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2001 Ford F350 Crew Cab 4x4 - The Next Big Thing

Left Rear
Phillip Dayton | Writer
Posted February 1, 2004
Photographers: IPS Motorsports

Chris Gibson's Spine-Tingling Super Duty

It wasn't that long ago that Dr. Chris Gibson was showing his '85 Ford Ranger, fit with 18 inches of lift and 44-inch-diameter tires. The crowd loved this mini Big Foot version of a 4x4x44, but the Ranger had been on exhibit at shows for several years. Then the wheels in Chris' head started turning and he mentioned to his wife Trish that he had the urge to do a new project vehicle - only this time he wanted to tie it in with his chiropractic practice.

So Dr. Gibson sat down and started looking at the different Ford trucks on the market. He decided to build an F-350 CrewCab 4x4. Chris went to SEMA the year before and got a few ideas on building the massive truck, but now he had to come up with a logo to tie it into his business. To do so, Chris came up with a human spine that looked as if it was ripping right through the rear of the truck. The graphics show pinched nerves in the spine; the chiropractic term for this is subluxation, thus the name "Subluxator" was born and given to Chris' Super Duty.

The Subluxator has become a great conversation piece and has not only helped Chris' business, but has also helped the other chiropractors in the Sacramento, California, area. The truck that started out as a daily driver has turned into much more. It serves as both a show truck and a billboard on wheels.

When beginning this project, Chris knew he wanted the Ford to have a dramatic and unique look. When he took delivery of the truck and finally drove it home, he went right to work on it, taking the F-350 apart before the engine even had a chance to cool. He even removed the factory stickers on that first night.

The following day, Chris raised the big Ford 8 inches above stock height by installing a Skyjacker 8-inch Soft Ride spring lift kit (front and rear). Next, Chris installed a set of Bilstein 7100-series dampers with remote reservoirs, using custom mounting brackets. The rear frame was cut and reworked by Sheetz Welding in Folsom, California. Steetz installed a new crossmember to mount the dampers, as well as the upper airbag attachments and the hidden Warn winch. On the rear spring packs, Chris added a set of AirRide Technologies airbags to assist with towing a trailer. To provide the air needed to use these 'bags, Chris installed a 6-gallon Peterbuilt chromed air tank and two 450-series Viair compressors; this setup allows for rapid inflation of a tire, if required. Since the air was already in place, Chris also installed a Master Air horn to get the attention of other drivers. To complete the suspension upgrades, Chris added a ladder bar with Heim joints from Burbank, California-based Xtreme Toyz. Chris also installed a chromed Skyjacker torsion bar and stainless-steel brake lines.

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