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Lil’ Red No More - Lifting a 2006 Ford F-150 2WD

Posted in How To on February 1, 2012
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Photographers: Jerrod JonesAgustin Jimenez

Fullsize trucks continue their popularity, even as compact trucks are becoming fewer and farther between. Some of us like fullsize trucks, but we still value something nimble and maneuverable. That’s where standard-cab, shortbed fullsize trucks come in.

David Sonsky of Long Beach, California, owns this ’06 F-150 2WD. He spends much of his time on two wheels as editor of Super Street Bike, but he’s also a dirt bike fiend. As such, this F-150’s role is primarily as a dirt-bike hauler. It’s a pint-size fullsize and it’s almost perfect. The “almost” comes in because Dave’s been stuck a couple of times on his way out to dirt bike staging areas. Dirt riding time is precious and scarce. Who wants to spend it digging out a stuck truck?

The easy solution was to sell it and buy a 4x4, but first Dave wanted to see what a few simple mods could do for his truck’s dirt prowess. Enter Skyjacker Suspensions, Toyo Tires, Rev Wheel, and Pro Comp. Combined, the new package was sure to get Dave from the pavement to the trailhead in short order, maximizing his dirt riding time.

It took less than a weekend to get this F-150 up and ready for some dirt action, with a stop by Desolate Motorsports to lift the truck and install the wheels and tires in just one day, and then a few hours at home to get the Pro Comp light bar and lights onto stock front bumper.

Follow along as we go bigger with a pint-size fullsize.

01. Other than a set of stock-sized mud tires, the F-150 is the same as the day it left the dealer lot. Ford’s previous generation half-ton had a “semi-extended” cab for a standard cab. Thus, driving a standard-cab ’06 F-150 doesn’t leave you feeling cramped. If it looks like a rainy day, that’s because it was.

02. Skyjacker’s 6-inch lift kit for the ’04-to-’08 F-150 is based on a set of replacement steering knuckles. The stock lower control arms drop down via brackets, with the stock upper control arms staying put. The rear suspension is lifted using an add-a-leaf with our kit, though full leaf springs and blocks are also options. Replacement shocks go on all four corners. Included but not shown is a complete set of required hardware to complete the job.

PhotosView Slideshow

06. We’d seen Rev Wheels in photos and wanted to get our hands on a set for this occasion. Rest assured that they look as good up close as they do in photos from a distance. These are Rev’s 845 Guillotine wheels, 17x9 inches with zero offset. These alloys are burly, strong wheels. If you want wimpy lightweights, look elsewhere. Before getting the tires mounted, we tried the wheels on to make sure they’d clear the brakes and steering components. When going from stock to aftermarket wheels, you’ll need a new set of lug nuts almost every time, so plan ahead.

07. Toyo’s Open Country A/T is a perfect choice for running a variety of off-road terrains with a healthy dose of pavement in the mix. The open shoulder and overall void ratio make them shed water competently, while the siping pattern creates a tire that works well in wet and snowy conditions. In sand, all-terrain tires actually have better flotation than mud-terrain tires, again making the Open Country A/T’s a great choice. These are 325/70R17, also known as 35s.

PhotosView Slideshow

Skyjacker 6-inch 2WD F-150 suspension - $1,428
Toyo Open Country All-Terrain (four) - $1,520
Rev Wheel Guillotine 17x9 (four) - $700
Pro Comp light bar - $170
Pro Comp Biolight (three) - $270
Total spent for the weekend - $4,088

PhotosView Slideshow


Skyjacker Suspensions
West Monroe, LA 71294
Toyo Tires
Desolate Motorsports
Whittier, CA 90605
Pro Comp USA
Compton, CA 90220
Rev Wheel

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