The trend of lifting trucks is quickly becoming the suspension of choice for even the most die-hard sport truck enthusiast. Lowering was cool, but lifting is in, and Steve Costlow’s F-350 is one of the first lifted sport trucks we’ve seen that really got our attention. We must point out that it was never Steve’s intention to build a four-wheel drive, off-road vehicle. He is a sport truck enthusiast and wanted a truck so high, the only way to do it was to use a four-wheel model and fabricate the suspension components to make it work.

When Steve decided to purchase his 2000 F-350, he called around to the favorite suspension shops and found that no one made a high enough lift for this vehicle. Steve wanted a 25-inch lift, so he sought the help of Custom Motorsports in Corona, California. Custom Motorsports (CM) began the process by using 18-inch Atlas leaf springs which also required raising the steering arm and adding Heim joints to just about every pivot point on this truck. At the rear, 12-inch Atlas leaf springs were used along with a four-inch block to give the truck its static height. The remainder of the truck’s lift comes from Firestone airbags strategically mounted on a pendulum system that uses connecting rods to the front shackles. When Steve fills the bags with air, the system pushes the rods sideways, forcing the springs and suspension to rise even further. This is how Steve achieved the 25-inch lift. Obviously the stock shocks weren’t going to work here, so CM decided to use some Sway-A-Way pro shocks that feature an external oil reservoir and measure 18 inches in length. Two are added to each wheel, making a total of eight shocks. To mount the shocks, a set of shock hoops was hand-fabricated over the factory front A-arms and multiple mounts for the rear frame. If you look under the truck, you can’t help but notice the handmade traction bars that use a dimpled die-plate to cover them.

With the added height, Steve needed a huge tire and opted for a set of American Racing 16 ½x12 wheels mounted in a set of TSL 44-inch-diameter Super Swamper tires. With such a large rolling mass to move, it was necessary to Heim-joint the steering arms as well as add another set of Sway-A-Way shocks to the stabilizer.

Once you get on a ladder to take a look at Steve’s truck, you’ll notice the awesome paint scheme that is the second reason why sport truck enthusiasts can’t get enough of this truck. The multihued flames over the Island Blue paint shout to enthusiasts as they gaze upon them. The paint scheme was applied by Starbucks Customs in Corona, utilizing Victoria White, Zenith Gold Candy and Lime Time Green. Two sets of flames were applied, one set of traditional flames over a more modern tribal flame scheme. Finally, some leopard spots were added to the flames to create a wild appearance that is all the rage in the sport truck scene. The paint almost makes one overlook the Trenz billet grille and the shaved bodywork, also done by Starbucks. The F-350 also uses clear lenses and custom rear taillights from APC to round out its street stardom.

Under the hood, Steve left the Power Stroke diesel pretty much alone as well as the rest of the drivetrain that includes an Allison automatic transmission. The only exception was adding 4.56 gears to the front and rear differentials to get the large tires rotating up to speed. Inside is another story. The front and rear factory bench seats were treated to white leather, accented with snow leopard fur by Bush Interiors in Corona. The leopard fur was also added to the dash, door panels, and headliner to give the “pimped” look to this already eye-catching custom. A Panasonic stereo system also fills this four-door with plenty of sounds to make this custom cruiser a greater pleasure to drive.

Steve estimates that he has more than $40,000 invested in his custom truck and still plans on adding more items to it. Some of these include a megawatt stereo system and a smooth tonneau “finish-off” the truck. Nevertheless, we applaud Steve and the staff at Custom Motorsports for putting together one of the finest examples of a lifted sport truck we’ve seen to date.