Part 2: Ego-Boost or Eco-Maniac?
The new Ford F-150 we are building for Ultimate Adventure 2011 is in Phoenix undergoing more modifications than a Hollywood starlet past her prime. We’re giving this brand-new EcoBoost F-150 a nip, tuck, trim, wack, grind, cut, shape, slim, and chop to make it fit down whatever trail Editor Péwé takes us on this summer.
First, a recap for those sleeping in the back. Ultimate Adventure is our weeklong off-road trip we take each summer with sponsors, cronies, and select invited readers. Last month we went to Michigan and toured the F-150 plant. Then we hopped in our brand-new Blue Flame F-150 and drove it cross-country to Phoenix to start the transformation from America’s Best Selling Pickup to a pickup ready for wheeling anywhere in America. We have no idea where Péwé will take us on this year’s trip, so we have to build this UA rig ready for mud, snow, sand, rocks, and the long highway days between every trail.
Our buildup is happening at Randy Ellis Design (RED). RED is a small shop that puts out big jobs. It has a full line of bolt-on light bars for many major 4x4s under the Sleekster brand, and the shop does all types of 4x4 custom fabrication, from engine swaps to rock sliders. The biggest reason we chose Ellis and his crew is his experience with custom suspensions. Ellis was the first competitive rockcrawler we ever saw using full independent suspension in his custom Red Racer rock buggy, and it’s this type of innovation we need for our UA project truck.
The F-150 is going to be heavily modified, as you may expect, but the general suspension layout will remain. In fact, what we are going to do to the truck wouldn’t be much of a stretch for any late-model F-150. OK, we admit that the severe body modification in store would make most new truck owners squeamish. And that’s where we start this month.
Check back next month for Part 3 of the buildup, when we make it safer and stronger for our Ultimate Adventure.
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