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Project Desert Crewzer

Posted in Features on August 17, 2002 Comment (0)
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Project Desert Crewzer
Contributors: Randall JachmannMark Dustin

From the original concept of this project, Fabtech set out to use an F-150 as a development tool to design a new line of four-wheel-drive products while involving other manufacturers and custom shops to create a full-blown project off-road truck. For more than six months, Fabtech's Desert Crewzer has been transformed from a stock SuperCrew to a truck with cutting-edge style and plenty of off-road capabilities.

The SuperCrew was first used as a platform in Fabtech's R&D shop to design and build a 6-inch performance 4x4 suspension system complete with triple front shocks, rear dual shocks, floating traction bars, a front-end Desert Guard, and a custom rear bumper guard. Stock tires and wheels were replaced with P315/75R16 BFGoodrich A/Ts that were mounted on 16x10-inch Weld Stonecrushers.

To keep the horsepower from the 5.4L V-8 at full power, the front and rear gears were replaced with a pair of 4.56 precision gears. Under the hood, K&N supplied a high-flow induction system coupled with a Gibson after-cat exhaust system with a Hypertech programmer, dialing it all in for excellent throttle response.

The exterior of the Desert Crewzer received a pair of Fabtech's fiberglass fenders fitted with custom aluminum inner fenderwells along with a Street Scene grille, Car Wear headlights, PIAA lights, and four Kodiak steps to help climb into the big Ford. Behind the skidplate of the front-end Desert Guard, a Warn 9,000-pound winch was installed for those solo off-road trips.

Following the graphic rendering, L&G massaged the body and applied the intense blue, black, and magenta over the factory white paint with a thick clearcoat on the brush for protection. Line-X shot the bed with its polyurethane protective coating for rough cargo use.

New leather seat surfaces from Katzkin provided driver and passenger comforts while carbon-fiber overlays from Quality Laser Craft on the dash and door panels added an edgy style. A 1,500-watt MTX sound system complete with DVD and LCD screens was fitted into the cab with a custom subwoofer and amp box by Car Audio Craftsman. Fabtech fabricated a 1-3/4-inch interior rollcage for additional occupant safety and had it powdercoated blue to match the exterior paint.

After months of intense shop time, Fabtech's Desert Crewzer is a feast for the eyes. The details and craftsmanship have to be seen firsthand in order to really appreciate the professional level of this truck. On- or off-road, the Desert Crewzer tears it up with style and performance. It's great to see a company that has previously captured the two-wheel-drive market with its innovative expertise and desert racing background jump into the 4x4 zone, raising the bar.

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