It's an old story we've all heard before:"I bought this truck and I just wanted to lift it tall enough to bolt on a set of 35-inch Boggers." Off-road enthusiasts set out to keep it simple and quickly get carried away by the fun of creation. Steve Costlow of Rancho Cucamonga, California, openly admits that this has been his problem. A truck driver by trade, Steve enjoys a variety of trucks, all large in size. Steve says, "I have always dreamed of being a monster truck driver." The size of this latest project brings him one step closer to living his dream.
Steve bought this 2000 Ford Super Duty in April of 2000. With a little more than a year and $80,000 invested into it, this monstrous Ford reflects technology from different aspects of off-roading. The suspension system is similar to a prerunner, while the overall look of it reflects a show truck.This truck packs quite a punch.
After purchasing the truck, the first thing Steve did was befriend the guys at Custom Motorsports. He hired them to install a simple 12-inch lift, and the snowball that is his ride began to roll. After a short time driving it around town, he found that it wasn't big enough to satisfy his needs. "Everyone around town had 12-inch lifted Super Dutys." Steve wanted to take his truck to the next level.
The guys at Custom Motorsports once again went to work, this time with a larger mission in mind. On the front, they built a suspension system around a set of 18-inch leaf springs. The front mount of the springs was fabricated solid. The rear was attached to a floating mount with adjustable airbags supporting it. The airbags can give the truck an extra 5 inches of height and help Steve adjust for a variety of terrain. A pair of Sway-A-Way 16-inch reservoir shocks was mounted on each wheel, using custom-fabricated shock loops and mounts on the axle. Two 2-inch Sway-A-Way shocks were mounted of the front axle as steering dampers. They work well to keep the enormous truck smooth while riding down the freeway.
The tail end of the truck also used a set of 18-inch leaf springs. To help stabilize the springs, Custom Motorsports built a pair of 4130 chrome-moly traction bars complete with Heim joints and dimple-dyed plating. In an effort to give the spring a little help, they again used airbag technology, this time placing them between the frame and the top of the leaf springs. Sway-A-Way shocks absorbers would also function as dampers for the rear suspension system.
With the new lift in place, the truck was more than capable of handling the 44-inch TSL Boggers. Mounted on a set of 16.5x12-inch Eagle Racing wheels, the tires weigh 300 pounds each and sit taller than just about any car on the road.
The final touch was inspired by a Halloween incident last year. The truck was vandalized by some mischievous trick-or-treaters. They keyed it and threw a couple of pumpkins at it as they drove by in a moving car. Hideous dents were left in the six-month-old vehicle, leaving Steve pretty bummed. However bummed he was, this incident was just the encouragement he needed to get some graphics painted on the truck. He took the truck to a local painting legend Starbucks for custom painting. They painted green and yellow flames from nose to tail.
While in Starbucks, he had the stock upholstery torn out and replaced with white snow leopard-print fur. The upholstery has a nice touch of three-dimensional flames on the ceiling to complement the flames on the hood and down the side of the now magnanimous Super Duty.
At last, almost a year after his purchase, Steve is ready to show the truck. To this date, he won the only contest he entered, but he has big plans to enter more.
"Yeah, my priorities are a little jacked, but life is just too short not to try and live out your dreams," proclaims Steve, in defense of his off-road addiction. We salute Steve and others like him for chasing down their dreams with so much genuine passion for the sport.
|Owner/hometown||Steve Costlow/Rancho Cucamonga, California|
|Make/model||Ford/2000 Super Duty|
|Engine||7.3L Ford Power Stroke|
|Suspension||Custom Motorsports fabricated|
|Wheels/tires||16x10-inch Eagle Racing Wheels/|
|16.5x12-inch TSL Boggers|
|Shocks||Sway-A-Way Race Runner 2.5x16-inch with reservoir|