A 2007 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax Built to Travel the World

Years of Off-Road Experience Went Into Making This Duramax a Fine-Tuned Overland Vehicle

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

Jack and Darcie Peeler are not brand loyalists. They have owned Fords, Dodges, Jeeps, and Toyotas, and of course this Chevy. When they were looking to build a truck to drive across the Americas, a Chevy wasn’t at the top of their list. “We looked at a number of Fords and Dodges, but they were all worn out,” Jack explains.

Then he saw this Duramax-powered Silverado on a used car lot and took it for a test drive on a whim. It had the cab and bed configuration they wanted, and the truck was incredibly clean and well cared for. The early 2007 model year was also the last of the pre-DPF diesel trucks, which benefit from better fuel economy and reliability than newer trucks.

Of course, buying the truck was just the start. All heavy-duty trucks have their Achilles heel. With Fords it is the head gasket, with Dodges it is transmissions, and with Chevrolets it is the steering idler arms and linkages. Jack cut off the IFS and replaced it with a Dana 60 from a Super Duty using King coilovers and radius arms, retaining the Ford track bar and steering for simplicity and improved strength. The frame was extended 17 1/2 inches, and the factory short bed was then replaced with an aluminum Alum-Line bed and fitted with a custom BundutecUSA popup camper that acts as a home away from home.

Even if you are a die-hard Ford or Dodge fanatic, you must agree that there’s plenty to admire about this expedition ready, solid-axle Duramax.

Tech Specs

2007 Chevrolet 2500HD
>Drivetrain
Engine: 6.6L Duramax diesel
Transmission: Alison 6-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP263HD
Front Axle: Dana 60 with 4.56 gears and Eaton E-Locker
Rear Axle: AAM 11.5 with 4.56 gears and G80 Gov-Lock
>Suspension
Springs & Such: King coilovers, radius arms, and Speedway sway bar (front); dualie leaf springs and Fox remote reservoir shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 285/75R18 Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on 18x8 Super Duty wheels
Steering: Redhead steering box, WFO Concepts pitman arm, factory Super Duty tie rod and drag link
Lighting: LED light cubes at all four corners
Other Stuff: BundutecUSA camper, Alum-Line aluminum flatbed, frame extended 17 1/2 inches, York belt-driven air compressor, Warn M12 winch, Bushwacker fender flares, 52-gallon Aero Tank fuel tank, Merchant Automotive transfer case pump rub kit, dual Odyssey batteries, Buckstop front bumper, Power-Gate battery isolator, two Waeco fridges, GT seat covers, Transgo shift kit, Fred Goeske wheel adapters, Eezi-awn outdoor shower, Zamp solar panels, Carefree awning
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