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From The Ground Up - 1997 Ford F-350 OBS

This ’97 OBS Ford is Immaculate

Ron Fresquez
Feb 1, 2012
Contributors: Phillip Hooker
Photographers: Bob Carpenter, Phillip Hooker
The crew cab old-body-style (OBS) Fords are a thing of beauty, and finding a clean one is pretty rare. Dustin Nelson’s ’97 is an immaculate example of a clean, tasteful OBS. Everything you see on this truck was installed by Dustin himself.

Dustin bought this truck in 2005 while living in Colorado. Although the truck did OK in the snow, he wanted more. So the Ford went up in the air via a custom set of 8-inch-lift leaf springs with an additional 5 inches of lift by way of a reverse shackle kit. To fill the gap in the fenders, he put on a set of 20x12 Xtreme Alloy 6047s wrapped in 40x13.5-inch Pro Comp Xtreme A/T tires. To keep those big meats pointing in the right direction, Nelson fabbed up a custom crossover steering kit with dual steering stabilizers. The rear axle is supported by 80-inch traction bars, also fabricated by Dustin.
Photo 2/9   |   A clean, tough stance sets Dustin’s ’97 OBS Ford truck apart from the crowd. Its height also makes it easy to find in crowded parking lots.
After the lift and larger wheels and tires, the truck was a little down on power. To offset this, a set of 4.56 gears was installed in both axles, as well as an Edge Evo programmer. With more fuel, the airflow side of things needed to be addressed. So an AFE Stage 1 intake was added to get cleaner, colder air into the engine. A 4-inch exhaust to a 7-inch miter-cut stack was added to get the exhaust up and out. To deal with the added stress of more power and larger tires, the transmission was upgraded with an ATS Five Star torque converter and shift kit. Although it’s not the fastest out there, it is pretty quick for how large it is. Dustin recently ran it to a best of 16.91 seconds at the NHRDA Gator Diesel Nationals.

With the altitude adjusted and the power upped, it was time to make it appealing to the eye. All the lights have been replaced with clear markers, including the front and rear turn signals, third brake light, and cab lights. Up front there is a billet grille, with Super Duty foglights helping to light the way. To keep the inside of the bed looking good, Dustin had it lined by Rhino Linings. To finish off the outside, the tailgate’s badges were shaved.
In 2006, Dustin enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to shore duty at NAS Jacksonville. So that meant packing everything up in Colorado and going cross-country. To make the trip bearable with the exhaust stack, an Alpine head unit was added. The new head unit sends tunes to the Alpine component speakers, as well as to the 1,000-watt Rockford Fosgate amp and sub. To deal with the bright sun where they were going, limo tint was added to the side windows.

After all was said and done, Dustin definitely ended up with a good towing, good riding, and good looking truck. So if you’re at a mud bog, race track, or cruising around north Florida, you’ll see Dustin showing off his creation.
Photo 3/9   |   Extra fueling is provided via an Edge Evo tuner. Clean air gets to the engine through an AFE cold-air intake.


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