Duramax Diesels Forum Truck of the Week
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:07 PM
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JoshH JoshH is offline
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Default TNG Shop Truck build thread (updated with pictures)

I'm sure many of you have seen me mention my 2wd shorty LMM that I call “the shop truck”, but I have never sat down and gone over the history of the truck and the changes it has undergone over the years. Since I was recently able to achieve a huge milestone by running a 10 second ¼ mile with the truck, I figure it is due a little respect. This is going to be a long read, but I hope it is worth your time as well as the time it takes me to write it. For the record, I started this the other day, but as I was preparing to post what I had written (about half of the whole post), the browser tab closed suddenly taking my post with it. So here is the story of the TNG Shop Truck.

The story begins with my good friend Russell (Coker6303 on the forum). We originally met when a mutual friend referred him to me to have some tuning done to his 2008 CC/SB 4x4 LMM. I will skip the whole story of how we became good friends and how his crew cab evolved, but suffice it to say, that truck and friendship is the reason this truck was built. I will fast forward to the inception of this 2wd monster. It is mid 2014 and Russell and his twin brother Richard aka Dick (Coker6365 on the forum) were both beginning single cab Duramax projects. Dick had a 4x4 LBZ he calls the Tow Mirror Killer that I had already built the transmission in while Russ still had his CC/SB he referred to as Betsy, but he was already eyeballing a new 2015 Denali. As a matter of fact, he had already located a truck and worked out a trade in deal with a dealership in suburban Chicago, but Betsy needed to be returned to stock before he could make the trade. Enter Betsy's Revenge! One of Russ's friends worked for a company that owned the base model 2wd single cab work truck. An employee had mistakenly filled the tank with gasoline instead of diesel. They took the truck to a shop who made a rather expensive diagnosis to repair the truck. The company decided they would be better off selling the truck than paying to have it fixed, and Russ's friend made a call to let him know it was available. Arrangements were made and the truck was brought out to my shop. We made plans to get both trucks in the shop at the same time, and Russ came to Van in Betsy to begin the stock transformation. He found a stock exhaust in Houston that he brought with him, but the rest of the parts would have to be removed from the new truck to be installed on Betsy before he could make the drive north for his new Denali.

Russ's original purchase thread for Betsy's Revenge

By the time the truck was to be traded, it had undergone several upgrades over the years Russ owned it. It had a built transmission, exhaust, lift pump, S300/S400 compounds, “45%” nozzles we installed on his stock injectors, and a PPE dual fueler kit. In order to return the truck to stock, we would have to remove all the aftermarket parts from Betsy as well as the stock parts from Betsy's Revenge. However, as you recall, Betsy's Revenge was in questionable condition being previously diagnosed as having some significant fuel system damage from the gasoline contaminated fuel system. Our first step was to verify just how bad the truck actually was. As it turns out, the previous shop never even made an attempt to fix the truck; they simply jumped to worse case and assumed everything was bad. We simply drained the fuel tank, flushed the fuel lines, and changed the fuel filter. Once we did that, the truck fired up and ran flawlessly! With confidence we had a working truck from which to source all the stock parts we needed, we began disassembly of both trucks. It took several days, but we finished putting Betsy back together in just enough time for Russ to make his long drive to take delivery of his new truck. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to diagnose what turned out to be a poor connection on one of the emission system connectors that was causing the truck not to properly regen forcing him to stop every few hours to do a forced regen and prevent him from being stuck in limp mode.

Russ's Denali purchase thread

Several months go by, and Betsy's Revenge is at my shop along with all the go fast parts that came off Betsy. Finally in August of 2015, Russ and I work out a date and he comes back to Van to put in some work on this animal. We reinstall all the parts that have been sitting around waiting for their new home. There were however two items that stayed on Betsy when she was traded off; the transmission and lift pump were not removed from the truck. Since we needed both items, we purchased a new Air Dog II DF-200, and I built the trans using a set of used clutches (against my will at the forceful request of my friend). By the end of the week, we were out doing burnouts on Saturday night rolling three deep in the single cab (Dick also came in to help put in some work). Sunday came around, and we decided to take the truck to a super sketchy local 1/8 mile drag strip to see what it had in it. I don't recall exactly what it ran, but I remember our downpipe dumping right behind the front tire caused the truck to smoke out the lights. We decided to completely remove what little exhaust we had and dumped it under the hood straight out of the turbo. This was probably not the best idea as it completely filled the cab with smoke by the end of the track and covered everything under the hood as well as the door jamb and door with soot. As messy and stupid as this was, it was the birth of the now signature fenderwell exit exhaust on the truck as the next day, I cut the down pipe and built one that dumped out in the upper rear corner of the fender opening above the tire.

