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Ford F350 Super Duty - Heavy Haulers

1999 F350 Front Left
James J. Weber | Writer
Posted October 1, 2000
Photographers: Team OFF-ROAD

Ford's Super Duty Series Trucks Are, Hands Down, The Consumers' Choice For Straight-Axle 4x4s

In the late '70s and early '80s, if you wanted the biggest and baddest truck in the neighborhood, all you needed was a fullsized straight-axle truck; if they made the tire size that you wanted, chances were that you could fit it on your rig by just changing the leaf springs in the front and the back. That's when things were a lot easier, and independent front suspensions were just a twinkle in someone's eye. Then that person's dream became a reality, and gone were the days of people buying straight-axle trucks as daily drivers. That is until the new wave of straight-axle-equipped 4x4s made the scene. When Ford introduced its four-door straight-axle F-series Super Duty line, things began to change for the better. Now, it's almost impossible to drive down the road without seeing one of these trucks. Knowing this, we thought our readers would appreciate a quick glance at some of the biggest and baddest Fords on the road today.

Heavy Hitter
A Super Duty Supercab For Work And PlayFor 34-year-old Jeff Prufer of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, building this truck was as much a necessity as it was a hobby. Jeff works as a heavy-equipment operator and needed a truck that could stand up to the demands of his job, while still allowing him to go out for a night on the town in style and comfort.

The buildup on his '99 Ford Super Duty SuperCab shortbed took only three months, thanks to the help from Precision Differential & Chassis of Brea, California. Upon arriving at PD&C, the factory wheels and tires were replaced with massive 39x16x16.5 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted Radials on 16.5x9.75 Weld Super Singles. To make room for the tires, the truck was lifted 10 inches by Chariot Springs. The Skyjacker pitman arm allowed for the retention of the steering geometry. Mounted at each corner are custom-designed and built shock hoops, which have 2-1/2-inch-diameter King Racing shocks with bypass valves attached. With such a high lift, PD&C had to lengthen the driveshafts 3 inches. To keep the rear axle from wrapping and binding, custom-built 5-foot-long traction bars with heavy-duty reinforced mounting brackets, complete with 1-inch Heim joints were fabricated. As if that weren't enough, the crew at PD&C custom-fabricated a track bar and a mounting bracket that also used the 1-inch Heim joints.

With the altitude set just right, Jeff thought that more power would be necessary to turn the massive amounts of rubber at each corner. Adding to the V-10 Ford engine is a Stage II Superchip, a PowerAid throttle-body spacer kit, a Flowmaster performance exhaust, and a K&N air filter system. The stock 4R100 automatic transmission was treated to a Transgo shift kit and a Mag-Hytec deep transmission pan, which has a 25-quart capacity for extra cooling.

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