Vehicle Build: 2020 Ford F-450
Its hard not to daydream about unlimited towing capabilities when an F-450 catches your eye going down the highway. And its true, these trucks have a maximum towing capacity of 24,200 pounds and a pay ... read more
Its hard not to daydream about unlimited towing capabilities when an F-450 catches your eye going down the highway. And its true, these trucks have a maximum towing capacity of 24,200 pounds and a payload of 6,288, enough to quench the "yes, I need the kitchen sink too" thirst of nearly anyone. But what about some of the drawbacks of this six wheeled behemoth? For starters, the factory stance and wheel/tire combination are lackluster. Further, the ride quality, especially unloaded, leaves a lot to be desired. What's the fix you ask? Easy, see below!
- Carli Suspension 3.5” Lift Commuter 2.0 Suspension System
- WHY? .As previously stated, the suspension of these trucks is very utilitarian and will leave you looking for a back brace after a long trip, especially when unloaded as the only cushion you'll get is when the springs are loaded. This truck really needed a better ride quality when cruising down the highway while being able to fit larger than stock tires for improved aesthetics and ground clearance. Because of this truck being an F-450, it does not share all of the same components as its little brothers, the F-250 and F-350, which did require a bit of research to determine what exact components would not only physically bolt in place, but also complement one another. For the most part, this truck received a Carli 3.5" Commuter Suspension System with a few tweaks to accommodate the F-450 chassis. Level stance? Yep, perfect. Ride quality improvement? Without a doubt! Enough fender clearance to clear 37's? Almost! But with a little bit of trimming, there's plenty of room.
- Firestone Ride-Rite Air Bags with Onboard Air Compressor
- WHY? Because the rear axle on the F-450's is different than the 250 and 350 models, we were unable to utilize any of Carli's leaf spring options to raise the rear height to match the front. After installation of the front end suspension components, the truck sat almost exactly level, with a very slight nose down rake. That said, once this truck was hooked up to the massive 5th wheel trailer its intended for, we knew the tail would squat below level.With the addition of a set of Firestone's Red Label Extreme Duty Air Bags, we were able to supplement the load, reducing rear squat when loaded, but able to drop the pressure when unloaded to keep ride quality at a premium. With the air compressor upgrade, the driver can adjust air pressures, hence ride height, at the touch of a button while cruising down the highway, pretty sweet.
WHEELS AND TIRES:
- Dually Design Co. (DDC) "The Ten" Wheels
- WHY? DDC is most known for their 10 lug adapter wheels, essentially making your 8 lug dually LOOK like it has true 10 lug wheels. However, at the time of this particular build, were on the final stages of releasing legitimate 10 lug wheels for this application. After discussion with DDC, the fitment would be perfect for the stance we were trying to achieve and required zero adapters. Featuring a great looking black and machined finish, bolt on hub cap, and the perfect offset, it was a no-brainer.
- Nitto Trail Grappler Tires (37x11.50x20)
- WHY? We've had great luck with Nitto tires, in general and their Trail Grapplers are no exception. These tires are a true dual-purpose tire, excelling in the dirt, but also capable of superb road manners, all while in an E-Rated weight rating.
- BD Throttle Sensitivity Booster
- WHY? Nearly every single modern vehicle has a noticeable delay in throttle sensitivity. BD-Power has built a simple to install device that ramps up the signal speed to deliver a dramatic difference in reaction time. As an added bonus, its completely adjustable so when you're trying to backup that huge 5th wheel, its not overly sensitive, but when you're lined up against your neighbor's Corvette at the stoplight, you're ready for battle.
- Tremor Front Lower Air Valance
- WHY? The factory front air valance on four wheel drive model SuperDuty's is reminiscent of the huge foils found on the front end of a locomotive, ready to scoop any debris and shoot it out of your way. But, they're also really ugly. I'm sure it serves some kind of purpose, probably aerodynamics, but its ugly and doesn't complement the front end of this truck whatsoever. To remedy, you've got about four options. Option one, take it off completely, but this will leave exposed hardware and looks unfinished. Option two, break out the Sawzall. If you're really good, it won't look bad. Okay, skip the previous two and there's really only two options you should do, and that's to either get the factory valance found on a two wheel drive or one from a Tremors package. We opted for the Tremors iteration as its even shorter than the 2WD model and looks great.
- Black Tow Hooks
- WHY? Upon installation of the DDC wheels, there wasn't an ounce of chrome left on this truck.....except the tow hooks. Sure, break out the rattle can, but then you'll be dealing with shipping paint in no time on the front end of a six figure truck. Instead, we picked up a set of factory black tow hooks to bolt on.
- S&B 68 Gallon Replacement Fuel Tank
- WHY? Easy, more available fuel is always better. S&B's tank is a direct replacement to the factory unit and gives us a substantial increase in overall range, plus has a few benefits that make it superior. And to top it off, S&B made great available use out of unused "pockets" under the bed meaning the tank isn't just a taller version of the factory one, reducing ground clearance.