THE EX­TREME CARGO HAULER

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Udbg News -

Star of XTREME OFF ROAD, this Nis­san NV 2500 is the brain­child of that ca­ble TV show. Pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties for RTM Pro­duc­tions and their POWERNATION shows are a stone’s throw down the road from Nis­san North Amer­ica HQ, in Franklin, Ten­nessee. Their stu­dio and con­struc­tion fa­cil­ity is there, and it’s where they build and shoot their project ve­hi­cles. If you’ve not watched the RTM suite of “do this, build that” car shows, each show is about the how of the build and what’s be­hind the scenes of the project. Then the ve­hi­cle takes to the open road, in this case Ari­zona, to be­gin work.

When ap­proached, Nis­san reps had done their home­work, un­der­stand­ing the RTM au­di­ence and de­cided to “do some­thing with the NV Cargo Van to show what’s pos­si­ble and cre­ate some ex­cite­ment,” ac­cord­ing to Carl Phillips, re­gional prod­uct man­ager for trucks and vans at Nis­san. The plan was to build the wild- est streetable NV2500 pos­si­ble. We drove it, briefly, and it is in­deed wild, al­most re­quir­ing a steplad­der to en­ter. In­side it’s a stan­dard NV from the driver’s seat. Else­where it’s equipped for hard work any­where off road.

Start­ing with the NV Cargo, a body-on­frame van that provided engi­neer­ing in­spi­ra­tion for the new Ti­tan XD and Ti­tan, the add-ons are one hair short of in­sane. The great­est change was the ad­di­tion of a Cum­mins 5.0-liter V8 mo­tor and trans­mis­sion stolen from one of the de­vel­op­ment Ti­tan XDS slated to be crushed. “So we had a de­vel­oped plat­form, one we could push to the lim­its,” Phillips said. “We knew the Cum­mins 5.0-liter would fit as we’d used an NV as a test mule when de­vel­op­ing the Ti­tan XD diesel. So we had NV Car­gos run­ning around that al­ready had Cum­mins en­gines in them. We knew that would work.”

The project evolved with Ian Johnson and the XTREME OFF ROAD crew and it is their proj- ect, not a Nis­san parts bin spe­cial. XTREME OFF ROAD’S spon­sors and part­ners sup­plied most of the parts for the ve­hi­cle while Johnson and crew per­formed the mod­i­fi­ca­tions and built the van. “It gets quite com­plex when you’re mix­ing OE parts and aftermarket parts,” Phillips told us. Tak­ing the sus­pen­sion to the “Ex­treme” in­cluded in­te­grat­ing Pure Per­for­mance Prodigy 2-5/8inch rac­ing shocks on all four cor­ners along with new com­po­nents to al­low for ex­treme ar­tic­u­la­tion off road. To put the 5.0L Cum­mins’ power to the ground, Johnson equipped the van with rugged 37-inch Gen­eral Grab­ber tires mounted on TR Rac­ing HD Se­ries Bead­locked wheels to al­low him to “air down” the tires in rough ter­rain.

The whole build took about a month, in­clud­ing video pro­duc­tion. “When we first saw their con­cept draw­ings we all bought into the project,” Phillips ex­plained. “They were a great crew to work with.” UDBG

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