Lift (lift) v. lift·ed, lift·ing, lifts 1. To rise; ascend. 2. To raise in condi
That is exactly what Jeff Kelderman and the crew at Kelderman Manufacturing wanted to do to their '05 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel. Most truck enthusiasts can't leave things alone and the temptation to build the truck into a show-stopping monster was just too much for Jeff. Jeff's been known to go crazy with his big trucks in the past, and his current truck doesn't disappoint.
Beginning with the basics, they started by tearing out the factory suspension and throwing it out in favor of their own 10-inch air-ride suspension. For 2005, Ford chose to make some major changes to the Super Duty chassis, so after three weeks of R&D, the guys finished their fabrication. By replacing the control arms in the front, and the rear leaf springs with a heavy duty four-link suspension, they were able to give the truck the ride height increase they wanted, but without some of the usual drawbacks found in a more traditional lift. Once completed, the kit consisted of Kelderman's four-link suspension front and rear, larger rear antiroll bar, Air Ride Technology's RidePro e computer-controlled air springs, and Bilstein 7100 shocks to give the truck a great ride, but still provide the driveability today's truck buyer demands.
We don't know about you, but executing a lift of this magnitude without changing the stock rubber has to be a crime. So, to complement the lift, Jeff ordered up some 20x12-inch Weld Racing Evo Velocity 8 rims and shod them with 38x15.5 Nitto Mud Grappler tires. Now that's some serious rubber!
After massaging the bits underneath, much more was needed to transform this truck into what Jeff had envisioned. Jeff opted to get his truck delivered from Ford with the 6.0L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8, which is an excellent powertrain out of the box -- large displacement, great low-end torque, durability -- but that just wasn't enough. One call to Gale Banks Engineering and a UPS shipment later, the truck received Banks' Big Hoss performance bundle. By combining a 4-inch Monster stainless exhaust and muffler, a larger turbo intercooler, gauges, and Banks own Six-Gun Diesel Tuner computer, the output of the motor was increased to 385 hp at 3,400 rpm and boasted a really impressive 690 lb-ft of torque at a grave-robber low rpm of 2,000. Looking at this system, it appears Banks really did its homework on the software end, which is the scourge of the modern performance enthusiast. It's tough to change the performance of most newer cars without some major changes to the factory engine calibration. Factory programming has an uncanny knack for minimizing any performance gains aftermarket items could potentially make. Banks uses a piggyback computer that controls not only the fuel-injection pulse width, timing, and fuel pressure, but also hosts an entire array of safety features that keep the turbo, engine, and transmission healthy. It actively monitors conditions such as torque converter lockup, exhaust gas temperature, and coolant temperature, and makes adjustments to prevent unwanted conditions from damaging critical components. It is engineered with various safety-related features, such as Banks' Intelligent Fuel Delivery for smooth shifting and a complete self-evaluation process to make sure its own systems are working at optimum. Don't you wish your kids had built-in safety features like this?
Inside the cabin, Jeff picked out a blizzard-ing array of modern electronics to entertain himself (or anyone within a mile of the truck) on road trips. Just listen to this shopping list: a Kenwood KVT-915 DVD/navigation head unit, two Rosen seatback LCD monitors, three Phoenix Gold Xenon Amplifiers, 15 -- yes, 15 -- Phoenix Gold Xenon speakers, Scosche/EFX wiring, and an Optima battery to provide life juice for it all. Jeff and his crew handled the installation with custom speaker enclosures, and subtlety wasn't in the cards that day. You just can't miss the red custom fiberglass center console housing the subs. Oh, and check out the roof-mounted amps. With all these modern goodies, the classic-styled woodgrain had to go, so it was painted black for a more refined look.
The experts at APE Wraps were called in to work some magic on the exterior of the truck. Since the truck looks like it could traverse anything the Martian landscape could throw at it, a suitable paint scheme was in order. After applying the custom-printed vinyl graphics, it now looks like a lunar rover that's been hammered with red-hot meteors, ripping open the sheetmetal like a sardine tin -- definitely trick.