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1976 Ford F150 - 2005 Top Truck Challenge

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2005 on November 1, 2005
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Contributors: Ken Brubaker
Photographers: Ken Brubaker

Owner Jeff Gotz notes that the doors are the only items that haven't been modified on this truck. Um ... no kidding. It's obvious that this rig is infused with a cornucopia of cutting-edge tech.

Fordzilla's foundation is a custom tube frame. It was designed to offer phenomenal approach and departure angles, among other things. Bolted to the frame are modified body panels including a 1949 F-100 grille. A MileMarker 12,000-pound winch resides up front and a Warn 8274 is bolted in the rear.

The custom four-link coil-spring front suspension includes Rancho RS 5000 shocks and custom-fabbed high-clearance lower links. The Detroit Locker-equipped Rockwell 2.5-ton axle has been narrowed so that identical short shafts can be used on both sides, and it's been modified to accept disc brakes that use Chevy calipers and Ford F-600 rotors. Steering is hydraulic and is controlled by an orbital valve on the steering wheel.

Like the front, the rear suspension is a four-link and the rear 2.5-ton axle sports disc brakes, a Detroit Locker, and hydraulic steering. The difference between it and the front is that there are four Rancho RSX9000 shocks and the rear steering is actuated by a joystick that's located in the cab.

The propane-fired 514ci engine is mounted deep in the cab of the truck and is capable of producing an estimated 700 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. It sends power downstream to a heavily modified C6 transmission and NP205 transfer case.

The custom interior features a rollcage made from 1.75-inch DOM tubing, Pontiac Sunfire seats, stock 1976 Ford steering wheel, and Auto Meter and Pro Comp gauges. In the custom center console you can see the B&M shifter, controls for the winches, joystick for the rear steering, and the transfer-case levers.


Jeff Gotz/Chili, Wisconsin
1976 {{{Ford F-150}}}
What he does when not 'wheeling:
Four-wheel-drive shop owner
Ford OHV 514ci V-8/
Dual throttle bodies and regulators, Blue Thunder dual quad intake, custom headers, 3-inch exhaust, Flowmaster mufflers
C6, reverse manual valvebody, six-pinion planetaries, large remote cooler with fan
Transfer case:
NP205 with NP200 internals
Suspension (f/r):
Four-link coil, high-clearance lower links, Rancho RS 5000 shocks/
Four-link coil, high-clearance lower links,
four Rancho RSX9000s
Axles (f/r):
Narrowed Rockwell 2.5-ton, Detroit Locker, hydraulic steering, disc brakes with Chevy calipers, Ford F-600 rotors/
Narrowed Rockwell 2.5-ton, Detroit Locker, hydraulic steering, disc brakes with Chevy calipers, Ford F-600 rotors
Axle ratio:
20x22 two-piece double bead lock by Stazworks
48x25-20 Goodyear Terra

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