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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was cleaning up my Frontier earlier today and my neighbor came over as we were talking .... He commented, "You sure have done a lot of stuff to your truck." I said that it wasn't that much and then I got to thinking and realized that it was a good bit and that maybe it finally time to start a "Build Thread".

My truck is not a daily driver but it is the transportation for my other expensive hobby .... wildlife photography. I make trips twice a year (or more) to Florida for bird photography, once a year to Iowa to photograph eagles and several other 8-10 hour drives to "shoot" something interesting. We also go to Alaska each year for Brown Bear, Moose and Landscape photography.

Best of all I can be in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 30 minutes, which affords me Black Bear, Elk and trophy Whitetail Deer photography. I call The Smokies my "Home Field".

A little about me .... I am an "Old Man" compared to many around here. How old? My Wife and I have celebrated 40+ years of marriage! I respectfully refer to her as "The Boss" :) ........ She loves to be outdoors too so we make a good team .... she doesn't care much about taking pictures, but has become a great second set of eyes for spotting critters and birds.

This will be My Nismo's Build and Adventure Thread .... thanks for looking

Forum Username: bhowdy
Vehicle Name: 2008 Nismo
Year: 2008
Make: Nissan
Model: Frontier / King Cab
Trim: Nismo
Color: Avalanche White
Interior: Gray

Mods / Interior:
Weathertech Floor mats (gray)
Auto Dimming-Compass-Temperature Mirror
Rear Jump Seat Removal
OTRATTW Switches
Wet Okole Seat Covers w/ heaters
Blue Sea secondary fuse block (behind glove box)
Cobra CB Radio (with weather)
Garmin nüvi 2797LMT 7-Inch GPS
Power First 400 Watt Inverter

Mods / Exterior:
Nismo Locker Mod
Hitch Harness Relocated
Rear Differential Vent Mod
Some Plasti-Dip Items
AVS Bug Deflector (hood)
Redline Tuning Hood Struts
Nissan OEM Window Vent Shields
Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover
Bed Rug
22" Cree LED Light Bar
IPF Halogen Driving Lights
LED Bulb Change (back-up lights)
Phillips Extreme Vision Headlight & Fog Light Replacement Bulbs
Removed Mud Flaps
Wilson 305-4FD Silver Load Series 4' CB Antenna Whip
LED bed lighting / Under Utilitrack Rails (to be able to see when the tonneau cover is down)
EZ Down Tailgate Strut
Gas tank evap canister mod / vent tube relocation

Engine / Drivetrain:
Nismo 6 Cylinder 4.0
Nismo Cold Air Intake
6 Speed Manual Transmission
Factory Nismo E Locker
Optima "Blue Top" Battery

Suspension:
Nisstec MK84 Extended Travel Coil Overs (600# springs)
Total Chaos Upper Control Arms
Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks
Old Man Emu (OME) Dakar Rear Leaf Spring Pack
Old Man Emu Greaseable Rear Shackles

Tires and Wheels:
BF Goodrich All Terrain TA KO2's 285/75/16
Factory Nissan 5 Spoke Wheels Powder Coated Mid Gloss Black

Armor:
ShrockWorks Front Winch Bumper w/ Hoop
ShrockWorks Rear Hitch Bumper (plate style)
Hefty Fabworks Aluminum Skid Plates
Custom Rock Sliders (similar to White Knuckle)
ARB Differential Cover

Stuff & Junk:
Smittybilt X20 - 10,000# Winch w/ Synthetic Cable
Smittybilt 3" x 30' Recovery Strap - 30,000 lb Capacity
Schumacher 750 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source (Jump Box)
Flashlights (everywhere in the truck) :)
Tool Kit (mechanics)
Gerber Folding Shovel
Gerber Axe / Tree Saw Combo
Go Treads Traction Devices
WARN 29312 Receiver Shackle Bracket
ARB E-Z Deflator
Navy Corpsman First Aid Kit (with help from my son)
Viair 400 Portable Air Compressor


As The "Boss" Allows:
ARB Air Lockers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
^Ditto.

Have you been unfortunate enough to get to try out the Go Treads?
I have been able to use them .... sort of. We went to the Outer Banks for a photography trip and we ran into a Jeep that had not deflated their tires and was buried in the soft sand (not all that bad either). I shoveled a bit, deflated their tires (he would not let me go lower than 20psi) and placed the Go Treads down ...... The Jeep walked right out. They worked great!
 

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Nice build, I see you plan to order as allowed a bumper from Tactical Armor, I would suggest doing some research on this company, they have a very poor reputation, with some bumpers the quality is poor, in other cases shipping time is super long with very rude customer service. Check out some of the other companies, such as Hefty Fabworks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice colodak. Comments like yours are one of the reasons that I hang around these forums :urock:
 

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Awesome Pictures! Look forward to more pictures of the wildlife and truck, ever make a trip up here to Colorado? Lots of amazing wildlife here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks PyroMedic - I have been to Colorado but it was before I took up the photography hobby. Todd Helton is a good friend .... you may have heard of him, played a little ball for the Rockies?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
With the pre dawn temperature at 33 degrees it was a perfect morning to head to the mountains and see what I could photograph. The alarm goes off at 4:30am, but I am already up and getting ready ... which is funny because 99% of the preparation was done the night before. The gates to the Loop Road in Cades Cove (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) are not opened by the rangers until dawn, which on Saturday was 7:45 .... It's 6:00am and I am 4th in line! :)

