Around the first of the year, each of the aftermarket automotive parts manufact- urers, who belong to the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA), submit vehicle proposals to various manufacturers in order to develop products that will eventually see the light of day and make it into production. The end result being the actual SEMA Show, which is held every year in Las Vegas. For this issue of Truckin', almost all of the vehicles and parts featured are a direct result of that show. We showcased some of the best new products this past year's show had to offer. You will see the highlights of the SEMA Show coverage, as well as the cool vehicles throughout this issue.
When the notion of designing a new project vehicle took shape, we looked no further than Street Scene Equipment (SSE). In the past, President Mike Spagnola had collaborated on numerous other projects with a variety of manufacturers and sources. Most of the projects achieved critical success and accolades. This year was no exception. And so, SSE, Truckin' magazine, and SSE's print catalog maker, Pro Printers, collaborated to mutually work on a color-themed lifted and lowered pair of trucks that, when displayed together, would capture the hearts and minds of onlookers.
The 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty dualie originally started out as a black 8-foot longbed truck. We had seen a recent trend of people building dualie trucks, both from the lifted and lowered perspectives, and really liked the appearance of both.
Most of the lifted Super Duty trucks we saw weren't raised more than 6 inches, running 35-inch tall tires. Our collaborative efforts craved something more aggressive looking, almost a mini monster truck; yet tame enough to work as a daily driver in rush-hour Los Angeles traffic. So, from the suspension-side of the business, we looked no further than to Fabtech for one of its new 8-inch suspension lifts, complete with the Dirt Logic 4.0 coilover front shocks, which is possibly the most super-cool looking component we have ever installed. Out back, a set of Atlas custom-arched 8-inch leaf springs were fit to the rear, as well as Chassis Tech triple-bellow airbags, and a compressor kit. All of which were expertly installed by Off Road Unlimited, in Burbank, California. Also, to round out the towing effectiveness of this vehicle, we installed a set of Mag-Hytec front and rear differential covers and a deeper sump transmission pan. Planted under the four corners are American Force Wheels 22x9-inch Independence wheels dressed in Toyo Tires Open Country Mud Terrain LT37x13.50R22 tires. The F-350 was fit with a set of retractable AMP Research running boards that tuck up and away when not in use. Aesthetically when the doors are closed, the boards are undetectable. Again, these are a must for any lifted truck to ease ingress and egress. Rounding out the ultimate suspension and towing machine is a Transfer Flow 57-gallon replacement fuel tank, which makes it much nicer between thirsty stops of fueling up.
Under the hood is pure diesel muscle. Gale Banks Engineering came through big time with the recently released Six Gun tuner kit with fully adjustable PDA system, which mounts to the windshield and allows for on-the-fly adjustments to the air/fuel ration, EGTs, timing, and so on. Also included in its system was a back-kit exhaust kit that opens up the stock 3-inch system to a 4-inch system, eliminating the unnecessary bends and turns, but doesn't eliminate the stock catalytic converters like most diesel exhaust manufacturers. Gale Banks reasoning is simple: added fuel makes black smoke. To those who are in the know, black smoke is unspent raw fuel, and thus causes poor mileage and loss of power.
With the underside and performance aspects covered, it was time to deliver the F-350 to the paint specialists at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California, where lead artist Theresa Contreras took over and worked her magic to the top side of the Ford's stock, black sheetmetal. Also fit to the truck were SSE's entire catalog of new polyurethane components, including 3-inch fender flares, front fender vents, a windshield wiper cowl, a bumper cover, Speed Grille lower front bumper valance, and Speed Grille shell fit with black chrome inserts. L&G also shaved all of the factory roof cab lights, flipped the tailgate handle, and filled the unnecessary emblems before adding the candy-apple hues, courtesy of DuPont Hot Hues. Over the factory black, Theresa applied DuPont Hot Hues Hot Raspberry Candy over Pacific Gold. Then, the center color was Pacific Gold with a Molten Orange Candy Fade, followed by a Candy Yellow stripe pinstriped in silver. Also added was the Ford Motor Company Accessories Super Duty logo lettering. Under the LEER Series 800 lockable tonneau cover is a Wise Industries carpeted bedliner. Rounding out the new exterior treatment is a set of Recon Light Accessories Line of Fire tailgate light bars, as well as a set of smoked dualie fender lights.
While the truck was still drying, the interior was basically gutted and the seats were delivered to Katzkin, whose aftermarket seat division took over and transformed our stock, tan cloth seats into leather. The new tan with milk chocolate inserts are supple enough to the touch and do an expert job of complementing the aggressive appearance of the Super Duty. While awaiting the seats return, the truck was sent over to the audio kings at Audio Innovations in Glendora, California. Once there, Joe Provenzano worked over the stock audio system by adding a complete Sony Mobile Xplod Audio system, complete with DVD player. In addition, four replacement Xplod 5x7-inch component plate speakers are powered by dual four-channel amplifiers, which were wired into the system. The coup de gras was the pair of 8-inch subwoofers added to a custom box behind the rear seat. For rear-viewing pleasure, a pair of 5-inch color LCD headrest monitors were installed, as well as an additional roof-mounted Vizualogic 11-inch LCD screen DVD player. Rounding out the audio and visuals, a Vizualogic rear license-plate-mounted back-up camera was also added. Finally the truck was send to HOT Motorsports for a full wrap of window film.
The lifted and lowered F-350s rolling down the street together during the SEMA Show was a spectacle all of its own. While the lowered F-350 took home a Ford Design award, we personally think the lifted F-350 got more attention and "oohs and ahhs" during the show than any of the other vehicles. While the trucks are not ultra-aggressive in the graphics department, both appear to be fresh and clean, and owe a large part to a clean-looking true candy-apple Hot Hues paint scheme.
It was a timeless testament to three great combined resources, Truckin' magazine, SSE, and Pro Printers working together. Onward and upwards to the next project!