After seven years of service, this daily driven 2003 Ford F-250 was due for a change. There was just too much off-road potential to be sacrificed with the stock suspension and average ground clearance. After driving the newer coil-spring front suspension Super Duty we knew it was possible to coax a good ride out of a solid front axle HD truck, but what were our options with our older, leaf spring truck? After a few calls and some suggestions, we decided to go with the recommended set of Deaver 4-inch lift springs and all of the necessary components to give the Super Duty added capability and a better ride at the same time. A set of new Nitto Trail Grappler Mud Terrain tires and USA Forged wheels would allow the Ford to go off the beaten path, and where else would we turn to add a healthy boost of horsepower for an HD truck but Gale Banks Engineering? A complete Banks Power Pack would unleash 56 hp and 67 lb-ft of torque that we didn't know the V-10 was hiding. To handle the suspension install, we took a short drive to 4 Wheel Parts, in Redondo Beach, California, where the 4WD gurus had our Super Duty up in the air in no time. Read along and see how, in just one day, this tried and true Ford F-250 went from a boring daily driver to trail-ready rig thanks to several high-quality, bolt-on parts.

We didn't have any idea that the 6.8L V-10 was hiding so much potential until the Banks Power Pack was installed. Even though the truck remained rather quiet, the results were amazing. Merging is now a breeze! Mileage was also improved in the weeks after the Banks install and before the lift. (We don't have enough miles on the truck with the lift to know how the wheels and tires have affected mileage yet.)

The look of the 4-inch lift and Nitto 35s is exactly what the truck needed, and the ride is even better than stock. Expansion joints in SoCal highways are still felt, but large jolts are absorbed much better. The new Trail Grapplers don't whine at highway speeds and are incredibly smooth at speed, so we're very happy on that front, and the USA Forged wheels were the right call since the offset provided left us just the slightest bit of rubbing on the passenger leaf spring at full steering lock to the right. Since there's no rubbing at all on the left, an adjustable track bar might eliminate it altogether. The turning radius is not good, but that was the case before the lift, so nothing changed there. The only drawback is that new brakes are practically mandatory since Super Duty brakes are already taxed when the truck is loaded. We'll address that in a future issue.

Parts Used:
Banks PowerPack System #49131 $1,787.95
Banks TransCommand #62570 $271.92
Bilstein F4-BE5-6250-T8 shocks $167.98 (each)
Bilstein F4-BE5-6245-H5 shocks $175.98 (each)
Deaver F43 Front Springs w/bushings and U-bolts $850
Deaver F50 Rear springs w/bushings and U-bolts $769
Go Rhino Dominator III steps $447.95
Icon Sway bar end links $100
Nitto Trail Grappler Tires 35x12.50R20 $425.95 (each)
Pro Comp 4-inch dropped Pitman arm $54.60
Pro Comp Track bar bracket $148.99
USA Forged Patriot Wheels $369.95 (each)

TOTAL: $8,301.90
(not including tax and labor, prices from,, and 4 Wheel Parts)

Nitto Tire
6021 Katella Avenue
Suite 250
CA  90630
Go Rhino! Products
589 West Apollo Street
CA  92821
Gale Banks Engineering
546 Duggan Avenue
CA  91702
Deaver Suspension
902 E. 2nd Street
Santa Ana
CA  92701
14102 Stowe Drive
CA  92064
USA Forged Wheels
5780 Soestern Court
CA  91710
4Wheel Parts erferer
400 W. Artesia Boulevard
CA  90220
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