Here are a few of the images from this adventure 10/17/15 .....BEARS and BUCKS

Couldn't not include a photo of my Frontier in this post ..... One of several historic old home that are preserved in Cades Cove (Whitehead Cabin)


This young Whitetail Deer buck posed perfectly as the early dawn light pierced the fog


And this great looking 4 year old that we call "Little Buddy" because he is usually hanging around with the bigger guys


Not sure what this was about ..... Not that there is anything wrong with it :)


Some play sparring between two young bucks .... the "rut" is still 1 to 1-1/2 months away here in east Tennessee






At a "Licking Branch" ...... Whitetail Deer use licking branches to communicate with each other


I typically park my truck and walk thru the woods when in Cades Cove .... this allows me to get away from the crowds of people that come to the busiest National Park in America .... it also gives me the ability to watch wildlife in an unpressured environment. On this morning I was fortunate to be able to watch a mother Black Bear and her three cubs eat acorns, deep in the woods.





Mom


Also ran into this second year youngster. Black Bear cubs stay with their mothers for from 1-1/1 to 2 years and then are given "the boot"


Hopefully this post was not too boring .... I have many such "adventures" each year and enjoy sharing them.
 

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Your posts, both pictures and commentary, are always a pleasure. So much so that I usually share them with my wife and we often go to websites to see more about your destinations, as we just did this morning with Sunday coffee. Thanks -
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tail of the Dragon / Cherohala Skyway
We spent the weekend chasing the fall colors here in the east Tennessee and western North Carolina mountains. We started with "The Tail of the Dragon.... U.S. 129" that runs thru the mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina. This road has 318 turns in 11 miles! Not for those that get car sick easily and a favorite of motorcycle riders.

The colors below 3,500 feet elevation are at their peak!

Tail of the Dragon / U.S. 129


Bald River Falls (Tennessee)


Cherohala Skyway (Tellico Plains, TN. to Robbinsville, NC)




Cataloochee Valley / Great Smoky Mountain National Park (North Carolina side)






And finally I received this commentary from this great looking 6 x 7 elk!
 

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Great shots bhowdy! Seriously good work. Wildlife photography is one of those things I haven't really gotten into yet. I'm still doing mostly landscapes and street photography. I figure I will once I get either Nikon's new 200-500mm or the Sigma 150-600mm. But that will come after my 16-35mm :) Is that a 5D/II/III you're shooting with? Also, what lens is on it in that first post? If that is what I think it is, that's one serious piece of glass!

I especially like the colors you're seeing down there. We're already to the stage where all the leaves are on the ground up here. That previous post with the shots of the whitetails... I've never seen them that shade of reddish brown before. They're a much lighter color up here. Must be the difference in environment, most of ours up here are much more light brown/tan.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks WreckDiver .... Much appreciated
I use a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 7D Mark II for my camera bodies ..... My camera gear is worth as much or more than my truck
Canon 500mm F4L is my "walk around" lens :)
Also used in the images posted so far
Canon 100-400 version II
Canon 70-200 mm F2.8L version II
Canon 16-35
Canon 24-105

Good luck with the choice on the long lens .... My opinion would be if you are only going to shoot wildlife once on a while get the Sigma, if you plan on going headlong into critter photography opt for the 200-500

Our whitetails get very dark as winter approaches, in the right light some can look to be black.
 

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Thanks WreckDiver .... Much appreciated
I use a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 7D Mark II for my camera bodies ..... My camera gear is worth as much or more than my truck
Canon 500mm F4L is my "walk around" lens :)
Also used in the images posted so far
Canon 100-400 version II
Canon 70-200 mm F2.8L version II
Canon 16-35
Canon 24-105

Good luck with the choice on the long lens .... My opinion would be if you are only going to shoot wildlife once on a while get the Sigma, if you plan on going headlong into critter photography opt for the 200-500

Our whitetails get very dark as winter approaches, in the right light some can look to be black.
I knew that was a 500 f/4! That is an impressive piece of gear. I've used one once on a 6D and was blown away.

Haha I know how it goes with camera gear. I just made the foray into full frame this year with my D610, so I'm only working with a 24-120 f/4 and a 50 1.8. Planning on getting a 16-35 f/4, an 85 1.8, and a 35 1.8, as well as the long lens. Eventually. That's how you know you're doing it right though, if the gear in your rig doubles it's value, you're doing it right ::grin::

Interesting, our whitetails are always that sort of tan color.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The transformation from "quasi" mall queen to off road ready is now underway. Had a set of rock sliders fabricated by a local guy that is also an off roader ...... He did a great job IMHO. And for much less than the name brand folks .... $400.00 and that included installation! They are welded to the frame rails for more strength, not bolted. Pictures below the text

Here's the list, all ordered and anxiously waiting for each to get here
- Nisstec extended travel suspension package
- OME Dakar rear leaf pack
- OME greasable rear shackles
- Hefty Fabworks aluminum skid panels (all except front / radiator)
- Shrockworks front plate bumper

In the garage waiting to install (other pieces needed)
- Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 10000 lb.
- Hella 4000 driving lights
- Viair 400 air compressor





 

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Nice sliders, Bob!!! They look a lot like my White Knuckles, but only cost half as much!

I didn't know that Hefty makes aluminum plates... now I do. Have fun installing everything when they arrive.
 
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