Each year prior to the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Ford forms partnerships with a select few builders, giving them a brand-new vehicle to modify and display in Ford's booth. Truckin was fortunate enough to be one of these sponsored builders, leading to the creation of our silver-striped 2013 EcoBoost project. However, as we pulled into the booth, we were stunned by the truck directly across from ours, which was a towering black and green 2012 F-250. The Super Duty in question was created by 30-year-old vinegar maker Tim Nicolau and his team at Tim Nicolau Designs in Ceres, California. Tim was also the mastermind behind Desperado, the copper-clad Ram cover truck from Issue 4, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about building lifted trucks. After receiving a bone-stock F-250 XLT from Ford, Tim and his team got to work and molded it into the hulk you see here.

The truck's buildup started as it does with many heavy-duty truck projects—with a hardcore suspension setup. For maximum versatility, Tim turned to Kelderman, the masters of air-ride suspension for HD trucks. Kelderman supplied the team with a full 8- to 10-inch air-ride lift kit, including Firestone'bags, new bypass shocks, 3/8-inch line and valves, and dual Viair compressors with 3-gallon tanks. The truck's rearend is supported by a Kelderman four-link, and the entire system is controlled via an AccuAir remote inside the cab. At the touch of a button, the truck can be lowered four to five inches for easy access, then raised back up to clear obstacles. While pulling apart the suspension, Tim took the opportunity to add some detail work, painting the frame black, painting several suspension accents candy green, and chrome-plating several other parts including the driveshaft and brake calipers. Even the PML diff covers, both front and rear, were powdercoated black and green. Topping off the lift, green LED lighting accents the new upgrades.

Now that the Super Duty was sporting a tough new stance, it was time to create an equally tough body. Modifications were kept simple but aggressive, bolting on Fab Fours bumpers, a black and machined Backbone headache rack and bedrail guards, AMP Research power retractable running boards, smoked Recon LED taillights, and a Vision X LED lightbar. Next, Lynch Custom Painting in Iowa sprayed the SRW's body panels in a coat of matte black, which was then topped with candy green and gloss black decals by Jay's Mobile Decal of Modesto, California. Leaving no doubts about the maker (and sponsor) of this beast, massive Ford ovals span each side of the cab. The color scheme references another of the project's sponsors, Monster energy, whose signature green is carried over to the headache rack, grille, badges, and other accents. Tying it all together, a set of 22-inch matte black Dropstars 642B wheels are emblazoned with Monster logos and wrapped in burly 40-inch Toyo M/T rubber.

As SEMA approached, final touches were added to the truck both inside the cab and under the hood. Katzkin black leather seat covers are accented with bright green stitching, and more of the candy green paint was applied to the center console and other dash panels. To improve performance, an H&S programmer was mounted on the dash, the stock airbox was replaced with an H&S intake, and a 5-inch MBRP exhaust was bolted up. Overall, the modifications made by Tim and his team yielded a monstrous Super Duty that even Ford themselves could appreciate, earning it the Ford Project Excellence award at SEMA. Tim would like to thank his build team at Tim Nicolau Designs, as well as his sponsors: Ford Motor Company, Kelderman, Toyo, Dropstars/DUB, Monster Energy, AMP Research, H&S Performance, Bedslide, Vision X, Fab Fours, Backbone, MBRP, Katzkin, PML Covers, Recon, WeatherTech, and AccuAir.

The Kelderman lift kit’s ride quality and strength made it the best mod we did to the truck, bar none. -Tim Nicolau

Inside the Build

Year Make Model:
2012 Ford F-250

Owner and City/State:
Tim Nicolau • Ceres, California

Engine
Type: 6.7L Powerstroke V-8 turbodiesel
Induction: H&S cold-air intake
Exhaust: MBRP 5-inch DPF-back exhaust
Engine Management: H&S Mini Maxx tuner

Drivetrain
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Rearend: 3.31 gears, chromed double-CV driveshaft

Chassis
Front suspension: Kelderman 8- to 10-inch Air Ride kit with Firestone ’bags, black zinc-coated Kelderman/Sway-a-Way shocks, 3/8-inch lines and valves, AccuAir ride height controller
Rear suspension: Kelderman 8- to 10-inch Air Ride kit with Firestone ’bags, Kelderman four-link, black zinc-coated Kelderman/Sway-a-Way shocks, 3/8-inch lines and valves
Brakes: Chromed stock calipers, powdercoated rotors

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: DUB Dropstars 642B 22x14
Tires: Toyo Open Country M/T 40x15.50R22