In the ongoing pursuit to build better vehicles, we find ourselves always trying to outdo one another. Whether it's lifted or lowered, truck owners and builders will find a way to be different. In the lowered scene, the goal is to tuck more wheel than the next guy. For lifted guys, they want to be able to go anywhere and do anything in their trucks. One of these lifted truck guys is Chris Ross of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

You may remember Chris from the Issue 13 cover of 2012. His flat-black F-150 Raptor was featured alongside another equally impressive Raptor on the beaches of Baja California. After a year of tinkering, tuning, and testing, Chris found the solution to the suspension and frame flex problems Raptor owners have been facing. With a long list of upgrades planned, Chris dropped the truck off with the talented team at Stewart's Raceworks, in Santee, California, for a full rebuild. That may sound extreme, but once you see what Chris has done and what the truck is capable of, you may change your mind.

Craig Stewart started the build by ridding it of all of the bolt-ons that it originally had. The front suspension was replaced with Raptor Performance Group (RPG) spindles, custom upper J-arms, and lower control arms that accept dual Fox shocks. Retaining the factory width, 300M halfshafts from RCV keep the Raptor's four-wheel-drive fully functional. The back of the truck is another story. The Stewart's Raceworks' team started by chopping off the frame from the cab back. A whole new back half was created with trusses and a full cage for strength and rigidity. Giving the custom Foddrill Motorsports rearend over 20 inches of travel is a one-off Raceworks four-link. Fox triple-bypass coilovers and shocks provide a smooth, comfortable ride in even the roughest of roads, while 39-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires wrapped around 17-inch Vorsprung wheels give the Fox shocks added support.

All of that suspension is useless without a powerplant that can push the 6,300-pound truck down the road. Boosted engine performance came by way of a Roush Phase 2 supercharger to give the factory 6.2L motor a healthy shot in the arm. Add to this a set of Stainless Works long-tube headers and a Magnaflow exhaust and you've got over 600 ponies coursing through the Foddrill full floater rear. Helping to plant this power is a pair of Wavetrac limited slip differentials front and rear. These offer maximum traction without compromising turning performance. The ever-thirsty engine is fed from a massive 75-gallon fuel cell, which is large enough for Chris to go deep into the Baja landscape and still get home safely.

Now Chris had a race-ready prerunner Raptor, but there was one problem, it was naked. To remedy this, Chris made a call to Racecar Prototypes, in Hawaii. They sent out a full fiberglass front clip and bedsides. These were then sent to Kirk Shanoian of raptoraddict.com, to receive a coating of BASF Blood Candy red paint. After the panels were attached to the truck, a set of custom bumpers were bolted on along with Raptor Retrofit HID headlights, 12 Baja Designs lights, and a 51-inch Onyx light bar mounted to an actuated light bar that will turn the darkest of nights into day. To make the truck as safe as it is capable, Craig Stewart built a full rollcage in the cab. He integrated this cage into the bed cage and underhood cage for maximum structural integrity. Keeping Chris planted in the seat during high speed passes are a set of Schroth five-point harnesses. Finally, a full Stilo race communications system was installed giving Chris the ability to keep in contact with someone no matter where he is.

Upon receiving his truck, the first thing Chris did was romp on it to see just what it was capable of— he was not disappointed. Now he has a truck that can handle just about anything thrown at it. Chris wanted to send a shout out to all of those who helped on the build, and he looks forward to working with everyone again in the future.

Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
2011 Ford F-150 Raptor
Owner and City/State:
Chris Ross • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Engine
Type: 6.2L V-8
Heads: Cast aluminum
Cam: Single overhead
Induction: Roush Phase 2 2300 supercharger
Exhaust: Stainless Works long-tube headers, Magnaflow 3-inch exhaust
Engine Management: Custom Roush tune
Output: 500 rwhp and 530 lb-ft
Built by: Hennessey Motorsports

Drivetrain
Transmission: Ford 6R80
Rearend: Foddrill Motorsports full floater with 5.13 gears

Chassis
Front suspension: RPG upper J-arms, and dual-shock lower control arms, RPG spindles, Fox triple bypass coilovers, Fox bumpstops
Rear suspension: Custom Stewart's Raceworks four-link, Fox triple bypass shocks
Brakes: EBC rotors and pads

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Vorsprung by RPG 17x8.5-inch
Tires: BFGoodrich Baja T/A 39x12.50R17