'06 GMC K2500 Buildup


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Yeah, actually it's right above the frame rail between the box and cab if you have it.
Not really sure when it started, so you might not... ??
It is a cheap option (since 2001/2) that most people ordered with the tow package on the HDs. Just checked and is still $35. Listed on their BTO feature:

The Silverado® 2500HD is born to tow. Whether for work or play, the trailering wiring provisions help ensure a hassle-free hookup to your camper, fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. This feature includes an additional 7-way wiring harness routed to the front of the pickup box for easy connection to front-mounted trailer wiring. The wiring provisions require heavy-duty trailering equipment.


Don't know if these are of interest to you, but I bought a set of Rancho RS5000 for my truck (came with old KYBs, at least one of which is blown & leaky) --

Summit Racing has them at $49 apiece, and there's a $50 rebate from Rancho right now.

Part numbers for my truck (may not be the same for yours):


Rebate form here:

I happen to live near a Summit Racing store, and they mailed me a $25 off $100 coupon card too, so I used that. Shocks weren't in stock at the store, so they're shipping them to me.

From my past experience with Jeeps, Rancho 5000s are on the stiffer end of the spectrum of shocks. I wouldn't pick them for any lighter vehicles like Wranglers or Cherokees (Bilstein is my choice there), but I figure they won't be too stiff on a 3/4-ton truck with a camper on it.
If anyone cares, the Rancho 5000s ride great on the 2500 (well, as good as a 3/4 ton could ride) -- much much smoother and less jolting than the rusty and blown-out KYB GR2 shocks that I pulled off. Installed them today and drove around a bit both on road and on dirt road. Definitely not too stiff of a ride, which has been my experience with these and the similar/identical Pro Comp ES3000, on lighter-weight vehicles.


Tested the rig out this weekend with a trip up to Sheridan, and a return trip through the mountains south of Casper. "Muddy Mountain" lived up to it's name... Lots of slipping and slilding, 4wd required for several climbs (on the road!!) and now I have to spend some time cleaning...



Pics of the forward tie-downs that I installed before the latest trip. Factory loops in the bedside are not so cool... These ones should be a little stronger. Yes, my bed is dirty. No, I don't care. :)

See the little hole in the outboard channel? It's in the perfect place for a tie-down!! Lines right up with the cross rail beneath the bed, just needs drilled through at the proper size.

I put these anchors in, and they go down through the bed and cross rail. Yes, they say CHINA. The "Made in USA" ones at True Value were too long. :(

Finished in bed:

Used a large fender washer underneath, with a normal washer to back it up. (photo of the pass side so you can see it. Fuel filler and aux tank hose mostly blocks the Driver's side from view.) I'll probably cut some 1/8" cold rolled plate soon to replace the sorta thin fender washer.
Army Chevy's use this same arrangement, with 1/8" plate re-enforcement, and I've never seen one pulled through, so I think it'll be ok. :)

Still tight after a weekend of driving on poor (at best) roads. I'd wager a case of good beer that the cheezy loops will pull out of the camper before I can pull these eyes out of the bed. But let's try with someone else's camper, as I don't want to fix mine...
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Expedition Leader
Cool pics. The trail pics really show how much mud the H2's throw up on to the vehicle.



ARB Bumper Time!!

Well, surfing craiglist for an ARB finally paid off!! I found a never-installed bumper sitting in some dude's garage for less than 1/2 what a new one would cost me! I was pretty excited to bolt it on, and I was working in poor light after dark, so I didn't get any pics of the initial install. I did snap one yesterday at work:

Though I'm happy with the function of the bumper, I think ARB could have done a better job with it. First, it is HUGE. Like almost too big for the truck. If I bolt it on using the intended mounting holes, it sits WAY high on the front of my 2500HD GMC, and the grille doesn't fit. I think the Chevys might have higher hood lines, and hence higher headlights, grille, etc, but it looked dumb on my GMC mounted that high. And the grille didn't fit because there's a black filler piece between the grill and factory bumper that would have needed to be removed. I lowered it about 1.5" and it is looking much better, though still a little high. The bumper now sticks into the wheel well a bit too at the top, so I'll likely do a little trim and re-weld on that and get it looking proper.

Unfortunately, one of my co-workers is borrowing my truck to move, so I won't be tackling any mods this weekend, but it's getting the 8274 that I have laying around as soon as I get it back. Little plasma cutter work to be done, but the structure should be plenty strong for the 8274.

I'll post pics as the mods get done.


Good job. You made it longer.*
But seriously, that looks good on there. Any idea how heavy that ends up being, with the winch?

*in reference of course to the ol' 96er
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Longer and Stronger! (Viagra commercial? ) The longer thing is really obvious from the side, but really only about 6" longer, and the approach angle actually improves, even with the bumper lowered! I'm going to try to trim it a little and slide it back some more too, which should help things a bit. My truck is a CCSB, so break-over is always the limit anyway.

