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2015 Ford F150- Dark Ops

R&D Pays Off for Fabtech Motorsports

Feb 10, 2017
Photographers: Wes Allison
For a component maker to develop new parts, an actual real-world mock up is necessary to make the proper measurements and to ensure an exact fit. So when Brent Riley, President of Fabtech Motorsports, wanted to develop a lift kit and upper control arms, as well as remote reservoir coilovers and shocks for its new aluminum-bodied ’15 F-150, he needed to have a new Ford sitting in the development bay in its Chino, California, headquarters. That way, his techs could rip into the truck and make the adjustments necessary to make the new parts a perfect match.
Photo 2/21   |   2015 F150 Dark Ops Rear
Fabtech used this F-150 to do extensive R&D, which resulted in the development of some industry leading suspension and shock components the past two years. It’s this kind of focus and continuous development that keep Fabtech on the forefront of the suspension industry. They got the guinea pig F-150 directly from Ford, and the Blue Oval folks liked the look of the build so much, they selected it to display at the its SEMA 2015 booth. The truck went on to win the highly coveted Ford Design award that same year.
Photo 3/21   |   2015 F150 Dark Ops Suspension
Fabtech started this build with one of their 6-inch Performance lift kits and built the truck around that. They fit up a set of Dirt Logic 2.5 remote reservoir shocks with coilovers in the front and 2.25 Dirt Logic remote reservoirs shocks in the rear.
Inside the engine bay, Fabtech kept things nice and tidy by adding an aFe intake and matched it to an aFe exhaust system with a Sinister Diesel AR-15 Rifle Exhaust tip and a simulated Picatinny rail in case they ever wanted to mount a scope or grenade launcher. A heavy-duty front and rear driveshaft and a carbon fiber rear diff cover round out the drivetrain.
Photo 4/21   |   2015 F150 Dark Ops Diff
The body received a lot of attention. The front and rear bumpers were filled and smoothed with Rigid LEDs frenched in. Those LEDS are protected by custom screens featuring steel frames and actual .45-caliber shells used as fastener caps with that same look used for the Rigid LED bed lights. The front bumper has a custom billet-aluminum guard CNCed in-house at Fabtech from a massive 800-pound block, which took more than 40 hours to cut. A 3M wrap was given the royal treatment of five coats of clear, which was cut and buffed for a thick, deep shine. The front clip of the truck was covered in 3M’s black-brushed metal vinyl wrap. They installed a Rigid LED windshield-mounted lightbar, while a set of Bestop retractable side steps make getting in and out of the cab that much easier. The bed was decked out in a coat of Rhino Liner out of Norco, California.
Photo 5/21   |   2015 F150 Dark Ops Front
Inside the cab both the drivers and passengers are treated to black and gray Alea Leather seating with contrasting orange stitching. Most of the trim parts were lovingly treated to a brushed-metal matte wrap, with the A/C vents wrapped in camo to give the interior a multi-tone feel. The speaker vents were replaced with the same custom screens protecting the bumper LEDs.
The level of customization is so high on this Ford almost every surface was touched in some way. It even extended all the way down to the wheels where a set of 20x10 Fuel wheels were first hydro dipped in custom camo graphics and fitted with some OMF Performance Products beadlock rings, getting mated to a set of aggressive and blocky, but still streetable, 37x13.5R20 Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts.
Photo 6/21   |   2015 F150 Dark Ops Wheel
With the idea of product development taking first priority, the Fabtech team completed this build in just over five weeks to make it on time for the big shindig in Vegas. And while the fabrication portion of the suspension parts, lift, and aluminum bumper guard were done with relative ease, Riley reported that the hardest part of this build was the giant task of cutting the front bumper. After all, they are known for their suspensions, not bumpers! Stay tuned to Truckin. Fabtech has a few more new projects coming our way in the very near future!

Inside the build

Year/Make/Model: 2015 Ford F-150
Owner and City/State: Brent Riley, Fabtech Motorsports
Chassis:
Front Suspension: 6-inch Fabtech Performance lift with uniball upper control arms, Dirt Logic 2.5 remote reservoir shocks and coilovers
Rear Suspension: Dirt Logic 2.25 remote reservoir shocks
Drivetrain:
Engine: aFe intake and exhaust system, Sinister AR-15 Rifle Exhaust tip
Transmission: Custom heavy-duty front and rear driveshaft
Rearend: Carbon-fiber rear diff cover
Body: Front and rear bumper filled and smoothed with frenched-in Rigid lightpods, custom billet aluminum front bumper guard cut in-house, custom light screens with .45-caliber shell fastener caps, Rigid LED windshield lightbar, Bestop side steps, Fabtech in-bed spare tire carrier, Line-X bedliner, custom 3M wrap installed by Spin Imaging with five coats of clear, cut and buffed
Interior: Black and gray Alea Leather seat inserts with orange stitching, dash and door trim parts wrapped in camo and brushed metal film
Stereo: Speaker covers replaced with same custom screens on the front bumper LEDs
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x10; Fuel Full Blown with camo graphics and OMF Real Beadlocks
Tires: 37x13.50R20; Nitto Trail Grappler M/T

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