BA350: A 2017 Ford F-350 Super Truck
A 1-ton Power Stroke with Raptor DNA
On New Year’s Day 2018 the BA350 Super Duty launched itself to the top of the internet’s viral video billboard. It only took a short Instagram clip to show just how far, and high, Doug Paddock, owner of DEFCO Trucks in Denver, Colorado, was willing to go to prove his BA350 was an authentic super truck. He did not disappoint. Somewhere between 10 and 20 feet above the cracked pavement of a parking lot somewhere in Colorado, the 1-ton beast soared through the air out of frame. Haters said it didn’t survive, but the truth is it did, impressively. The landing was slightly nose heavy, but when you jump a 7,000-pound truck that high and land on flat ground that’ll happen. You can watch the jump video at: youtube.com/defcotrucks. After a new radiator and some fresh mounts for the front right fender, the BA350 was back to 100 percent.
To create an F-350 worthy of Raptor-grade terrain and abuse, Doug brought in build partner Chris Lewis, owner of Lewis Built Performance & Fabrication in San Jacinto, California. Chris spent years racing and building RZRs and Trophy Trucks before starting Lewis Built, a top-notch, pro-spec fabrication and welding company. Accounting for the weight and power of the truck, Chris used sophisticated CAD suspension programs to design a suspension that allows for 12 inches of travel in front and 17 inches in the rear. Chris and two of Doug’s top guys spent two full days fabricating the custom suspension components.
The front suspension is a patent-pending Lewis Built BA350 Stage 2 design with King 3-inch triple-bypass shocks, King 3-inch coilovers, and a Lewis Built BA350 custom track bar and centerlink, plus a couple King steering stabilizers for good measure. In the back, another Lewis Built custom BA350 Stage 2 design features a heavy-duty cantilever, custom Atlas leaf springs, and King 3.5-inch triple-bypass shocks. The cantilever is a standout feature; it’s built for support and to provide horizontal mounts for the rear shocks. This allows for the full 17 inches of travel without having to bring the suspension up through the bed like you would in a Trophy Truck, or anything else with that type of travel. Chris and Doug felt it was important for the bed to remain fully functional, maintaining stock limits for payload, storage, gooseneck towing, or even a slide-in camper.
Other features and mods include custom DEFCO armor and exhaust, an SCT tuner, Dana Super 60 front axle, Sterling 10.5-inch rear axle (replacing the stock Dana M275), 4.30:1 diff gears, ARB Air Lockers, and Advanced Fiberglass fenders and bedsides. However, the BA350 remains an F-350 at heart, with a fully retained Ford powertrain warranty to boot. There have been a few attempts at a Super Duty Raptor in the past, but this one is about as close as you can get to a factory, off-the-lot F-350 Raptor, and it’s truly badass (which is what the BA stands for in the moniker). DEFCO Trucks is currently offering BA350s for purchase, and you can learn more about them at defcotrucks.com.
At a Glance
Vehicle: ’17 Ford F-350 (DEFCO BA350 Stage 2)
Owner: DEFCO Trucks
Stomping grounds: Denver, Colorado
Build time: Eight months
Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel
Transmission: 6R140 TorqShift six-speed auto
Transfer case: BorgWarner 44-66 two-spd
Low range ratio(s): 2.64:1
Crawl ratio(s): 47.3:1
Front axle/differential: Dana Super 60, Lewis Built BA350 trusses/4.30:1 gears, ARB Air Locker
Rear axle/differential: Sterling 10.5-in, Lewis Built BA350 trusses/4.30:1 gears, ARB Air Locker
Front: Lewis Built BA350 Stage 2, King 3-in triple-bypass shocks, King 3-in coilovers, Lewis Built BA350 custom track bar and centerlink
Rear: Lewis Built custom BA350 Stage 2 cantilever, custom Atlas leaf springs, King 3.5-in triple-bypass shocks
Wheels: 20x14 custom Weld Renegade
Tires: 365/80R20 Continental MPT81
Lighting: Baja Designs Driving Lights
Armor: Custom Lewis Built BA350 front and rear bumpers
Cool stuff: Warn 16.5ti winch, Rockford Fosgate amplifier and subs, Custom DEFCO DPF-back 4.5-in exhaust, MBRP 5-in exhaust tip, emission compliant SCT tuner, EBC brake pads and rotors, custom stainless steel brake lines, AMP Research PowerSteps, Custom Advanced Fiberglass bedsides and fenders