Russ's original build thread









I believe it was just a couple of months later after the 2015 NHRDA world finals that Russ took Betsy's Revenge home to Houston with him. The truck sat around there without much else being done to it until one day in January 2016 (this was just before he officially came out of the closet and traded his Denali for a 2017 Super Duty with the 6.7 Power Stroke) Russ called me asking what I thought the truck was worth. Over the course of our conversation, one thing led to another, and we ended up working out a deal on me purchasing the truck. This was done with the understanding that he could buy it back from me whenever he wanted it, and if I ever decided to sell it, I would give him the first option to buy it before I listed it publicly.



The truck was not treated well early in life, and it showed its age. The truck didn't have a straight panel on it with the bed and rear bumper taking the biggest punishment. Russ had already bought a fairly straight white short bed about the same time he bought the truck which I got when I bought it from him, but I was not quite ready to tackle that project yet. Instead, another good friend as well as my business partner and co-worker, Josh (chambersj on the forum), was a whiz at disassembling and reassembling these trucks. He also frequently buys and sells trucks, and in the process gathers up a wide variety of parts along the way. As it happens, he had everything we needed to convert the manual window/lock/hvac/mirror/etc base model work truck into something much nicer. Over the course of just a couple of days after work, we gave the truck power windows, power locks, power folding mirrors, automatic digital HVAC, 6 way power seats, a full floor LT console, a new, uncracked dash, power pedals, remote keyless entry with remote start, steering wheel radio controls, DIC buttons, and carpet. This was a huge improvement to the comfort of the truck. It was now a luxury vehicle compared to what it was before. Not too long after we did all that work, we had a customer come in with a GMT900 style Denali pickup. I was very impressed with the door panels they used on those trucks. They were so much nicer than the hard plastic and rubber covered panels in the regular pickups. After much searching of Craigslist and Facebook by Josh and myself, we found a guy selling some doors from a 2014 Yukon Denali complete with door panels and mirrors. Since the mirrors were nicer and fit better than the Escalade mirrors I had on there, I installed them along with the door panels. It was another step up luxury for the truck, but it created another want because something that came with the new door panels was buttons for heated and cooled seats. So once again we kept our eyes open for some reasonably priced seats. We finally found a set of black heated and cooled seats out of an Escalade that seemed to be exactly what we needed. I picked up the seats and put them in the truck, but after doing some investigating on the wiring for the seats and the truck harness, I discovered they would never work properly in the truck.

My interior swap thread







At this point in the timeline, it is April of 2017. With the interior completely done how I wanted and the stock motor with enough air and fuel available to make a mince-meat of it, I was now dedicated to focusing on the exterior of the truck, and we were finally ready to put that short bed that came with the truck to good use. Using the write-up on here that Lennart did years ago as a guide, we tackled the conversion from a long bed to a short bed. The process was pretty straight forward and simple. We took our time making sure we measured everything and had it all straight and square, but by the end of the day, we had the bed on the truck. It was not nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. It took a little to finish all the little details and we had to wait on the driveshaft to be shortened, but overall it was very simple to do. The final cosmetic upgrade made to the truck was an LML bumper and grille conversion. I've always hated the way the stock LMM bumper looked, and I was offered a complete LML bumper with fog lights for a price I couldn't pass up. I was able to get a decent grille from my buddy Josh's dad and did the swap with the factory LMM hood. It isn't perfect, but it is close enough that it doesn't bother me.

