Hondo Rivera's '96 Ford F-350 represents the quintessential big Texas 4x4. It doesn't just tower over other trucks, it looms over them. Rivera owns Lonestar Off Road Land of The Giants in San Antonio, and the truck is a rolling billboard for the beefy machines the company produces. This truck was built over the course of four months with the help of technician Randy Goeth, and it features a beefy look and beefy driveline that translate into a machine that is capable of withstanding the brutal Texas terrain.
Under the hood resides a 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine tweaked with a B&D Performance Computer Chip that helps the engine generate an estimated 75 additional horsepower over its stock rating. The power is routed through the stock automatic transmission and transfer case to a pair of custom driveshafts that feature 1350-series CV joints with custom transfer case flanges. The front shaft carries the torque to the stock Dana 60 axle with a reverse-cut centersection that was reindexed 37 degrees to offset the angles created by the massive suspension lift (more on that in a second). The rear shaft connects to a Dana 70 axle pirated from an '87 dualie ambulance. Both axles feature 5.13 gears and Detroit Lockers.
The entire stock suspension was removed, and a 22-inch lift was custom designed. The front uses custom 18-inch-lift leaf springs with extended shackles, 3/4-inch-diameter U-bolts, an adjustable track bar, three Pro Comp shocks per wheel, and a Ford Excursion 1 3/8-inch antiroll bar, while the rear is composed of 8-inch-lift Skyjacker leaf springs, relocated factory overload springs, extended shackles, 7/8-inch-diameter U-bolts, welded rear lift blocks, the factory rear antiroll bar, and 12 Pro Comp shock absorbers. Custom front and rear lateral traction bars, using Ford radius arm bushings, were installed to aid traction while not adversely affecting twisting and articulation. Obviously, this amount of lift necessitated the construction of a custom heavy-duty steering setup, and it includes modified Chevy 5-ton tie rods and a power-steering box sourced from a 5-ton F-700 truck. Eight steering stabilizers are mounted on custom-fabbed mounting bracketry. In total, there are 26 shocks on the truck, which Rivera admits is about "twenty-two too many." When the tall suspension is combined with a 3-inch body lift and Bushwacker cutout fender flares, the big 44x19.5-16.5 Boggers mounted on 16.5x14 Weld Scorpio wheels can travel without contacting the body.
Speaking of the F-350's body, Lone Star Off Road built a beefy headache rack that mounts behind the cab, as well as the six steel steps that make climbing in and out of the big truck easier. The massive front bumper/brushguard and rear bumper was fabbed by South Texas Outfitters in San Antonio, and the front bumper holds seven off-road lights, while the rear bumper holds a pair of high-power backup lights. The truck retains its factory blue paint, but it, as well as many of the bolt-ons, has been accented with '96 Corvette Sebring Silver paint.
Inside the cab, the interior remains mostly stock with the exception of a massive stereo system installed by Custom Sounds in San Antonio. This features an Alpine 12-disc CD shuttle, a pair of JBL amplifiers, and Boston Acoustic and JBL speakers.
If you're ever down around San Antonio, keep an eye open for this massive truck that casts a very big shadow.
Hidden behind those eight Pro Comp steering stabilizers is a reverse-cut Dana 60. The cent
The rear axle is a Dana 70 sourced from an '87 Ford ambulance. Like the front, it features
The tall Ford was a challenge to climb into, so Rivera designed this retractable strap, ma
|Owner ||Hondo Rivera, San Antonio, Texas |
|Vehicle model ||1996 Ford F-350 Club Cab |
|Estimated value ||$60,000 |
|Type ||Power Stroke diesel |
|Displacement (liter) ||7.3 |
|Aspiration ||Fuel-injected, turbocharged |
|Transmission ||Automatic, stock |
|Transfer case ||Two-speed, stock |
|Front ||Custom 18-inch-lift leaf springs, extended shackles, Ford Excursion antiroll bar |
|Rear ||Skyjacker 8-inch-lift leaf springs, extended shackles, welded rear blocks, factory antiroll bar |
|Front ||Reverse-cut Dana 60, Detroit Locker |
|Rear ||Dana 70, Detroit Locker |
|Ring-and-pinion ||5.13 |
|Ring-and-pinion ||16.5x14 Weld Scorpio |
|Tires ||44x19.5-16.5 Boggers |