Jeeper's 2005 Colorado

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#1
Owners Name & City-
Brian, South Jordan

Make, Model & Year of Vehicle-
2005 Chevy Colorado

Engine-
3.5L inline 5 cylinder

Transmission-
Automatic

Wheels and Tires-
245/75R16

I have been looking for new work vehicle for some time, and decided to try to cut out my work car, and work truck by using a half sized truck. I did a lot of searching and waiting until the right deal came along.
I found this 2005 Colorado that was at a stealership from a trade in. Story says it's a one owner, old couple. They traveled the country, resulting in high freeway miles.
The truck is in great shape. The back seat looks as though it has never been used. The driver seat shows some wear, especially on the arm rest, but in overall I give it a 7 or 10 for condition.
First order of business was to get some better wheels and tires.
I found a good deal on some Mud terrain tires. They are more aggressive than I would have preferred, but the price was right.
The wheels and tires gave the truck a much better look.
IMG_4123[1].PNG IMG_4153[1].JPG

I was able to take a small dirt road while working yesterday, and was overly impressed with how quiet the ride was. No rattles, clunks, or popping. It was smooth and enjoyable.

The new tires rub on the passenger side while turning right, so I will need to remove the front mud flap.. or give the truck a little lift..

more to come..
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#2
One of the things that has already started to bug me is the way the suspension rides. I am fairly certain it needs new shocks. When I hit a bump/pot hole/etc I get a shake and hop similar to driving on some wash board for just a second. I have also noticed some bottoming out of the suspension when I have tools in the back, or a trailer on.
One of the optional lift kits comes with an add a leaf.
12928-lift-kit.jpg
This lift adds a leaf to the back and rekeys the torsion bars in the front for about 2" of lift.
My hope is that this will give some added support while hauling tools or trailers, and give me just a little lift to clear tires.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#4
I have found that this truck likes to get hot fairly easy. Especially when towing.

A bigger concern is that when the engine gets up past about 3/4 temp, my oil light will come on at idle. If I give it any throttle the light goes off. I'm guessing as the oil gets so hot and thins out, reducing pressure. Interwebs have many threads about the oil light, but none are heat related. It seems the oil pressure sensor is often the culprit, others are sludge in the oil lines limiting oil flow. I think I am going to run some engine cleanser through the oil and change it today. See if that helps.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#6
After researching a little, there are plenty of folks using the ATF, however there are a few that say the atf will swell seals. I opted for an over the counter motor cleaner. I did all 4 shocks, motor cleaner, and oil change tonight. The shocks helped the ride quite a bit. I am really aching for that add a leaf in the rear though.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#7
I have been able to take the truck on some fun trails. When we went up miller hill a few weeks ago it was obvious that a lift is really needed. I finally ordered the lift today.

I am impressed with how well the truck flexes, and how it can really stuff the tires up in the fenders when needed.

I have learned that the truck comes stock with a rear locker. This has made it really fun off road.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#13
We have an upcoming trip, and I was unfocused on work, so I thought I would go throw some LED lights on the front of the truck.. Then I thought I could mount them inside the bumper...Then I remembered I have an extra winch and winch bracket.. So I ended up here:

IMG_5512.JPG

About this time I received a phone call letting my know that some squatters have broken into a house that I have to repair, and that I have received another order for work.. Which means I don't have enough time in the next few days to finish the work I have at all, Let alone play with the truck (or RME :) ) but screw it..

The winch plate I have fits the frame of the truck perfectly. It would be VERY simple to make a flat plate to hold the winch plate in place as is, and call it done.
(first pic has the winch plate on top of the frame, it will have to sit on front of the frame like the second pic shows)
IMG_5514.JPG IMG_5515.JPG

The plastic bottom for the bumper is all cracked and broken, so it won't be going on at all. With the original bumper in place, it fits over the top of the winch plate. The winch plate is behind the bumper about 3". If I wanted to run just like this, I would have to cut into the bumper. This is where I am hung up..

IMG_5516.JPG IMG_5517.JPG

I am not in a position to purchase a real winch bumper. A new bumper and plastic trim would only run me about $200 if I totally screw this one up.

I would like to pretend that I am going to fab up my own full winch bumper in the future.. but it will be placed in the back of the line of a million other projects.. So what ever I do now will be that way for a long while..

So, do I stick the winch in, and cut the bumper back a little?
Or do I just by the $50 replacement plastic part for the bumper to make it look nice and leave it all stock?
 
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jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#15
could you possibly mount the winch mount about 6" back, so it fits entirely inside the bumper?
I should have mentioned that..
If it sits any farther back (which I would prefer) The winch will be too tall, and will have to cut into the grill, or have the grill removed. As it sits now, the winch would be just a hair in front of the grill.


Edit: On second thought, If I mounted the carrier below the frame, and cut into the bottom of the bumper, I may be able to hide it all within the bumper and still be below the grill.. I might could even keep the lower plastic piece of the bumper in place..
It would give me lower clearance, but probably still more than the plastic part..
 
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jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#17
That's not a bad idea.. I will have to go play around with it more.

Also, I am trying to cram my Ramsey winch in there, which is MUCH bigger than my Smittybuilt. I could swap winches. That would save a tone of space, and make all this easier.

Also, Also, I am trying to use the warn carrier I already have. There is no reason I cant make my own carrier/mount to fit where I want, instead of trying to make everything else fit around the warm carrier.
 
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jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#18
I started in on this project again yesterday. After looking at many many options, I opted for just a receiver hitch on the front. This will allow me to use my better winch, but not have it committed to this truck. It gets used all the time in each of our vehicles, and has proved to be very versatile and beneficial. I can now use the winch as is the in the carrier it's already mounted on.
I also finally added the lights I bought a year ago.
hitch being built
IMG_5648.JPG
test fitting, tacking
IMG_5651.JPG IMG_5649.JPG
painted and bolted in
IMG_5652.JPG
bumper skirt back in place, winch on
IMG_5664.JPG
lights and winch.
IMG_5667.JPG
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
#20
Nice. I wish I had fab skills.
Ha. I wish I had them also! I am always amazed at how long a simple little project takes. I can't imagine the level of time, dedication, and awesome that most guys have into the stuff they build. Every time I complete a project, my respect for real fabricators goes way up.
 
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