It takes a lot to get noticed at a custom truck show, and the bar keeps getting raised. The stakes are even higher when you plan to debut a vehicle at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, so you'd better do your homework and come prepared. When Kyle "K Daddy" Gann wanted to show off his custom paintwork and interior skills, he decided, like any piece of art, it needed the right presentation. Knowing that the right suspension would put his art at eye level of the viewing public, Kyle called upon Pat Gerber at Shocker Motorsports, just across town from Kyle's own K Daddyz Kustomz in Bakersfield, California, for the one-off suspension.
A veteran of custom hot rod and truck builds, Kyle's canvas this time around was an '08 Ford Super Duty F-450. Since the two had collaborated on two previous 4WD builds, Kyle knew that Pat and fellow Shocker Motorsports fabricator Matt George would be able to deliver on the colossal Ford. Already equipped with heavy-duty axles and a 6.4L Power Stroke diesel, he discussed his vision with Pat and decided that the axles could stay, but the suspension just wouldn't do.
After taking a series of measurements, Pat began disassembling the suspension. The front coils and rear leaf springs were tossed aside and a custom triangulated four-link was fabricated for both front and rear axles. Pat designed custom shock and four-link brackets on a CAD program and had Ryno Manufacturing water-jet cut the 1/4-inch mild steel. Massive 2-inch .250-wall DOM tubing control arms are mounted using Creeper Joints from Trail Gear Inc. that use a forged steel outer and a steel flex ball. To give you an idea of the scale, the threaded section is 11/4 inches in diameter.
Pat mocked up the suspension to place the F-450 on a set of 24.5-inch Evil Twin Magnum wheels and 45.7-inch Goodyear G177 tires. The tires were chosen because they were the largest, most aggressive dualie tire that was still DOT legal. The extra weight of the truck and the massive chunks of rubber up front would have made steering a chore, so Pat and Matt installed a Lee Manufacturing hydraulic-assist steering system linked to a high-steer knuckle Pat fabricated himself. Once Pat knew the suspension was dialed in, he trusted the powder coating to Madera Brothers, where the links were coated in silver and the axles, knuckles, and cradle got a coat of a majestic purple that Kyle would later use to match his exterior paint.