2010 Ford F-350 Super Duty - Magic Show Part 1
Turning a Tow Pig Into a Prized Possession: Wheels, Tires, Brakes, and Leveling Tech
"As you can see, there is nothing hidden under my sleeves." That line may be a mainstay for magicians, but truck lovers don't buy into the smoke and mirrors of marketing hyperbole and false promises. You want a truck that works hard, plays hard, and looks good doing it. For several years, we've used our in-house 2010 Ford F-350 Super Duty shop dualie behind the scenes to haul parts, tow trailers, and make long trips with projects in tow. The entire time, there was one large problem constantly looming over the driver: It was 100-percent stock. After some senior management persuasion, we got the green light to make it look more befitting of an 8-Lug team hauler.
We started with the basics: suspension and wheels/tires. We oftentimes max out the F-350's 15,000-pound tow rating, so safety was a must. Wheels and tires may not be at the forefront of your mind when you're thinking of safety, but the only thing between you and the road are the wheels and tires that must support your rig and whatever you're towing or hauling. Weld Racing stepped in to help us out with its new line of forged dualie wheels. With a load rating of 3,500 pounds on a 37-inch-tall tire, these wheels will last the life of the truck and look good doing it. Keeping traction with the road mile after mile is Continental's latest commercial tire, the HSR1. This combo should last 100,000 miles with proper rotation and inflation. To help us clear the new, larger wheels and tires, we added a 2-inch leveling kit with new shocks from Daystar. Easy to install, the leveling kit will give us the extra room needed, without negatively affecting the ride quality or tow rating. To bring down the extra mass, we installed a set of Orange Stuff brake pads from EBC Brakes. With more pad swept contact area and thicker pads, the EBC pads will help reduce heat, shorten stopping distances, and wear more evenly than the factory brakes.
Before: When we began the day, our 2010 Ford F-350 Super Duty dualie was 100 percent stock. The tires were worn down and needed replacing, which provided us with the perfect opportunity to improve all aspects of the truck.
Our factory 245/70R17 Continental tires were 30.5 inches tall, but the new Continental HSR1 245/70R19.5 tires ($356.00 each at simpletire.com) and Weld Racing 19.5-inch D50 dualie wheels ($742.11 each at weldracing.com) measured in at a full 33 inches tall. To provide the necessary fender clearance, we'll be installing a 2-inch Daystar leveling kit.
It may look like a lot of parts, but the Daystar leveling kit was extremely basic and not difficult to install. Shown in the photo, the 2-inch Comfort Ride kit (KF09101BK, $129.99 at 4wheelparts.com) included the 2-inch polyurethane spacer and threaded extension, and we also ordered front and rear shocks from Daystar to complete the install ($39.99 each).
01: Once we had the 1-ton behemoth up on our shop lift (though you could easily do the install with jackstands), we removed the wheels and tires and then removed the sway bar endlink from the sway bar.
02: Using a ½-inch swivel joint, we removed the lower shock mounting nut and pulled the shock free from the mounting bolt.
03: The top of the coil spring was held in place by a simple steel "L" bracket. Using a 3⁄8-inch ratchet and socket, we removed the retaining bolt and removed the bracket.
04: The lower portion of the coil spring was retained by a large nut with a steel washer. Using a large wrench, we removed the nut.
05: With the solid axle supported by a tranny jack, we lowered each side of the axle down separately and removed the large coil spring.
06: After removing the factory nylon isolator bushing, we threaded on the Daystar extension and tightened it down.
07: A ratchet and wrench were used to remove the upper shock retaining nut, and the original shock was removed.
08: Up next, we slid the Daystar 2-inch polyurethane spacer into place.
09: It took some muscle, but we then positioned the factory coil spring in place and used the factory lower and upper hardware to secure it.
10: We were now ready to install the new Daystar Scorpion shocks. Included in our kit, the optional shock armor was easy to attach and will protect our shock bodies for years to come.
11: To ensure proper alignment, we installed a set of alignment cams engineered specifically for our two-wheel-drive Ford F-350 dualie (PN: 24220, $58.63). These parts came from Specialty Products Company and are a must for anyone lowering, leveling, or lifting a truck. You'll be happy you added these once your steering wheel is straight, your truck rides like factory, and your tires wear evenly.
12: In keeping with the safety theme, while we had the truck up on the lift we checked our factory brake pads. As we suspected, the miles of towing had quickly worn down our pads, so we took this opportunity to upgrade them with a pair of Orange Stuff pads from EBC Brakes. With a larger contact swept area and slots to vent hot gases away from the contact surface, our tow rig will stop better and our brakes will last longer.
13: It was necessary to remove both the brake caliper and mounting bracket to properly gain access to the Ford brake pads. Once both pieces were separated, we greased the mounting points and backs of the pads, pushed the caliper pistons back into the calipers, and slid the new EBC brake pads into position.
14: Moving to the rear, we replaced our old shocks with new Scorpion shocks with shock armor from Daystar.
15: Out back, the brake pads were excessively worn down. With so much weight hanging off the rear axle, the rear pads were taking a beating. Thankfully, the new EBC brake pads were much thicker and have a special compound to dissipate heat better and last longer.
16: Just like in the front, the rear calipers were removed as an entire unit and the bracket was installed separately. The EBC Orange Stuff pads then slid into place.
17: With the suspension and brakes handled, we could lower the truck down and install the new 19.5-inch Weld Racing wheels and 245/70R19.5 Continental HSR1 commercial tires. We inflated our tires to 100 psi to handle the rigors of towing and highway driving. Though it was a little harsher than the factory 17-inch wheel/tire combo, we were impressed with the ride quality of the larger wheels and tires, and we greatly appreciate knowing these tires will last us 100,000 miles with proper rotation and inflation. The Weld D50 dualie wheels perfectly offset the sea of white paint, and they will handle any load we throw at them. Both the wheels and tires are proudly made in the USA.
After: New wheels, new tires, new lights, and new grille. The basics are covered and made a dramatic difference in the dualie's appearance. The best part of all is the F-350 is now safer and did not lose any of its towing capabilities.
EBC BrakesSylmar, CA 91342
DaystarPhoenix, AZ 85043
Weld RacingKansas City, MO 64129
Specialty Products Co.Longmont, CO 80504