Short bed conversion thread











So the start of the 2017 NHRDA race season began just about the time we finished the short bed conversion on the truck. Since the Dumpster was having some transmission issues from its recent build, I needed something to race, and the shop truck fit the bill just fine. At the Texas race we came in second overall in the 11.90 index class losing in the finals to Larry Brown in his deadly consistent flat bed Dodge. The next month we traveled to Tulsa where we managed to take the win in the class! We went into the summer still soaring on our solid start to the racing season, but our victory was short lived. As I was driving home from visiting my mother, I heard a terrible racket coming from under the truck and felt a lot of shaking. At first I thought it was a driveline, but when I pulled to the side of the road and stopped, the truck was still shaking and it would still move under power. I shut off the motor and called my dad for a night time roadside rescue. The next morning in the light of day, we were able to diagnose the problem as a broken crank. To my surprise, the weak LMM pistons had held up to the abuse better than the weak LMM crank! Since the Dumpster was still without a functioning transmission and I wasn't sure when I would be able to fix it, I made the decision to remove the built motor that had been sitting there unused for the last few months and installed it in the shop truck. It was a budget built motor, but it had enough to comfortably hold up to the power I was putting down with the truck. It also had a used standard fire 9100 SoCal cam as well as their valve springs and push rods which would allow the motor to spin some RPM. The other upgrade that came with the motor was a set of 100% over LMM injectors from Exergy which were a definite upgrade to the old extrude honed nozzles that had been on the truck all along. We installed the motor along with the dual fuelers and turbos without making any significant tuning changes (I kept the same max pulse width I had been running before on the previous injectors) which gave a substantial horsepower increase. We took the truck with its new powerplant to the NHRDA finals a few months later. Still refusing to turn the power down, I wanted to see what the truck would be able to run all out in the ¼, so I made the first qualifying pass without letting out and leaving as hard as I felt I could and still get the power down. It ended up running an 11.3x at around 125 mph. The next round of qualifying I just did an easy, repeatable launch like I had been doing all year and let out of it at the end just to make sure I could come close to the index without having to hammer on the brake. With all the qualifying passes out of the way, we were into eliminations. We ended up lined up next to Mr. NHRDA, Verlon Southwick, in the first round of eliminations for the 11.90 class. With a little skill and a lot of luck, we were able to come away with a win in that first round. Unfortunately, that was the last win for the day as the next round we were bit by a gov-lock that refused to lock. On the launch, we spun one tire, and I was unable to make up the time down the track putting our 2017 racing season to an unspectacular end.







So this little side story is an interesting one to me, but it took place in the summer of 2017 sometime between Tulsa and the world finals. I have another friend who I met doing diesel stuff named Matt (matt78 on the forum). He had a 2007 2wd CC/SB LBZ since the first time I met him. It was basically a stock truck that gradually got built to the point that it was a 4wd with a SoCal motor. Anyway, about 2 years ago, he came to me wanting to get rid of his old 18” Moto Metal wheels for something a little newer in a 20” size, with a little more back spacing to help out his boosted launches. We looked around and settled on a nice set of Fuel Cleavers. It is one of those wheels that gets a strong reaction, but I really liked them. So a few months after he gets the new wheels, he decides to get rid of the truck and trades it in on a CTS-V at a dealership about 60 miles away. Somehow or another, the truck ends up back over by us, and I find the guy selling the wheels for about $100 more than my cost on just 1 wheel. I jump on the deal and snatch them up from the guy.



Not much changed over the winter until the week before the Texas NHRDA race. We bought a Detroit TrueTrac to replace the junk G80 that bit us in the ass at the finals last year. We got the diff installed and took it out on the highway to test it. I hammered down on the truck at about 45 mph with a locked converter, and the new-found traction proved to be too much for those old, junk, used clutches I was forced to use all those years ago! Here it is Friday before the race, and I have a transmission that needs to be rebuilt. With a little encouragement from Josh and my dad, we pulled an all nighter to build the transmission. As I was building the transmission, I noticed I had cut the driveshaft loops out from under the truck last year after the single piece driveshaft I tried to use blew apart during a burnout on a fresh piece of concrete. I knew there was a chance the tech guys might turn me away for that safety item, but since they never mentioned it at the finals last year, I figured I would try to sneak it through. So I have the truck loaded on the trailer about to tie it down when I look at the front tires as I'm getting ready to pass the chain under the truck when I see my rubber valve stems. This immediately reminds me of the three times last year that the tech guys informed me that I will not be allowed to race next year if I don't get them changed. Rather than take a chance at hauling the truck all the way to the track and paying for a tech card only to be turned away by the tech guys, I decided to just go as a spectator and help another friend who had recently worked a deal to trade his built motor LBZ daily driver for a dedicated LB7 race truck and trailer.



We took care of all our little safety issues and headed back up to Tulsa to get some points and hopefully qualify for the finals. Before we swapped slicks and started racing, we decided to throw the truck on the dyno for the hell of it. We ended up putting down 826 HP which by the end of the day was enough to take home the high horsepower trophy in the Dyno for Dex dyno competition. After we had our dyno run, we swapped the slicks on and started qualifying. For our first qualifying pass, we did the same thing we did last year at the finals and tried to see how quick we could go with the truck. We ended up with the same results as last year, an 11.3 @ 125 mph. Slightly disappointed that the truck couldn't run a 10, I went into eliminations and started making rounds. We were doing pretty well until I made a dumbass mistake and let the guy in the other lane get too close to me down track. Being my truck can run under the number, I usually play catch up and keep a comfortable lead across the stripe. The problem with this race is I was lined up against another 2wd truck, and I tree'd him something bad which put me way out in front of him. I was on the brake hard trying to make sure I didn't break out and let him get close enough to make sure if we broke out, he would break out by more. Where I messed up is I let him get close enough that he was able to hit his nitrous at the end and squeak ahead of me by inches at the finish line. I was so upset about losing that way, but it was a valuable lesson. It also gave me proper motivation to install a DSP switch that will allow me to dial the truck in for the index, but also allow me to add power in the event I need to make up time for a bad launch.





