How’s your fuel mileage? About how far do you usually go between fill-ups? I assume most of you would answer somewhere in the 300- to 500-mile range. Diesels have pretty good-sized tanks as standard, and they usually have better mileage than gassers, too. But what if you could go 1,500 miles without refueling? Jordan Yankee asked himself that very question, and the answer is Project Long Haul.
I Would Walk 1,000 Miles
Jordan works at Arctic FX Graphics and heads up the FX Group. They specialize in vehicle wraps for snowmobiles, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, and snowbikes, though they also do wraps for trucks, trailers, and other assorted things. Basically, if it’s got a motor, they’ll wrap it up nice. To help promote the business, Jordan decided that they needed to get a vehicle that could handle towing a 17,000-pound fifth wheel and not need to make a lot of pit stops along the way. He says, “The thought behind it was to build a huge hauler that could go a huge amount of distance on basically a tank of fuel.”
He already owned a 2012 Ford F350 6.7, so that became the platform for this ambitious project. “I just think Fords are the best-looking truck out there, and they have the best-looking accessories,” Jordan says. “I like the layout of them. They’re very roomy and they pull like nobody’s business. I think they’re the best diesel out there, bone stock. I already had it, so it’s kind of a no-brainer!”
Fill ‘Er Up
The very first addition to the truck was a 65-gallon replacement fuel tank from Titan, which took the place of the stock 36-gallon tank. He also added another 65-gallon auxiliary tank that sits in the bed of the truck. That’s right, he’s rolling with 130 gallons of fuel. That 1,500-mile estimate is no joke. With the push of a button from the driver’s seat, Jordan can pump 5-6 gallons at a time from the auxiliary tank to the main tank. A local shop called Rolling Coal Customs did a tune installation and some exhaust work on the truck to get the fuel mileage dialed in a little better. The whole system is complemented by a FASS lift pump to make sure the right amount of fuel gets where it needs to.
The truck is sporting a 6- to 10-inch Kelderman lift that gives it the ride height it needs to pull that trailer without issue. Going hand-in-hand with the lift is a built-in air system that has a 30-foot hose reel taking the place of the spare tire that Jordan can use to fill the air on any of the truck or trailer tires. “We only had one alteration to do to make it fit with the Titan tank,” he says. “Other than that, it was just bolt on. The engineering is second to none.” Kelderman also provided the bumpers and grille inserts, as well as a few other things throughout the truck to complete the look Jordan was going for.
[Project Long Haul] is sitting on 35-inch Toyo Open Country tires and 20-inch Fuel Cleaver wheels. All of the LED lighting around the truck was provided by Black Oak LED, and Retro Customz did the headlights and taillights, which include “fancy LED lights and strobes,” as Jordan puts it. All of the wiring for the lights is routed to a box that sits under the back seat. He says, “I installed all the relays and fuses under the seat. All those cables are all the lights in the truck. And if I want to add anything later on or whatever, it’s all right there. It’s not this rat’s nest under the hood that you see on a lot of other trucks.” A nice bonus of doing it that way is that he was free to use the stock upfitter switches for his own purposes. “Later on we added rock lights in the wheel wells, so we just put those on one of the upfitter switches,” he says. He also added a custom plate that sits up above the visor that controls all of the exterior lights.
Elsewhere on the truck, you’ll find front and rear tow hooks as well as an exhaust tip from Monster Hooks, custom differential and pan covers from PML Covers, a DeeZee in-bed tool box and gate assist, and ACE Engineering power running board steps.
By now you’ve noticed how well everything on the truck fits together from a visual perspective. The credit for that goes to a local shop called CJ’s Automotive Customs. According to Jordan, “He pretty much put this whole truck together. Every bit of mechanical work outside of motor work was done by him.” All of the components underneath the truck that really pop and stand out would normally be the kind of thing you powdercoat, but Jordan says they went in a different direction for this build. “That’s actually all a coating called Raptor UPOL. It’s like a Line-X product, so it’s a little more durable than powder coat and it can be touched up really easy. The cool thing about it is if anything does get scuffed up or chipped off, I just drive over to CJ’s and he hits it again and it’s good as new. With powdercoat, you have to pull the whole part off. We wanted something that was going to take a beating on the road for a long time. Things go wrong and nothing’s bulletproof, right? So something that was easily fixed was nice.” The color scheme Jordan went with is a really nice balance of highlighting key components with the ice blue color that’s prevalent on the rest of the truck, while leavening the standout nature of that color with a nice neutral silver color elsewhere. Of course, that same theme extends to the wrap on both the truck and trailer, which Arctic FX did themselves, with the vinyl supplied by Wensco Sign Supply.
One really neat thing about the truck is the Arctic FX emblems on the radius arms. “CJ was thinking we should do something with that because we didn’t know what to do,” Jordan says. “He has a plasma cutter and made a two-part plate and coated them. He then mapped out the shape of that radius arm and made a plate that would fit in there.” The resulting plate looks so nice on the radius arms that Kelderman is actually producing their own version. “It’s neat that they liked it so much they added it!” Jordan says with a laugh.
There’s a tuner mounted to the left of the steering wheel that might look a little odd, since it appears to be a smartphone. “That [is] a phone, but it’s also the tuner,” he says. “It’s working great; I love it. It’s called Auto Agent Easy Link. It’s new for the Fords.” It’s a tune that you load up through the OBD port, but there’s a box that permanently plugs into the truck’s OBD port and gives off a WiFi signal that then links up to your phone. The app lets you view all the gauges and everything else you might want to know, such as pressure, fuel rail pressure, RPMs, and more. There’s also a 5-position switch that allows you to switch your tunes more quickly than going into the app to do so.
Finally, there’s one more thing this truck has going for it, and it’s not even on the truck itself: the fifth wheel trailer has its own Kelderman air suspension on it. It works in tandem with the leaf springs and hooks up with all the electrical hookups in the truck. Jordan is very excited about it. “Not too many people are running around with a fifth wheel airbag system, and I tell you what, it works great! It didn’t add any height to the fifth wheel, which was a concern of mine. It’s just a helper system with the springs. The springs sit in a little bit, but the air bags keep them from compressing too much and it just works, man.”
So how does Jordan feel about the end result? “It’s not some high horsepower super lifted showpiece that you’re just going to take to truck shows,” he says. “I don’t want to offend any of those kinds of guys, because they build some badass stuff, no doubt. But from where I’m coming from, it doesn’t have a whole lot of useful day-to-day potential, so I wanted to build something that people could do themselves and be able to use every day. I wanted something solid and strong that was going to pull this thing without hesitation. We’ve been out camping with it a few times and have had no issues whatsoever. I was kind of worried about that, because anytime you do a project like this there are unforeseen circumstances. I’m not saying that it won’t happen, but so far, we’re just solid and reliable, which was my main concern.”
Solid and reliable is certainly what this build is, no question. It’s built to go the distance, and Jordan has shown that it is more than capable of doing just that.