2010 Ford F150 - Livin' The Life
K-Daddyz Strikes Again
Building a SEMA show vehicle for a manufacturer can be tough, especially if you're the kind of guy who's prone to cutting things apart, altering them nearly beyond recognition, and then painting it all in mind-bending hues. The OEMs tend to frown upon taking something they worked so hard to design and throwing it all out the window, so when Kyle Gann, of K-Daddyz Kustoms in Bakersfield, California, proposed a build for a 2010 Ford F-150, he had to tread lightly. He'd 'bag it, but not body drop it. He'd give it a custom paintjob, of course, but he wouldn't shave the door handles. He'd leave the engine stock, at least internally. He walked the fine line between building a truck that all of us truck enthusiasts would drool over, and a truck that everyone would immediately recognize as a '10 Ford F-150.
Given instructions to build a sturdy suspension, Chris at Roughcut Customs in Bakersfield, began the build by fabricating some of the beefiest trailing arms we've seen on a 2WD truck this side of a SCORE race. The four-link's boxed arms mount the factory-width rear axle and use Air Lift 'bags and an AccuAir e-Level system in conjunction with AccuAir's VU4 valve manifold to maintain a level ride height no matter the load. The front suspension uses DJM Calmax control arms and Air Lift 'bags to get the right stance, but there's more. Mounted to the factory spindles are huge Baer six-piston calipers with drilled and slotted rotors. The rears required a little ingenuity on Kyle's part, as Baer makes rear rotors, but not calipers, at least not yet. Kyle machined a billet aluminum caliper cover to perfectly match the front. To get the right ratio of chrome to paint, Kyle chose a set of 24x9-inch Hipnotic Diva wheels wrapped in a set of grippy 285/30R24 Nitto NT420 tires. The 10-inch-wide tire would be put to the test when it came time to handle the horsepower that Kyle had planned for the F-150.
With the right wheels and stance courtesy of Roughcut Customs, Kyle turned his attention to the Ford's bodywork. In the rear, a metal roll pan replaced the bumper and a Warn winch was mounted between the framerails. The fairlead was frenched into the roll pan and the remote was routed inside the bed. Now the F-150 was ready to pull just about anything onto a trailer. Stripping off all emblems, the door handles, and the mirrors, Kyle filled his spray gun with DuPont paint and applied a black and charcoal two-tone to the truck as well as the SnugTop fiberglass tonneau cover and Street Scene mirrors before layering candy red over the bottom half, coating the charcoal. A Hot Hues Silva dividing graphic was sprayed on, with red pinstriping highlighting the transition. In place of the factory pieces Kyle removed, Rhino Manufacturing billet door handles and Mackey Machine mesh grille inserts and emblems were bolted on for a luxury touch.
Big Mike and Stan at Hardcore Audio in Bakersfield, helped Kyle reach his goal of elevating the already high-end audio that the F-150 was equipped with from the factory. The SYNC head unit was left intact, but four JBL 12-inch subs mounted in the bed take the bass to levels that Ford engineers never imagined. With a flowing fiberglass enclosure in the bed and pods in every door, Hardcore filled the truck with JBL amps and components and gave Kyle the key to the audio with a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 31-channel equalizer and crossover controller. With most of the obvious audio in the bed, painted dash pieces and carbon-fiber door trim from Superior Dash make the biggest visual statement inside the truck, while Katzkin leather upholstery and a suede headliner installed by Achilles Tovar take the F-150's looks upscale. Rear-seat passengers are treated to their own Vizualogic headrest monitor DVD players and the whole cab is brightened by a Webasto GrandView sunroof that stretches nearly the entire length of the cab.
Remember those Nitto tires we mentioned earlier? Well, they're put to the test now that the 5.4L V-8 ingests 8+ pounds of intercooled boost by way of a ProCharger centrifugal supercharger. Kyle gave a few of the ProCharger parts some attention and now they wear the same hues as the exterior. Tuning chores are handled by a Superchips programmer. The resulting horsepower boost is more than enough to make up for the additional weight of the audio system, and the loping idle just begs you to tip into the throttle.
So, how was the truck received at SEMA? We were stunned, the crowd seemed to love it, and Ford, while they had their worries (they thought it was a bit low), couldn't deny that their product looked great in the hands of a master customizer. Kyle wanted to thank Chris at Roughcut Customs, Big Mike, Stan, Dave, and Rob for their excellent work on the truck. We can hardly wait to see what Kyle cooks up for next year's show.