Von Chop's Custom F-250 Rat Rig
Oftentimes We See People on the trail who spend all of their money trying to keep up with the Joneses. "Me too" Jeep Wranglers with fancy paint jobs and every accessory available get a bit boring, but Phil "Von Chop" Dunievitz has always marched to the beat of a different drummer, and his '75 Ford F-250 reflects that. The Truckee, California, resident is an arborist and uses his truck as a work vehicle for his company, Top's Tree Service. On the weekends, instead of cutting trees he hits Sierra Nevada trails in his chopped pickup.
During the eight years that Von Chop has owned his F-250, he has modified it to suit his needs. He has had plenty of help along the way from friends at 4x4Labs, Blue Collar Customs, and WTO. Custom touches include functional upgrades like 1-ton axles and dual transfer cases, along with little details like the desert camo headliner. Perhaps our favorite feature, though, is the faded, mismatched body panels from years of use and abuse.
The truck was originally a yellow longbed, but the frame was shortened 20 inches and a shortbed was added with 15 inches removed from behind the rear tires. A green F-100 contributed its body panels to replace the dented sheetmetal on the F-250. Von Chop's truck is proof that you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to have a unique, capable truck for the trail. Although a bigger budget never hurts, it is no substitute for hard work and a little imagination.
Vehcile: '75 Ford F-250
Engine: Ford 390ci FE V-8
Transmission: NP435 four-speed manual
Transfer Case: NP203 mated to NP205 with ORD adapter
Front Axle: High-pinion Dana 60 with 4.56 gears, ARB Air Locker, Moser 35-spline chromoly axleshafts, and Warn hubs
Rear Axle: Dana 60 with 4.56 gears, ARB Air Locker, and 35-spline Yukon chromoly axleshafts
Springs & Such: Front Skyjacker leaf springs and Bilstein 5100 shocks, rear Chevy 1500 leaf springs on custom mounts and Rancho RS9000 shocks
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x13.5x17 Super Swamper IROKs on 17x9 Cragar steel rims
Other Stuff: 12-inch bobSed bed, custom bumpers, sliders, and transfer-case crossmember, Howe hydraulic-assist steering, WTO steering arms with tie rod behind the axle, frame shortened 20 inches to accommodate shortbed box, mudflaps made from old snowmobile track