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E-Locker or Bust!
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Discussion Starter #1,121 (Edited)
Overall, we clocked 4300 miles in the truck, getting between 11.2 and 11.6 mpg. My biggest feedback about how it performed are as follows:

-Cooling: On some of the (very) steep sections of the climb going up to the La Sal mountains and a short section of Pikes Peak, with my foot to the floor to simply maintain 25mph, the truck got hot quickly, even with the A/C off. A bigger radiator and GM fans are probably in the cards for me before I go to Moab next year. Fortunately it never had any issues while climbing steep grades on the trails with the A/C off and I was even able to run the A/C while parked or descending.

-Welded front diff: While it certainly helped, I think 99% of the obstacles I did could have been done with an open front diff. Furthermore, having the front diff welded on this high traction surface got the steering hot enough to whine. A selectable front locker is also in the cards before my next trip out west.

-Sway bar: I'm not sure if the shorter truck is the cause of this or simply because there's a lot more windy, hilly roads out west, but the truck would be MUCH more stable and drivable on the highway with a sway bar. I have one - I've had one for 3 years... from WFO's OBS... I just need to install it with some easily disconnectable links.

-Cage: It would be nice peace of mind to have a cage. I have a pre-bent one sitting in my garage that I bought in case I was invited to the UA this year, so I'll likely make that this winter's project.

-Bed organization: One of the things I wasn't able to focus on leading up to the trip was bed organization. I need to ditch those flimsy, enormous red and green totes for some more rigid ones. It worked fine, to be honest... but making it more streamlined would be less frustrating to get to stuff when it's needed. I think I'll focus on this first, since it's the cheapest :grinpimp:

The good news is that the trans did great, despite being a major dog on the highway. The EcoBox and 205 worked excellently, as did the triple sticks. And finally, the short wheelbase worked out flawlessly. I can't think of anything I did while shortening the wheelbase that required any attention the whole trip. All of my frustration was due to lack of proper maintenance, since all my attention was focused on the wheelbase chop and doubler install leading up to departure.
 

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half the pics didn't show up for me :dunno:

but looks like a Killer trip Derek. I am planning a trip in about 3 years i hope, but sadly most likely won't be wheeling unless i rent something out there. Bucket list trip for me for sure though!

as for your summary at the end. I HIGHLY suggest the cage install. end up on your lid once without one, it will always be one of the first things you do to any subsequent rig. speaking from experience here lol.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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half the pics didn't show up for me :dunno:

but looks like a Killer trip Derek. I am planning a trip in about 3 years i hope, but sadly most likely won't be wheeling unless i rent something out there. Bucket list trip for me for sure though!

as for your summary at the end. I HIGHLY suggest the cage install. end up on your lid once without one, it will always be one of the first things you do to any subsequent rig. speaking from experience here lol.
Let me know when you do make it out there. Maybe I'll be able to meet you so you can do some fullsize wheeling :D

And I feel you on the cage. I will definitely be installing it, I'm just taking a breather after all the work the wheelbase chop was. I know the cage will not be a breeze to install, even if it is pre-bent.

Yeah towards the end the pics didnt show
I'll see if I can get them fixed around lunch today. Busy morning.

Awesome trip report. I followed along on Instagram which made me terribly jealous.

I saw you mention having a pre-bent cage ready to go in. where did you pick that up from?
It's from @Tedesigns on instagram. He's a pretty legit dude running the operation from his garage. He does cages for both ext-cabs and crew cabs, mostly selling to prerunner guys. It has 2" a-pillar bars, hoops, and then 1.75" crossbars and gussets. The crossbar below the windshield is even hidden under the dash, which is nice. It's not the cheapest option, but it looks to be super high quality and given the uncertainty about UA, it was the wise choice.
 

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Let me know when you do make it out there. Maybe I'll be able to meet you so you can do some fullsize wheeling :D

And I feel you on the cage. I will definitely be installing it, I'm just taking a breather after all the work the wheelbase chop was. I know the cage will not be a breeze to install, even if it is pre-bent.

fullsize wheeling would be awesome. even if my blazer is in any condition to take out there, it would cost a mint just to tow it out with the 8.1 so when i go, i'll most likely just rent something. Doubt even driving my truck out there will take me where i want to go. Just a bone stock 05 2500HD.

but already planning it, 3 years from now, 2021. wanted to go all my life, put this trip off many times before due to various reasons. no happening this time. i'll go no matter what lol. planning something very similar to what you just did. visit colorado some as i drive through, then hit up moab and southern Utah while i am out there. Never been west of the mississippi, gotta make the most of it.
 

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Nice!! Love the trip report. Sounds like the truck performed well aside from PM issues. I can't wait to go back out that way, now that I've done it I think I could do less time wrenching after learning the terrain a bit. The cage is a good idea, so I'll third or fourth getting that in, especially out there where the name of the game is slow and right on your limit sometimes haha.

