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2013 Ford F-150 Raptor That is Droolworthy

Posted in Features on April 14, 2015
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It’s no secret that the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is one of our all-time favorite pickup trucks. From the 411hp 6.2L V-8, 35-inch tires, and off-road-tuned suspension to the comfy leather seats and commanding controls, the Ford Raptor has little competition from the 1⁄2-ton OE truck market, especially if desert two-track is your favorite trail of choice. Nonetheless, a common misconception about the capable Raptor is that it has long-travel suspension. It’s true that the 11 inches of front and 12 inches of factory rear wheel travel are more than what you’ll find on a typical 1⁄2-ton truck. However, in the off-road world, it’s still only considered a mid-travel prerunner. The stock Raptor isn’t designed to hit deep whoops at 60-plus mph. When put in this situation, any sane driver will quickly realize the truck is out of its element. So what do you do when mid-travel suspension won’t work for your off-road needs? You drop your zero-mile ’13 Ford Raptor off at JD Fabrication in Escondido, California, for a complete six-month suspension, chassis, and interior makeover.

In place of the factory pickup bed, JD Fabrication installed a hidden air compressor, two huge CBR transmission coolers with electric fans, a 50-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell, two spare tires, a Stewart’s Raceworks jack mount loaded with a modified Harbor Freight floor jack, and Fiberwerx fiberglass bedsides. Custom aluminum rear cover panels hide the inner workings and were powdercoated with a black wrinkle finish by Electro Tech Powder Coating in San Marcos, California.

The crew at JD Fabrication quickly went to work and stripped the suspension from the brand new truck and gutted the interior. To start, a full bumper-to-bumper rollcage made from 1.75-inch, 0.120-wall DOM tubing was added to provide increased chassis stiffness and safety for the occupants in the event of a rollover. The factory Ford Raptor front suspension was scrapped in favor of true long-travel A-arms, while the rear leaf spring suspension was lopped off and replaced with a custom JD Fabrication four-link. The wider stance and 37-inch BFG tires required more coverage, so JD Fabrication installed a fiberglass front fender and hood kit. In the rear, the crew at JD Fabrication dumpstered the stock Raptor pickup bed and hung fiberglass fenders over custom aluminum bed panels. With the rollcage tucked and hidden in the body of the Raptor, V&J Custom Upholstery in Vista, California, was free to slather the headliner and other interior bits in luxuriously padded suede leather, maintaining the top-tier sentiment of the F-150 inside and out.

The H&M Racing Designs long-travel front suspension adds 41⁄2 inches of width per side to the Raptor. The kit provides a total of 16 inches of usable wheel travel. A custom JD Fabrication skidplate protects the H&M Racing Designs steering and other vitals.

At a Glance
Vehicle: 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Owner: Prefers to remain anonymous
Stomping grounds: Dubai sand dunes
Build time: 6 months

Engine: 450hp Ford 6.2L V-8
Transmission: 6R80 SelectShift 6-speed automatic
Transfer case(s): B-W 4419 2-spd
Low range ratio: 2.64:1
Crawl ratio: 53.72:1
Front axle/differential: Ford 8.80 in/4.88 gears, open
Rear axle/differential: Currie F9 full-floater/4.88 gears, Eaton Detroit Locker

Front: H&M Racing Designs long-travel A-arms, King 2.5in coilovers, King 3.5in 3-tube bypass shocks, and King 2.5in hydraulic bumpstops
Rear: Custom JD Fabrication four-link with notched frame, King 2.5in coilovers, King 3.5in 3-tube bypass shocks, and King 2.5in hydraulic bumpstops
Steering: H&M Racing Designs upgrade kit

Tires: 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR
Wheels: 17x8.5 Walker Evans Racing beadlock

Armor: Custom JD Fabrication front and rear bumpers and skidplates
Cool stuff: JD Fabrication bumper-to-bumper rollcage and center console, Crow harnesses, single Beard rear seat, custom suede interior, 450hp 5 Star Tuning program, UMP aluminum canister air filter, Stainless Works stainless steel headers, Richard’s Performance Muffler exhaust, Oceanside Driveline rear driveshaft, two CBR transmission coolers with electric fans, Fiberwerx fiberglass fenders, Speedway Engineering sway bar with JD Fabrication arms, two spare tires, onboard air compressor, two curved 40-inch Baja Designs LED lightbars, Stewart’s Raceworks jack mount, Harbor Freight floor jack, 50-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell

The new suspension and fiberglass fenders make room for 37-inch BFG Baja T/A KR tires mounted on 17x8.5 Walker Evans Racing beadlock wheels. The stock front bumper was replaced by a custom rolled-tube bumper that supports two curved 40-inch Baja Designs LED lightbars and a plastic air dam.
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The rear seats were removed and replaced with a single center-mounted Beard seat. Crow harnesses secure the passengers in all seats. However, the factory front seatbelts have been retained for street use.
PhotosView Slideshow

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