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

Posted in Project Vehicles on June 25, 2013 Comment (0)
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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).

After we cut the frame in half last month we decided it was a good idea to put it back together this month if we were going to be done in time. Yes, there is a plan here, and that plan involves removing 161⁄2 inches of framerail. After measuring three times, Sailor Neale threw caution to the wind and fired up the plasma cutter.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. The rear axle flange from Axletech.

Sources

Offroad Design
970-945-7777
www.offroaddesign.com
BDS Suspension Inc
Coldwater, MI
517-279-2135
www.bds-suspension.com
Discount Tire
855-869-7914
http://www.discounttire.com
Reid Racing
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925-935-3025
http://www.reidracing.biz/
Warn Industries
Clackamas, OR 97015
800-543-9276
www.warn.com
Nitro Gear & Axle
Sacramento, CA
509-888-2953
www.nitro-gear.com
Ford
N/A, MI
800-392-3673
www.fordvehicles.com
TrailReady
Lynnwood, WA 98087
888-910-2999
www.trailready.com
Bubba Rope
Casselberry, FL 32707
877.499.8494
http://www.bubbarope.com
Shaffer's Offroad
Alameda, CA 94501
510-999-7766
http://www.shaffersoffroad.com
ARB USA
Renton, WA 98057
866-293-9078
http://www.arbusa.com
Synergy Manufacturing
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
805-242-0397
www.synergymfg.com
Off-Road Power Products
866-379-8685
www.offroadpowerproducts.com
AxleTech International Motorsports.
248-637-3095
www.motorsports.axleTech.com

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