We picked Rick's '01 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup for the cover of this edition of Sport Truck for three simple reasons: It's big, it's well-engineered, and it drives home this issue's theme with all the thunder of 54-inch tires and 18 inches of lift. We wanted a truck that was custom and illegal, and Rick's ride fits the bill. Officer Jaci Parent agrees that this truck is indeed too tall for the street. It wasn't always this big, though.
A few years back, Rick, like many of his peers in the construction business, decided to take his work truck to new heights. Going big with a work truck is a pretty common trend in California, and Rick wanted a truck that was bigger than the rest he saw roaming the streets of Riverside County. Rick took his truck to the pros at White Motorsports to see what was possible. Going big has its share of drawbacks. The upside with a truck that sits higher than a stage coach is you get to look down on fine ladies in convertibles at stoplights. The downside is that your truck won't fit in the drive-through at Taco Bell, and many of the homebrewed lift kits we've seen aren't the safest contraptions on the road today. Rick is a smart guy, though, and relying on White Motorsports yielded a well-thought-out and expertly executed suspension system.
The suspension was designed to suspend the white monster, while towering over a huge-by-large set of 54-inch Continental tires and 22x5-inch Alcoa rims. The actual fabrication work took about six weeks to perform and just two more weeks in the shop to powdercoat the parts, reinstall everything, and add the accessories that make driving this truck a reality. The front axle of the 4x4 is located via a five-link system that is crafted from 1-3/4-inch 4130 chrome-moly tubing. The axle and custom steering pivots on 1-1/4-inch Teflon-coated stainless steel rod ends. The rear axle was trussed for lateral support and swings on bitchin' custom wishbone suspension. King 2.5-inch coilovers hold and control the suspension action. The front coilovers are 16 inches long, while the rears cycle 18 inches of piston travel.
Once the suspension was installed beneath the painted chassis, the crew at White Motorsports still had a long punch list to complete before the truck was even road-worthy. The polished 10-lug Alcoa tractor trailer rims wouldn't simply bolt onto the 8-lug Ford hubs, so billet aluminum adapters were milled to make the connection. Also, a truck this big with so much space between the axles and framerails meant that the suspension would have a great deal of flex in it, giving it the propensity to tip over in the corners. This ill-handling trait was counteracted with the addition of a sway bar that is mounted backward against the rear of the front axle and connected to frame via more custom link bars. It's a slick setup that works well to keep this truck on all four wheels, as Rick rounds his favorite corners. Those big rollers do look the part of a monster truck, but they also tend to throw monster dirt clods down the side of the truck. To keep the rock chips at bay, a set of Hanneman flared fiberglass front fenders were installed to cover up the meats. The factory dualie fenders were left alone because they work just fine.
We don't know how heavy those new rollers are either, but we're sure the 5.13:1 gears in the differentials were necessary to put the 7.3L diesel powerplant back into its peak operating range when on the highway. The engine itself was treated to an Edge dash-mounted computer programmer to coordinate the right amount of additional fuel with the extra incoming air that the Volant air intake provides. Rolling Big Power kicked down its 4-inch ceramic-coated stainless steel exhaust system, rounding out a drivetrain package that pumps out a formidable amount of torque. We wonder how the transmission feels about all the weight its pushing and the force the engine is putting on it.
Rick told us that the reason he went gonzo with his Ford is because he used to race cars and has been a custom nut ever since. Not one to let the custom touches end with the custom-painted chassis, Rick also sent his truck to the body shop to have the new fiberglass pieces and the factory black trim color-matched to the stock white paint. All Magic Paint & Body stretched the front bumper to match the fender profile and recessed a cluster of driving lights in it for better night vision. Out back, a tonneau cover was added to secure the cargo area, and the rear bumper also received custom paint and more night lights. If you're wondering where you can get a monster hitch for your own monster truck like the one on Rick's ride, you'll have to call White Motorsports or build one yourself like the shop did. The 18-inch drop-down tow device was fabricated using existing hardware, and matching link bars were added to keep it from squeaking under load in the hitch receiver pocket.
The final touches for the White Stallion, as Rick likes to call it, include tinted windows, upgraded interior upholstery, and an audio/video system fit for a king. The tint keeps prying eyes and guys on step ladders from getting a glimpse of the tweed upholstery, faux carbon-fiber accents, and leather seating. It also stops onlookers from seeing what they are hearing. You can vaguely make out what's playing on the flip-down 15.4-inch monitors, but you'll never see the Panasonic head unit, Helix amplifiers, and Helix speakers-too bad for you.
Owner/hometown: Rick Foote / Corona, California
Year/make/model: '02 Ford F-350 dualie
Engine/drivetrain: 7.3L Power Stroke diesel / automatic / 5.13:1 gears / Edge Juice With Attitude controller / Rolling Big Power 4-inch exhaust / Volant air intake
Wheels/tires: (Front) 22.5-inch Alcoa wheels / 425/65R22.5 Continental HTC tires / (Rear) 22.5-inch Alcoa wheels / 445/65R22.5 Continental HTC tires
Suspension: (Front) custom 4130 chrome-moly five-link suspension / King 2.5x16-inch dual-rate coilovers / (rear) custom 4130 chrome-moly wishbone suspension / King 2.5x18-inch dual-rate coilovers
Fabricator: White Motorsports, of Corona, California
Body Mods: Hanneman fiberglass front fenders / color-matched exterior / cowl-induction hood / tonneau cover / extended front bumper / recessed lighting in front and rear bumpers
Paint: All Magic Paint and Body, of Norco, California
Interior: Custom-sculpted headliner and door panels / tweed upholstery and leather seats / faux carbon-fiber accents
Audio/video: Panasonic in-dash head unit / Helix 6.5-inch component speakers in the doors / Helix 10-inch subwoofers in a custom enclosure / Helix 1000 D and 400.4 amplifiers / 15.4-inch flip-down headrest monitors
Installer: White Motorsports