Using the comparison of building a truck to an epic journey may sound like a clich, however, in the case of Jonathan Joy, from Pelzer, South Carolina, and his Ford F-250, the four years was without question trying. Common areas of stress arose, such as multiple shops not pulling their weight, spending extra money on parts not needed, and of course watching the calendar fly by and still not having a completed truck. What makes a man buckle his chin strap and not give up? Simple, really. Jonathan wanted an awesome Ford truck and he refused to settle for anything else.
After buying the truck new, it was driven home and lifted 8 inches with some new wheels and tires on each corner. The feelings of joy quickly wore off and Jonathan was in search of something bigger, much bigger. Jason Katterheinrich, of Kat Kustoms, in New Knoxville, Ohio, was just the man Jonathan needed to talk to and after a plan was devised, sparks started flying. A wild 2-inch DOM tubing subframe was built and bolted directly to the factory frame in eight locations. Used throughout, 1/4-inch steel brackets and gussets add even more strength. Up front, a five-link was designed, custom control arms were built, and heim joints used to bolt to the axle. Speaking of which, the front and rear axles are smoothed and painted Rockwell 2 1/2-ton units typically found in military applications. Hey, go big or go home, right?
Keeping with the big theme, the rear axle is powered by an electric hydraulic pump that is operated by a rocker switch inside the cab. One simple flick of a switch and Jonathan's 9,500 pound truck has four-wheel steering. Up front, the hubs are controlled by a Selectro unit and both front and rear axles are equipped with Detroit Lockers and 6.72 gears. The driveline angles are handled by dual Bad Boy Jr. CV joints. Kat Kustoms also used Speedway Engineering sway bars with custom endlinks and Beard suspension straps for limiting the suspension droop. Huge King Racing bypass shocks were bolted on with dual-rate coil springs. Custom two-piece wheels made by Stazworks in Merrillan, Wisconsin, were installed onto each corner and 15-inch rotors off of a medium-duty Ford were machined to fit the Rockwell axles. The 20x16-inch wheels were coated in Permastar Chrome by Goodrich Technology. Mounted around each of those hoops are massive 49-inch Interco Super Swamper Irok tires that almost look small on the 25-inch lift kit.
Out back, Jason went to work designing and building the rear suspension incorporating a three-link with a triangulated upper link. The rear driveshaft was extended 14 inches and balanced thanks to Columbus Joint and Clutch in Columbus, Ohio. Even with the huge lift, 4WD can still be confidently used. Before calling the suspension complete, Kat Kustoms tapped into the factory steering box and plumbed it for easy-to-handle hydraulic steering. With each piece fitted, the entire assembly was torn down and sent out for orange and silver powder coating or chroming by Quality Custom Polishing in Dayton, Ohio. Seeing this time as the perfect opportunity to perform some frame touch-up, Kay Kustoms filled each hole in the frame, smoothed the entire assembly and painted the frame with DuPont Hot Hues.
Having the cab off of the frame served another purpose, the truck could easily be painted to match the blue frame and orange subframe. Jonathan's biggest problem wasn't finding a shop that said they could do it, it was finding a shop who actually followed through with what they said they would do. After three different painters and almost a year in the making, the paint was finished. Wanting an aggressive paint scheme, Jonathan looked to his wife, Tanya for ideas and she devised the two-tone with tribal graphic. Up top, DuPont Hot Hues orange is split by Hot Hues True Blue and the bottom half received Hot Hues Cosmic Dust Silver.
The list of modifications are extensive, Jonathan couldn't leave the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel alone and quickly upgraded the core areas. An aFe stage-2 intake was bolted into place, as was an MBRP 4-inch Pro Series Cool Duals exhaust system with optional muffler delete. Controlling all of the power is an SCT X3 engine programmer with custom software. Keeping things together are ARP bolts used throughout and for the cylinder heads.
Other additions to the body included Road Armor bumpers with a Ramsey winch up front, an '06 Harley Davidson edition grille shell and '06 headlights, a steel Reflexxion cowl hood, and SnugTop tonneau cover. Rolling around in style was fun and Jonathan did quite well at shows, but his interior was stock and he knew to fit the BIG theme of his Ford, he'd have to go all-out inside as well.
Inside the huge Super Duty, a wild interior serves as an audio and video command center. It wasn't always this way, however. Driving coast-to-coast the truck was dropped off at a shop and promises were made. Thirteen-months and thousands of dollars later, the interior still wasn't finished and the truck was trailered back to the east coast. The search for a competent shop concluded at Mobile Audio Concepts. Custom fiberglass door panels, dash, center console and rear sub box were completed by the guys at Mobile Audio Concepts in Evans, Georgia. The wraparound dash has the feeling of a cockpit with the use of Dakota Digital gauges on the driver and passenger side. Everything was painted to match thanks to Kenny Rayburn, of Custom Inc. Kicker audio fills the confines of the Ford with ear-busting decibel levels. Housed in the center console are four Kicker 10-inch L7 square subs. One 8-inch L7 sub was mounted atop the dash in front of a triple stack of Dakota Digital gauges. Powering all of this subsonic mayhem are two Kicker ZX 1500.1 amps. Mid and high frequency levels are equally well represented courtesy of more Kicker speakers. Five sets of RS 61/2-inch Kicker components and one pair of 5 1/4-inch RS components fill the cab with all the sound Jonathan can handle. Powering these loud speakers are a combination of two Kicker ZX 350.4 amps and one Kicker ZX 550.3 amp. Keeping the tunes sounding their best are Stinger wires and Roadkill sound deadening.
Audio doesn't reign supreme, however, as a grand total of 14 monitors were installed inside the cab. Eight 10-inch Audiobahn monitors can be found inside as well as four 7 1/2-inch screens. Thanks to a Pioneer Avic-Z2 head unit and multiple screen splitters, each monitor can play DVDs, show the music playing, or even navigation. Eric Debaum of Ocala, Florida, is responsible for the paint-matching leather and suede seats and orange-suede headliner with mirrors in place.
All-in-all, the truck build has been a nearly five-year long headache. Jonathan is still optimistic about the whole ordeal saying, "The truck is my personal entertainment, I've always had a love for trucks." That's an amazing statement considering the numerous broken promises, dollars spent, and asprin popped. At the end of the day, he can hop out of the Ford and look up at his giant creation with pride knowing it was one heck of a ride. Special thanks to his wife Tanya, his adorable baby girl Juliana, and Mickey and Carolyn Joy for their support.
Inside the cabin, a cockpit-like feel is courtesy of the wraparound dash, Dakota Digital g
Looking up at the orange suede and mirrored headliner allows you to see all the different
Audio doesn't reign supreme, however, as a grand total of 14 monitors were installed insid