So now that I'm not trailing around the country anymore having a $15000 tow rig seemed kinda pointless. I sold the 2004.5 Chevy for $15.5 after putting almost 40k on it in one year. I loved the power of the truck but it was never quite what I wanted. It had a couple major drawbacks. 1. It was "old man Gold" 2. It topped out at 65-70 unless you wanted to get 8mpg because it simply isn't geared to tow large loads and sail down the highway at 80mph.
I figured that I would buy a cheaper less reliable diesel for around $5000 that was capable of pulling 15k/lbs. First I started out with a 94 Ford Powerstroke Dually. It was black & manual trans. It looked cool but was a complete POS. Something new broke every time I drove it. I got rid of that quick and only had that pile of junk for 2 whole weeks.
Shortly after offing the Ford I came across a 97 Chevy 6.8L turbo diesel 3500 Dually. Manual 5 speed trans for towing and reliability. The guy wanted $4000 for it but he was fed up with craigslisters offering their Honda civics in trade. It was mine for $3500. It had 200k on the clock but had a new motor in it with 60K on it. ( or so he says ) The Injector driver module was already re-located and heat sinked on the front bumper. Clearly this was a truck that someone gave 2 shits about. So far I've put almost 3000 miles on it, half of which towing and it's been awesome.
Now onto the other money left over from the Duramax.. About 7 years ago I owned a 99 frontier. The truck was small enough to whip into parking spots and was an absolute blast to off road. I swore that I would always own another frontier at one point. The time was now and I pulled the trigger on a 2006 LE with 60k on the clock.
I've never had a fun truck that has been modified, all of the trucks I've owned have always been strictly functional. This one is different. Before long I was researching the largest tires I could stuff under a lightly lifted frontier. First off, let me tell you that apparently no one on the frontier forums thinks that you can fit 33x12.5's on it. I guess these guys just are not used to "doing what it takes" to fit a set of mudders on.
I ended up getting a set of 33x12.5x18 Nitto Mud Grapplers. These damn tires were more than the wheels, but hey, you only live once right? I used on of those shackle and strut spacer kits to get the truck up 2.5 inches. The ride is still nice and coil overs are like $1500 for these. The wheels and tires still required minor trimming on the fender liners and front bumper. ZERO rubbing and full lock with the right offset wheels. Once the wheels and tires went on the truck went up almost another 2 inches.
The tires are awesome, so far we have taken this truck up some seriously loose rocky hills. They whine loud on the road but the tradeoff is immediately worth it.
Added a nice headunit and some HID's and I couldn't be happier with it. Finally out of the full size truck and traded off for a dedicated puller and fun one to boot.
Side note> what image hosting do you guys use to post pics to the forum from a phone?