1993 Ford F-150 Goes From Riding The Rails To Railing BermsPosted in Features on March 2, 2017
A couple of months ago, DS+OR ran a truck feature that said the owner had a cool summer job. An 18-year-old working in a fab shop is high on the neat scale, but we think that Robert Lopez, the owner of this ’93 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, is winning the coolest job contest. He’s a locomotive engineer for BNSF Railway. Yeah, he drives trains.
In fact, the 48-year-old Flagstaff, Arizona, resident is a third-generation railroad worker as his father and his grandfather have all been professional rail riders. That’s pretty damn cool.
His F-150 is pretty cool too. It’s not necessarily pretty to look at, but it does all that Lopez requires and he has a good time doing it. The thing is that Lopez was more worried about how the Ford ran as opposed to how it looked, as it was intended to be a ride for him and his boys to take in the races from a course-side perspective. Lopez had bought it and built to be mechanically sound and safe for off-road fun.
And that mindset paid off when one of his boys decided that he wanted it for a daily driver. And it was his—for a couple of days anyway. The Ford is a big truck, and literally two days after talking Lopez out of it, the newly minted driver went wide in a corner and kissed a tree. The resulting damage was enough for the kid’s mom to buy him an import econobox, and the Ford was officially Lopez’s once again.
The suspension is based upon the stock frame and Allen Cluck’s cage. Lopez taps Cluck as having done most of the fab work on the Ford, but it was Giant Offroad who dialed in the suspension system. The front is 6 inches wider than stock with 20 inches of travel that’s limited by Speed Strap limiting straps. The front shocks are King 3-inch Race Series that were custom tuned (the rear ones too) by Iribe of King Shocks one Wednesday morning in Barstow.
You know that King is out at the Barstow OHV area most every Wednesday morning tuning King shocks for owners, right?
Anyway, the rear suspension is a Giant Offroad Link Killer kit that uses 64-inch Deaver Springs (they’re part of the Giant Link Killer kit) along with King 3-inch Bypass Race Series shocks. The Kings were tied into the rear cage by Finish Line Racing, and Speed Straps were once again used to limit the wheels to 20 inches of travel. There are lots of wheels, though, as the Ford is adorned with six BFGoodrich All Terrain (35x12.50x15) tires that have been mounted to 15x8 American Racing Outlaw II wheels. The two spares are mounted in the tube chassis back half that houses little else other than the jack and fuel inlet mount. That inlet leads to a 32-gallon JAZ fuel cell.
The brakes are Motorcraft units as 11.5-inch front rotors combine with the 10-inch rear rotors to slow the big Ford down. The rearend, by the way, is an old Trophy Truck–style Currie Ford 9-inch though Motive Gear 411’s have been used in both front and rear differentials. Arizona Driveshaft, of Phoenix, custom-built the two-piece driveshafts.
A venerable Ford 351ci engine powers the F-150, which has been upgraded some with Air Tek fuel injection pieces and BBK coated headers mated with a Spin Tech Muffler. A custom-built intake ends with a K&N air cleaner. But Lopez says he will soon be pulling the trigger on a new Coyote engine. The E4OD transmission has been worked on a bit to take off-road punishment, and is equipped with a Curt Leduc speed sensor and a CBR transmission cooler.
When Lopez had to fix the tree damage, he painted the cage work blue again (the kid had wanted red) and set about installing the Roadrunner Fiberglass front fenders and bedsides along with a repop hood. Lopez laughs and says he went all out and had the Glendale, Arizona, Maaco paint the black back onto the body. Since the red front bumper was junk and a new Allen Cluck unit done and painted blue, Lopez finished it off with four Hella LED pods.
Even with the cage taking up a lot of interior space, it was perfect for securely mounting the pair of Racecraft seats that Lopez calls home. Keeping everyone safe is the Crow five-point harnesses and ADI truck radio and TEK handheld radio. You may expect an aftermarket steering wheel to be used, but Lopez kept the stocker to be able to keep the Cruise Control. There is Dynamat beneath the new carpeting to keep the noise levels down, and an Alpine receiver and amp that power a 10-inch woofer and JBL speakers to jack it back up again.
Lopez says that this is truly a “workingman’s” truck and that when he’s not riding the rails, he is chase captain for the G&R race team, Score Trophy Truck 39. He says that while he had a blast being in Ron Whitton’s Geiser-built, half-million-dollar prerunner, he knows that his four-wheel-drive prerunner is what he needs for chase duties with G&R. He also asked to make sure his sons DJ and Zac, along with Allen Cluck and Smitty of Finish Line Racing and his amazing team get recognition for helping build the truck.
Sources:American Racing Wheels