Talking Trucks Tuesday: Modified or Stock?

IMG_9712 IIA

By G.R. Whale

Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought on pickup trucks. One is to leave them completely stock — and by stock I'm referring to electromechanical functions, not wallpaper, pinstripes, window tints and air fresheners. The other is to BOMB, which is short for better off modified baby!

I'm a student of the BOMB school. Most BOMBers are full-time students because they're always learning new ways to screw up a perfectly good pickup. Although specialty rigs such as the Dodge Ram SRT-10, Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 are good attempts at factory-modified trucks, there is always a way to make a pickup better. Improvements can be mild such as changing the lights, adding a cat-back exhaust or using stickier, taller tires., And then there's crazy, which is often on display at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show.

The trick to modifying a pickup the right way is integrating upgrades with the truck. A pickup owner I know thought a train horn was a good addition — until the ignition essentially dropped out whenever the monster air compressor ran. Not the best way to honk and run. Anyone can make a suspension lift or cut a fender to fit bigger tires, but unless you do it correctly — ensuring all associated parts up and down the chain are upgraded too — it won't work out well in the long term.

That's one reason factory parts are more expensive — the manufacturer knows the original truck, knows how to upgrade it and knows how to keep the warranty intact. The manufacturer could even build it all in stock, but the bottom line must be considered since relatively few consumers buy the special editions referenced above.

So if any of you have a completely stock truck, what are you waiting for?

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams; Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan

 

Comments

Completely stock. I like my wheels and wouldnt waste the money on after market. Same goes for a lift. Vent shades, window tint and glass packs are all I need.

I have modified every vehicle I have ever owned. Whether it be cars or trucks. First truck? 1974 Datsun, back in 1974 raised, big tires/wheels, customer bumpers with wench and lights. 78 Dodge Power Wagon, dropped in a 440, raised, big tires and wheels roll bar grill guard with wench. 84 Cherokee, 88 Comanchee, same thing, 2001 Taco, same thing, now driving 11 Canyon, raised, tires/wheels, light bar.. have been waiting for the ZR2 to come out. I do not need a rock crawler/desert runner, so looking at 2017 Colorado I will raise, add nfab bumpers etc and be cheaper then the ZR2....I hunt and fish

I modify everything I own as a rule.

I prefer stock. Traveling around having others scratch and dent your vehicle while you pay them is hard to do. Then when their product fails you get to pay more and more down time no thanks.

Went with all factory stock from A.E.V.. Bought it on the RAM lot. All factory warranty. 3 inch lift, winch bumper, 37 BF MUD, Rims, Leather, light bar, Snorkel, all proven parts on top of RAMS awesome Power Wagon. Getting ready to go to oceano dunes. Love the way this truck handles my 10,000lb Toy Hauler loaded with three YFZ 450's inside in the soft dune sand. Go over the dune away from everyone. Air down the truck and she takes that trailer anywhere. If it can't Winch It!!!

I mod them!

My 2016 Tacoma runs 265/75 BFG A/T from the factory 245/75 size, solid fold bed cover, that's it!

My 2010 Tacoma runs the same size tires and model, but I have 200 lbs. coils up front with Camburg upper control arms, in the rear I run Deaver custom 9-pack rated 700 lbs. over stock, Fox 2.0 with reservoirs, 14" stroke, both have custom hoops and mount in front of the axle, u-bolt flip kit, tubing of the rear 8.4 inch axle, 1.25 inch wheel spacers, modded front and rear bumpers for increased approach angles and the rear is also my tire carrier, snorkel, complete 3/8" steel skid plates underneath the front half of the truck, custom aluminum roof basket and rear aluminum topper with 6-point ladder frame.

I also raced my old 1986 Toyota pickup down in Baja and my 2005 X-Runner on road courses!

Just barely got started, 06 CTD, built 48RE now the engine needs some HP, new turbo, bigger intercooler, fuel pump, etc. Carli dirt suspension, Warn 16.5, bumpers, still hauls a camper with jeep in tow too.

chrome is going out of style and I believe chrome doesn't belong on pickup trucks and the plastic chrome looks cheap and generic.
one reason for owning a truck it gives you a good excuse not keeping it clean
to me a dirty truck looks better than a clean truck cause it shows everybody you're using it as its intended to be used and why have chrome if it's dirty all the time and you can't notice the chrome shine?

I picked a white truck cause I wanted to wrap it in a mix of lime green and flat black
with white you have more choices of color to wrap than a darker color
the only reason I didn't get my truck wrapped yet is because I didn't find anybody to do it that impressed me or proved worthy where the local people that wrap only wants to do it their way or the highway with printed pictures.
I was thinking of wrapping my truck myself but I understand it takes years of experience and afraid I may screw it up.
I may have to travel 200 miles away to get a real professional to wrap my truck and I may do that.

