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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Inspired by a 3.0L Diesel Toyota Hilux overlanding vehicle we drove for 2 weeks in Namibia, when Chevy finally got their Duramax Colorado's on the market, it was just a matter of time.

The Hilux:



I'd purchased a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to replace my '10 VW TDI Sportswagen (and just in time, given diesel-gate!) just 1.5 years before and swore I'd keep it at least 2 years, but the urge was too strong and my will power too weak, so in May I traded up:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The first order of business was getting some steps and a grille guard. My Jeep buddy convinced me I had to have a winch if I was going to build any real overlanding vehicle. So I got a Westin Sportsman Winch Mount Grille Guard and Westin Thrasher Board steps.

The steps were first to arrive. The install was super easy, however I'm kinda disappointed by how low the brackets hang. I'll likely pull these at some point and replace them with real rock sliders.



Installing the grille guard required removing the forward to hooks and cutting some of the bumper, though in an inconspicuous place:

Looking up from the ground at the tow hook attachment point:


Cutting the bumper for the upper support arms:


Another view of the upper support arm:


And the finished product:


The grille guard adds ~64lbs to the front end. It doesn't bury the nose, but it does feel slightly noticeable. I'll be adding King coil-overs in front to make up for the added weight, add about an inch of lift and improve overall performance.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
While loading the back of a pickup truck is awesome and all, I live in New Mexico where things have a habit of walking off quickly if they're easy to grab. After consulting with a few truck shell providers, I found that the best price/quality combo was with the Century CC 180, which provides about about 5" more space than the truck cab height. The "CC" is the commercial cap, which is reinforced for more roof loads. I figure that if I put a ~100 lb roof top tent up there along with my 210 lb frame and my wife's <redacted> ;) lbs, I need a sturdy roof.

I opted to spend extra on the "sliding win-doors" on each side: they open like the rear hatch, lock, and have vents. These have been awesome.







And an "action" shot:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Final "catching up on the build" post for today: To round out the front end I got a Smittybilt 9500 lb winch and a Mictuning 32" LED Light Bar:





The winch install was relatively easy. The holes I cut for the grille guard's upper support arm made a perfect spot for the winch and light bar wires to go. The winch connection is pretty easy: red to the battery's positive (red) terminal, and black to the grounding bolt on the front-left side of the engine compartment.

The light bar required a little more ingenuity. Though it came with an excellent wiring harness including a fuse and relay, I still had to get into the cabin. I ended up cutting a hole in the trunk release grommet to feed the wires and then mounting a switch in the lower dash cubby along side the USB and audio jack.





Getting that panel out required puling both console side panels and the panel above it. That panel (where the little weird cubby and seat heater buttons are) was a bear to get out; I had to reach around both sides and push down on it while also prying.



The light puts out some daylight! Looking forward to using it in the field!
 

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looking good.
 

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I had some Westin side steps that came on my 08 when I bought it used. The brackets were similar to the ones you got. They hung so low, it was stupid. I hit them on rocks. They bent. I took them off, and threw them in the scrap pile.

That piece on the front of your truck looks like it would really hurt your approach when attempting to traverse certain obstacles. Does that concern you at all?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That piece on the front of your truck looks like it would really hurt your approach when attempting to traverse certain obstacles. Does that concern you at all?
Yup. Totally.

Of course, the ultimate solution is the Fab Fours Premium Front Bumper w/ Full Guard, but I've gotta walk off my current round of improvements first ;)

The biggest culprit right now is the lower horizontal support bar. I believe it's there for those who don't have the winch tray, which provides plenty of support. As it is, it reduces approach by about 8°. I'm looking to get it into a fab shop (perhaps at the same time as getting true sliders) and cut off.

The truck is in the shop right now getting King remote reservoir coil-overs and piggy-back rear shocks. That should bring the nose back up a bit.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Replaced the flimsy plastic front "splash guard" with the aluminum armor from @supermodulation a week ago. I can already see that it's made a difference. The piece is light enough to not bring my front end down more than it already is. It'll deflect smaller items and definitely protect, though I won't be relying on it to slide off of anything.

Install took 5 minutes. Buy them here.

The flimsy splash guard (I'd already removed 3 of the 4 bolts here):


Ready to install:


Finished product:


Current diff armor already showing some scratches. Will be upgrading to @supermodulation's full-length armor (http://coloradofans.com/forums/258-...d-gen-gmt700-2015-colorado-canyon-trucks.html) soon:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Barely "build post" worthy, but I did add Husky's front and rear mud guards. My white truck REALLY shows road spray after what little rain we get here in New Mexico. They're a little more solid than I'd like for off-roading so they may get replaced with soft (aka flexible and won't get ripped off) rubber guards at some point, but they look good and do the trick.



 

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Just my $0.02 but you need to ditch those steps.

For overlanding you should get sliders...though there are no real good ones out right now :frown2: but the step lowers a sensitive area and if impacted, since they attach to the body youre likely to do more harm than good. Sliders attach to the frame so if you hit something they protect the body and doors from meeting :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just my $0.02 but you need to ditch those steps.

For overlanding you should get sliders...though there are no real good ones out right now :frown2: but the step lower a sensitive area and if impacted, since they attach to the body youre likely to do more hard than good. Sliders attach to the frame so if you hit something they protect the body and doors from meeting :wink2:
Yup. I'm pulling them off the truck and putting them on Craigslist before heading to the CO mountains this weekend. I've already grabbed one rock with them (no real damage, but really showed how bad the brackets are) and don't want to put any more use on them so I can get top $ towards real sliders.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I have success, I'll see about getting a 2nd set fab'ed for ya!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Nice >:)


If you plan to run them with the front sway bar off make sure you flip the spacers on the fronts to the opposite sides, or your CV boots will contact the shock body at full droop. I got confirmation from KING that this was ok and the spacers were only there for sway bar clearance anyway :)

I have the front sway bar off and the fronts on full hard for road driving and the truck feels about as good as stock in the corners >:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just picked my truck up from the shop with my new King Coil-overs installed. Closer to level now but with a slight rake (because I'll actually use my truck bed).More importantly the nose was lifted about 3", which means I probably had 1.5"-2" of droop from the ~70lb grille guard and ~80 winch hanging off the front.

Pulling the steps off tonight to regain some more clearance.

 
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