The attitude a truck takes on is based a lot on its muscle. The rim and tire combination under your rig helps set the tone for the first impression. There is nothing like big meats to set off a desired attitude. Slammed or lifted, big wheels exude strength and complement either preference. When it's a lifted truck, nothing says evil like mud lugs.
Michael Rivera knows this to be true. He stuck 44-inch tires equipped with Interco Bogger knobbies on his '99 Ford Expedition, and now the SUV looks more like an SXL (Super Extra Large). Of course, major suspension work was needed to get the Expedition to sit over 44-inch tires.
Michael took the truck to the techs at All Terrain Motorsports in Whittier, California, where the stock suspension was mostly gutted or modified. A Full Throttle 10-inch lift kit was just the start of the big lift. Up front, the differential and axles were removed to make room for 7 additional inches of lift from Firestone's airbags. A Performance Accessory body lift also adds 3 inches, giving the SXL a total of 15 inches of adjustable altitude.
Out back, Firestone 'bags were adapted to each corner to keep the ride height adjustable as well. The traction bars where extended by 7 inches for more height. Twelve Rancho 9000 adjustable gas dampers were broken down, chromed, refilled, and adapted to the suspension system. The upper control A-arms are totally boxed in for strength, and a custom steering damper keeps the beast from twitchy freeway-speed movements.
The rolling stock comprises Weld's 16.5x12-inch Super Single II wheels wrapped in Interco's TSL Boggers. The massive meats are 44 inches tall with a 19-1/2-inch footprint. Getting the engine to push the large rolling stock is aided by 4:56.1 gears. Even though the four-wheel-drive front axles were removed, we can't imagine this SUV getting stuck in any sand terrain. Ten-inch custom-built antisway bar extensions keep the SXL from rolling over. JET Performance Products in Huntington Beach, California, equipped the Expe' with an upgraded 4R100 tranny. A 3-inch Flowmaster after-cat exhaust system flows past the tranny and out the back. In front of the aluminized tubing, just on the other side of the cats, is a set of Gibson performance headers. Under the body is a 16.4-amp compressor that fills 5 gallons of air storage.
A Stull Industries grille and APC clear corners enhance the good looks of the behemoth. A JBM rear bumper cover smoothes off the tail end of the truck. All the exterior plastic was sanded and painted white to blend in. Jeff Mersey of Merzees Paint Designs laid down the pigment on the prepped plastic and airbrushed the graphics.
Inside, the upholstery was restretched by Revo at Stitchcraft using Katzkin tan leather and white vinyl. Revo didn't stop there, as the door insert, sun visors, and sub box were also covered with Stitchcraft's custom touch. A one-off center console and bump chamber accent the interior with more custom goods. A.S. Kustoms in La Habra, California, installed the entertainment. An Alpine CVA1006 head unit and 12-disk changer start up the audio department. An Eigervision DVD player with 13.3-inch Eigervision rear console drop-down monitor and four 5.6-inch XO Vision monitors mounted in the visors and front-seat headrest finish up the video side of things. The basic door setup is filled with Boston Acoustic 6-1/2-inch Pro-series speakers and 6x9-inch Infinity Kappas. Three 10-inch Audiobahn subs in a custom enclosure add up to a lot of air movement. Three Audiobahn A12001DTs and one Audiobahn A4801DT amplifier give the sound system a total of 5,000 watts to punish Michael's senses with.
Talk about swollen! This SXL is pumped up and ready for urban battle. We should send Michael and his pimp wagon to Iraq for a little more Shock and Awe.
Jeff Mersey blended in the...
Jeff Mersey blended in the SUV by painting all the exterior plastics white to match the truck. Afterwards, the airbrush was pulled out and the graphics were laid down.
Stitchcraft does more than...
Stitchcraft does more than just seat covers. Subtitle hints of custom really bring out the fine detail. Here, the door inserts accent the white paint scheme.
The Expedition has 5,000 watts...
The Expedition has 5,000 watts of Audiobahn power amplifiers to crank up the tunes with.