Just barely got started, 06 CTD, built 48RE now the engine needs some HP, new turbo, bigger intercooler, fuel pump, etc. Carli dirt suspension, Warn 16.5, bumpers, still hauls a camper with jeep in tow too.


Posted by: Enrique | Feb 15, 2017 12:46:38 AM

Have to love Ram guys. They cannot even call their truck that they own a ram. They have to call it a Cummins.

I would really like to see a stock truck from the factory, then I could modify to fit my needs. I don't need all the fancy electronic stuff. Most of which you shouldn't be using if you are moving. A gauge package would be nice.

Stock trucks are ok, but they are always held way back from their potential, by the way, love my bully dog tuner in my powerstroke, crazy what the thing will do when you open her up a little.

Have to love Ram guys. They cannot even call their truck that they own a ram. They have to call it a Cummins

@Ram blows chunks

I'd rather have a Cummins on a skateboard, than be forced to suffer with a Powerstroke diesel on a Rolls Royce!

I prefer stock. Traveling around having others scratch and dent your vehicle while you pay them is hard to do. Then when their product fails you get to pay more and more down time no thanks.

Went with all factory stock from A.E.V.. Bought it on the RAM lot. All factory warranty. 3 inch lift, winch bumper, 37 BF MUD, Rims, Leather, light bar, Snorkel, all proven parts on top of RAMS awesome Power Wagon. Getting ready to go to oceano dunes. Love the way this truck handles my 10,000lb Toy Hauler loaded with three YFZ 450's inside in the soft dune sand. Go over the dune away from everyone. Air down the truck and she takes that trailer anywhere. If it can't Winch It!!!


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 14, 2017 9:17:25 PM

I guess you don't have a clue on what "stock" is. LOL. You said you want all stock so you bought a Aev. But that is all aftermarket stuff. Hardly stock. I can understand why you want to be alone in the sand. No one wants you to be next to them.

Have to love Ram guys. They cannot even call their truck that they own a ram. They have to call it a Cummins

@Ram blows chunks

I'd rather have a Cummins on a skateboard, than be forced to suffer with a Powerstroke diesel on a Rolls Royce!


Posted by: papajim | Feb 15, 2017 7:20:55 AM

Well good thing you are stuck with your hover round then eh?

Trucks are the modern version of the good ol' muscle car of the late 60s/early 70s. That's why people like to mod them....easy to do and relatively easy to get some mild gains, mostly in looks and functionality, not so much in legal performance (not like putting headers, true duals and a 4v with dual smorkels on the 383 in your '69 Dodge Monaco!).

Both! ... since I have two trucks: new and old.

1) STOCK. I enjoy stock for quite a while after purchase, which is why I would have bought the truck in the 1st place. Very few people I know buy a brand new truck with the explicit intent of modifying it right away.

2) MODIFIED. I also enjoy doing mild (not crazy) modifications on my trucks after then get out of warranty, or after about 7-8 years of age. That gives the aftermarket a chance to develop to serve new models and designs; does not affect the manufacturers warranty (while will have expired); and won't greatly diminish resale if I get too goofy with my "experiments", --- i.e., I feel more "freedom" to "play".

=====================

I'd like to modify my truck, but that would involve reflashing the PCM. There are multiple aftermarket companies that sell tuners, but you use them at your own risk.
Why don't the OEMs sell tuners with their own approved canned tunes? That would be a nice business instead of leaving it to the aftermarket.
I'd buy an OEM canned tune in a heartbeat even if it cost more than the aftermarket tune.

"I prefer stock. Traveling around having others scratch and dent your vehicle while you pay them is hard to do. Then when their product fails you get to pay more and more down time no thanks.

Went with all factory stock from A.E.V.. Bought it on the RAM lot. All factory warranty. 3 inch lift, winch bumper, 37 BF MUD, Rims, Leather, light bar, Snorkel, all proven parts on top of RAMS awesome Power Wagon. Getting ready to go to oceano dunes. Love the way this truck handles my 10,000lb Toy Hauler loaded with three YFZ 450's inside in the soft dune sand. Go over the dune away from everyone. Air down the truck and she takes that trailer anywhere. If it can't Winch It!!!


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 14, 2017 9:17:25 PM

I guess you don't have a clue on what "stock" is. LOL. You said you want all stock so you bought a Aev. But that is all aftermarket stuff. Hardly stock. I can understand why you want to be alone in the sand. No one wants you to be next to them."

You have a point but he bought the truck the way it came to the dealer, did not change anything himself, AND IT HAS A FULL FACTORY WARRENTEE, something that you will not have and you might even destroy the warrentee on the rest of the truck if you modify it yourself. The factory considers the truck stock for warrentee purposes and that may be the most important opinion involved.

