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What to Do With Our 2003 Avalanche Project Truck

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 6, 2015
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Photographers: David Kennedy

Back in 2003 we built a Chevy Avalanche for the Ultimate Adventure. At the time we thought an Avalanche was pretty crazy to build into a wheeling machine (notice how tame it looks in that first photo!), but we did it anyways and found that it was quite capable. We started with a bright red 2003 Avalanche 2500. Yes, they made them in 3/4-ton versions! It had an 8.1L big-block and a 4L80e automatic transmission. We added an Atlas II transfer case and Dynatrac solid axles front and rear. We fitted the big truck with a solid axle swap kit from Off Road Unlimited and built a custom steering rear axle to help it weave around trees and rocks on tight trails. The big truck had custom bumpers from Trail Ready and Poison Spyder Customs. The Avalanche had then-new 39-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires on 17-inch Walker Evans Racing beadlock wheels.

The truck was fun to wheel and had plenty of power, though it was pretty tall and wide on tight Jeep trails. Over the years we took it to lots of destinations, such as Moab (see photos), but eventually it got tired and retired from the daily driven herd and parked for a refresh. The big Chevrolet Avalanche has been used, abused, repaired, and parked. Should we revive the old girl or put her out to pasture? It still has some great parts (8.1-Git-R-Dun!) but maybe it’s time to recycle them into something else. What would you do with a beat-up old Avalanche that still needs lots of work?

We just brought it home from Fabworx Off Road and starting to get excited about the big truck once again. It’s still a bit abused, but we think it’s time for the refresh. The Avalanche still has that Dynatrac 60 up front, but now the rear end is a tried and true Corporate 14-bolt and we dropped her down lower and she’s shod with 37-inch General Grabbers. Time will tell what happens next.

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