So now we get back to Dick and his LBZ. During this whole time he is on his own journey for building his truck. He now has a very nice SoCal motor in his truck with some big turbos and big injectors. We just got the motor back in and take the truck out for a spin. It has a small-ish tune in it for break in (still probably a solid 700 HP), and we decide to see how it stacks up against the shop truck. We are on a private stretch of highway, and I'm passing him since he jumped the third honk. Right as my exhaust pipe is passing his driver's window, I thought I blew a boot. I pull to the side of the road and get out of the truck. He asks if I blew a boot, but I tell him that's what I thought until I heard a rattling noise as I was slowing down. We verify no blown boots but also no oil or smoke pouring out of the exhaust, so I ease the truck the ½ mile back to the shop. We pull the air filter, and find the compressor wheel from the S480 completely blown out the front of the turbo and laying inside the air filter in pieces.

Turbos say "bye bye"



The turbos we had used on the truck were an amazing setup for a stock motor. They were very quick to light and flowed enough air to make a cool 700+ HP without seeing any drive pressure issues until past 3500 RPM. This was all well and good while the motor was still stock, but with the extra fuel of the larger injectors and the extra flow and RPM potential of the 9100 cam, they didn't work so well with the current setup. As much fun as they were on the street and as clean and driveable as they were, I believe they were holding me back in the horsepower department, and blowing up the 480 and subsquently destroying the compressor wheel and housing on the 64.5mm S300 in the valley was the motivation I needed to install the 472 I had sitting around that I had been contemplating using for several weeks before this carnage.

Moving on to a single turbo



We now have to go back to those heated and cooled seats I installed months back that would never work in the truck. My friend Josh has a 2009 crew cab that he was building (for the past 3 years!). He was doing a full Escalade dash and interior swap along with heated and cooled seats. He ended up with the opposite problem I had; he had truck seats that wouldn't work with his Escalade wiring. We ended up swapping my covers onto his seats and vice versa which allowed both of us to have working heated and cooled seats in our trucks!

So with the single turbo installed, I was falling in love with the new setup. It felt like it was making more power even though it was quite a bit smokier, and it was still a lot of fun to drive. A couple of weeks ago, Dick came back down to take his truck to the Texas Motorplex for a slicks only test and tune night. I felt like it was a great opportunity to run the new setup at the track and see what it could do. I was still hopeful for that 10 second slip, but with the heat and the lack of setup on the truck (it does not launch well at all), I didn't want to get my hopes up too much. After my first pass, I was shocked to see a 10.9 @ 128 on my time slip! This was huge because I felt like I had finally achieved a goal that was set by my friend Russ. When both brothers started their builds, they had a friendly rivalry and smack talk about who would run a 10 first, and even though it wasn't his truck anymore, the little 2wd was still able to make it happen before the 4wd. The thing that made it even better is that both Richard and Russell were at the track that night, and it was their birthday that day. What an awesome night!



After that, I was re-invigorated to continue making changes to the truck. For a while I had been considering installing the Exergy CP3 I removed from the motor when I pulled it out of the Dumpster. I was a little upset about it because when I bought the pump used off the forum a couple of years before, I was told it was a 12mm pump, but after doing a little research (which I admittedly should have done beforehand), I found out it was only a 10mm. I wasn't sure how it would handle the fuel demands, but after removing the clutter of the compounds, I was ready to remove the clutter of the dual fuelers also. I installed the pump without knowing what kind of fuel pressure it would be capable of maintaining. I was happy to find it was able to hold a pretty steady 26k psi on the 2500 uS tune I was running in the truck (down from 28.5k I was running with the dual fuelers). I felt like this wasn't enough that I would be suffering enough to worry much about, and I was willing to give up whatever small loss because I already had another turbo that should be able to make it back and then some. That turbo was a billet 476 from Forced Inductions. I have the turbo on the truck now, but have yet to be able to take it to a ¼ mile track to see what it is capable of. It definitely looks faster from the logs I've taken, and it feels much faster to my seat. Last weekend we took it out to an event that was going to be 1/8 mile drags and a dyno. We were rained out on the racing, but the truck put down a little over 900 HP on the dyno. I'm thinking the first qualifying pass at the finals in a few weeks will be my next opportunity to make a full ¼ mile pass.



