2008 Ford F-350 With A 14-Inch Lift - The Beast!
…but bubbles are also part of this F-350 package…
Brad Jennings is an equipment operator for the city of Largo, Florida. He got his start in the automotive hobby with his first car, a ’91 Camaro complete with bubble tanks inside and an airbrushed mural of Jenny McCarthy that incorporated strategically placed bubbles over vital areas. The car was great fun, but the downside was it didn’t take long before he picked up the nickname Bubbles. (More about that later.) When it was time to swap the Camaro for something bigger, the truck market was the answer. He especially liked the styling of the ’08 Ford F-350, along with its comfortable ride and plush interior. Several mild custom touches helped to personalize the truck and, at one of its first shows, a photographer (yours truly) snapped a few shots and it became part of an 8-Lug show coverage article. That changed everything! Seeing the truck in his favorite magazine motivated Brad to upgrade the Ford with the goal of qualifying for a full feature.
Teaming up with Hardcore Trucks Offroad and Performance in Dunedin, Florida, Brad began with suspension changes, choosing a four-link setup, front and rear. “A lot of people only do one or the other, but I wanted to be different and do both,” he tells us. A 14-inch lift kit from Precision Metal Fabrication gave the truck its imposing altitude. Each wheel was fitted with custom brackets that held a Fox reservoir shock and a Fox coilover shock equipped with Eibach springs. A pair of Fox shocks with custom rod ends stabilized the steering. Both factory axles run 4.10:1 gears, and each differential was fitted with a Mag-Hytec cover for additional fluid and extra style. In order to properly showcase all the upgrades, everything was powdercoated using the same bright green color as Monster Energy drink cans. The same shade was used to accent the interior and exterior of the truck. Getting the F-350 rolling are 22x14 American Force Burnout SS8 direct bolt-on super singles, wrapped in 40x15.50R22 Toyo Open Country M/T rubber. Power Stop rotors and pads bring the big rig safely to a halt.
Body mods began with a custom grille and gas filler cap from RBP, along with RBP’s green side vent panels. A custom cowl induction hood, Bushwacker fender flares, and Road Armor bumpers front and rear add to the aggressive look of the truck, as do the powdercoated, gloss-black exhaust stacks in the bed. Amp Research retractable steps ease entry and exit. Making sure the big black Ford will not get lost in the dark, the Recon lighting package includes headlights, taillights, third brake lights, and lights on the side view mirrors. Foglights and backup lights from PIAA, AutoZone LEDs on the roof and in the front bumper, and Longshot Lighting’s neon underneath complete the big Ford’s illumination package. Rockhard Bedliners in Tampa protected the inside of the bed and created the toolbox that provides support for the shiny black twin stacks. The box is filled with weatherproof stereo speakers to entertain the crowd that inevitably gathers whenever the truck is on display. James DePergola, owner of Jim’s Body Shop in Seminole, Florida, painted all the new additions.
Moving inside, the original tan interior was redone in black leather, accented with a black suede headliner and black carpet by Jesse Johansson of Interiors by Jesse. In an amazing coincidence, Brad met the fellow who created the original bubble tubes in his Camaro years before. Just for fun (and since he already had the nickname!), Brad decided to have the Automotive Custom Group in Clearwater, Florida, add some bubbles to the truck with a single lighted, water-filled, Plexiglas tube between the bucket seats and a full-width bubbling panel covering the rear window. It wasn’t a big trend back in the day, but Brad says folks who see it now are intrigued.
While the bubbles may be just for fun, the audiovisual system is dead serious. The Pioneer/Phoenix Gold package, installed by Car Tunes in Largo, Florida, begins with a Pioneer ACH-X8500 BHS head unit, with CD/DVD/SAT/MP3/Bluetooth capability as well as a backup camera. It controls three separate Phoenix Gold amplifiers with the first TI2800.1 sending 800 watts to the Phoenix Gold Elite 12-inch sub in the center console. The second and third are a pair of TI21600.5 five-channel amps that send 125 watts to the pair of SL10d2 shallow 10-inch subs behind the rear seat in a custom enclosure and the two pairs of Ti265cs 6.5-inch component sets in the cab and in the bed. A Blackmore 15.2-inch flip-down monitor in the headliner entertains rear seat passengers. The mirror, also built into the headliner, allows spectators on the ground to see the reflection of the sub in the Plexiglas center console. Roadkill Pro sound deadening was applied everywhere inside, and green LED alarm scanners are visible from the outside, letting everyone know there is an elaborate Viper alarm system protecting the truck. Stinger batteries and wiring ensure a constant supply of power.
So far, the 6.4L diesel sports an AFE cold-air intake, an SCT tuner, and a dual 4-inch open exhaust system feeding 6-inch stacks that exit through the bed. Additional power upgrades are on the short list. Brad and his girlfriend Nina enjoy cruising in the truck, along with their friends in the High Altitude Truck Club of Central Florida. While the truck is complete, it may never be finished, with a raft of new additions already scheduled and a goal established to display the truck at SEMA in 2015.
Black leather adds an elegant touch, and the audiovisual system makes this truck the perfect road trip ride. The armrest in the center console lifts to reveal the Plexiglas lid and sub. Two more subs are behind the seat and three amplifiers provide the power. A center bubble tube between the seats, and a flat panel over the rear window add to the entertainment inside.