You have heard the term KISS, "Keep It Simple Stupid" and we've learned that sometimes it's the simple things that contribute the most to revitalizing a factory ride. Each month we demonstrate modifications of suspension lifting or lowering, adding new wheel/tires, and bolting on an intake and exhaust system so that you can separate your truck or SUV from the rest of the daily drivers on the road. We recruited a Blue Oval faithful who was willing to make some mild aesthetic and engine performance mods to his everyday driver, an '07 Ford F-150 equipped with a 5.4L. We contacted Stylin' Trucks and ordered a mild 2/4 suspension drop using a pair of McGaughy's Suspension 2-inch lowering coil springs up front and a pair of McGaughy's Suspension 4-inch lowering leaf springs in the rear. To finish the look, The Custom Truck Shop, in San Dimas, California, took care of the new wheel/tire combo for the F-150. A set of black Raceline CR2 22x9-1/2-inch wheels with General Grabber 305/40R22 rubber were bolted on and really got the Ford ready to cruise the streets.

Under the hood, we observed an unmolested factory 5.4L three-valve V-8 Triton powerplant that was in need of some bolt-on performance upgrades. After placing an order at Auto Anything, the top of the list was an Air Flow Engineering (aFe) air-intake kit that would improve throttle response, feed fresh air into the engine, and help squeeze out a few more miles per gallon. Sandwiched between the engine's intake manifold and the throttle-body was an aFe Silver Bullet billet aluminum throttle-body spacer. To complete the Triton's improved cardiovascular system an aFe after-cat exhaust would be installed.

A Street Scene front urethane lower valance was a last minute addition that gave the Lariat a more stylish, aerodynamic leading edge.

We teamed up with Louie Morosan, the owner of The Custom Truck Shop to install the modifications and the F-150 was looking good in less than a day's worth of work. On the following pages you will witness as Louie and TCS install technician J.T. Turner transformed a ho-hum daily driver into an intimidating boulevard prowler.

From The Driver Seat
J.T. and Louie handled the suspension in no time. The major hang up was removing the factory rear leaf spring suspension hanger bolt on the driver's side. It is always put in from the factory with the bolt head facing outward. The bolt needed to be cut off behind the nut on the inside of the frame, because it bottomed out against the fuel tank. All of these suspension and wheel/tire modifications contributed to a more aggressive stance without sacrificing the comfortable ride quality. To make the truck look the part of a canyon carver, J.T. removed the chrome granny tube steps. Improved torque and power was felt when the loud pedal was mashed due to the combination of the Silver Bullet throttle-body spacer and stage-2 air intake system. Delivering a nice, deep rumble, the aFe stright-through muffler provided greater exhaust flow and helped increase torque and hp.

Your Questions Answered

Time Spent working: 5 hours
Degree of Difficulty: Average mechanical ability

Tools Needed:
Jack and jackstands, air impact gun, metric sockets, 2-pound mini-sledge hammer, strut coil spring compressor, small Phillips screwdriver, medium flat screwdriver, Sawzall

Parts Used:
aFe Silver Bullet throttle-body spacer 49-43011 $95.00
aFe Mach Force after-cat exhaust 49-43011 $623.00
aFe air intake system stage-2 51/54-80512 $375.00
McGaughy's 2/4 lowering kit 97012MGY $425.69
Raceline Wheels CR2 black 22x91/2-inch $940.00
General Tire Grabber UHP 305/40R22 $616.00
Street Scene front lower valance PN950-70834 $604.80

Total Cost: $3,679.49
(prices from,,,,

Street Scene Equipment
365 McCormick Avenue
Costa Mesa
CA  92626
Advanced Flow Engineering
191 Granite St.
CA  92879
Raceline Wheels
12300 Edison Way
Garden Grove
CA  92841
Custom Truck Shop
846 W. Cienega Avenue
San Dimas
CA  91773
General Tire
1800 Continental Drive
NC  28288
McGaughys Suspension Parts
5680 W. Barstow
CA  93722
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