Pickups are commonly modified and the factories need to keep that in mind. I feel that is the reason that most have oversized wheel openings. I applaud Ford for adding extra switches in the SuperDuty and Raptor for adding on devices without have to hack up the wiring harness and dashboard to power/control them. Now they need to do that for the entire F150 line. Other things like that should be considered by all manufacturers.

@papa, spoken like a true GM guy who has never used a powerstorke......I would agree the Cummins is awesome, and the Alisson is as well, but I love my Powerstroke, I have owned 2 of them, never the Chevy or GMC Duramax, but have driven them.


You have a point but he bought the truck the way it came to the dealer, did not change anything himself, AND IT HAS A FULL FACTORY WARRENTEE, something that you will not have and you might even destroy the warrentee on the rest of the truck if you modify it yourself. The factory considers the truck stock for warrentee purposes and that may be the most important opinion involved.


Posted by: Walt | Feb 15, 2017 8:40:31 AM

Wrong, FCA will not warranty the modified parts or parts damaged from the mid. Aev comes with a warranty to cover those parts. Some aftermarket companies offer warranties on their parts but FCA will not cover it. Even if it is sold at a dealer. That's not how it comes from the factory.

I like mild modified trucks. Trucks with 2-4" lifts and 33-25" tires. Trucks that have big 6"+ lifts are silly and those diesel trucks with excessive sized exhaust tips (10"+) or stacks are stupid. Majority of the lifted trucks I see around are street queens, pavement pounding on a 7" lift with 38" tires. I've driven/owned big lifted trucks and they ride rough, drive so sloppy, and track so poorly on the highway.


My 2016 Platinum Tundra 4x4 has a 3.25" coilover lift and 34.5" tires on aftermarket "offroad" wheels. The truck rides great and the tires do not rub. The truck usually gets 12 mpg city and 16 mpg highway on my trips which is not bad for a truck turning larger tires.

My truck has ~14" of ground clearance at the front skid plate, and roughly ~11" to the bottom of the rear diff, plenty for any offroading that a full sized truck should be doing.

@Nitro

Do you mean the Powerstroke that cost Ford millions of dollars in warranty repairs?

There are Ford salesmen even today who look panicky and break into a cold sweat when you even whisper that word in the showroom.

The new big 3 half ton trucks all can benefit from a mild lift kit. All the new trucks have the ground clearance of crossovers, The front bumper on the half ton big 3 trucks would be dragging on my farm. The Ram and Silverado are really bad, and the Ford isn't much higher off the ground.

Seems like only Toyota and Nissan seem to understand that trucks may get used offroad and need additional clearance.

Most factory trucks would not last a day on the farm.

I was out with a couple owners of car dealerships (not sales people), we were talking trucks. One said that GM and Ram will warranty lifts on their trucks, but not all Ram and GM dealers will. Nissan Toyota and Ford will not. The Ram guy said last year they averaged 10 lifts a month. I do know my GMC and Ram dealer almost always have a lifted brand new truck sitting right in front. Even our Chevy and GMC dealers have lifted Colorado/Canyons. Like one owner told me, the vehicles only as good as the dealer.

mod or die

@papa, not sure where you live or what Dealer you speak of, my brother used to work at the largest east coast ford dealer as the F&I manager, I have all my major service done there still, never heard of that one, usually the guys that say that are GM guys, or another dealer who used to work at Ford, but now they have to say their current Manufacture is the best so they blast others. The powerstroke is an excellent machine, and I have 88K on mine now, with no issues other than I need a bigger camper to tow with as the PS dont break a sweat. Anyway, I can only speak from experience not hearsay

There are Ford salesmen even today who look panicky and break into a cold sweat when you even whisper that word in the showroom.


Posted by: papajim | Feb 15, 2017 9:37:47 AM

You must be Johnny doe. I mean that comment is just dumb. The 6.0L had issues and right now it is a sought after truck combo. The trucks hold up really well, the transmission is bullet proof and with a few things done to the engine they are also very reliable. People are selling those trucks at a premium and getting it.

@RAM. correct, he is trying to point out the bad 6.0 which was years ago and been upgraded, I'm talking about the tried an true 6.7L, the 6.0 was a fail, but hey when you fall down you need to get back up, which is what they did.

You must be Johnny doe. I mean that comment is just dumb. The 6.0L had issues and right now it is a sought after truck combo. The trucks hold up really well, the transmission is bullet proof and with a few things done to the engine they are also very reliable. People are selling those trucks at a premium and getting it.


Posted by: Ram blows chunks | Feb 15, 2017 10:44:30 AM

I wouldn't give IT any attention any longer, they're retarded.

@Ram blows chunks: actually, Ford guys refer to their trucks as EcoBoosts, so I guess they can'tow even refer to them as "my f150".

Seems like only Toyota and Nissan seem to understand that trucks may get used offroad and need additional clearance.


