent value.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
• XVENTURE Trailer – All Aluminum Construction, Includes the following plus standard trailer amenities such as front wheeled jack, rear adjustable vertical stabilizers, safety chains, etc.
• Fully D.O.T. compliant in all 50 states.
• 3 Piece Step-Style Fenders - Designed to support full sized adults to access rack cargo
• Fender Receivers – For Accessory Attachments
• Large Front Storage Cabinet – 62 wide x 22 tall x 19 front to back. All Aluminum
• Multi-Axis Max Hitch
• Electric Drum Brakes
• Dual independant manual Brake Controls
• Break-Away brake actuator
• Through-Drawbar IVC Cable with right angle cover plate incorporating a metal mesh Cable Stretch Eliminator Sleeve and Metal IVC Plug
• Reverse Lights / Area Lights – Super bright white 24 device LED modules – These turn on when the tow vehicle is placed in reverse, and are also able to be switched on from the power distribution control center to act as large area illumination lighting.
• Power Distribution Center - Completely wired with 6 fused switchable supply ports - This allows you to integrate up to 6 electronic accessories like additional lights, compressors, pumps, charging units etc., to a fused circuit that is remotely switchable from the control center switch block.
• Wiring harness runs through chassis tubes for optimal protection
• Exterior mounted weather proof 110V Shoreline-In rιceptacle
• Exterior mounted weather proof 110V output rιceptacle
• 50 AH Deep Cycle Battery with charger
• Cargo bed mounted 12VOLT receptacles - Recepticals on either side of bed at rear
• Lighted license plate mount on tailgate
• Poly Urea (Line-X) Coating - Cargo Bed Interior and Front Exterior Wall, Chassis, Fenders, Storage Cabinet
• 3: 32" Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) LT Tires
• Steel 16 Rims – Black
• Rear 2" accessory receiver
• 2: Rear D-Rings – These are Air Lift Rated
• 10 Year Warranty on Chassis

Dimensions
Track Width ----------------63.4”
Overall Width---------------75”
Overall height---------------50.5”
Overall length--------------151.5” (12.5’)
Deck height-----------------33”
Cargo Bed Interior---------59" x89" x 18"
Distance Between Wheel Wells----49”
Axle Clearance-------------17.5” (with 32" tires)

Weights
Curb Weight-----------------1190 lbs
Payload Capacity-----------2315 lbs
GVW-----------------3500 lbs








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