That brings us to where the truck is currently. I will dig through and find pictures and add them to the thread as I get time. I will also keep this thread updated on new changes as well as any new accomplishments or anything else to do with the truck. I hope you enjoyed the journey, and thanks for reading.
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06 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB

06 Express 2500 Duramax Van "The Dumpster"



Last edited by JoshH; 08-20-2018 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:14 PM
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1TRIKHD 1TRIKHD is offline
Country boy Limo.
 
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Love the read, thank you Josh!
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SDP Built Trans w/ Goerend G billet stator
S472sx-e .87/1.0ar w/ SDP Piping
Wagler street intake
Custom 80" Trac Bars by MBS Diesel
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Tuned by:Blake@UDT
Best time to date: 12.08 @ 112.58 1.76 60ft
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:54 PM
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I just read this entire detailed thread of the shop truck and I never got credit for installation of the proper head light switch!! I did enjoy reading though. Crazy, seems like yesterday Russ bought that truck.
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06 LBZ EC/SB 4x4
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:01 PM
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Good read Josh, thanks for taking the time
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:25 PM
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Chevy1925 Chevy1925 is offline
don't know sh!t about IFS

 
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Default TNG Shop Truck build thread

That’s awesome josh! Love the back story!
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02 LL7 2500HD CC/LB dmax/alli "The Limo"

BIG THANKS TO: Mike L, Steve, Trent, Guy, Dan, Ruben, Josh H, Scott, Brian and everyone else who has put a hand in to help me.

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Old 08-19-2018, 06:34 PM
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That was a lot of reading but I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. I'm anxious to see the truck!
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1TRIKHD View Post
Love the read, thank you Josh!
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Originally Posted by Burn Down View Post
Good read Josh, thanks for taking the time
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Originally Posted by Chevy1925 View Post
That’s awesome josh! Love the back story!
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Originally Posted by SmokeShow View Post
That was a lot of reading but I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. I'm anxious to see the truck!
I'm glad you all enjoyed the story. It sure brought back a lot of good memories sitting down to go back through all that has gone on over the years with it.

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Originally Posted by Al's max View Post
I just read this entire detailed thread of the shop truck and I never got credit for installation of the proper head light switch!! I did enjoy reading though. Crazy, seems like yesterday Russ bought that truck.
In case you guys don't know, this is Richard and Russell's cousin, Allen. At some point I loaned him the truck so he could drive it for a couple of weeks to see how he liked driving a Duramax with an aftermarket cam. While he had it, he installed a headlight switch with the fog light button and the chrome ring around the switch knob. Thanks for your contribution, buddy!
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:12 AM
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Keep Calm and Chive On!!
 
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Damn when you put it like that it seems like forever ago!!! I feel old! Pretty cool reminiscing about the good old days tho

Made a hell of a friend through it all too!


So I gotta throw out a funny story on Josh. He isn’t going to cut up on the forum, but he gets loose after a couple of teas lol. This crazy F’r got out of my truck one night at the bars, ran over to a pole and ripped off a poster for a “missing dog” named Willow. Then proceeded to walk down the sidewalk yelling “WILLLLLLOOOOOWW” and holding up the poster. I couldn’t breath I was laughing so hard.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:13 AM
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RIP Willow...
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:41 AM
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Why do I keep doing this?


 
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How many freaking Cokers with Duramax pickups do you know, Josh?
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This forum isn't for the weak of heart.....or wallet.

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Old 08-20-2018, 11:49 AM
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Too many!
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:50 AM
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This is some good stuff!!
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2008 CCLB LT2 DURAMAX LMM
13.44 @ 98.69
456HP 925 TQ
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:01 PM
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coker6365 coker6365 is offline
Coker6303's ***** Daddy
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBac View Post
How many freaking Cokers with Duramax pickups do you know, Josh?
Enough to keep the pot stirred!
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2015 Denali CC/SB LML, Farm Truck
2013 EC/SB LML, The Test Rig
2013 RC/LB LML, The Beater
2006 RC/LB LBZ, Tow Mirror Killer. Under the knife again and looking for more horsepuppies.

Big thanks to Josh Harris, Josh Chambers, and my brother Russell Coker for all the help with the LBZ.
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