2003 Ford F-250 - Reset Button
Even Nicer The Second Time Around
One of the best ways to begin the custom truck hobby is to get started at an early age. Growing up in a family that’s active in the sport means the seeds are planted early. Jason Griffin got a very early start at the ripe old age of 12, helping his father install a lift kit. Since then, the father and son team has installed more than 100 kits over the years for friends and family. Jason, now 25, is a bona fide truck enthusiast, having already owned 14 trucks and never owned a car! His current truck is the best in a long line and has gone through multiple design changes.
Although you won’t recognize it, this ’03 F-250 has appeared in 8-Lug once before. Owned by Josh Williams and named Ice Age, the truck was beautifully customized and Jason admired it as it cruised the streets of his hometown in Auburndale, Florida. Imagine his surprise when one of the sales reps from the local Ford dealer contacted him, telling him the custom crew cab was on their lot. Starting with an already customized truck means you can get to the next level even faster, so it didn’t take long before Jason had the Ford in his garage.
He drove Ice Age for a while, but it’s not much fun when you’re behind the wheel of someone else’s highly recognizable truck. In order to make it his own, the personalizing process began with the first new paintjob: Pearl White with a dark blue interior. It was a dramatic change, but it still wasn’t quite right. The next attempt was a shade of Blue Pearl, and although it was also nice, it still did not stand out the way Jason wanted.
The third and final time was a joint effort, with Jason and his dad spending about a month sanding the truck down to bare metal. Body mods include the ’05 front end—complete with bumpers, grille, and headlights—along with an ’05 chrome bumper in the rear. The steps are from an ’07 crew cab, and the truck uses ’05 badges. The polished gas cap is from RBP, and the star on the cap matches the star on the wheels.
The taillights, third brake light, and driving lights are from Recon, while the headlights are from an ’05 Harley Edition. The bed uses diamond-plate rails instead of the factory black plastic, and the tri-fold tonneau cover from Rugged Cover makes it easy to access the bed. Jason’s friend Doug Robbins at Auto FX Custom and Collision in Lakeland, Florida, made the truck colorful once again, spraying the combination of Orange Crush and Quick Silver.
Doug painted the factory mirrors and also brought lots of bright orange paint touches inside, spraying the new ’05 dash, center console, door panel inserts, and overhead console. Lots of other subtle paint touches were added throughout the truck, right down to the shocks, which are painted silver to match the exterior. The third time was a charm and, thankfully, Jason is thrilled with the new color combination! Steve’s Upholstery in Winter Haven, Florida, continued the upgrade, stitching a combination of gray and orange leather to dress up the interior.
As pretty as it is, the big Ford is still a work truck and a daily driver. Jason is an outside sales rep for Goodyear, so during the week the bed is loaded with tires and the truck tows the company trailer. An 8-inch lift kit gives the big Ford all-terrain versatility with Pro Comp leaf springs, blocks, shocks, a track bar, Pitman arm, and Pro Comp’s dual steering stabilizers.
The factory Dana 60 up front and the Sterling 10.5-inch axle in the rear are both equipped with 4.56 gears. Jason chose 37x13.50-R20LT Toyo Open Country tires, and the rims are 20x12 XD Series Rockstars. The truck uses leaf springs up front, but since Jason doesn’t take the truck off-road, future plans call for coil springs to provide a better ride.
Ensuring the big rig can stay ahead of traffic, the Ford Power Stroke 6.0L V-8 was rebuilt from the block up. The heads were machined, ARP head studs replaced the factory bolts, larger 175cc injectors were added, and the rebuilt factory 10-blade turbo was retained for its distinctive sound. Breathing was enhanced with an Airaid cold-air intake and a straight 5-inch MBRP exhaust with a 6-inch MBRP tip. A Bullet Proof Diesel oil cooler protects all the moving parts. The truck runs an SCT tuner equipped with Vivian’s Looney Wild Tune and features a choice of Stock Tune, Street Tune, and Extreme Race. Jason likes the Looney Wild Tune, calling it the best combination for power and mileage.
Transferring that power is the factory 5R110 five-speed automatic, equipped with a Banks billet converter to handle the additional horsepower, along with a two-speed, electronic, shift-on-the-fly transfer case. The Edge monitor mounted above the left side of the windshield keeps track of all the truck’s vital functions. Jason estimates the truck makes about 480 hp and about 895 lb-ft of torque. Future plans call for a turbo upgrade and a dual exhaust system for even more punch.
The final step was the addition of entertainment to his mobile office in the form of an elaborate stereo, beginning with a Kenwood DNX-8190 CD/DVD/Nav head unit with a 6.5-inch screen. It controls a 1,000-watt Autotek amp mounted under the rear seat, four Kicker crossovers, and the 7-inch Boss monitor in a custom fiberglass enclosure on the dash. The speaker mix includes four Kicker component sets on the sides of the center console, two in the front doors, and four in the rear panels. Each door boasts its own 1-inch Kicker tweeter. Future plans call for a row of Kicker subs along the back wall of the cab and a second amp under the seat. Ensuring plenty of juice for the system is the DC Power 220-amp alternator and a pair of Exide batteries. A Python security system keeps the big rig protected with antitheft and remote-start capabilities.
How does Jason like his “new” truck? On weekends, the hardworking Ford gets a quick cleanup and you will find Jason and his fiancée, Stephanie, having fun and maybe even taking home a trophy or two at a local truck show. The truck also fits nicely as part of Jason’s long-range goal of opening his own customizing shop, specializing in lift kits. He certainly has the experience to get the job done! Jason sends special thanks to his parents, his fiancée, Doug Robbins, TK Fuller, High Altitude Truck Club, and Sinister Diesel. For those of you who might be concerned that this truck has appeared twice while yours hasn’t been in once, send us some pictures. If it’s as nice as this one, we promise, we’ll make room for ya!