I had some other fullish size guys going up Moab Rim with us. We did a sunset run going up so we could look over Moab at night all lit up. Doing all those obstacles downhill at night was pretty tough on morale for some the people with me. It's real weird when everything is pitch black and there's no horizon to use for reference hahahaha
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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fullsize wheeling would be awesome. even if my blazer is in any condition to take out there, it would cost a mint just to tow it out with the 8.1 so when i go, i'll most likely just rent something. Doubt even driving my truck out there will take me where i want to go. Just a bone stock 05 2500HD.

but already planning it, 3 years from now, 2021. wanted to go all my life, put this trip off many times before due to various reasons. no happening this time. i'll go no matter what lol. planning something very similar to what you just did. visit colorado some as i drive through, then hit up moab and southern Utah while i am out there. Never been west of the mississippi, gotta make the most of it.
When I said I'd meet you, I meant you could ride with me if we're able to go at the same time.

That said, there's a million Jeep rental places out there and if you hit up Xtreme 4x4 tours and talk to Dave, he can probably take you out on some of the more difficult trails during one of his tours for a good price. I met him when I was in Moab - very stand up guy.

Nice!! Love the trip report. Sounds like the truck performed well aside from PM issues. I can't wait to go back out that way, now that I've done it I think I could do less time wrenching after learning the terrain a bit. The cage is a good idea, so I'll third or fourth getting that in, especially out there where the name of the game is slow and right on your limit sometimes haha.

I had some other fullish size guys going up Moab Rim with us. We did a sunset run going up so we could look over Moab at night all lit up. Doing all those obstacles downhill at night was pretty tough on morale for some the people with me. It's real weird when everything is pitch black and there's no horizon to use for reference hahahaha
Moab rim down at night sounds terrifying! I've only done night wheeling a couple times but it was never anything super technical so it wasn't difficult. I can't imagine a trail like that at night, even with good rock lighting.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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Discussion Starter #1,130
I’m running a Flex-A-Lite dual e-fan setup that has two 13.5” staggered fans with the factory 28” radiator.

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/direct-fit-dual-electric-fans-for-00-04-chevrolet-truck-with-27-1-2-inch-radiator-core.html

The 34” radiator uses two large fans side-by-side which I assume are around 16” in diameter. Fan area alone would be increased by 40% going with the 34” setup, but that’s not directly correlated with CFM or cooling – the cooling could be even better than a 40% improvement.
 

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Loving all the pics!

Having the brake rotor be floating on the hub made it a lot easier because the whole spindle and hub can come off in one piece so I didn’t have to deal with retorquing and packing the wheel bearings.
NEVER even thought of that!!

Would make installing a Spartan locker even that much easier. Although i'll probably repack the bearings anyways just for peace of mind.

I’m running a Flex-A-Lite dual e-fan setup that has two 13.5” staggered fans with the factory 28” radiator.

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/direct-fit-dual-electric-fans-for-00-04-chevrolet-truck-with-27-1-2-inch-radiator-core.html

The 34” radiator uses two large fans side-by-side which I assume are around 16” in diameter. Fan area alone would be increased by 40% going with the 34” setup, but that’s not directly correlated with CFM or cooling – the cooling could be even better than a 40% improvement.
Just replaced my fan clutch, and it sounds like a semi truck is taking off every time I accelerate now. Guess that is just how worn it was before. A/C stays nice and cool though now on hot days!!

Curious to see how this works out for you though, as I'm still interested in EFAN swap in the near future and upgrading to 34" radiator is a consideration as well.

That Flex-a-lite fan sure ain't cheap though.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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Discussion Starter #1,132 (Edited)
Loving all the pics!



NEVER even thought of that!!

Would make installing a Spartan locker even that much easier. Although i'll probably repack the bearings anyways just for peace of mind.
Yeah I'm glad Chris Paul mentioned that to me otherwise I may not have realized haha.

Are you for sure sticking a Spartan in your truck? I'm curious to see how it performs!

Just replaced my fan clutch, and it sounds like a semi truck is taking off every time I accelerate now. Guess that is just how worn it was before. A/C stays nice and cool though now on hot days!!

Curious to see how this works out for you though, as I'm still interested in EFAN swap in the near future and upgrading to 34" radiator is a consideration as well.

That Flex-a-lite fan sure ain't cheap though.
There's something to be said about a mechanical fan working well. For me, the 3" bodylift meant it wasn't as effective as it should have been and when my fan clutch seized up, I decided to upgrade. I got a really good deal on my e-fans because they were refurbished.

I do love my e-fans and they generally work pretty well, but honestly you can probably do the GM conversion much cheaper in hindsight if you're patient and wait for a truck to show up in a junkyard. It should also perform better than the Flex-A-Lite kit. When I upgrade, I'll probably try and re-use my Flex-A-Lite fan controller (if it can tolerate the higher current draw) rather than getting the ECM reprogrammed to control the fans - but solely to try and save some money.
 

