Anyone else disappointed by the lack of DIY/How To Write Ups? - Page 3 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #41 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
Yet, when you compare to the organization of other Automotive forums, this one is severely lacking... That's where a lot of people in this thread are coming from. Not that they are total noobs, but that they are used to the way their previous vehicle's forum was laid out, and it seems easier to find or even stumble upon information with the better organization.

As you said, the best way is a moderator creating a locked thread with links (like what I was proposing above), but the mods don't seem to want to take the time to do it.
You've also gotta understand something about forums - they're not all created equal.

Some forums are Operated & paid for by Joe Smith. A *person* who has his own personal website, pays for, installs forum software, operates & maintains that forum. He/she can do whatever they want and how they want.

Other forums are owned by Corporate or businesses. Of which - the Moderators & Admins are limited to what they can do and how they do it. This forum is indeed (from what I understand) owned by a corporate entity. You can't blame the moderators or the admins -they do not have the power to do whatever they want and when.

This forum has gotten much better in the 1 year that I've been here - so, be patient and enjoy it. It could disappear at any given moment for unknown reasons. If you dislike it...you're not forced to come here. :)

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post #42 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:41 AM
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You've also gotta understand something about forums - they're not all created equal.

Some forums are Operated & paid for by Joe Smith. A *person* who has his own personal website, pays for, installs forum software, operates & maintains that forum. He/she can do whatever they want and how they want.

Other forums are owned by Corporate or businesses. Of which - the Moderators & Admins are limited to what they can do and how they do it. This forum is indeed (from what I understand) owned by a corporate entity. You can't blame the moderators or the admins -they do not have the power to do whatever they want and when.

This forum has gotten much better in the 1 year that I've been here - so, be patient and enjoy it. It could disappear at any given moment for unknown reasons. If you dislike it...you're not forced to come here. :)
To add to your comments:

1) The majority (not all but most) of automotive forums have been bought up by Auto Guide.
2) Depending on the forum, admins/moderators are restricted on changes they may make. Partly related to ownership named above.
3) Admins/moderators generally volunteer their time; even if changes make sense, admins/mods may not have the time to devote to making it happen.
4) Some admins/moderators don't bother asking the corporate owner about changes because they are too busy, don't know any different, or in some cases they just don't care.
5) Even if we had an 'How To' forum, it would need to have sub forums based on subject areas, otherwise all How To threads would get lumped together. Members might struggle to find the How To they needed. Imagine wanting to read the How To on changing a front hub assembly but having to search through a How To forum containing all How To threads from A to Z, regardless of the topic.
6) Moderators would still have to review potential How To threads for clarity and accuracy. There are How To threads on here that are total garbage.
7) In the event we get a How To forum, there needs to be an established template for writing one.
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post #43 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:33 PM
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6) Moderators would still have to review potential How To threads for clarity and accuracy. There are How To threads on here that are total garbage.
I totally disagree. Why would they need to review it? You might think something is garbage, but someone else will find it useful. This forum has finally gotten away from micro-managing. We don't need moderators deciding who's writeups are worthy of keeping/posting and who's aren't.

It's a forum.... it's for REFERENCE only. You - the members- decide whether something is garbage or not. If you don't like it, move on to something else.
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post #44 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:58 PM
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I totally disagree. Why would they need to review it? You might think something is garbage, but someone else will find it useful. This forum has finally gotten away from micro-managing. We don't need moderators deciding who's writeups are worthy of keeping/posting and who's aren't.

It's a forum.... it's for REFERENCE only. You - the members- decide whether something is garbage or not. If you don't like it, move on to something else.
Got to agree. I often glean a bit of information from a write up that is totally unrelated to the topic, but it helps me in some other endeavor. What one person believes is unimportant the next person believes is critical.

Changing oil, most of us have done it dozens if not hundreds of times. Yet, I haven't ever changed the oil on a vehicle with the type of filter these trucks have. Granted, I have changed similar oil & water filters on pieces of equipment, but a few hints on how to not splash oil all over my driveway or engine are appreciated.

I read the threads on installing heated mirrors and participated in the thread, despite already having heated mirrors on my SLT, because I was thinking I might install some tow mirrors, and a lot of the steps to swap out were going to be the same.