Posted by: Powell | Feb 15, 2017 9:45:29 AM

Perhaps your unaware of RAMS exclusive air suspension which lifts itself @ the push of a button. 1/2 ton is going to be a car with a bed in order to meet MPG regulations. If you need a truck your going to have to buy a 3/4 ton. Chrysler offers the most capable off roaders. With the JEEP & RAM. Now the only muscle car with all wheel drive.

@ HEMI V8 That fancy Air suspension that has no wheel travel, I'd be afraid to get the wheels off the ground it may pop the air bags when it lands...

At least you can jump the TRD Pro Tundra and Ford SVT Raptor, I have yet to see someone jump a Ram Rebel's grand air suspension...

Hard to do farm work with the Ram 1500, when it has the payload capacity and towing capacity of a Chevy Colorado too...

Hemi that is a bunch of garbage you just said. Rams lost the off road challenge and the power wagon came in last. In fact it was YOU that said ram needs to come out with the TRX to compete with the Raptor. So YOU just contradicted yourself in a huge way.

In the 70s I removed the choking smog controls. The trucks ran better with that crap removed. But since then my only mods have been wheels and tires. If I had a diesel, I would modify that too. DEF and burning diesel just to burn exhaust is ridiculous logic. Make an engine more efficient and the smog will go down. Screw the EPA.

Wrong, FCA will not warranty the modified parts or parts damaged from the mid. Aev comes with a warranty to cover those parts. Some aftermarket companies offer warranties on their parts but FCA will not cover it. Even if it is sold at a dealer. That's not how it comes from the factory.


Posted by: Ram blows chunks | Feb 15, 2017 8:51:06 AM

PLEASE SHUT YOUR LYING IGNORANT MOUTH. YOU TALK OUT OF YOUR @$$!!! DEALER HANDLES ANY AND ALL WARRANTY ISSUES. I KNOW BECAUSE I OWN ONE. YOU KNOW JACK.

Hemi that is a bunch of garbage you just said. Rams lost the off road challenge and the power wagon came in last. In fact it was YOU that said ram needs to come out with the TRX to compete with the Raptor. So YOU just contradicted yourself in a huge way.


Posted by: Ram blows chunks | Feb 15, 2017 2:00:45 PM

Price out a Rebel and Price out a Raptor. You'll find a big difference. RAM does need to bring a TRX prerunner style high speed off roader in my opinion. Raptor does not compete with the Power Wagon in capability. They are close in price but you get way more truck for the money with the RAM. If you think a Raptor can go anywhere like a Power Wagon off road I'd love to show you. Start with the mud pit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiDoGybHrUM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxpvBT0Sug&t=25s

You can also get an A.E.V 1500 with winch soon. All at your local RAM dealership under warranty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbwgYHImZ8s

@ HEMI V8 That fancy Air suspension that has no wheel travel, I'd be afraid to get the wheels off the ground it may pop the air bags when it lands...

At least you can jump the TRD Pro Tundra and Ford SVT Raptor, I have yet to see someone jump a Ram Rebel's grand air suspension...

Hard to do farm work with the Ram 1500, when it has the payload capacity and towing capacity of a Chevy Colorado too...


Posted by: Powell | Feb 15, 2017 12:54:28 PM

LOL, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcB3AFgj3nA

Hard to do farm work with the Ram 1500, when it has the payload capacity and towing capacity of a Chevy Colorado too...


Posted by: Powell | Feb 15, 2017 12:54:28 PM

Try it in a Raptor Cowboy.

FORD " taking care of all your Recall needs and still giving you all you can eat donuts and free wifi in the customer lounge."

Stock, the OEMs have come a long way from the 80's 90's and early 00's, the trucks are leaving the factory more integrated than ever and the aftermarket is about 15yrs behind so any modifications stick out like a sore thumb.

I shake my head every time I see $50-60k truck rolling around on $100 aftermarket rims that have the wrong backspacing and go with the overall look of the truck like a tramp-stamp or hip tattoo on a stripper.

Mods can be done tastefully, but that costs big $$$ and people are cheapskates, so the end result looks cobbled together and tacky.

Don't buy a Honda..3rd lemon Honda,no more once fixed being traded for a Domestic !

http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2016/2017-honda-ridgeline-recalled-electrical-problems.shtml?utm_content=buffer2d447&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The dealer has and can get the parts through AEV DIP.

STAY THIRSTY!


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 17, 2017 12:22:45 PM

Only junk Aev dealer not junk fiat dealer. Good luck getting junk fixed on a road trip when that junk breaks down.

You can also get an A.E.V 1500 with winch soon. All at your local RAM dealership under warranty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbwgYHImZ8s


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 15, 2017 9:48:37 PM

Yup and that junk needs all the warranty it has. Fiat dealers voted best donuts and coffee in the business. When they have to serve so many, they need to be good at it.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us