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Loving all the pics!



NEVER even thought of that!!

Would make installing a Spartan locker even that much easier. Although i'll probably repack the bearings anyways just for peace of mind.



Just replaced my fan clutch, and it sounds like a semi truck is taking off every time I accelerate now. Guess that is just how worn it was before. A/C stays nice and cool though now on hot days!!

Curious to see how this works out for you though, as I'm still interested in EFAN swap in the near future and upgrading to 34" radiator is a consideration as well.

That Flex-a-lite fan sure ain't cheap though.
both my trucks are Efan swapped, one using LS1 fans with the 28" radiator, blue truck using truck fans and the 34" radiator

I would never go back to a clutch fan, at low speed idling the electric fans move so much more air, AC is way colder in traffic and at stop lights now, and the throttle response is better not having that drag on it. I also have a small pusher fan on the blue truck in front of the huge trans cooler as well.

The swap is really easy, go ahead and have the fans turned on in the tune and then when you do the swap it's super easy, takes about an hour complete.
 

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I’m running a Flex-A-Lite dual e-fan setup that has two 13.5” staggered fans with the factory 28” radiator.

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/direct-fit-dual-electric-fans-for-00-04-chevrolet-truck-with-27-1-2-inch-radiator-core.html

The 34” radiator uses two large fans side-by-side which I assume are around 16” in diameter. Fan area alone would be increased by 40% going with the 34” setup, but that’s not directly correlated with CFM or cooling – the cooling could be even better than a 40% improvement.
Yeah I'm glad Chris Paul mentioned that to me otherwise I may not have realized haha.

Are you for sure sticking a Spartan in your truck? I'm curious to see how it performs!



There's something to be said about a mechanical fan working well. For me, the 3" bodylift meant it wasn't as effective as it should have been and when my fan clutch seized up, I decided to upgrade. I got a really good deal on my e-fans because they were refurbished.

I do love my e-fans and they generally work pretty well, but honestly you can probably do the GM conversion much cheaper in hindsight if you're patient and wait for a truck to show up in a junkyard. It should also perform better than the Flex-A-Lite kit. When I upgrade, I'll probably try and re-use my Flex-A-Lite fan controller (if it can tolerate the higher current draw) rather than getting the ECM reprogrammed to control the fans - but solely to try and save some money.
Going with Spartan just due to cost and ease of install/uninstall. Mark ran one for awhile, and his only complaint was lack of select ability which is why he eventually went ARB. But overall he said better to have a Spartan for awhile until ARB/OX is an option, than to have nothing at all.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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Going with Spartan just due to cost and ease of install/uninstall. Mark ran one for awhile, and his only complaint was lack of select ability which is why he eventually went ARB. But overall he said better to have a Spartan for awhile until ARB/OX is an option, than to have nothing at all.
And based on my experience, better to have a Spartan than welded.
 

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When I said I'd meet you, I meant you could ride with me if we're able to go at the same time.

That said, there's a million Jeep rental places out there and if you hit up Xtreme 4x4 tours and talk to Dave, he can probably take you out on some of the more difficult trails during one of his tours for a good price. I met him when I was in Moab - very stand up guy.


I assumed that is what you meant. my response was poorly written. I'd love to tag along with you if it could work out that way. But that said, i want to wheel myself out there. nothing like driving than just riding along. Who knows, i may end up building a more streetable rig to take out there in 3 years.

I really appreciate the offer and i'll let you know when we start getting into the details of planning it out and hope something could work out.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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Discussion Starter #1,137 (Edited)
Sounds good. I'm not even sure at this point if it's in the cards, but hey you never know!

Also, sticking a solid front axle under your 05 wouldn't be too bad. Just sayin :grinpimp:
 

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Grohe and dman, I have a spartan in the front of my truck. You saw how well it did for me at Attica. If I ever put hydro assist on, it’ll be that much better. No plans to change it currently.
 

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E-Locker or Bust!
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The ship has sailed for me to run a Spartan or any lunchbox since the spider gears are now welded to the carrier. If I ever swap carriers moving forward, it'll be getting a selectable locker. :grinpimp:
 

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Are you for sure sticking a Spartan in your truck? I'm curious to see how it performs!
I've got a racheting locker up front. Love it. Locked when I need it, as soon as I drop the front output into neutral it acts like an open diff. Having a selectable rear locker made all the difference for me though, much more manageable with the rear unlocked. I did have some really aggressive racheting in Moab but i chalked it up to high traction and light/medium crosspin load unloading. Didn't make winter driving tooooo different but MT's on the road in snow arent exactly a gold standard to do a comparison on.

#ninjaedit:ship has sailed, arb's for everyone!
 
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