2008 Ford F350 Harley Davidson - Stimulus Package
Building A $110,000 Super Duty
Bill McShane and his wife Vicki are business owners in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and have been active automotive enthusiasts for the last 10 years. They are into large, lifted trucks, and their first vehicle, named Out of Control, is well-known on the East Coast show truck circuit. Several years ago, their Out of Control '98 Dodge began with a conservative lift, but the situation changed rapidly. Shortly after driving it out of the showroom, Bill was passed by a taller truck and decided to raise the Dodge a little higher. He was happy for a while, that is until he was passed by another taller truck. Like an elevator, the Dodge kept going up until pretty soon, there simply were no more taller trucks! Dairy Queen sponsored the truck, and it quickly became a kid's favorite at Monster Jam, especially since it was 2 1/2 feet taller than the largest monster truck on the circuit. Unfortunately, much of the height came from the 64-inch tires that were not DOT approved, making Out of Control illegal to drive on the street. While the Monster Jam circuit was fun, Bill and Vicki soon realized they missed being able to drive their truck to weekend shows in the area. That's when they began planning the new truck in these photographs.
When they created Out of Control, Bill and Vicki bought the truck first and then shopped for the parts. Now more experienced and with a clearer idea of the finished vehicle, they bought the components for their second truck before it was even in their possession. The truck they had in mind was the new '08 Harley-Davidson F-350, crew cab 4x4, 105th Anniversary Edition. As you might expect with a truck this size, everything takes a little longer. The delivery process was delayed because the F-350 longbed had to be delivered by train and it occupied two spots on the rail car. That meant the couple had to wait until the timing was right. When the truck finally arrived at Brandon Ford in Brandon, Florida, however, there was hardly a moment's delay before Bill and Vicki had the truck on a trailer, headed to Off Road Center in Russellville, Alabama, for the altitude-enhancing process. Vicki says even though she is just as enthusiastic about the sport as Bill, she was glad when all the new suspension pieces could finally be removed from the living room!
The first step in the conversion was eliminating all the original suspension pieces that came with the Ford. Once the stock frame was gone, a center cradle was custom-fabricated, then powdercoated silver. It accommodates the triangulated front and rear four-link suspension. A pair of bulletproof 2 1/2-ton Rockwell military axles with 6.72 gears replaced the original Ford axles, and special high-angle U-joints accommodate the steep rake of the front driveshaft. Custom shock mounting brackets were fitted to each corner, holding the monster King coilover reservoir shocks that dampen the suspension and provide a smooth ride. Custom sway bars and limiting straps on the front and rear axles also enhance the high-altitude truck's ride quality. Steering the heavyweight 4x4 now requires only a light touch, thanks to the hydraulic assist from AGR's Rock Ram steering system. The final step was rims, and since a set of off-the-shelf wheels simply wouldn't do for a truck of this caliber, a one-of-a-kind set of 20 x 18-inch wheels was created, then wrapped in imposing 54-inch Super Swamper Boggers.
The '08 Ford sports a Harley logo on the tailgate, airbrushed by Al Capone, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If you look closely at the graphics on the side, you will see a Harley chopper rolling at full tilt. The subtle bike mural was sprayed by Anthony Rhodes, of Rhodes Auto Works in Sanford, Florida, using the Harley-Davidson Anniversary colors of black and silver with copper accents. The final touch was a replica of Bill's tattoos sprayed as graphics under the hood. The big Harley 4x4 is equipped with strobe lights front and rear, along with special lowered headlight and taillight brackets that make the truck street-legal. The original orange cab lights were replaced with smoked versions for a subtle styling touch. Inside, the truck features a plush interior with a list of options usually found only in high-end luxury cars. Automatic dual-zone climate control, heated power bucket seats swathed in leather, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power telescoping and folding, heated exterior mirrors, power adjustable pedals, an overhead console, and Sirius satellite radio are just a few of the creature comforts that coddle driver and passengers. From the driver's seat, Bill uses a monitor in the rearview mirror that's connected to the tailgate-mounted, color camera. It's a big help when maneuvering the monster Ford. Plans are already under way for an elaborate audiovisual system with multiple TVs and a DVD player, along with custom-embroidered upholstery.
The 6.4L twin-turbo V-8, with its five-speed automatic and custom MBRP exhaust, puts out plenty of power. Although, knowing Bill, horsepower upgrades will probably occur in the very near future. The truck is almost a year old with only 1,800 miles but has already won a considerable stack of First-place trophies.
Asking the obvious question, we wondered about the motivation behind building such a sky-scrapin' rig. "First," says Bill, "sorta like climbing Mt. Everest, we did it because we could! But more importantly, this is both our bad habit and our creative outlet." You might think that "his and hers" monster trucks would be enough for any family, but Bill and Vicki are already planning a third, ultra-high, lifted truck. So far, the details are secret-but don't worry, we'll keep our cameras ready! DP