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

    Mighty Titan

    Jay KopycinskiPhotographer, Writer

    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.