An F-150 Straight Axle
There's a lot that can be said about setting a goal and then meeting it. Maybe it's the challenge to fulfill the desired task or just the satisfaction of knowing that you can do whatever you set your mind to. For 24-year-old Ryan Keenan of Ringwood, New Jersey, just the personal satisfaction that he gets from completing his assigned task is far more than enough. As a hobby and a personal goal, Ryan took up building this incredible '95 Ford F-150 4x4 that we see. With a mental picture in mind, Ryan set off on his buildup.
One of the items on his list of upgrades to the F-150 was a suspension that would accommodate the huge 44-inch tires that he had envisioned for it. Knowing that there was no way to retain the factory independent front suspension and still use tires of that size, Ryan had no other choice but to remove the entire front suspension and start from scratch. After a quick trip to Grizzly Conversions of Madison, New Jersey, a Dana 60 straight-axle conversion was put into the works. Knowing that he would be sacrificing some ride quality because of the swap, Ryan and the crew at Grizzly Conversions chose 8-inch Skyjacker front and rear springs because of their strength and ride quality. For additional lift, a 3-inch Trail Master body lift was also installed. A total of nine Rancho RS 5000 shocks were placed around the truck. The Ford rolls on 16/44-19.5 Super Swampers on 16.5 X 12 Weld aluminum rims.
Due to the extreme lift this vehicle has on it, custom work had to be done to the frame and the suspension supports. Crossmember supports and brackets had to be added with custom traction bars installed, and the axlehousing was tilted to help ease the pinion angle on the GM 14-bolt rear unit, which has the same 5:13 ratio similar to the frontend. The steering system was also redesigned due to the axle conversion. A custom-fabricated steering box and assembly was made by Grizzly Conversions as well. Extended driveshafts were needed to connect the stock transfer case to the axles. With all of the additional weight on the truck, Ryan was concerned with stopping distances. He converted the stock rear drum brake setup with a pair of disc brakes and stainless steel brake lines all the way around. For reliability reasons, the stock 302ci V-8 and automatic C6 transmission continue to power his rig until this winter when he plans to replace the pair with a larger, more powerful setup.
With the suspension duties complete, Ryan added a few more bells and whistles to the exterior to make it more unique. A Lund grille insert resides up front, while the Bushwacker fender flares flank each side like bodyguards to a celebrity. Atop the color-matched Lund Racerback are four 6-inch KC Daylighters, which turn the night into day. Since his rig is so high, backing up at night is especially challenging, yet the four 6-inch Warn lights residing on the underside of the rear bumper seem to help things a bit. Speaking of Warn products, Ryan replaced the front factory bumper with a Warn Enforcer bumper and a 9,000-pound winch, should he or any of his friends become stuck. For the finishing touch, Ryan added strobe lights at all four corners and a Radicolor neon light system under the body of the truck.