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Ford Super Duty - The Adventure Begins

Posted in Product Reviews on December 1, 2001 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Team OFF-ROAD

Make no mistake. Ford's Super Duty 4x4s have changed the face of off-roading, thanks to several desirable traits, such as distinctive style, heavy-duty design, available V-10 engine, and the coveted straight axle/leaf spring configuration hung on the front of the duty's chassis. As with any truck that achieves got-to-have-one status, the Super Duty is being heavily supported by the aftermarket, with accessories specifically designed for the off-road community's new heavyweight contender. What follows is a look at suspension systems, engine performance goodies, and assorted accessories intended to enhance the Super Duty experience

Super Duty Suspension Guide:Shocks, Springs, And A Few Other Things
As previously noted, Ford's Super duty is the current favorite of enthusiasts who are focused on fitting their dutys with a lifted suspension and tall tires. here's an overview of various aftermarket offerings, from conservative to high-zoot; from strictly functional to show-me-the-undercarriage radical.

What It Is: Fabtech's 8-inch Suspension Lift
What It does: Functionally lifts a Super duty so that 38-inch-diameter tires can be installed.
Why It's Super: System includes new front spring packs with tapered leaf ends and Teflon inserts for a smooth ride; front track bar drop brackets; drop pitman arm; extended antisway bar endlinks; front urethane bumpstops. main leaves use a military eye wrap for strength; rear lift uses blocks, add-a-leaves, or complete lifted spring packs; optional dual front shock mounts.
Where to Get It: Fabtech Motorsports, Dept. Or, 1000 Beacon St., Brea, CA 92821, (714) 990- 8850,

What It Is: explorer Pro comp's 6-1/2-inch suspension lift
What It does: Lifts a Super duty using a matched suspension system. packs; replacement front track arm bracket; forged, drop pitman arm; special antisway bar endlinks allow full axle articulation; heavy-duty urethane bumpstops; Proride rubber spring eye bushings. Includes RS 3000 performance shocks; optional rear lifted leaf packs.
Where to Get It: Explorer Competition Products Inc., Dept. Or, 2360 Boswell Rd., Chula Vista, CA 91914, (619) 216-1444,

What It Is: Skyjacker's 8-inch suspension lift
What It does: Lifts a Super duty a full 8 inches while retaining a smooth ride.
Why It's Super: Specially designed front spring packs can be used with V-8 gas, V-8 diesel, or V-10 engines without spring sag; dOT-approved, forged, extreme-drop pitman arm; Softride hydro or optional nitro shocks; optional triple front shock hoop; optional dual front stabilizers.
Where to Get It: Skyjacker Suspension, Dept. Or, 212 Stevenson St., West Monroe, LA 71292, (800) 551-4955,

What It Is:Rancho Suspension's lift/ leveling suspension
What It does: raises the frontend of a Super duty 4 inches and the rear 2-1/2 inches, giving a Super duty a level stance.
Why It's Super: easy installation; includes track bar bracket, drop pitman arm, urethane bumpstops, extended antisway bar endlinks and extended DOT-approved braided brake lines. components are MIG-welded and powdercoated or plated for durability; system includes front and rear spring packs (no blocks).
Where to Get It: Rancho Suspension, dept. Or, 500 N. Field Dr., Lake Forest, IL 60045, (847) 482-5000, (800) 574-6257,

What It Is: King Shock Technology custom shocks
What It does: Provides race-quality suspension control and super-cool looks.
Why It's Super: They're super because King shocks (dampers) are fully tunable, adjustable, and rebuildable. every King damper is built for a specific spring height and rate, the amount of wheel travel, and is set up for the precise overall weight of a Super duty. All King dampers are nitrogen gas charged; heim joints are used at both mounting points. Options include remote reservoirs and special external finishes. King also manufactures bypass dampers that use extremely adjustable position-sensitive valving.
Where to Get It: King Shock Technology, Dept. Or, 10402 Trask Ave., Ste. A, Garden Grove, CA 92843, (714) 530-8701,

What It Is: Superlift 8-inch suspension lift
What It does: Provides a rugged, componentmatched lift that allows use of tires as big as 38 inches in diameter.
Why It's Super: Special spring rate on the front spring packs deliver a tall ride height without sacrificing ride quality; heavy-duty track rod drop bracket keeps the track rod in phase with the drag link, preventing suspension bind during axle travel and maintains Oe steering geometry; brake line extension brackets; Superlift shocks. Optional features are dual steering stabilizers, dual front shock mounts, and rear lift blocks or add-a-leaves.
Where to Get It: Superlift Suspension, Dept. Or, 211 Horne LN., West Monroe, LA 71292, (318) 388-0816,

What It Is: Al's Performance lifted spring hangers
What It does: Provide an economical, easily installed 4-inch lift.
Why It's Super: The front spring hangers are manufactured with precision flame-cut 3/4- inch steel plate, MIG-welded for strength. The lifted spring hangers are a basic bolt-on install, but require the repositioning of the brake line brackets and the installation of longer shocks.
Where to Get It: Al's Performance, Dept. Or, 28710 Las Haciendas, Temecula, cA 92590, (909) 695-2323.

