The word "upgrade" gets tossed around a lot in the world of off-road trucks. We'd contend that the word "modification" is a more accurate description many times. Why? A true upgrade improves the performance and durability of a truck. A modification just makes the truck something other than stone stock.
With those two words in mind, we met Rize Industries' Geoff Clements on a sun-drenched afternoon in Moab, Utah, for a look at, and under, the company's '06 F-150. Rize makes its '04-'06 F-150 lift kit in 6, 8, and 12-inch lift heights. This particular truck sports the company's 8-inch kit and rolls on 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts wrapped around Moto Metal 951 alloy wheels. The Rize 8-inch kit will fit up to 37-inch tires without the need for body or valance trimming or a body lift.
"We've been in business as Rize Industries for three years," explains one of Rize's founding partners, Giovanni Spinali. "However, we have over 30 years of combined experience in the off-road industry."
Joining Spinali are the two additional founding partners of Rize, designer Joe Riley and mechanical engineer and CNC expert Travis Eiler. Giovanni notes that Riley, among other endeavors, was part of the team that developed the Dick Cepek Race Series suspension kits. After Joe finishes a design, Eiler creates a computerized 3-D model of all the parts and programs the company's in-house CNC equipment to begin the manufacturing process. The operation is then turned over to Jose Pudilo and crew for production. "All of our kits are built in house, in the USA," notes Giovanni. "We do everything in house except the powdercoating, which is also done in the USA. We considered outsourcing, but we found we couldn't control the quality the way we wanted to."
Underneath the F-150, we found clean styling and burly construction. This kit really is 100-percent bolt-on and installs without any drilling, cutting, or welding. This means that an '04-'06 F-150 owner can transform his or her truck in a driveway with an average set of tools and a pair of sturdy jackstands. Of course, the installation should be topped off with a visit to an alignment shop, where the newly lifted truck can be aligned to factory specs. Rize recommends having the kit installed by one of the company's authorized installation centers.
So, is it an upgrade or merely a modification? This one's a genuine upgrade. Check out the photos and captions for the details.