The best DIY threads are the ones where someone screws up in a colossal manner. Not because we get to poke fun at the writer, but because we learn so much from another person's mistakes. Anyone who has never been the one screwing up some installation either (1) hasn't done anything to screw up or (2) is lying. We all have taken our lumps in our lifetimes. While I might not be able to recall a specific instance where I broke something and had to go buy an expensive replacement part while I was repairing some simple item, I can assure you I have. I learned a lot from those costly mistakes, and will take every chance to learn from the rest of you to not do it again.

Maybe the first guy to do a write up is pretty sloppy with his writing skills. But, if it gets the job done, great. Eventually someone comes along with better writing skills, knows how to post a u-tube video, etc. and soon we have a library of information.

If I knew how to post u-tube videos, I would have shot the repair I did a week ago on my popup camper. I worried for over a week about the repair job, and was shocked to not be able to find any videos online showing the repair. It ended up being pretty easy, there were two little issues that I had to overcome, a video posting showing what I did in general and how I overcame the two different problems would make life much better for the next guy.
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post #45 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:06 PM
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One other thing about how to's is that it helps to have the pictures AND the video. Some people like to look at the picture and can figure out what they need to from there, others want to follow along to a video. The biggest annoyance I have with video how to's is having to listen to the person talk endlessly about what they are doing. I don't need every second of the video filled with talking. Talk about what you are going to do, then show it. Comment if something important comes up. I hate going to watch a how-to, look at the video length of 25 minutes, then find out it could have been 5 minutes if the dude just actually showed what was happening. The extra 20 minutes of talking and watching a ratchet go back and forth did nothing to help. - Also, speed up or delete the video that is just you spinning a bolt.


If we want to suggest a format for how to, I would propose the following:

What is the how-to showing?
What vehicle is this being performed on (year, model, engine size, bose/non-bose, etc anything that may be different for this how to).
What parts are used in the how-to? (Part numbers and links help)
What materials and tools are used? (This helps someone gather everything before starting) Especially list any specialty tools you used.

Disclaimer about how you are not a professional, and you don't guarantee this will work for the person viewing the how to and that your vehicle may be different, etc...

Then, start with the steps you took to do the thing.

Explanation of what you are doing, then a picture showing it. You don't need a wall of text, get to the point of what you are doing in the step.
If you circle or number things in the picture, reference them in the text. If you reference a previous step, say which one. If you use a specific size tool, say so.
If you have a video, post it before or after the how-to, unless you have clips showing only parts of the process.

With this format, it should make things flow and easy to follow. The thread title should make sense about what you are doing. A title saying "RHA install" isn't going to be as good as "Bilstein 5100 Ride Height Adjustable Shock Install How To"

There are already a lot of good threads that follow this or close to this format, but they get buried under the other threads. A single sticky at the top of each subforum would be better than an entire new section. (It makes more sense to search the suspension section for info on a shock install, rather than hope the how to exists in the How-To section.)
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post #46 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:12 PM
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To add to your comments:
5) Even if we had an 'How To' forum, it would need to have sub forums based on subject areas, otherwise all How To threads would get lumped together. Members might struggle to find the How To they needed. Imagine wanting to read the How To on changing a front hub assembly but having to search through a How To forum containing all How To threads from A to Z, regardless of the topic.
6) Moderators would still have to review potential How To threads for clarity and accuracy. There are How To threads on here that are total garbage.
7) In the event we get a How To forum, there needs to be an established template for writing one.
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Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
There are already a lot of good threads that follow this or close to this format, but they get buried under the other threads. A single sticky at the top of each subforum would be better than an entire new section. (It makes more sense to search the suspension section for info on a shock install, rather than hope the how to exists in the How-To section.)
We have these already for Gen 1 trucks: How-To Index

That subforum is so far down the subforums listing you don't know it's there (see why having 50 subforums is inconvenient?), but it does exist. To make something people can easily find (and as such would use) for the second gen it'd probably be better (I can't believe I'm going to suggest this) to create another "How-To" subforum in the second gen section. This is a decent way to keep an organized listing without having to add something outside of the standard autoguide forum template, or outside of the permissions of the admins/moderators.

I'm willing to continue hosting the PDFs and updating the lists with new entries as long as people send me the links to the how to threads and word/PDF documents. There are a lot of subforums here I don't check on a regular basis, so I know I can't keep up with them all.