What It Is: Fox Racing Pro Series bypass damper
What It does: Allows extensive tuning of the spring damping characteristics.
Why It's Super: external bypass tubes use adjusters that are easy to access; bypass dampers are position-sensitive and can be tuned to provide a soft initial ride, then go progressively firmer as the suspension compresses; can be adjusted to supplement the bumpstops; bodies are nickel-plated; models available with various amounts of travel from 10 to 18 inches; heim-joint mounting eyes. Optional external reservoirs.
Where to Get It: Fox Racing Shocks, Dept. Or, 3641 Charter Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95136, (408) 269-9201,

What It Is: Explorer Pro Comp 2WD Super Duty Lift
What It does: Lifts Ford's Twin I-beam front suspension a full 6 inches.
Why It's Super: complete engineered system includes lifted front coil springs, heavyduty radius arm drop brackets, and crossover compression strut, super-strong I-beam drop brackets, a forged, dropped pitman (steering) arm, and antisway bar extension brackets. eS 3000 shocks are included; the rear lift is via add-a-leaves and alloy lift blocks. Installed kit allows use of 35-inch-diameter tires.
Where to Get It: Explorer Competition Products Inc., Dept. Or, 2360 Boswell Rd., Chula Vista, CA 91914, (619) 216-1444,

Super Duty Power Mods: More Horsepower, More Torque
While the general public may be satisfied with the output of any of the Super duty engines, off-road enthusiasts know there are additional ponies inside of the engines, begging to be let loose. There's an excellent selection of aftermarket goodies available for the 5.4L Triton V-8, and performance parts for the 6.8L Triton V-10 are becoming readily available. heck, there are even power-boosting systems for the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel, if the oil-burner's 500-plus lb-ft of torque doesn't suffice.

What It Is: B&B Fabrication's Power Stroke exhaust system
What It does: Increases the turbo diesel Power Stroke's output by 22 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque.
Why It's Super: mandrel-bent, 4-inch-diameter, T304 stainless steel tubing; flanges, hangers, resonators, and tips are also T304; 50-state-legal status; TIG-welding throughout; patented high-flow Tri-Flo muf- fler; maximum power requires the use of optional 3-1/2-inch diameter down pipe (from turbo outlet to exhaust system).
Where to Get It: B&B Fabrication Inc., Dept. Or, 23045 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027, (888) 228-7435,

What It Is: Kenne Bell's Twin-Screw Supercharger for the Triton V-10
What It does: completely bolt-on install; boosts power quietly and effectively.
Why It's Super: extremely low internal friction of the Kenne Bell blower means greater efficiency; Twin-Screw Supercharger takes air in at the front, compresses the air along the length of the twin intermeshing screw-shaped rotors, then pushes the pressurized air out the rear outlet. Typical horsepower increase on an otherwise stock V-10: 100; typical torque increase: 93 lb-ft.
Where to Get It: Kenne Bell, Dept. Or, 10743 Bell CT., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, (909) 941-6646, (909) 941-0985,

What It Is: Gale banks PowerPack airflow system for the Power Stroke diesel
What It does: boosts the Power Stroke's power by improving and cooling the intake airflow. Torque gain: 220 lb-ft; horsepower gain: 113.
Why It's Super: banks' ram-Air free-breathing air filter; banks' high-flow monster Turbine Outlet Pipe replaces the restrictive Oe turbo pipe; 3-inch-diameter, mandrel-bent exhaust system; the banks Quick-Turbo turbocharger housing is smaller than the Oe housing, creating better throttle response; banks' Techni-cooler intercooler assembly and Twinram manifold cool and manage the intake airflow; banks' PowerPack computer module modifies the fuel delivery.
Where to Get It: Gale Banks Engineering, Dept. Or, 546 S. Duggan Ave., Azusa, CA 91732, (626) 969-9600, (800) 438-7693,

