Ryan Barber is no stranger to building custom trucks. He practically grew up with them, and by age 21 had built several of his own show-winning creations. This '99 Ford Expedition seems out of character for Mr. Barber because the last time we visited his home state of Arizona, he was rolling a slammed Ford Ranger. Naturally, we were taken aback at the sight of Ryan ripping across the dirt by-ways surrounding the Truckin' Nationals event. Just as the previous custom trucks he's tweaked to perfection, the Expo is something special.
The Expedition's transformation began similar to most stock trucks, with a suspension lift and larger tires. The kicker here, though, is that a stock lift wasn't good enough for Ryan. He decided to have SIK Kustomz sand away the powerdcoating on the Whiplash 12-inch suspension lift bracketry and then spray clearcoating over the swirl-finished parts. This mod set his kit apart from the traditional chrome and painted parts we're used to seeing. The new lift is accented with a new set of rollers, measuring a healthy 38 inches in diameter. Fox 2.0 reservoir dampers take control of the suspension movement up front, while Bilsteins work the rear suspension.
To possess an SUV unlike all the rest, Ryan's took a step further by leaving his ride in the capable hands of Auto Image in Chandler, Arizona. The crew wasted no time cleaning up the bodywork by straightening the sheetmetal and shaving the body-side molding. Once that task was completed, Roe and Darin of Roe's Kustom Paints sprayed a trick set of flames over the factory burgundy paint using House of Kolor products.
After awakening his SUV's inner child through exterior modifications, Ryan went inside. SIK Kustomz once again laid the smack down, turning a plain-Jane enclave into a tweed and leather paradise. The comfy confines of the interior also received a dose of loud in the form of an audio system designed and installed by Louder Than You of Mesa, Arizona. The system knocks hard, thanks to a pair of Rockford Punch 150A2 and Punch 350A2 amplifiers, which bump a gang of subwoofers mounted in a custom down-firing enclosure.
Ryan has the skills to pay the bills and they shine through in his latest excellent custom vehicle. With eye-catching paint, a killer stance, and an audio system that makes the dogs bark, how can you not love this SUV?
Ryan Barber/Gilbert, Arizona
'99 Ford Expedition
5.4L Triton V-8; Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust, Truxspeed shift kit
Whiplash 12-inch suspension lift, rear four-link, Fox reservoir dampers
Weld Scorpio 16.5x12.50-inch/Super Swamper38x12.50R16.50 radials
Kodiak electric steps; Trenz billet aluminum grille and interior accessories