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.
All this trick stuff really looks cool, but how does it all work? That's the important question each one of us thinks about when we're looking to install aftermarket parts on our trucks. The staffers at Sport Truck were able to spend some quality time with this rig and were allowed to put it through the paces to really see what's up.
There are several basic tests that we perform on any vehicle, under evaluation, that give us data with which we can characterize how the improvements work in the real world. The first one is a dragstrip or quarter-mile test. Next up is a 60-0-mph braking test, followed by the 600-foot slalom. These tests give us a broad spectrum of vehicle performance data in which we can objectively evaluate any vehicle's behavior in an unbiased manner.
First up was the quarter-mile test. With the turbo upgrades, the motor of this rig puts out an impressive 385 hp and 690 lb-ft of torque. Stock, the ratings for the 6.0L Power Stroke come in at 325 hp and 560 lb-ft, showing that the minor hardware and software upgrades of the Banks system give quite a bit more power and torque. On the track, our test shows a 0-60 time of 7.52 seconds and an overall quarter-mile time of 16.0 sec at 89.1 mph. Launch was excellent, not showing any launch shudder or wheelhop, an indication that the suspension geometry was engineered properly. For comparison, a stock Harley edition of the F-250 with the same motor has a 0-60 mph at 8.47 seconds and a quarter-mile of 16.2 seconds at 84 mph. Also, Banks had an '04 F-250 2WD SuperCrew running 0-60 at 7.06 seconds and the quarter-mile of 14.88 sec at 95.32 mph. What this shows us is the power gains were offset by the increase in tire diameter, but still, that's not too shabby for a monster tired, lifted rig. If you increase the gear ratio in the axles from stock, you could get a better launch, improving performance.
When building up this truck, the Keldermans left the stock brakes in place, so our brake test results were rather predictable. In a 60-0-mph stop, the best the truck could muster was 214 feet. Just for reference, braking distance for an '05 Ford Mustang GT is 125 feet - vastly shorter. After one hard stop on the truck, the brake fade was significant, leaving us with no pedal feel and ever-increasing stopping distances. So, be prepared to leave more room on the freeway than normal when driving this truck in heavy traffic. If there's one upgrade we'd recommend for your lifted truck, it's upgrading the braking system if possible. Your money will be well spent.