Ford F350 - The Devil's In The Details
Diablo Off Road's Super Duty
Imagine you're at your neighborhood store, trying to fit a heavy load into your 1/2-ton truck. We're not talking about a load of groceries, but a really heavy load, like a pallet of bricks from a home improvement store. David Anderson found himself in that situation a few years ago, and left the bricks behind to buy an '01 F-350 that could handle the load. The F-350 proved to be a good work truck, but stock was boring.
An off-the-shelf lift kit wasn't going to cut it for David, so he called Dave Hoppert at One Up Offroad in Woodburn, Oregon, to design a suspension capable of towing and still handling the rigors of off-road driving. Dave used a 3-D modeling program to design several components of the lift, including upper shock mounts and the custom crossmember. The front suspension design mimics an early Bronco, but bigger, and better. Two radius arms built from 2-inch-diameter tubing and a track rod built from 1-3/4-inch tubing locate the Dynatrac high pinion Dana 60 front differential. Off Road Unlimited provided the crossover steering knuckles that are turned with help from two hydraulic rams. In the rear, One Up Offroad chose 12-inch Valley Spring Service leaf springs and 11-inch blocks. To combat axle-wrap, two traction bars help the leaves act more like coils, and keep the V-10 from twisting the 10.5-inch rear.
Each corner of the truck has 46x19.5x16-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw rubber fitted on 12-inch-wide Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheels. To help the engine move the huge rolling stock, a Pro Fab Puller transfer case was installed that acts to underdrive the gears at a 1.6:1 ratio, so the factory 3.73 gears in the axles now act like 5.96 gears. At 65 mph, the engine's only turning 2,500 rpm. To stop those tires, front and rear brakes were upgraded using Off Road Unlimited slotted rotors and pads, along with stainless braided lines.
To help the exterior of the truck with it's off-road persona, David added Bushwacker fender flares, Fab Four bumpers, a 16,500lb Warn winch, three Baja Designs HID driving lights, and Sidewinder Steps to help passengers in and out of the behemoth. With all of the accessories on, Joe Dupery then added the DiablOffroad.com graphics, and the finishing touches came from Steve Smart, at billetbadges.com, who carved up some F-666 badges for the Super Duty to match its Diablo theme.
David keeps the Ford clean, but he's not afraid to take it off-road, and the only trailer it sees is the one under his 32-foot boat. It just goes to show what careful design and attention to detail can achieve. The final tally after the lift was installed: 46 inches of Baja law, 23 inches of lift, and 13.5 inches of wheel travel.