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Old 01-18-2021, 10:02 AM   #1
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2012 3500 Duramax 6.6

Hi All,

Thank you for letting me join, FB groups doesn't really work that well for archivable information and I needed a place to lurk and learn. I've owned several Baja Bugs in my days in Socal and Denver, and my favorite was a Baja'd Karmann Ghia, thus the name.

2012 Chevy Cargo Extnd
Duramax 6.6 liter.
6 speed tranny
G80 Diff
107k

Found this up in Seattle a week ago, flew up the next day and she passed the mustard, so I drove it home to Denver. Helluva test drive. I'm very happy with it, has gobs of power even though it's detuned and should be able to run these Rocky Mountains quite nicely when I'm done converting it.

I was originally going to get a Ford, but all the gassers, including the V10, just seemed underpowered and I didn't want another 6.0. I have a 6.0 F350 now, so yes I know of what I speak.

Current plans are a lift and hard shell bubble top.

Immediate advice I am looking for is vendors to choose from.

Weldtech and Jeremy out in El Cajon are leading the pack for the lift, 2nd is Action Van, and Boulder Off Road bringing up the rear. Boulder is just up the road from me and it would be super convenient to have them do it, but Im no where near sold on that idea. Is there anybody else I should be reviewing?

Also, who does hard shell toppers? Fiberine out in Long Beach area, these guys in Vancouver don't do the extended Chevy, anybody else?

I can drive down to San Diego to do the lift and up to Long Beach for the hard top, but really that will blow a whole week out and I'd really like to see if I can make it more efficient.

Ill be looking into lots of threads over coffee in the morning, but these were my immediate questions that have been on my mind.

All the best to you and yours. I'm sure you're a great group of peeps and I look forward to getting to know you.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:55 PM   #2
REF
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Welcome, just curious why youíre not sold on having Boulder offroad do the conversion? Price? Especially being so close, Don does nice work and knows the chevy conversions
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:32 PM   #3
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Congrats, nice score. I’d recommend a small tune as well just to livin up the throttle response. Doesn’t need much power added, I think mines at 40 hp for about 70k miles now no issues.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:29 AM   #4
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Welcome. As stated, tons of information and helpful people here. Nice to see another GM van.

No personal experience, but here are a few options for hightops, YMMV:
Fiberine
Sampson Fiberglass: http://sampsonfiberglass.com/
Tufport in BC: https://www.tufport.com/
Boulder Offroad, CO (They have hightops listed on their Bumpers, Racks and More page, but maybe only installs: Home
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:52 AM   #5
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I'm in the Denver region as well. BOR no longer does high tops unfortunately, I just pinged them 2 weeks ago on it. Not sure why the hesitation on the lift from them as he seemed pretty put together when I stopped by the shop a couple years ago.

Timberline however has a Fiberine account and will do high tops. They're in Golden. They're pretty slammed at the moment FYI.

Sounds like you're just looking for a lift. Timberline does Chevy 4x4 conversions so they would be more than competent on doing a lift.

I'd be real curious one of these days to line up your 6.6 and my 6.7 one of these days. 8k lb van drag race...
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by REF View Post
Welcome, just curious why youíre not sold on having Boulder offroad do the conversion? Price? Especially being so close, Don does nice work and knows the chevy conversions
You know...sometimes its nice to have your belief systems questioned. Which is hilarious REF because that what you Boulderanians are known for.

Turns out I had come to that sentiment earlier in my search for the right van. I wanted an E350 extended because I liked the body style, and am planning on using the rear swingarm spaces to mount a smoker and a flattop grill. I do most of the cooking on these adventures and having food prep inside doesn't thrill me. So the extended would be nice because I could put a larger spare tire back under the chassis. And a Ford gets more travel off the front end.

Boulder off road doesn't really offer much for Ford's so they got scratched off the list fairly early. When I switched over to Chevy for available engine reasons I just didn't put them back on the list of suppliers to work with.

Also, there is a not so good review of them, I think on this forum. But i'll give them a call this morning to re-asess my thinking.

Thanks,
Baja
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by b. rock View Post
I'm in the Denver region as well. BOR no longer does high tops unfortunately, I just pinged them 2 weeks ago on it. Not sure why the hesitation on the lift from them as he seemed pretty put together when I stopped by the shop a couple years ago.

Timberline however has a Fiberine account and will do high tops. They're in Golden. They're pretty slammed at the moment FYI.

Sounds like you're just looking for a lift. Timberline does Chevy 4x4 conversions so they would be more than competent on doing a lift.

I'd be real curious one of these days to line up your 6.6 and my 6.7 one of these days. 8k lb van drag race...


Bandimere? Tuesday Night?
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:09 AM   #8
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Bandimere? Tuesday Night?
Ha I'm not sure they'd even let us on there?

My van is down right now until the new thermostat + housing shows up but if they let us on, I'd totally hit up one of their track and tune days. Haven't been on the track since...08? 09? Had an S4 that hurt a couple V8s feelings. It's slow by today's standards though.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:46 AM   #9
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I'm going to continue/restart this build thread in Homemade SMB.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:12 PM   #10
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Kudos, that's a very rare van and they rock! How much lift do you need? You're limited with that front suspension to maybe 1.5-2" max, you probably know all this. On my 08 Duramax turtletop I have 2" coil spacers, 2.5" rear blocks, better/longer shocks and run 285 tires for the last 40K miles with zero issues. I did this myself a few years ago when there was nothing to choose from, had to figure it out. It aligned no problem and I have no complaints. With the G80 I have squeaked back into some great camping places, have also buried it to the diff a few times when I got over confident, lol. The turtletop is extremely heavy combined with the duramax, new heavy duty springs are big help also. My van is big, really big and much loved.


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