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2013 Ford F-250 - Project Super Dirty: Part 3

2013 Ford F 250 Project Super Dirty Part 3 Front Fender Removed
Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted June 25, 2013

Two Steps Forward, 16-1/2 Inches Back

We are behind the eight ball once again. Yes, you guessed it. We are neck-deep in Ultimate Adventure buildup quicksand and trying to dig our way out without freaking out. For those readers who are new to the magazine, here’s a quick update. The Ultimate Adventure is a weeklong off-road trip that 4-Wheel & Off-Road puts on every summer. It is attended by a few selected readers, sponsors, a crew of returning cronies, and the staff of the magazine. It is a wild four-wheeling road trip in vehicles that must be able to cruise down the highway and attempt the hardest trails in the country (no trailering allowed). We live out of our 4x4s, camp out most nights, and generally end up as dirty dirt-heads by the end of the week. Every year we go to a different locale, and every year we build a special 4x4 to lead the trip. This year we started with a base-model Ford F-250 with a PowerStroke diesel and very few amenities. It’s a tough truck, this Super Duty, but we have renamed it Super Dirty because we don’t expect it to be very clean at the end of this adventure.

Making it a short bed would improve its ability to navigate off-road

When last you saw our Ford F-250 project truck (Aug. ’13) we had stripped it down and cut it in half and were preparing to build it back up at Shaffer’s Off Road in Alameda, California. This month we are taking steps forward, and progress is always good, but we made some decisions that resulted in even more disassembly of the big brute of a truck. As such, this installment is a bit of a cluster as we cover various things on the to-do list without actually crossing anything off the list completely. Tune in next month when we show you even more progress (we hope).

Step By Step

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  • The L-cut was made on both the rear section and the front section while removing enough material to shorten the overall frame length. Then the two sections were aligned and slid together. This type of cut gives a large weld area to reattach the framerails.

  • Orlando Giannecchinni arrived for the night shift and began laying down the heavy weld beads. The frame was clamped, tacked, and measured for square and straightness before final welds and fish plates were added.

  • The fish plates made of 3⁄16-inch steel sandwich both sides of the seam, plus the top and bottom of the framerails. This adds lots of weld surface to tie the two frame sections together.

  • Here is the reason for the frame chop: We are planning to make the Super Dirty a regular-cab shortbed, an option not offered from the factory. This truck will be getting a set of 40-inch Nittos as well as some height increases via axles and suspension, but we still felt that making it a shortbed would improve its ability to navigate off-road. The new wheelbase will be about 120 inches to fit the shortbed that Gary Sterrett sprayed in matching white paint.

  • In order to upgrade the suspension with some new components from BDS we also needed to remove the factory radius arm mounts from the frame. Brandon “BZ” Smith got the illustrious task of air-chiseling and grinding the frame clean.

  • Meanwhile our axles were undergoing their own rehab in order to accommodate the rocks and mud this big S.D. would soon encounter. John Bowers helped by chucking the rear in his mill and shaving the end absolutely perpendicular to the tubes after having the spindles removed.

  • Finally we removed the front fenders because every truck on the Ultimate Adventure is required to have a rollcage, and we’re opting to have ours tie in behind the front fenders. More on that next time.

  • We’re not letting the cat out of the bag just yet, but here are two photos to give you a hint about what’s coming next month.The front kingpin C is from Reid Racing

  • The rear axle flange from Axletech.


Offroad Design
BDS Suspension Inc
Coldwater, MI
Discount Tire
Reid Racing
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Warn Industries
Clackamas, OR 97015
Nitro Gear & Axle
Sacramento, CA
Lynnwood, WA 98087
Bubba Rope
Casselberry, FL 32707
Shaffer's Offroad
Alameda, CA 94501
Renton, WA 98057
Synergy Manufacturing
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Off-Road Power Products
AxleTech International Motorsports.