Actually, now that I look at it, the old forum links don't seem to work anymore - all that works in my dropdown list is the PDF options. I'll have to see if I can take a look at the coding to dig up the old threads - probably got broken during one of the forum "upgrades"
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post #47 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:16 PM
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We have these already for Gen 1 trucks: How-To Index

That subforum is so far down the subforums listing you don't know it's there (see why having 50 subforums is inconvenient?), but it does exist. To make something people can easily find (and as such would use) for the second gen it'd probably be better (I can't believe I'm going to suggest this) to create another "How-To" subforum in the second gen section. This is a decent way to keep an organized listing without having to add something outside of the standard autoguide forum template, or outside of the permissions of the admins/moderators.

I'm willing to continue hosting the PDFs and updating the lists with new entries as long as people send me the links to the how to threads and word/PDF documents. There are a lot of subforums here I don't check on a regular basis, so I know I can't keep up with them all.

Actually, now that I look at it, the old forum links don't seem to work anymore - all that works in my dropdown list is the PDF options. I'll have to see if I can take a look at the coding to dig up the old threads - probably got broken during one of the forum "upgrades"
Blue created the subforum and linked it a few posts back:

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post #48 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:34 AM
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I'm just gonna put this out there..
Does the phrase 'anal retentive' mean anything to anybody in here?

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post #49 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:10 AM
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Funny as Shit! It's a new category, called "How-To & Tutorials". OK people? Now post up all your "How-To's".
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post #50 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:34 PM
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This thread makes me want Prozac. A how to about how to make a how to...? Dear lord.
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post #51 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:22 AM
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I totally disagree. Why would they need to review it? You might think something is garbage, but someone else will find it useful. This forum has finally gotten away from micro-managing. We don't need moderators deciding who's writeups are worthy of keeping/posting and who's aren't.

It's a forum.... it's for REFERENCE only. You - the members- decide whether something is garbage or not. If you don't like it, move on to something else.
Diasgree all you want, some How Tos are garbage. Not in the sense of "I already know how to do this, why is there even a How To?"
But in the sense that some are poorly written with misspelled words, lack of punctuation, incomplete list of tools/equipment needed, lack of photos to help with complicated or unfamiliar steps, etc.

So yes, having a required template to follow and being reviewed for completeness/correctness is vital.

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post #52 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:54 AM
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Diasgree all you want, some How Tos are garbage. Not in the sense of "I already know how to do this, why is there even a How To?"
But in the sense that some are poorly written with misspelled words, lack of punctuation, incomplete list of tools/equipment needed, lack of photos to help with complicated or unfamiliar steps, etc.

So yes, having a required template to follow and being reviewed for completeness/correctness is vital.
Having a template to assist people in creating a wonderful DIY thread is great and I love the idea.

Saying if you don't follow THE template, you don't get to post your DIY thread because it doesn't meet THE standards, is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If you tell me I have to adhere to some highly technical standard of posting a DIY thread, you probably ain't going to get any DIY from me because (1) I am lazy, (2) I don't want or have time to understand the standard, and (3) I am a luddite.

I have no problems with providing some pretty basic concepts, in my most luddite of ways:

1. Tools required. If I could have found a DIY for the repair I did on my popup camper a few weeks ago, I would have known that all I really needed was a drill with a 3/8" nut driver. I could have left my ratchet set on the shelf.

2. Complexity: This is super complex, simple or some where in between. You better know how to use an oscilloscope, multimeter, or a 5 pound sledge. (Yes, the tool list above may give a hint.)

3. How much will pictures enhance the instructions. Sometimes, words are pretty sufficient. Other times, pictures are worth much more than a 1000 words. Had I had a slightly better exploded view of the camper I repaired, I would have gone into the repair much more confident. Actually, once I got the replacement parts and could look at them, I announced to my wife that I couldn't imagine the job taking more than a couple of hours even though the professionals quoted 3 hours. Actual time: 90 minutes.

4. How long it might take: If you tell me a job takes 90 minutes, ok, I can allot 1/2 day to it. If you tell me it takes 15 minutes, I probably allot an hour. If you tell me it will take a full day, I am going to evaluate whether I want to rent a car in case the job spills over into a second day, probably going to allot the entire weekend. My current lifestyle is not going to handle these full weekend or longer DIY projects on my vehicles. Maybe a project around the house, but our two vehicles are both daily drivers.

