Modifying a pickup to be a SUT | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Modifying a pickup to be a SUT

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Contributor I

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I really like the Chevy Avalanche but want manual transmission. If I get a Silverado or a Tundra how hard would it be to install drop down seats & drop down metal wall so that it has the same feature as the Avalanche?
 

Boort

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I really like the Chevy Avalanche but want manual transmission. If I get a Silverado or a Tundra how hard would it be to install drop down seats & drop down metal wall so that it has the same feature as the Avalanche?
I don't know that either of those mods would be easy or inexpensive. The Dropdown wall would take some engineering to do right, far more than just cutting it out and putting in a tailgate. Honestly I think it would be eaiser to swap the Engine / Trans for a setup that supports the Manual trans.

IIRC the 1st gen Honda Ridgelines had the dropdown wall, Not sure if they offered Manual trans or the popup seats.

Boort
 
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Contributor I

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Montréal, Quebec, Canada
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Nicholas
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Monte
I really like the Chevy Avalanche but want manual transmission. If I get a Silverado or a Tundra how hard would it be to install drop down seats & drop down metal wall so that it has the same feature as the Avalanche?
I don't know that either of those mods would be easy or inexpensive. The Dropdown wall would take some engineering to do right, far more than just cutting it out and putting in a tailgate. Honestly I think it would be eaiser to swap the Engine / Trans for a setup that supports the Manual trans.

IIRC the 1st gen Honda Ridgelines had the dropdown wall, Not sure if they offered Manual trans or the popup seats.

Boort
Thanks
 

Conner Hunt

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So what if I removed the sails & then cut the body of the Avalanche to force the bed & body to be 90°? Or is that little bit of metal structural?
Why are you wanting to do the above mentioned?

I also second just to do a manual transmission swap, would be way easier to do and less..sketchy
 

Contributor I

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Nicholas
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So what if I removed the sails & then cut the body of the Avalanche to force the bed & body to be 90°? Or is that little bit of metal structural?
Why are you wanting to do the above mentioned?

I also second just to do a manual transmission swap, would be way easier to do and less..sketchy
The last mentioned mod would be to make the bed compatible with a RSI smart cap or black diamond tonneau cover.

Judging by your reply this is either difficult to make both sides the same or compromises the structural integrity.
 
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Conner Hunt

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So what if I removed the sails & then cut the body of the Avalanche to force the bed & body to be 90°? Or is that little bit of metal structural?
Why are you wanting to do the above mentioned?

I also second just to do a manual transmission swap, would be way easier to do and less..sketchy
The last mentioned mod would be to make the bed compatible with a RSI smart cap or black diamond tonneau cover.

Judging by your reply this is either difficult to make both sides the same or compromises the structural integrity.
Long story short, it would be a ridiculous amount of work and cost that just is not worth it.

I don’t think anybody could recommend doing that to a vehicle without being done by a professional, high quality, fabrication shop. I think you’d be looking at, at least $15,000 to do this correctly. Not including a full roll cage which would be dangerous to not do when talking about doing something of this caliber to a vehicle, add on another $10,000 for that. These are decently conservative estimates as well.

You’d be better off getting a custom hardtop/tonneau cover made for the Avalanche than to go this route. Even then, honestly I’d say don’t even go with the Avalanche as a platform of choice.
 
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Contributor I

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I love the Avalanche for its ability to switch between long bed & crew cab. I also liked it because being GMC it should be easy to work on.

I don't like that if I have the backseat down & converted to a long bed the whole truck is unsecured & the passenger cabin is exposed to the elements

Any suggestions how I could get the best of both worlds without compromising?
 

Ahoward2k

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I love the Avalanche for its ability to switch between long bed & crew cab. I also liked it because being GMC it should be easy to work on.

I don't like that if I have the backseat down & converted to a long bed the whole truck is unsecured & the passenger cabin is exposed to the elements

Any suggestions how I could get the best of both worlds without compromising?
You can leave the glass up and the covers on. To have it sealed up while you have longer stuff. And you can sleep in there with it all closed up. Doing that conversion to a pickup would be a lot of work.
 
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Conner Hunt

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Snugtop makes a hardtop for the Avalanche, and Softopper makes a soft top for it as well. These would be your only two realistic options that I can think of for this platform, unless you had something custom made.
 

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MidOH

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I love the Avalanche for its ability to switch between long bed & crew cab. I also liked it because being GMC it should be easy to work on.

I don't like that if I have the backseat down & converted to a long bed the whole truck is unsecured & the passenger cabin is exposed to the elements

Any suggestions how I could get the best of both worlds without compromising?
Get a long bed truck.
 

Ahoward2k

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Thank all of you because of this thread I double-checked & the 2nd gen avalanche has a window that stays in place!
Both gens do it. Did that all of the time with my 1st generation. The only difference in the cargo and folding system between generations was they removed the forward most 2 latches from the bed cover. The parts are all interchangeable
 

ThundahBeagle

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The last mentioned mod would be to make the bed compatible with a RSI smart cap or black diamond tonneau cover.

Judging by your reply this is either difficult to make both sides the same or compromises the structural integrity.
You do not need to make an Avalanche compatible with some aftermarket tonneau cover. It comes with a hard cover that is lockable.

I dont know how old you are or what your skill level is, but you mention GMC (?) being easy to work on. If you know that, you must have some idea that the undertaking you propose should be done by a very experienced professional. You need to be realistic. I dont believe there is a manual Avalanche it would be folly to try to alter the structural integrity of your vehicle unless you have immense experience. It is clear you dont. And that's ok. I'm not knocking you. Most people dont have that level of expertise.

But that just means you would spend more on alterations than you would to buy the vehicle, and then you wind up with a one off that cant easily be serviced
 
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Contributor I

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Nicholas
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Monte
The last mentioned mod would be to make the bed compatible with a RSI smart cap or black diamond tonneau cover.

Judging by your reply this is either difficult to make both sides the same or compromises the structural integrity.
You do not need to make an Avalanche compatible with some aftermarket tonneau cover. It comes with a hard cover that is lockable.

I dont know how old you are or what your skill level is, but you mention GMC (?) being easy to work on. If you know that, you must have some idea that the undertaking you propose should be done by a very experienced professional. You need to be realistic. I dont believe there is a manual Avalanche it would be folly to try to alter the structural integrity of your vehicle unless you have immense experience. It is clear you dont. And that's ok. I'm not knocking you. Most people dont have that level of expertise.

But that just means you would spend more on alterations than you would to buy the vehicle, and then you wind up with a one off that cant easily be serviced
I completely agree with you. I'm 44 years old but have no experience with vehicles. I was mentioning the above mods because I might want to put a motocross on top of the tonneau cover. I see from others' replies as well as yours, that these mods are expensive as well as a big gamble. Thank you
 
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ThundahBeagle

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Snugtop makes a hardtop for the Avalanche, and Softopper makes a soft top for it as well. These would be your only two realistic options that I can think of for this platform, unless you had something custom made.
Saw one of these with the hard cap on it in Hollis New Hampshire last year. It was badass
 
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M Rose

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Having been in the custom automotive world most of my life, you don’t want the headaches of chopping up an Ave and a Silverado to graft them together. To be done right is pretty close to 1,000 man hours. That equates to over $10,000 in just labor, not to mention paint, shop supplies, and all the rest of the parts involved.

Swapping transmission would be about $3,500
 
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