Evolution of the WT

Write up pending — 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD WT
Has a “Work Truck” ever looked this good?

6.0L, Auto trans
Extended Cab
Long bed (8′-2″)
4.11 gearing

Purchased used January 2013 with 22k miles

Original Mods (came with the truck):
16×9 wheels
Thin set of off-brand vinyl floor mats
Stampede wind deflectors
B&W Turnover Ball Gooseneck hitch
Side steps, think they are Steelcraft
Window tint

Current Mods:
Rhino Liner (not imitation), added when purchased
Ferreus Industries grill insert, added 2015
Blacked out front and rear Chevy emblems, added when lifted
RPMDNA license plates (what can I say, goes with the site)
Pioneer AVH-X3500BHS, added right after purchased
4 x Sony door speakers, 2 x Infinity tweeters, 2 x Alpine 8″ powered subs, added when lifted
Custom mounts for the Alpine subs, added when lifted
Boyo backup camera, wired to the AVH-X3500, added right after purchase
Wheelskins Leather Steering Wheel Covers, added when lifted (installed a different one right after purchase)
Volant CAI, added when lifted
DiabloSport Trinity T1000, added when lifted
Black Rhino Sierra, 18×9 10 wheels, added when lifted
ProComp A/T Sport 35/12.50 R18, added when lifted
Zone Offroad 6″ lift with nitro shocks, added when lifted
B.O.R.A. 2″ wheel spacers on rear, added when lifted
Bushwacker Pocket Flares, added when lifted
Armor-all floor mats, added when lifted
Small ding above right tail light housing, son added in 2014
KTM side decals, added when lifted

Deleted mods:
Mud flaps, removed when lifted

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I had been playing with the idea of getting a different truck to haul our gear to the desert for some time. New was not an option since I was not about to run $40k-$60k worth of vehicle through the sage. I was thinking maybe spend $10k on something that was not run into the ground. Yeah, right. Market where we live was, and still is, stupid about trucks. $10k would have gotten me a project, $12k would have gotten me something that had just shy of 200k miles, and looked and acted like every last one of them was hard. Stretched the budget a bit and found a 2006 with an 8.1 Vortec for $18k, which sounded fun, but at 165k miles I was not up for it. Moved the needle even further and started getting into the mid $20k range, and even more nervous about the condition and miles of these trucks. Gave one truck in particular a hard look at a dealership, then told the sales guy that I really was not comfortable with the price and features — for me, a long bed with rubber floors and a LOT less miles would be ideal. Mind you this whole time– as in every truck I look at –I am texting my brother VIN numbers so he can do searches against Chevy dealer service records (connections rock). So he is telling me what everything was from the factory, what he can find that has been done at any dealer, etc.

So anyway, I tell the sales guy I do not want to shell out twenty-something thousand (like $27k if I remember correctly) for something that I am going to trash with dirt, lose the door remote, wish I had a longer bed, etc. He then say “Oh, you want a long bed and you are okay with manual windows?” Heck yes! I reply. Sales guy says “well we have something around back, let me go get it.”

I will spare you the actual sales process except for me insisting they change the fluid in the trans, transfer case, both differentials, and flush the coolant. The main reason for this is while the truck only had 22k and change (yes, 5 years old, twenty two thousand miles), and it still had roughly 60 days left on the factory warranty, this thing also had a gooseneck hitch. And a darn nice one at that. Someone had been pulling with this thing for 22k miles and I wanted no part of that nasty fluid. The second reason is they obviously did not think it was going to be easy to get rid of the truck (work truck, long bed, in an area where everyone is willing to pay way over book for “options”) so I took them for everything I could. The reason why this fluid transaction is so important is the dealer decided to “flush” the transmission instead of drop the pan. Anyway, I leave the truck overnight so they can do the service and pick it up the next day after work.

First ride in the truck after buying it, my son and I take it out and give it some needed exercise. As we are getting on the Interstate the trans bumps pretty hard – uh, okay. Remainder of the ride (about 40 miles) was fine. We get home, park it in the driveway and immediately smell transmission fluid. Truck stays running and we get out — transmission fluid is “raining down” from under the entire truck (trans back) onto the driveway. This is going to be fun, yes?

Call the dealer the next day. They say they lost a pressure line when they “flushed” the transmission. Said to bring it back in and they would top it off with fluid, clean the truck, and clean my driveway. I made it about 3 miles from the house before the transmission ate itself leaving me stuck on the side of the road. Luckily a local Sheriff stopped and gave me a ride to town where the dealer is.

Dealer tows the truck to the shop. I am very concerned but trying to keep my cool. They say they will “fix it.” Not satisfied with that language, I spoke with the service manager and told him if it was his truck he would want a new transmission. He agreed, but also did his job and held to the “we need to look at it” line. We talked about the factory warranty, which I think helped. In the end, they gave me a new GM transmission with no additional hassle. Took about 3 days all together, which was not bad in my book.

Once the truck was back in my hands I took it to another dealer where my brother works. I paid them to go through the truck and see if they could find anything wrong with it before the warranty expired. They took care of a few miscellaneous things that did not amount to much, but they did find a concern with the front differential so they decided to replace it. So at this point I have a low mileage, 5 year old truck that I paid way under book for, with a brand new GM transmission, and brand new GM front differential. I am feeling pretty good about now? Yes.

Knowing the truck is in good shape it was time to clean it up. It is a work truck, and was used as a work truck, so it certainly needed some TLC. I did a full detail on the interior, including the removal of most or the interior trim to really get out the grime. The steering wheel on the work trucks is pretty bad, so I installed a leather wrap. I also gave it a full set of mud flaps, and installed a new stereo head unit.

With the exception of having diamond plate bed caps, dull paint, a dirty interior, and some lame tires, this is pretty much what it looked like when I purchased it:

After having the truck for 3 years (almost to the month) I got it stuck 2 times on the same day. On both occasions the engine skid plate acted as an anchor getting hung up on snow covered dirt roads. The first time I was able to dig around things and get it out. The second time the snow was more of a drift across the road, and the road had both a slight off-camber turn and incline. Meaning after digging out the skid plate, I had to do a bunch more digging to give the truck enough room to make it off the turn and past the drift. Before this day I had never been stuck in one of my trucks, ever. But then again this is the only truck I did not lift before getting even remotely over its head. Needless to say, I was not interested in repeating this again.

A few months later it was evaluation time. Do I keep the truck and lift it, or sell it and get something else. Helping my son do some truck shopping convinced me that the used market had not changed a bit – people still think you should pay enough for their junk to fund a new truck for them. Given the low miles and no mechanical issues, I went ahead and gave the WT a makeover. I must say I am really happy with the way it turned out.

A year later and things are holding up great. The Diablo tune is decent and it corrected the speedometer with the tire size change. I even spent a little time recently giving it a real detail – you know it shines when the factory orange peel looks deep as dents!

Where it goes from here I am not sure. I consider a super charger every now and then, but I think it will likely have too many miles on it before I make up my mind. I am also getting real tired of seeing the drum they call a muffler hanging under this thing now that it is lifted, so that will probably be gone here pretty soon.

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