What It Is: K&N Fuel Injection Performance Kit
What It does: noticeably increases throttle response and power on Triton 5.4L V-8 and Triton 7.3L V-10 engines.
Why It's Super: The FIPK dramatically reduces intake restriction as the filter straightens and smoothes incoming air, which allows the engine to inhale a larger volume of air during each intake stroke, resulting in torque and horsepower gains; unique filter housing/heat shield helps keep hot air from entering the filter; K&n filters are washable and re-oilable; FIPK is legal in all 50 states.
Where to Get It: K&N Engineering Inc., Dept. Or, 1455 Citrus Ave., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (909) 684-9060,

What It Is: Borla cat-back exhaust for Triton 5.4L V-8 and 7.3L V-10 engines
What It does: Gives Triton engines more power and better sound.
Why It's Super: constructed in the u.S.A. using aircraft-quality T304 stainless steel, mandrel- bent, 3-inch-diameter, 14-gauge tubing; uses a high-performance muffler with dual 2-1/2-inch outlets; 50-state-legal status; system uses Oe spring hangers.
Where to Get It:Borla Performance Products, Dept. Or, 5901 Edison Dr., Oxnard, CA 93033, (805) 986-8600,

Super Duty Accessories: Maximize Function And Style
Super duty-specific parts and accessories are the current aftermarket rage, with everything from fender flares to grilles and bumpers to winches. even as you're reading this story, the aftermarket is in full-tilt development on a slew of Super duty styling and performance accessories that will only feed the frenzy over off-road-modified Super dutys. here are some parts that are sure to make your Super duty experience a whole lot better.

What It Is: Bushwacker cut-out Fender Flares
What It does: Provide stylish fender clearance for large-diameter tires; protects the paint from the chips and damage that occur when rocks and mud are thrown from the tread of a spinning tire; provide legal coverage for wide tires.
Why It's Super: basic installation requires only a small amount of sheetmetal cutting and the drilling of holes for the flares' fasteners. Flares are manufactured from near-indestructible plastic.
Where to Get It: Bushwacker Inc., Dept. Or, 6710 N. Catlin, Portland, OR 97203, (503) 283- 3007,

What It Is: Ramsey RPH 12,000 Winch
What It does: Pulls a Super duty out of a sticky situation without stress-related failure.
Why It's Super: hydraulically powered; spring-applied hydraulic release brake; choice of air-actuated clutch or manual clutch; expandable to operate hydraulic tools; massive winch designed for industrial uses and tow truck applications.
Where to Get It: Ramsey Winch, Dept. Or, 1600 N. Garnett, Tulsa, OK 74116, (918) 438-2760.

What It Is: J&J enterprises custom Grille
What It does: Gives a Super duty's grille cavity a touch of flash.
Why It's Super: Polished 304 stainless steel construction; round, 1/2-inch-diameter tubes; doesn't require cutting or modification of the OE grille; attaches with special hidden fasteners.
Where to Get It: J&J enterprises, Dept. OR, 5498 Mission Blvd., Ontario, CA 91762, (909) 628-5679, (800) 367-4961,

What It Is: Safari Gard Front bumper
What It does: Strengthens a Super duty's front end and provides a rugged mount for mounting auxiliary lights and a winch.
Why It's Super: Constructed from 3/16-inch mild steel plate topped with 2-inch-diameter, 0.120-inch-thick tube for light protection; four integral light tabs; available with a powdercoat or a chrome-plated finish; optional winch mount/cutout.
Where to Get It: Safari Gard, Dept. or, 41095 Fig St., Murrieta, CA 92562, (909) 698-6114,

What It Is: Optima yellow-Top battery
What It does: Provides gobs of cranking power and electrical energy for winches, lights, high-powered sound systems, or other power-hungry electrical accessories without losing its capacity to be fully charged.
Why It's Super: Special acid paste is used instead of liquid acid, which means the Optima battery can operate in any position without loss of power; durable case and interior components ensure reliable function; 950 cold cranking Amps provide enough juice for V-8, V-10, and diesel-starting requirements; deep-cycle design means the yellow-Top Optima can be fully discharged and completely charged hundreds of times with no loss of capacity.
Where to Get It: Optima Batteries, Dept. Or, 17500 E. 22nd Ave., Aurora, CO 80011, (303) 340-7440, (888) 867-8462,

What It Is: Leer 100XL bed cap
What It does: Gives a Super duty the look of an SUV with the versatility of a truck.
Why It's Super: recessed, automotive-style side windows with small, SUV-style flip-out ventilation windows; dual-stage rotary latch system for the rear window; a recessed Led third brake light; dark- tinted safety glass; one-piece molded construction; can be factory color-matched with basecoat/clearcoat paint; limitedlifetime warranty.
Where to Get It: Leer Truck Caps, Dept. or, 1686 Beamer St., Woodland, CA 95776, (800) 444-5337,


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