Any 4x4 with larger tires can benefit from a gear swap. That's especially true for a truck that you want to use for off-roading, driving on the highway, and towing. Having the right gear ratio to make the powertrain work the most efficiently is crucial.
The tires we'll finally install on the Ultimate Super Duty next month are monsters. We discovered the Michelin XML line of tires a couple of years ago, and have been dying for a chance to use a set. The extreme trails we want to take this truck on, and the overall look we are trying to achieve, made it the perfect candidate. We'll give you more details on our tires next month, but the ones we chose have an overall diameter of 46.7 inches. When we called Tom Reider at Reider Racing for new Precision Gears for the truck, he was quick to point out that his 5.13 gears we really needed wasn't available yet. While we usually opt for doing the impossible, Reider suggested that we use the 4.56 Precision Gears that are actually available now.
Since this truck will be expected to do everything, we opted for ARB Air Lockers front and rear. Many people don't realize that ARB makes a locker for Ford's Sterling 10 1/2-inch rearend, but ARB does. We used an ARB compressor, which Off Road Unlimited mounted underhood for us.
While we were on the phone with Tony Curtis of ARB, we ordered the company's beefy Sahara Bar front bumper and winch mount. This bumper is designed to provide a safe winch mount and general front-end protection while maintaining airbag compatibility. The shape of the bumper improves the approach angle of the Super Duty. For parking lot obstacles, the Sahara Bar has polyurethane cushions.
For an aggressive sound and a performance gain over stock, we added a Flowmaster exhaust system. The system includes a Delta 70 Series fully welded Flowmaster muffler with 3-inch inlet and outlet. Also included with the system is a single mandrel-bent aluminized tailpipe and all of the hardware you'll need to install the exhaust system.
We drove the truck to Off Road Unlimited in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they installed the Precision Gears and ARB Air Locker in the rear axle. ORU also handled the installation of an ARB bumper, PIAA off-road driving lights, and the Flowmaster exhaust system.
Finally, we dropped the truck off at Rhino Linings to have the bed sprayed with Tuff Stuff polyurethane to protect the sheetmetal and improve the looks. The lining covers the scratches and dings we've already put in our Super Duty's bed. We know we'll appreciate the nonskid surface when we're using the truck to tote parts around.
With literally days left before we left on the Ultimate Adventure, the Ultimate Super Duty was coming into its final form. Next month, we'll wrap things up and give you a look at the final product.