5. Pictures & videos: I haven't ever done a video, I know enough to know that shooting a video in a manner that is concise, getting the light correctly, etc. can be difficult. I really think you need one person doing the video and adjusting lights while the other person is the one who gets their hands dirty. Once I get my hands dirty, I want to get the job done. Cleaning up enough to shoot some video, then diving back into the repair ain't going to cut it. Once I get going, I want to cross the goal line. Still pictures are less of an issue, but the goal line is still my focus.

I think the real thing to consider, is a poorly written, poorly thought out DIY better than none at all?
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post #53 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:54 PM
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post #54 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:37 PM
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Having a template to assist people in creating a wonderful DIY thread is great and I love the idea.

Saying if you don't follow THE template, you don't get to post your DIY thread because it doesn't meet THE standards, is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If you tell me I have to adhere to some highly technical standard of posting a DIY thread, you probably ain't going to get any DIY from me because (1) I am lazy, (2) I don't want or have time to understand the standard, and (3) I am a luddite.

I have no problems with providing some pretty basic concepts, in my most luddite of ways:

1. Tools required. If I could have found a DIY for the repair I did on my popup camper a few weeks ago, I would have known that all I really needed was a drill with a 3/8" nut driver. I could have left my ratchet set on the shelf.

2. Complexity: This is super complex, simple or some where in between. You better know how to use an oscilloscope, multimeter, or a 5 pound sledge. (Yes, the tool list above may give a hint.)

3. How much will pictures enhance the instructions. Sometimes, words are pretty sufficient. Other times, pictures are worth much more than a 1000 words. Had I had a slightly better exploded view of the camper I repaired, I would have gone into the repair much more confident. Actually, once I got the replacement parts and could look at them, I announced to my wife that I couldn't imagine the job taking more than a couple of hours even though the professionals quoted 3 hours. Actual time: 90 minutes.

4. How long it might take: If you tell me a job takes 90 minutes, ok, I can allot 1/2 day to it. If you tell me it takes 15 minutes, I probably allot an hour. If you tell me it will take a full day, I am going to evaluate whether I want to rent a car in case the job spills over into a second day, probably going to allot the entire weekend. My current lifestyle is not going to handle these full weekend or longer DIY projects on my vehicles. Maybe a project around the house, but our two vehicles are both daily drivers.

5. Pictures & videos: I haven't ever done a video, I know enough to know that shooting a video in a manner that is concise, getting the light correctly, etc. can be difficult. I really think you need one person doing the video and adjusting lights while the other person is the one who gets their hands dirty. Once I get my hands dirty, I want to get the job done. Cleaning up enough to shoot some video, then diving back into the repair ain't going to cut it. Once I get going, I want to cross the goal line. Still pictures are less of an issue, but the goal line is still my focus.

I think the real thing to consider, is a poorly written, poorly thought out DIY better than none at all?
A poorly written, poorly thought out How To IS NOT better than none at all.

With your background and experience, did you ever encounter an article or technical bulletin so poorly written that it made what should be a simple topic appear difficult to understand?


The template doesn't have to be highly technical. A template could consist of: 1) a disclaimer, 2) a basic description of the How To (what is the member trying to accomplish or modify, 3) a list of tools, equipment, fluids, chemicals, etc needed, 4) a list of repair part(s) or aftermarket items used, 5) amount of time required, and 6) a logical method of doing it, perhaps step by step. The 355nation uses a simple template for the How To threads posted there and it works fairly well. Members, myself included often take the base template and copy and paste into it.

Photos and video are optional.

I generally like to include plenty of photos simply because some people find it easier to follow along versus strictly text descriptions.

But it appears, at least for now, any How To is sufficient on this forum. One moderator thinks it's a joke/funny; another suggested just posting in the correct forum. Apathy rules.

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post #55 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:38 PM
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I'm just gonna put this out there..
Does the phrase 'anal retentive' mean anything to anybody in here?

Hey-OOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooOOOOoooOOooO OOOOOOooooOOOOooOoOooooOOOOOOooooo
Am I to understand you aren't happy with this thread?

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post #56 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ssgjurista View Post
A poorly written, poorly thought out How To IS NOT better than none at all.

