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2005 Nissan Titan: Luxury Running in a V-8 Nissan Titan Prerunner

Posted in Features on September 21, 2017
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Scott Nimmo enjoys romping around the desert and dunes, and living in the Phoenix area gives him ample opportunity to do so. The truck you see here started life as a stock ’05 Nissan Titan but has progressed far beyond what any Nissan engineer envisioned. Back in 2009, Nimmo had a vision of building a luxury prerunner that could blast across dirt while still having the comfort of the usual pickup interior amenities when navigating city traffic. In fact, he sometimes drives the truck to and from work, enjoying a comfortable sealed cab with air conditioning and stereo.

But what now lies beneath the steel and fiberglass body of this truck makes it a far greater off-road performer. Nimmo didn't have a huge pile of cash nor the desire to simply turn the truck over to a fabricator, so he's done much of the work on it himself in his home garage. We can appreciate that attitude and ambition, and the final result speaks highly of Nimmo's automotive talent.

In 2011, safety was high on the want list, so Nimmo fabricated an internal rollcage that integrates well with the stock interior. It supports a quartet of Corbeau racing seats with harnesses so the cab is fully capable of bringing the family along in comfort. A few years later, it was time to upgrade the suspension so Nimmo designed a J-arm front long-travel setup that offers 17 inches of travel. A custom-triangulated four-link attached to the built 9-inch rear axle complements the front with 26 inches of travel.

With the newfound suspension performance, the truck was ready for an increase in power. With the help of his dad, Owen, Scott Nimmo pulled the stock engine and dropped in a GM 6.0L LQ4 V-8 backed by a 4L80E transmission. The bed cage holds two spare tires and a fat 32-gallon fuel cell. Twin batteries are mounted rearward and much of the bed area is attractively incased in aluminum panels. Fiberglass hood, fenders, and bedsides now grace the Titan, giving it a bolder stance and room to let the tires and suspension play.

We ventured into the Southwestern desert with Nimmo on a summer monsoon day and did some cloud dodging. Recent rains had left trails moist and grippy, and we rode along to put the truck through a few paces. Nimmo admitted that the building of the truck had come about through a lot of trial and error as he built it to be better with each iteration. While he's happy with the build and his accomplishments to date, he still has ideas to improve on its performance. To us, he's got a cool truck now.

Up front Nimmo installed a fiberglass WRX hood and set of fenders from Advanced Fiberglass Concepts. The 4-inch flare and 3-inch rise make room to stuff the 37x13.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T tires on 17x8.5 Method Race Double Standard wheels. An aluminum skidplate sits below a custom front bumper Nimmo hand-fabricated from aluminum sheet. He wanted something a little different than the typical tube bumper.
Underneath Nimmo broke out the TIG welder and a pile of steel plate to build new A-arms and spindles for his long-travel suspension. He now gets 17 inches of travel. He's using the stock steering box with custom tie rods, but is looking for a way to stuff a more robust rack in the frame.
Twelve-inch-travel King 2.5-inch coilovers and 3-inch bypass shocks control the movement of the front J-arms. Their upper mounts are tied into the chromoly engine cage and air bump pads meet the top A-arm to control and halt the final inches of upward travel.
A 9-inch rear axle built by Giant Motorsports puts power to the dirt. It's filled with 5.13 gears that spin on a spool. Nimmo fabricated a custom, triangulated four-link with the help of Jax Motorsports to locate the disc-brake rear axle. A 32-gallon JAZ fuel cell sits above to provide plenty of exploring range to the prerunner.
The rear bedsides have a 4 1/2-inch flare and 3-inch rise. Here's what this Titan looks like with one of them removed. Sixteen-inch-travel coilovers are paired with 18-inch-travel bypass shocks and air bumps. The fuel cell filler is visible here on a side panel.
The King dampers control movement of the trailing arms that provide 26 inches of strapped travel in the rear.
The stock Titan powertrain is gone. In its place sits a GM 6.0L V-8 built with flat-top pistons and a GM hot cam, then tuned by NicD. It feeds a GM 4L80E automatic that was beefed by Hayes Transmission with a Hughes Performance 3,000-stall converter. A Ron Davis radiator helps keeps engine temps manageable.
The engine is fully caged, tying the suspension and body together as well. The chromoly tube work is clean and Nimmo added sano aluminum panels for function and style.
Inside the occupants ride safely strapped into Corbeau Forza Sport seats with Crow harnesses. The truck still retains a full interior, complete with carpeting.
Nimmo added a custom center console that holds a B&M Pro Ratchet shifter, PCI intercom system, ICOM race radio, Auto Meter gauges, and an iPad Mini built into the dash for navigation and music. The aluminum lever near the steering column is an ASD Motorsports drifting brake for hard cutting into turns.
The interior is fully caged as well with tubework that closely follows the contours of the cab.
Backseat passengers have it good too in their own Corbeaus and Crows. The interior cage continues to the back wall of the cab where a stealth subwoofer and amp system reside.
The back half of the stock frame was chopped off and tube used in its place. A set of twin electric fans work to draw heat off transmission coolers.
There's room at the tail of the truck cage to carry two 37-inch spares. The mount location helps even out the weight distribution of the truck. When running dunes, Nimmo runs a slightly smaller set of paddle tires in the rear.
There are more little touches here and there on this truck. Tucked discretely in the front grille is a KC Hilites Flex Array LED bar.
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Sources

Corbeau Seats
Sandy, UT 84070
801-255-3737
www.corbeau.com
Crow Enterprizes
Anaheim, CA
888-869-2769
http://www.crowenterprizes.com
PCI Race Radios
Signal Hill, CA 90755
800-869-5636
http://www.pciraceradios.com/
Toyo Tires
800-442-8696
www.toyotires.com
KC Hilites
Williams, AZ 86046
888-689-5955
www.kchilites.com
Ron Davis Racing Products
Glendale, AZ 85307
www.rondavisradiators.com
Method Race Wheels
866-779-8604
http://www.methodracewheels.com
Icom America
800-253-1498
www.icomamerica.com
Jaz Products
800-525-8133
www.jazproducts.com
King Off-Road Racing Shocks
Garden Grove, CA 92843
714-530-8701
www.kingshocks.com
B&M Racing & Performance Products
Chatsworth, CA 91311
818-882-6422
http://www.bmracing.com
Hughes Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85009
602-257-9591
www.hughesperformance.com
AutoMeter
866-248-6356
autometer.com
Hayes Transmission
602-321-4767
www.hayestrans.com
Giant Motorsports
714-265-1450
www.giantmotorsports.com
ASD Motorsports
704-509-4660
www.asdmotorsports.com
Advanced Fiberglass Concepts
714-695-8400
www.advfiberglass.com

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