When Terry Delong, owner of Profinish-Proglass, chose to build an off-road monster to represent not only his enthusiasm for the sport but also as a billboard for his business of custom-designed fiberglass hoods and accessories, he decided this '01 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4 would definitely do the trick. Terry has been involved in the automotive industry for as long as he can remember, and for the past few years he has been throwing around the idea of building an off-road machine to get out in the dirt and trails. Straight off the assembly line, the F-250 Super Duty is a great off-road candidate. The addition of custom-designed suspension and top-shelf chassis components make Delong's 4x4 monster a functional, trail-blazing terror. The suspension checklist reads like that of a competitive monster truck. Terry commissioned Jeff Cook of Wildfire Manufacturing and War Wagon Racing in Auburn, Indiana, to completely design and install the trick suspension system. To start, the OE suspension on this truck was removed, and new axles and a custom scratch-built four-link setup was installed. This four-link system makes for outstanding axle articulation, wrap control, and optimum off-road performance. The original front axle was swapped out for a custom-designed Dana 60 front axle taken from a Ford F-450. The axle was put together by the guys at Drivetrain Direct. For reliability and positive traction, the front and rear axles were fitted with Auburn 4:56 gearsets and limited-slip. To assist with damping, a K-S Nitro fully adjustable damper with 14 inches of travel was added to each wheel. Custom driveshafts were also installed to account for the boost in height. For greater control and ease of steering, a custom hydraulic steering system was designed and installed by the Nowack Company of Grafton, Illinois. The front axle retained its OE F-450 disc brakes to stop this monster, while Firestone airbags from a semitruck are the springing medium, pressurized by a pump from Air Ride Technologies. These airbags control ride height and spring rate as well as give Terry an additional 13 inches of usable lift and travel with the ability to raise and lower the truck as circumstances dictate. With the completion of the suspension work, the truck boasted an overall total lift of 25 inches, and Terry found more than an abundance of room under the wheelwells to add 385x65R22.5 Goodyear Super Single meats mounted on 22.5x12.25 Alcoa reversible wheels.
The powerplant on this machine was left in OE trim. Terry felt the 7.3L Power Stroke turbodiesel more than fit the bill to push this off-road machine around. The only modifications so far to this engine were the addition of a MBRP exhaust for better aspiration. The addition of an aftermarket intake system and computer chip are still in the works for Terry's toy. An RCI fuel cell was installed to store the fuel for this high-horsepower, torque-spitting engine.
At first glance, it's not only the suspension mods that jump out and grab your attention, it's the custom paint and bodywork as well. For a start, this 4x4 was painted with a custom-mixed LimeTime paint from the House of Kolor in Picayune, Mississippi, and shot by Terry and Bob Rittermeyer of House of Kolor. Hot graphics were added by the duo, and Bob shortened the bed to 5 feet, 10 inches in length. Terry's own custom cowl-induction hood was added with Bushwacker fender flares and Line-X custom-color-tint bedliner sprayed on.With the completion of his monster Super Duty buildup just a few days before the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Show this year. Terry wondered how show-goers would react to this giant F-250. Never fear, not only were participants of SEMA impressed by the truck, Stomper (Terry's name for the vehicle) won Ford's "Super Duty Excellence Award" for 2001. So if you see Terry tearing around town and on the local trails in this lime-green machine, give him a thumbs-up for a job well done.
Owner/hometown: Terry Delong/Kendallville, Indiana
Make/model: '01 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4
Engine: Ford 7.3L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8
Suspension: Firestone semitruck airbags, 25 inches of lift; K-S Nitro shocks
Wheels/tires: Alcoa 22.5x12.25 reversible/Goodyear Super Singles 385x65R22.5
Exhaust: MBRP stainless steel exhaust
Additional features: Nowack Company hydraulic steering unit; Auburn 4:56 gears and limited-slip (front and rear axles); Lima Clutch & Joint driveshafts; RCI fuel cell; S&W wheel adapters; Bushwacker fender flares; Line-X custom-tinted bedliner