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This 2012 Ford Raptor Is Fiberwerx’s Go-To Baja Prerunner

Posted in Features on February 8, 2016
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As CEO of Fiberwerx, makers of all things fiberglass, Jason McNeil runs a successful business that caters to the hardest of off-road builds, but he is also hardcore off-road racer himself. With many races to be run, Jason McNeil needed a pre-runner that would take the punishment of the Baja peninsula, but not transfer that punishment to him and his co-riders. In fact, he wanted his runner to have as many creature comforts as possible. He seems to have reached that state of bliss with his 2012 Ford Raptor.

Once he had the truck, McNeil worked with Stewarts Raceworks on the intricate frame and suspension design, and then took it to Curry Built who built the chassis. Not to be confused with Currie Enterprises, Curry Built is a Mexicalli-based company that produces some awesome vehicles, and their work on this Raptor is nothing short of state of the art. The King shocks and bump stops soak up any hits with ease and the 39-inch Toyo Open Country tires and Method Race wheels would be right at home on any Trophy Truck.

The body is from Ford, but it has been enhanced with one of Fiberwerx’s Raptor kits, which includes the fenders and hood. With it’s 2017 Ford OEM blue paint job, it’s as striking to look at as it is to drive.

The inner cab is a combination of luxury and hard-core, off-road livability. Sure, it has leather touches (the tan leather makes the interior shine like a brand-new baseball glove), but the Sparco race seats and G Force harnesses, along with the MOMO steering wheel and Auto Meter gauges leave no doubt that there is plenty of function to go along with the form. A Winters’ shifter is also part of the dash mix. Stewarts Raceworks also did the interior design work and designed the entire dash section. It’s a paragon of form and function.

The central dash consists of a 10-inch Lowrance GPS unit, the PCI Race Radios Kenwood communications system and a slew of switches for the various electrical components. Also housed in the dash central dash section are items that add to the feeling of well being, such as the Alpine stereo system and the control panel for the a/c-heater. Juanco had the enviable task of wiring up the entire truck.

Producing plenty of power and maybe more importantly, reliability, is the 393ci Ford crate engine. It’s been placed well back in the frame and has been enhanced with a dual MSD ignition system, a K&N air filter and as set of custom made and heat tape wrapped headers.

Getting that power to the Chrisman 10-inch rearend is done with a Culhane C6 transmission that’s cooled with CBR coolers and SPAL fans. The Chrisman utilizes 5:11 gears and, as with the front, features ProAm 6-piston calipers and rotors.

Pre running a SCORE race is serious business that can be every bit as daunting a challenge as competing in the race itself. Time is money, and with an off-road capable a truck like this Raptor, that pre running time can be shortened. The fact that this Raptor has niceties such as air-conditioning and heating, a powerful stereo system and enough room for needed provisions makes that time much more enjoyable. And the leather accouterments? Well, we’ll paraphrase Doc Brown when he said, “If your going to build a pre-runner, you may as well do it with a little style.”

Two Rigid Industries LED light bars lights the way for the Raptor and it’s inhabitants.

Color matching Method Race Wheels provide a sturdy mount for the 39-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

Massive Curry Built upper and lower arms provide the Raptor with plenty of wheel travel, which is soaked up with King coil over and bypass shocks. The fully race-capable 6-piston ProAm brake calipers put the squeeze on veined ProAm rotors.

The King shocks and long arms makes the Raptor’s rear suspension easily soak up even the largest hits.

Art Chrisman produced the 10-inch rearend, which features 5:11 gears.

Up hills or down, whoops or jumps, this Raptor can take them on, and do it in air-conditioned style.

Roof space is shared between the Rigid LED light bar, Lowrance GPS and PCI Race Radios antennas.

No nonsence Sparco race seats are adorned with G Force harnesses and the full headset for the PCI communications system.

The well thought-out control panel and 10-inch Lowrance GPS may dominate the leather wrapped dash, but included are the PCI-Kenwood comm system, A/C-heater panel and Alpine stereo.

Visible behind the MOMO steering wheel is a full compliment of Auto Meter gauges.

A Winters shifter has been fitted within the contours of the dash.

Since the Ford 393ci crate engine is set way back in the frame, it’s hard to see that it’s carbureted. It has been upgraded with custom headers, a K&N air filter and dual MSD ignition systems.

CBR coolers equipped with SPAL fans keep the engine and transmission cool under fire. A spare driveshaft is carried, as is another Lowrance antenna.

For many of us, this Raptor represents the ultimate adventure vehicle.

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