The aftermarket off-road community has found itself unknowingly sleeping during the calm before the Fabtech storm. Brent Riley, president of the renowned suspension fabricator Fabtech, from Chino, California, has been deep in concentration while preparing Fabtech and Ford's concept hauler for its public debut. The project truck, which has been affectionately named the 'Power Storm,' has been granted the Ford Design Award, and has been a whirlwind in the making-once the rendering and design process was finalized. In a brief three-month period, Riley and crew were able to transform the already super-sized F-Series into an eye of a hype hurricane.
The Power Storm first touched down at the '07 SEMA gala. Since then, countless so-called 'big' trucks have succumbed in the wake of the aftermath. Riley is no stranger to building functional yet fantastic off-road machines, boasting both show and traffic-stopping appeal. For nearly 20 years, Riley has been representing Fabtech components and the possibilities they offer to those who are driving trucks, SUVs, or playing with deranged dirt mobiles. One glance at the Power Storm and it is evident that new heights can be reached when trusting the ingenuity of the boys of blue.
Serving as the president of one of the market's leading suppliers of suspension products, Riley finds it of the utmost importance to get his own hands dirty while prepping parts for new applications. Riley has been involved in many projects, which have included vehicles ranging from 4WD and 2WD trucks to dune-demolishing side-by-sides. None seem to have reached the apex of consumer interest quite like the Power Storm.
And what's not to like? This 'roided-out rig boasts an impressive 10-inch over stock lift, featuring a custom four-link suspension, and none other than Fabtech Dirt Logic 4.0 coilovers at each corner. To keep the truck rolling, a set of custom American Force rollers was selected to set the truck apart from any imitators. Up front, 22x12-1/2-inch wheels have been bolted up, while the rear setup is just a bit different. The American Force wheels have been downsized in width to a 22x8-inch variation. Well, there had to be enough room for the rolling foursome, but more on that in bit. As for the tire selection, Riley opted for Toyo Open Country M/T 40/15.50R22 tires to wrap around the six wheels.
That's right, you are looking at an original Fabtech dualie conversion. If that wasn't blatantly apparent, take a closer look. What you are witnessing is a custom Dana S-110 rear axle fitted to the frame, which has been narrowed 18 inches to comply with Riley and Co.'s need to feed the rear drivetrain-with an extra helping of chrome and rubber. Fabtech handled all the necessary labor and aggravation that went along with the custom framework, but the end result completely makes up for the hours upon hours spent on the fabrication. Don't feel too bad for them yet, because that is the type of relentless research and execution that has earned them a spot under the limelight. The 6.4L Power Stroke turbodiesel Ford powerplant keeps Fabtech's monster machine running fast and vicious with a little help from Foote Axles and Power Train Industries, as they installed the 4.88 ratio Precision Gear ring and pinion. Riley certainly wasn't playing games when the time came to give people something to buzz about.
Also tucked away inside the interior is a Katzkin covered set of front and rear seats. Silver, carbon nickel, and light slate leather was used in the upholstery process-and with good reason-as it incorporates the exterior's stormy motif. The same hues also hang around overhead in the headliner like dark, cloud-littered skies. All American Auto Upholstery in Corona, California, is responsible for the excellent stitchwork featured inside the Power Storm's cavernous cab. The dash and door panel details have received a unique chrome vacuum metal coating, which gives off a sparkling shine-something not often seen, as color-matched paint seems to be the rule of thumb in this department. Just think of the shine as this cloud's silver lining.
If the rationale of ducking into the truck's cab for a bit of relief from the terrifying tempest outside seems logical, think again. A Clarion DVD/navi head unit, two Clarion amplifiers- one for the mid and high range and one for the bass-and two Clarion 10-inch subwoofers, create some thunder inside the confines of the seemingly safe interior. Component speakers have been installed into the front and rear door panels, via custom-made plates and a custom sub enclosure, which has been nicely tucked away behind the rear seats. With a setup like this, it is fair to assume that any victims left behind the Power Storm's path must have heard the eminent danger approaching.
Where can you get an up-close and personal glimpse of Fabtech's larger than life thunderous F-350 Power Storm, you ask? Unfortunately, tuning into your local newscast won't shed any light on the tracking of this specific storm. Instead, following the Fabtech semi is the best bet. The Power Storm travels with the company's representatives, as they float around the country while stopping at visit various shows and races. The crowds that stop and gather around the Ford are deep, so if you plan on standing directly under its shadow, prepare to either be patient or ready to claw your way to the front lines. Brent Riley and Fabtech have succeeded in blending the style of a pro-street race car and an off-road hauler for a totally fresh innovation that has truck enthusiasts frenzied. From SEMA to the pages of Truckin', the Power Storm hasn't downsized or lost any ferocity on its way to reaching full catastrophic potential.
There was also a lot of attention paid to the Power Storm's energizing exterior, as well. The obvious attention grabber is the truck's House of Kolor paint scheme and graphics that Haynie Design and Lathrop Designs exquisitely covered the F-350 with. The lightning bolts seem to jump right off the truck's surface and represent the true exhilaration that has surrounded the Power Storm since its electrifying debut. Precision Grilles has hooked up the front of the Ford with a bit of billet-a must for any big or small custom build. On the complete opposite end of the truck, a Sir Michael's roll pan provides a clean, uncluttered appearance-bumpers are so overrated anyway. Competition Engineering was brought into the project to construct specialty wheeltubs to properly accommodate the suspension and wheel/tire combo. The exact dimensions of the tubs measure 40x20x23.25inches; more than enough room to house all the Fabtech, American Force, and Toyo Tire goodies. Fabtech custom 'fabbed a pair of stainless steel exhaust stacks that exit through the bed and dump rearward. Two one-off billet air extractors also grab attention and gulps of fresh, cool flowing air. Riley didn't go over the top when designing the cosmetic modifications for the Power Storm, because the truck's presence certainly speaks for itself. No need to add any additional force onto a category 5 hurricane, now is there?