• JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler

The Ultimate Ford F-150 EcoBoost Part 6

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2011 on December 1, 2011 Comment (0)
Share this

Our Ultimate Adventure F-150 is a project to push boundaries from our other projects over the years. We started with an ’11 Ford F-150 with the new EcoBoost V-6, a groundbreaking twin-turbo, direct-injection engine designed for power and mileage. The truck was taken to Randy Ellis Design, where the body was armored and the suspension overhauled to better control the 40-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers over whatever extreme trails our Ultimate Adventure troop may encounter. Our biggest challenge was to build an independent front suspension (IFS) that would be strong enough to withstand the rocks, ruts, and roads of the UA while leading the 20-some 4x4s filled with readers, sponsors, and cronies for a week.

The IFS upgrades we did were not inexpensive; in fact, a solid-axle conversion may have been cheaper, but that has been done numerous times. So we bit the bullet and rounded up the best axle parts we could find to make the front suspension strong. Making IFS work better than a solid-axle was not the goal this time ’round—we were simply going for strength.

After the F-150 was rebuilt stronger, we headed for AutoBody and More in Santa Rosa, California, for a paint job that would set it apart from the everyday F-150s and Raptors cruising the trails. The Gulf livery colors are a tribute to Ford’s performance heritage. And though it may be hard to imagine your truck in baby blue and bright orange, it did its job of making ours stand out in the crowd.

The UA F-150 headed across America for the trip of its life. There were dents, a few scrapes, and even some snaps, but nothing debilitating. We’ll tell you all about the carnage and the last of the upgrades next month.

Come back in 30 days to read the final installment of our buildup, where we’ll go over all the little parts and pieces. We’ll also give you the down and dirty of what broke, what we’d change, and just maybe some hints about next year’s UA buildup.

Until then you can get your fill of trail and build up photos on our website, www.4wheeloffroad.com.

Testdrive
We rarely have time to testdrive our Ultimate Adventure truck prior to the event. The build timeline is always tight, and we often fill the timeline with upgrades until there is no time for testing. In fact, the majority of UA vehicles have their initial testdrive either to the event or on the first trail day of the event. With the unique nature of the IFS upgrades, we and Randy Ellis determined that we needed a day of testing prior to the trip, since it was unknown whether the truck would work. Our scheduled day got moved once or twice, but before it left Arizona it hit the rocks for a shakedown and we were delighted with the results. This may seem ridiculous, but it’s true. Getting some dirt under the tires before we went for paint is rare, but the F-150 ran down the highway, climbed over some rocks, and, other than a steering overheating issue, returned to the shop with nary a concern.

View Slideshow

Sources

Dynatrac
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
714-596-4461
www.dynatrac.com
Poly Performance
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
805-783-2060
www.polyperformance.com
Vortex Spray Liners
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
949-770-2316
www.vortexsprayliners.com
Spicer (Dana Aftermarket Group)
Toledo, OH
800-621-8084
SpicerParts.com
RCV Performance
Loves Park, IL
815-877-7473
RCVperformance.com
Fox Racing Shox
Watsonville, CA 95076
619-768-1800
www.ridefox.com
PSC Motorsports
Azle, TX 76020
817-270-0102
www.pscmotorsports.com
Spidertrax Off-Road
Longmont, CO 80503
800-286-0898
www.spidertrax.com
TrailReady
Lynnwood, WA 98087
888-910-2999
www.trailready.com
Auto Body and More
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
707-584-2886
http://www.autobodyandmore.com
ARB USA
Renton, WA 98057
866-293-9078
http://www.arbusa.com
Competitive Metals
619-442-4130
http://www.competitivemetals.com
Coverall Technologies
480-242-7392
Reel Driveline
Pomona, CA 91766
1-909-629-9002
www.reeldriveline.com
Ram Print & Communications
415-383-9000
http://www.ramprint.com

Comments

Presenting Sponsor

Official Sponsors

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine