Sean Sidwell has been a Ford guy all his life. "I've never owned a car, and, with the exception of my very first truck, a Jeep at age 16, every vehicle that I've owned has been a lifted 4x4 Ford with big tires." And, Sean has owned quite a few. This is vehicle No. 14 in the collection that includes an '04 Ford monster truck, equipped with a 460 V-8, C6 trans, 2-1/2-ton running gear, and 48-inch tires. Sean and his brother own and work in the family electrical company, using trucks as part of the business. Sean adds a twist, since the beautifully customized truck in the photos is his daily driver.
Sean ordered his '08 Ford Super Duty F-350 Crew Cab in November of 2006 and received it in February, 2007. We shot the truck in July, so it's obvious that he didn't waste any time adding his personal stamp. For him, the F-350 was the right choice because of the package itself, the ride, and the fact that very few aftermarket parts are made for the bigger 450s or 550s.
Although the F-350s are rugged straight from the factory, Sean always likes to take it a notch up, and he doesn't waste time doing it. His truck was in the driveway less than a month before it left for the paint shop. Within three days of getting it back, it looked just like it does right now. All of the suspension work was complete, everything was powder coated, the big tires were installed, and it was ready to roll. Baugh's 4x4 in Auburndale, Florida, is a fabrication shop specializing in monster trucks, and it played a major role in transforming the rig.
Sean went with the Rock Krawler Desert Racing System, one of the first front and rear four-link systems to be released for the '08 shortbed F-350 Crew Cab. No leaf springs are used, and nothing simply bolts on. It is a weld-on kit, and Sean likes the idea of the added strength. RK's 8-inch lift package came with four-link bars for the front and long rear trailing arms. Baugh's drilled the trailing arms and welded sleeves into the holes, making the units both stronger and lighter. The crew also replaced the factory two-piece driveshaft and carrier bearing with a single aluminum driveshaft. Sean opted to swap the kitsupplied shocks for King coilovers with remote reservoir dampers, preferring their easy adjustability and enjoying the option of gaining another 3-1/2 inches of lift. The front coilovers have a 10-inch stroke-5 inches up and 5 inches down-and the rears are 12-inch versions. Sean found that the 11-1/2-inch lift setting gave him the altitude he was looking for, while keeping the pinion angle within acceptable limits. In addition to the movable ride height, the shocks also allowed fine-tuning of the 8,890-pound Ford, giving a boulevard ride during the week and a firmer approach when it was time to cut loose on the weekend.
Precision Collision in Winter Haven, Florida, handled the spray-gun chores, transforming the factory black truck with a custom-mixed shade of House of Kolor Candy Blue, accented with Silver Pearl flames and sinister-looking skulls on the mirrors and hood. ACC Powder Coating in Auburndale powdercoated the Ford's running gear to match the exterior.
Once the new suspension elements were in place, the truck became even more fun, thanks to the extra ponies under the hood. The 6.4L twin-turbo motor is equipped with an air-to-air intercooler from the factory. Sean added a new higher efficiency aFe airbox and an SCT programmer that bumped up the numbers by 125 hp, bringing the total to 450 hp and a staggering 800 lb-ft of torque. The reprogrammed fivespeed Ford automatic has no trouble getting the power to the ground.
Plans for the truck include an elaborate stereo with multiple screens and live TV reception. Currently, it runs a Pioneer Z-2 head unit with a 60GB hard drive that's capable of downloading pictures, playing DVDs, and displaying digital instruments on the screen to monitor engine performance.