2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Thirst for First
Extreme Offroad & Performance and Kelderman Build the First Air-Ride ’17 Ford Super Duty for SEMA
There’s nothing like being first. Crossing the finish line before anyone else earns you respect, fame, and even fortune, particularly if you put in a lot of hard work to get there. But the best part about being the first to do something is the feeling of accomplishment you get in knowing you’ve done something groundbreaking and unique.
That’s probably a huge motivator for the team at Extreme Offroad & Performance in Katy, Texas, which is why the shop set out to build the first ’17 Ford F-Series Super Duty with air suspension in the country. “We’re always building new and innovative stuff for SEMA,” says Austin O’Krinsky of Extreme Offroad. “We knew the ’17 Super Duty was coming out, and we wanted to be one of the first to build something for SEMA.”
Like his son, company president Michael O’Krinsky is a die-hard fan of the Blue Oval, and he knew he wanted a ’17 Super Duty of his very own, so when a truck popped up for sale in Missouri, he and the team swooped it up. The guys from Extreme then drove the brand-new F-350 to Kelderman’s headquarters in Iowa to allow the team there to spec and develop suspension parts before shipping the truck back to Texas.
Once the Ford was back in the Lone Star State and fitted with a freshly developed Kelderman 12-inch air suspension kit, Extreme started to tear into it and get it prepped for the 2016 SEMA Show, which was just a few weeks away. The first challenge was getting used to the ’17 Super Duty’s clean-sheet redesign. Little things like the transfer case and more significant bits like the steering system required new tools and tricks to get the truck to work well, but Austin says the process was surprisingly simple. “It just took a little time to get everything nailed down and working properly, and after that it was fine,” he says.
With the Super Duty’s Kelderman suspension and Extreme Offroad calibrations complete, the team turned to the truck’s exterior, keen to make it stand out among the other SEMA show trucks. Kelderman front and rear bumpers, custom headlamps, and smoked taillamps give the F-350’s modern exterior even more pop, while Rigid Industries lightbars, AMP Research side steps, an Undercover bedcover, a BedRug, and a BedSlide add functionality to the daily driver.
But ironing out the details proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Extreme team in advance of the truck’s debut.
“We take between 5 and 10 vehicles to SEMA every year, and there’s always that crunch time to get things done, especially in this situation where we didn’t have much time in the beginning,” Austin says. “That whole week before the show, we were in the shop every day, not leaving till around 3 or 4 in the morning.”
Even with that preparation, some parts (like the Weld Racing XT Falkata forged wheels) weren’t installed until the last possible second. In fact, Austin says they only finished the truck an hour before it was time to leave, and even then, they had to postpone some details until they got to Las Vegas. Case in point: The Extreme-designed custom grille you see here arrived at the shop the day after they’d left for SEMA, meaning they had to reroute the shipment to install it mere moments before the truck made its debut on the show floor. No one said being first was going to be easy.
Still, the Extreme Offroad F-350 drew lots of interest at the show, since it literally stands out from the crowd. Austin and the team are particularly proud of how comprehensive their truck’s suspension upgrades were. “There were plenty of lifted ’17 Super Dutys at the show, but most of them just had taller springs,” he says. “Nothing like our four-link air suspension.”
Since its unveiling in Las Vegas, the F-350 has seen a few minor changes. Focused on extracting a little more power from the mighty 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8, Michael spec’d an engine tuner to make the most of the new intake and exhaust. The truck isn’t done, either, as the O’Krinsky family is also considering turbocharger, fueling, and transmission upgrades.
Until then, Michael, Austin, and the rest of the Extreme Offroad & Performance team will just enjoy the daily driven ’17 Super Duty. “My dad uses it as his regular commuter, and we hitch trailers up to it all the time,” Austin says. “That’s my favorite thing about this truck. It’s a custom, show-worthy build, but you can also daily-drive it and use it functionally.”
That combination makes the big Ford all the more deserving of its pole-position status.
SPECSHEETYear/Make/Model: ’17 Ford F-350 Super Duty
Owner: Michael O’Krinsky
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8
Transmission: Ford TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission
Odometer: 2,500 miles
Induction: No Limit Fabrication intake
Exhaust: Flo-Pro exhaust
Engine Management: PPEI custom tuning
Horsepower/Torque: 450 hp/930 lb-ft
Front/Rear Suspension: Kelderman 10- to 12-inch four-link front air suspension lift kit, Fox dual steering stabilizers; Kelderman 10- to 12-inch four-link rear air suspension lift kit
Interior: Kicker Q-Class components in doors, IQ1000.1 and IQ500.4 amplifiers, two 12-inch Kicker CompRT subwoofers, custom box
Exterior/Accessories: Extreme Offroad & Performance custom-designed grille, AMP Research side steps, UnderCover bedcover, BedRug, BedSlide, Kelderman front and rear bumpers, custom-designed headlamps, smoked taillamps, Rigid Industries LED lightbars, Monster Hooks hooks, BulletProof Hitches 12-inch drop hitch, Mag-Hytec front differential cover
Paint/wrap: Custom-painted trim in red and black, Prismatic Powders Lollypop Red powdercoating
Wheels: 24-inch custom-forged Weld Racing XT Falkata
Tires: 40x15.50R24 Toyo Open Country M/T
Special Thanks: Kelderman Manufacturing, the mechanics at Extreme Offroad, Weld Racing, BedSlide
Fun Fact: It’s awesome when you’re riding at regular height and a bystander says the truck should be bigger. Then, at the press of a button, it raises itself higher off the ground.