A Star-Spangled Super Duty From The Lone Star State
Patriotism manifests itself in many ways, from somber reflection to proud flag-waving. San Antonio, Texas resident Jim Morgan has his own way of displaying his feelings. Immediately following the events of September 11, he wrapped his massive, newly built 2001 Ford Super Duty in a custom patriotic design, creating a rolling tribute to America. "I had a different graphic design in mind for the truck, but after the events of 9/11, my wife Melissa pointed out that it would be fitting if we changed it to a design that centered on the Stars and Stripes," Morgan says. The result is this custom design that complements a fine example of beefy, heavily modified American four-wheel-drive iron.
You may remember Morgan as the owner of the beautiful Ford F-150 that was featured on the cover of the April '02 issue of Four Wheeler. He's an avid truck enthusiast who likes his 4x4s to be as big as his home state of Texas, and it seems he's always in the driver's seat, using them for their intended purpose. This Super Duty was built over the course of two months, and is yet another adventure in the ongoing Morgan truck odyssey.
Opening the star-spangled hood of the huge Super Duty reveals a Power Stroke diesel engine. Its factory 250hp rating is increased by a High Performance Diesel computer chip and a polished B&B Fabrication 5 1/4-inch dual exhaust system. Engine torque is fed through the stock automatic transmission, which features a higher-capacity polished and painted Mag Tech oil pan.
The Super Duty boasts a custom 25-inch suspension lift that was designed and installed by Glen Dashbach and Matt Hammontre at Cutten Customs in Houston. Twenty-two of those inches come from custom leaf springs, while the remaining three inches are generated via 3-inch blocks in the rear and custom shackle brackets and spring hanger brackets in the front. Obviously, this amount of lift necessitated longer driveshafts, and that job was directed to High Angle Driveline in Paradise, California. Jesse at High Angle Driveline created a long-travel front driveshaft that features 18 inches of spline travel, an 80-degree 2-ton CV joint, and a rear driveshaft that sports a pair of #1350 high-angle CV joints for smooth operation and durability. In the rear of the truck, custom chrome traction bars keep axlewrap to a minimum during hard acceleration. They feature a greasable slip yoke and polyurethane bumpstops. Up front, an Off Road Unlimited crossover steering system and hydraulic assist steering was installed, along with a Skyjacker 8-inch drop pitman arm. These mods allow Morgan to easily turn the big 44-inch Boggers on 16.5x12 Weld Typhoon wheels, even at a standing stop on uneven terrain. The stock gears were yanked from the front Dana 50 and rear Sterling 10.5-inch axles and replaced with Precision Gear 4.56 gears, and the stock diff covers were replaced with Off Road Unlimited chrome units. Finally, two King 2 1/2-inch-diameter nitrogen shocks with 16 inches of travel were installed at each wheel, and a pair of chrome Con-Ferr axle trusses round out the suspension mods.
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Obviously, your eye is drawn to the stunning exterior graphics, but the outside of the truck also features a custom bed-mounted spare-tire rack, Lund fiberglass roll pan, Precision billet grille, Warn lights, and Kodiak drop steps modified to 14 inches of travel to compensate for the truck's tall stature. The aforementioned vinyl graphics were designed jointly by Morgan and Gold Star Image Graphics in Houston, and printed on 3M Scotchprint vinyl. Morgan owns Nationwide Applications, a vinyl sign business, and even with his significant experience in applying this sort of thing, it took him more than nine hours to apply the vinyl to the body of the Super Duty.
Inside, the truck is a collection of cutting-edge electronics that were installed by Mike Swientck at Custom Sounds in San Antonio. The amazing list of goodies includes a variety of Alpine products, like an 800 Multi-Media head unit, Voice Navigation System, in-dash DVD player, LPS equalizer, and three-color video monitors (including a ceiling-mounted 22-inch motorized monitor for the rear-seat passengers). The list also includes a Sony Playstation 2, Rockford Fosgate amplifier, Clarion video switcher, loads of JL Audio and Focal Utopia speakers, and front and rear color cameras that send a signal to any or all of the three video monitors.
Morgan's Super Duty is not only a capable, good-looking 4x4, but due to a significant amount of reengineering, it's also very comfortable as a daily driver. The street-legal (in Texas) truck routinely carries Morgan, his wife, and their two daughters on the roads and highways around San Antonio, neatly wrapped in America's favorite colors.
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|Owner||Jim Morgan, San Antonio, Texas|
|Vehicle model||'01 Ford F-350 Super Duty|
|Estimated value||Six digits|
|Type||Power Stroke V-8 diesel|
|Aspiration||B&B Fabrication polished stainless-steel 5 1/4-inch-diameter dual exhaust|
|Transmission||Four-speed automatic, Mag Tech polished and painted pan|
|Front||Custom 22-inch-lift leaf springs, custom spring hanger brackets, custom shackle brackets, King nitrogen 16-inch-travel shocks|
|Rear||Custom 22-inch-lift leaf springs, 3-inch spacer blocks, King nitrogen 16-inch-travel shocks|
|Wheels (in.)||12x16.5 Weld Typhoon|