When most think of SEMA, they may only think of the yearly show held in Las Vegas. For those who don’t know, SEMA began as, and still is, basically a trade organization that helps those associated with the automotive world get the word out on products and services. They also do a great job keeping an eye on the government and help to keep proposed regulations from becoming outlandish.
But even though they wear business suits, they’re also car guys, and as such like to combine work with play. At SEMA’s Diamond Bar, California, headquarters, they have what is called the SEMA Garage, and there’s never a shortage of late-model cars and trucks or new parts to be installed onto them. It’s there that they built this ’17 Ford F-250 Super Duty SuperCab XLT 4x4.
Unlike some other OEMs, Ford is always looking to get involved with aftermarket companies and want to have their products be the focus of attention. This build was to involve not only Ford but a host of hot aftermarket companies. Knowing a good thing when they see it, the SEMA guys wanted to build an off-road truck that could be used as an Overlander as well as a chase truck and ultimate tow vehicle.
That’s why they went with the SuperCab 4x4 equipped with the 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 Diesel. This particular model is one that’s seemingly made for heavy-duty off-road action, and the towing capacity it has borders on awesome. The performance tuning was done at aFe Power in Corona, California, where they applied the trifecta of modern engine performance upgrades (intake, exhaust, and electronic wizardry) to the Super Duty with an aFePower Scorcher HD Electronic Power Module, Momentum HD Air Intake Air cleaner, and 5-inch DPF-back exhaust system. The tail end of the system had to be custom bent to accommodate the trick Rogue cantilever rear suspension system.
All of which added 50 hp and a ton more of torque. The stock 6.7 dyno-tested out to 397 hp and 817 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels while the aFe-tuned smoker produced 447 hp with 913 big ones, which is just shy of 100 lb-ft of increase in torque. That makes this F-250 a towing monster. The transmission is stock but features an aFePower High Capacity Transmission Pan to make sure there’s plenty of cool fluid on hand.
The stock suspension is something that may be adequate for slow powerline roads, but there are many companies that make suspension upgrades for the big Ford that turn it into a much more capable off-road rager. Normally, only one of those companies is chosen at a time though. That is, a certain companies suspension system will be used front and back. Not this time though, as the SEMA guys wanted to try a rear suspension system that’s new to the market, and one that takes its design cues from world championship road racing: the cantilever system from Rogue Racing.
Rogue did more than just supply the rear system though, as much of the overall design work of the F-250 was done by the Henderson, Nevada-based company. That design included using Rogue’s front and rear bumpers, as well as the custom bed rack.
When the basic design was determined, the truck was sent off to LGE*CTS Motorsports in San Dimas, California, who managed the installation of the fenders and the custom matte silver/black/bronze paint scheme. The truck was looking great. It was then sent back to the SEMA Garage, where the installation of the suspension took place.
The front system is all Icon Vehicle Dynamics as the front four-link is theirs, as are the 3.0 External Bypass full adjustable shocks that utilize Icon Coil Springs (+2.5 inches). A Performance Front Sway Bar by Hellwig Suspension Products adds to the control aspect.
Even with the Rogue Racing rear cantilever linkage system uses some ICON and Hellwig products as a Hellwig Performance rear sway bar and heavy-duty endlinks are used. Icon added their +2.5-inch leaf springs to the mix as well as rear shocks as 3.0 external bypass full adjustable units are used to corral the nearly 18 inches of wheel travel.
The wheels in question are custom Raceline bronze 935M Defender’s (17x9, -12mm offset) with 2-inch Rough Country Wheel spacers. With Open Country right there in the name, the Toyo Open Country M/T (40x13.5 R17) tires were deemed the perfect choice for the Ford. Another couple of sets of Toyo/Raceline’s can be found in the bed in case the country bites back.
It was also at the “Garage” that the finishing touches were applied. One of those included a lot of Baja Designs lighting, as the big Ford is now able to take on the dark and come shining through. Instead of one big bar, they decided multiple 10-inch Baja Designs LEDs would work just as well. The front grille features a pair of BD’s S8 10-inch light bars, and four (!) Wide/Driving S8 10-inch lightbars and another two S2 Pro LED flush-mount amber spots.
Speaking of the grille, this Super Duty is fitted with a one-off custom that’s the result of a “design exercise.” Using the actual files from Ford as a starting point, SEMA and Stratasys used CAD design and 3D printing to specifically integrate the many Baja Designs lights while still utilizing the factory look, all factory mounting points and retaining clips. We’re fans of clean, and the installation of the Baja Designs lighting looks factory made.
That’s not all with lighting though, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Rogue Racing Enforcer front bumper has two S2 Pro LED Driving lights and two XL-R Pro LED Driving/Combo ambers. A Warn Zeon 12s winch has also been sweetly mounted to the Rogue unit, and it too looks like a factory addition.
The Rogue Enforcer rear bumper holds a pair of flush-mounted Squadron Pro’s. A Curt manufacturing Class 5 Commercial Duty hitch makes sure that no trailer goes un-towed. Actually having its own set of LEDs are the AMP Research Power Step XL retractable steps. They are lighted when down, so even when it’s dark you can make sure of where you put your foot.
A pair or BD Squadron Pro’s were also mounted high atop the Rogue Racing bed cage. It holds a pair of spare tires, in turn held down by Mac’s Tie Down Tire Straps, but also quartet of RotopaX fuel cans an ARB Fridge-Freezer unit. Talk about overlanding in style! An ARB Twin Compressor lurks underneath the truck, ready to supply an endless stream of air for when the need arises.
With all the lights came the question of how to operate all of them, and the answer was with an sPOD 8-Circuit SE System. Mounted near the A-pillar, it’s a small touchscreen that is the epicenter for the electrical aftermarket pieces on the Ford. This one is sPOD’s Universal Truck unit, and it even has a Bluetooth adapter. A “pickle,” better known as the Warn wireless winch remote, hangs from its mount but the rest of the interior is OEM Ford. Thankfully, the stock stereo system has been upgraded with a SYNC 3 system and a Kicker Audio–powered vehicle-specific sub enclosure.
The exterior of a stock Super Duty isn’t bad, but the SEMA guys had LGE*CTS in San Dimas, California, smooth it out some by adding fiberglass fenders and bedsides and then painted on the Matte Silver paint. The black accents were given the matte treatment too, and the result is a very nice looking truck.
As stated, the build was done at a variety of shops, but the SEMA Garage was ground zero. The SEMA Garage “exists to help aftermarket automotive manufacturing companies bring products to market more efficiently through access to cutting-edge design and engineering tools and services.”
We applaud their efforts—not only on this build, but also for all the work they do in keeping our pastime as free as it ever could be. We should all be thankful for their efforts.