Part 5: Building The '09 Ultimate Adventure Rig
It seems like only yesterday we were getting the Stupid Duty ready for the journey to Colorado by sweeping the trash and leaves out of the bed (interior too), throwing the abandoned and rusty parts over the bedside, and then testing its roadworthiness by driving a few hundred miles. Afterward we made a call to James and Stephen Watson at Offroad Design and told them, "Hey, it's ready. Meet us in Vegas and pick the truck up." Crossing our fingers, we didn't look back as they drove away; we ran back into the hotel room and locked the door behind us, hoping the Stupid Duty would get them home.
James and Stephen drove all night. We received a call the next morning around 6 o'clock: "OK, we made it home. The truck runs great, the ride is horrible, there's lots of bumpsteer, and there's so much racket we could barely think." Initially we thought the chubby Super Duty was going on a diet and a thousand or so pounds would be shaved off its gross weight, but that didn't happen. Over three and half months the truck morphed into an incredibly agile trail machine, but never shed any weight. In fact, it gained 1,000-plus pounds, but that additional weight turned the Ford into a tougher trail truck that was quite highway-friendly.
During the Ultimate Adventure, our Ranch Truck performed exceptionally well on the trail. There were a few sections we didn't think the 10,000-pound ranch truck would squeeze through, yet she always proved us wrong. The 7.3L turbodiesel engine didn't know all the additional steel and weight was there! We had a few minor issues with some factory equipment, but the trick modifications such as the custom suspension, body armor, boatsiding, and work bed, did their job. We'll give you the final rundown of how the Ultimate Ranch Truck performed in Part 6 of the build, so stay tuned.