We love the new Ford F-150 for its comfortable ride, solid chassis, and overall good looks, but we also love aftermarket products, which is exactly why we adore Fantastic Four installments on a different truck each month. These stories give us the perfect opportunity to see what different trucks of assorted makes and models would look like and perform when paired with new parts. Of course, we keep our readers' best interest in mind since these articles are the best way we can think of to physically show just how and why to conduct certain modifications to a truck that's parked in your driveway. You've made the commitment to purchase a new vehicle, now take the next step in making it better suit your personal preferences.

This month, we had a chance to play with an '09 Ford F-150, and being fans of trucks built for the street, we placed an order for a mild drop kit from Ground Force, new wheels and tires from Falken, a rumbling dB Exhaust system, and as an added bonus, Spectre Performance built a cold-air intake kit for us from scratch. Spectre also benefitted from crafting the one-off creation, as they mocked up a few configurations and will be putting the best performing system into full production soon, so keep your eyes peeled. To get things started, we stopped at JBM Motoring, in Orange, California, to bring our F-150 closer to the ground, so follow along as we custom-tune our new Ford to handle better, perform at its peak, all while improving its overall cosmetic appeal.

FROM THE DRIVER SEAT
Better appearance. Better handling. Better performance. We really don't need any other reasons to take a brand-new Ford F-150 and conduct a few parts switcharoos. Ground Force's mild drop kit installed with ease, and actually saved us a few bucks since we were able to reuse the factory front shocks. The ride wasn't altered, yet it handles more precisely and the steering feel was improved. A drop wouldn't be complete without new rolling stock, and Falken delivered a knockout of a one-two combo with their attractive wheels and high-performance tires. We went with a 265/40R22 tire because it was the same overall diameter, 30.3 inches, as the OE tires, but after installing them, they measured in at just over 29 inches. This discrepancy left a larger-than-desired fenderwell gap. To resolve this, we'll add a set of Falken 305/40R22 tires (31.6 overall diameter) to fill in the void and give the wheels more protection. As far as muscle goes, the dB Exhaust system and Spectre intake brought a healthy portion of power to the table considering how simple it was to install their products. Well, Spectre's prototype intake wasn't whipped up in a matter of an hour since precise measurements and multiple tests were run in order for us to see results, but installation will be a snap once the kit goes into full retail production. Providing a powerful rumble, the dB Exhaust is completely stealth at highway speeds, with little to no in-cab drone, but step on the throttle and the 5.4L sounds like a sporty Mustang rather than a truck. We were completely impressed with installation and quality of the exhaust system. In a matter of a few hours of real installation time, we transformed our stock truck into a sporty hauler that is better equipped to take on the streets.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Time Spent Working: 7 Hours
(not counting research and design time spent at Spectre Performance)
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate

Tools Needed:
Assorted wrenches and sockets, Sawzall, air impact gun, assorted screwdrivers, hammer, and a spring compressor.

Parts Used:
Ground Force 2/4 drop kit #9861 $1,218.95
Falken ZIEX S/TZ04 265/40R22 tires $193 (each)
Falken Executive 22x9.5-inch wheels $267 (each)
Spectre Performance intake Retail Pricing Not Available
dB Exhaust by Corsa kit #24310 $519.95

TOTAL: $3,578.90
(prices taken from summitracing.com, autoanything.com, and discounttiredirect, and do not include shipping and installation costs)

SOURCE
Falken Tire
13649 Valley Boulevard
Fontana
CA  92335
800-723-2553
http://www.falkentire.com
Ground Force Suspension
714 Braddock View Drive
Mt. Braddock
PA  15465
724-430-2068
www.groundforce.com
dB Performance Exhaust
140 Blaze Industrial Parkway
Berea
OH  44017
440-891-0999
www.dbexhaust.com
Spectre Performance
1720 South Carlos Avenue
Ontario
CA  90761
909-673-9800
www.spectreperformance.com
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