With your background and experience, did you ever encounter an article or technical bulletin so poorly written that it made what should be a simple topic appear difficult to understand?


The template doesn't have to be highly technical. A template could consist of: 1) a disclaimer, 2) a basic description of the How To (what is the member trying to accomplish or modify, 3) a list of tools, equipment, fluids, chemicals, etc needed, 4) a list of repair part(s) or aftermarket items used, 5) amount of time required, and 6) a logical method of doing it, perhaps step by step. The 355nation uses a simple template for the How To threads posted there and it works fairly well. Members, myself included often take the base template and copy and paste into it.

Photos and video are optional.

I generally like to include plenty of photos simply because some people find it easier to follow along versus strictly text descriptions.

But it appears, at least for now, any How To is sufficient on this forum. One moderator thinks it's a joke/funny; another suggested just posting in the correct forum. Apathy rules.
Anything that someone posts in regards to a DIY is one step better than i had. Perhaps because I have my background & experience, rather than in spite of, I tend to be able to glean little tidbits of useful information from the worst of descriptions.

For me, 90% of the issue is figuring out how to start, how to disassemble whatever it is to gain access to do the work. Once I get past that hurdle, I tend to ignore a lot of the rest.

I LOVE EXPLODED VIEWS! Best way to understand things.

Your template sounds pretty basic and from that standpoint, I don't have a problem. I tend to think the generic disclaimers are useless. I don't expect the writer to take responsibility for me being stupid, but I am old school. On the other hand, a warning that if you disconnect this hose, high pressure oil at 450 deg F is going to squirt out all over you, yeh, that would be nice to know.

Tools, parts (with numbers), time, and any hints to the process along with some sort of step by step process is great.

APATHY rules. I guess I have reached the point where I expect APATHY, so I am rarely disappointed. Anything that someone wants to give me to help me accomplish my tasks, I will graciously accept.

I am getting prepared to replace the catalytic converter on my Wrangler. It is a one piece, 4 cats, assembly that goes from both sides of the exhaust manifold back toward the muffler. In theory, it should be pretty simple, but accessing the bolts at the exhaust manifold may require a contortionist. Removing the O2 sensor from the passenger side exhaust manifold area requires pulling the battery or sneaking in the front passenger wheel well. Don't know if the Wrangler is high enough off the ground to actually drop the pipes, or if it must be on a lift or will jack stands suffice. I don't know what comes with the pipes when I order them. (Rock Auto seems to have a replacement at about 30% of OEM or anything else I have seen.)

Sure hope I can find someone who did a DIY on the Wrangler Cats. . Be great to just talk to someone who has done it on a Wrangler JK with the 3.8L.

I am using this as an example of the types of things I hope we eventually have here on our trucks. I know we have a boatload of threads on various lifts, I assume buried in those are some details on how to do this mod. I am not planning on a lift, so haven't followed them closely.

Worst thing someone can do on a DIY: Poor write up then disappear without answering any questions so we can't fill in the gaps.

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post #57 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:46 PM
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Blue created the subforum and linked it a few posts back:
Thanks, I don't know how I missed that post.
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post #58 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgjurista View Post
Am I to understand you aren't happy with this thread?
Wow, so this is number two now.
I appreciate your attention, but fyi I'm hetero.

2016 Colorado 2.8L D-max, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Z71, 4WD.
ZONE 5.5" Suspension Lift
Moto Metal 970 17x8.5"
Nitto Terra G-G2s, 295/70/17
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post #59 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:54 PM
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As I posted up before, the new section for posting how-tos and tutorials has been created for the 2nd gen section.

If we feel that all how-tos and tutorials need a template we'll add that at a later time.

2015 Laser Blue Colorado LT
CC, 4X4, V6, SB

Mods:
LED light bar - 32"
HID headlights
LED fog lights
LED high beams
LED reverse lights
LED license plate lights
LED visor lights
LED dome lights
LED switchback front turn signal lights
LED cargo light turn signal conversion
LED bed lights
LED tail lights
LED sidemarkers
Canyon swapped tail lights
Red painted calipers
Supermod ported throttle body
Silver metallic rally stripes
Super Skidz skid plate
Volant CAI

Have a Colorado but want Canyon tail lights? Or vice versa CLICK HERE

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