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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'll start this from current backwards.

These pics have all of the mods done since this july.
Radflo Coilovers and SPC UCAs set at 3+ inches (ridin like **** lol) w a top plate spacer.
2 Inch Body Lift (turned into a 40 plus hour job of learning......)

Front Bumper: This is one that I designed myself, sketched on paper, mocked up with wire and paper, and then became my first real welding experience. I had a lot of great advice from mentors.
The design features American flags cut into each wraparound side with contrasting mesh. took me 7 months. Then after body lifting the truck, I had a 2 inch gap. So I cut and re-mounted the bumper, added three trusses, and a welded in skid plate. It's all 3/16 to 1/4 inch steel. (When I re-mounted the bumper in the dark, using 5 gallon buckets to prop up its heavy *** weight, I measured wrong-2 inches too far passenger, so its slightly off for those of us with OCD)

Rear Bumper: I designed this one myself and then made a cardboard/hot glue 1:1 maquette. Next I welded it all up and like the first, spent 12 ish hours grinding and finishing. I used a hd hinge from a to z fabrication who was great with last minute shipping after another company screwed up my order and went MIA. This one has 5/8" mounts, and is 1/4 and 3/16 construction. I used reflectors from autozone that I cut and epoxied to fill the light holes. Craigslist led me to a former Frontier aficionado who had a nismo rim wrapped in a 33" duratrac for 120 bucks. He also had the 2 inch body lift for 120!

I fabricated wraparound side steps, but ran out of time to attach them to the rear bumper. So that'll happen in the next six months

I installed the body lift sooner than I expected because I didn't want to have to cut and re-mount the rear bumper at a later date. Also, the rear bumper is built to accommodate a 35 inch tire.......hinting at the future of this build. This truck is an animal off road and I take it out on a lot of NEXTERRA and ENH trips.

Next up is a roof rack, a hood power bulge, sliders...etc

The future involves:
a tan softtopper
35s
projector retrofit headlights
V8 swap and a stick shift
front solid axle
two lockers
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Some more pics so far
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The rear bumper was a real challenge, but heres the buildup
 

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Discussion Starter #4
more of the build. Btw the bumper has 20 trusses welded into the box structure
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The bump itself is welded to a 6x2 inch, 48ish long 1/4 inch thick rectangular tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The exciting yet scary night of truth when I mounted Goodyear's finest

And here's a pic of the sidesteps that I'll add later in the year
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The 8 hour Black headlight mod (I didn't paint the turn signal reflector bucket.) Also the 33 inch Dick Cepek Mud Countrys. Beast as hell off road (3ply sidewalls) and surprisingly very good in snow despite mud oriented tread blocks
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 2 inch front spacer lift from PRG and the 1.5 inch AAL

Side note (this summer, before I installed the coilovers, I used the adjustable bilsteins too. But that front bumper was too damn heavy, 140 pounds) The coilovers that are on the truck now are the 750 lb spring rate
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
16 inch Level 8 Scorpion Wheels with Black negative space between the spokes. Was going for a pro4x look with spacers, couldn't find any of those used and wheel spacers are illegal in Massachusetts. Got em from disc tire direct

Also added a Gibson exhaust around this time. It's got a punchy growl and gives a lot of torque at the low end compared to the flowmaster and the stock setup.

1/4 inch Asfir Aluminum Skidplates. Ford totally copied me here.
Got these from 4x4 parts for a damn good discount.

Had some help from the NEXTERRA guys putting these on. I didn't know a socket from a wrench at this point, so this truck has been a great learning experience for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Firestone destination A/Ts. First mod ever on this Beast! One of the best tires ive ever used for snow, road handling, treadwear, hydroplaning resistance. I changed them because the rocky, stump-ridden trails in new England were threatening their sidewalls, making the two to five hour trips home from wheeling trips seem somewhat sketchy.

But with fifty thousand miles on them, I still got $180 on craigslist because they still had some tread.

btw snow performance decreased significantly around 45,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
This is truly an excellent truck. I maintain it well, but I put it up to some real rough **** off road. It is one hell of a platform to build from. Rock-Sold and a handsome brute. Dark Horse is one hell of a companion, with miles of custom mods and rugged trails ahead
 

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Awesome work man! That rear bumper build is fantastic. Color me impressed.

Great truck.
 

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Awesome build. How was the.body lift install, minus your bumper issues? Did you have to extend anything with the 2" kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Awesome build. How was the.body lift install, minus your bumper issues? Did you have to extend anything with the 2" kit?
The install was brutal for me...took me about 48 hours straight, then another week of fine tunning. I learned a lot as I went. A lot of this was due to only using hand tools and the stock jack.

Removing and relocating parts with the supplied extensions, like brake lines and other pieces took me a while to figure out.
I snapped a bed bolt and the bolt extractor broke inside the bolt. I decided to leave it after many hours of struggling and just bolted the puck to the frame mount and let it rest.
Another problem I ran into was that I left my fuel tank skid plate attached when I raised the bed.

I thought it was bolted to the frame, but there was one piece that also bolted to the bed. So raising the bed and aligning it with the holes was really difficult. I kept hearing popping and creaking over bumps and dips in the road. Also the bed was too far inward on one side.
So I unbolted that one piece that was under tension, it popped down to where it needed to be, I then loosened the bed bolts, slid it over to realign, and bolted it back down.

The steering was also a struggle. It had some tight spots and the shafts didn't budge during the lift process despite loosening both bolts. A guy from Nexterra reminded me of the wonders of penterating fluid and the shaft moved where I needed it to be. I bought the extension but never used it. Still sitting in my garage if anyone needs it.

It was a brutal struggle, but well worth it overall. I learned a lot and I feel like I can tackle anything on the truck now. The truck sits noticeably higher and leaves more room between my rocker panels and the rocks.

Good luck with yours, and when you're putting in the new body bolts, thread slowly...don't cross thread.
 

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Haha im with Nexterra as well brotha. Broken bolts and extractions im all too familiar with. A torch is next on my list of tools.
 

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Hear that. 1/2"breaker used to be my muscle tool. Nowadays i carry a 20V Ingersoll Rand impact can break anything free. Also have learned to give a couple wacks to what im workin on before wrenchin it especially if its rusted. Was workin at a shop this mornin helpin the dude weld my muffler on, when i forgot to take off my tow hitch he was just torchin everything and it came off like butter.
 
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