The bumper isn't as heavy as I thought it might be. I would guess 120-150lbs The brackets are really heavy. I think they could have lightened them up a bit and not suffered any loss of strength. After I add 120lbs of 8274 I'll have bumped the nose weight of my truck by about 250 lbs. I'm OK with that. It'll offset the 1500lbs of Hallmark camper and motorcycle on the back. :)


I just realized that I put shocks on the truck and didn't say a peep about it. I ended up going with Gabriel Ultras. I wanted some low budget shocks with medium damping. Rancho's and most of the big offroad shocks tend to be stiff, Bilsteins are too expensive for my taste, and sometimes aren't valved well for washboarded roads. Gabriel had a big rebate, and all the reviews I found said they were the ticket. I'd have to agree. The fronts are just ever so slightly firmer in compression I think and they actually have rebound damping, which the factory shocks were lacking. The rears are noticably firmer on compression, and again they have rebound damping! I don't know who tuned the factory shocks, but there was not much rebound compared to the level of compression damping. Made the truck want to pogo over every bump. Gabriel Ultras are a good value and ride decently without being too soft or too stiff. No more tail bounce with the camper in, and the front doesn't hop after a dip like it used to.


Well, I finally got around to mounting my 8274 in the ARB this evening. It went pretty smooth considering the bumper wasn't designed to fit it.

Here's the bumper, plucked off the truck with the help of my engine hoist. (I work alone...)

And the back side, with white paint pen showing the section that I'm about to remove. I checked out an ARB on an early Land Cruiser a few weeks ago. (The only ARB that I know of that's made for the 8274!) It didn't look like it had any extra structure than my bumper will have after I remove the top plate, so I'm not worried.

Here I did some cutting and knocked out a big chunk. I think there's still plenty of structure here. More than enough for my use anyway. I'm planning to use a piece of angle that came with the bumper to bridge the gap once the winch is in place. That should put some stiffness back in the outer wings of the bumper.

Cleaned up the rough edges from the plasma and test fit the winch. I actually had to trim another 4" or so off the pass side to make room for the brake. Once I had it fitting, I primed and painted the edges satin black Rustoleum. It's a good match!

Test fitting the winch to make sure I cut enough out. (The 2nd time...)

And here it is assembled and ready to go back on the truck!! It still needs some plate work on the top to close out the big holes that were for a lay-down winch, but at least it's functional now!

I got it bolted back on the truck, but it's midnight, so I didn't get it wired. I'll get a few pictures of it mounted on the truck tomorrow in the daylight.
My ARB now looks much happier holding a winch. Just need to figure out where to put the license plate now...

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Here are some airbag pics for you all to check out too... These are the Air Lift units. Firestone kit is very similar. No install shots, but it doesn't get much simpler. Took longer to assemble the units properly than to bolt them into the truck. A floor jack under the hitch is a must to get adequate clearance though.

[I doubt the heat shield is really necessary, as there's lots of clearance to the exhaust on my truck, but I put it on anyway. The truck really does ride better empty with about 10-15psi in the bags. Picks up the rear about 1.5" too, which gets it off the overloads, and makes it look a little better IMO. :)
Now I'm realizing how soft my 150k mile OEM shocks are... Time to save up some more $$...
I'm going with the airbags too for towing my M101/116a3, nice setup.


Uh, Chris- a week has come and gone, and so has plenty of daylight- wheres thu dang pickshurs?!?
My bad. I keep thinking that I'll take pictures somewhere cool, but I just came back from Moab with no pictures of the front of the truck, so you get driveway pics.
Winch sits pretty low in the ARB actually. The whole combo might be blocking a little air from the radiator, but I can't really say it's the fault of the 8274.

Switched to the skinny tires for winter too. Wheels are plastidipped white. I'll just powdercoat them when the plastidip starts looking rough... It took a lot to coat them, and white is expensive.

Now it looks like it needs biggier tires... :) I'm going to continue to hope that Cooper brings out a 255/80R17 STMaxx for me.


Ok, so I have given up finding an OEM light that fits the new ARB bumper. I can buy the lights from ARB, but they're fairly expensive, and I have heard about connector issues as well. To combat that, I decided to just put in some 2.5"x6.5" oval LED lights. I got a pair from Amazon or Ebay for $20 IIRC. They came with the wiring pigtails, mounting grommets, and of course, the lights. I made a template on paper via Solidworks, and cut it out and traced the oval onto my bumper with a paint pen, centered on the original openings.

Then I busted out the plasma cutter and followed my lines. This one needed just a little tap to knock it out. The other side fell out on it's own as I finished the cut.

All of the back-side light mounting bracket came out with the pieces I cut, so I only had to clean up the opening a little with a die grinder and some sandpaper, shoot a little semi-gloss black on it to keep the rust at bay, and put in the lights.

I'll get them wired up over the next couple of nights. I now have a much more finished looking ARB bumper, and sealed lights that I can replace for cheap almost anywhere I might be.