Stretch It to the Limit

Published in the September 2017 Issue August 2018 Feature Trevor Mason

Joining Forces

If you’re wondering what they do to ensure that the newly joined frame maintains the proper amount of structural integrity, Riley wastes no time in explaining. “There’s quite a bit of engineering that goes into designing a frame for each specific truck,” he says. “Not only do we design it so it fits aesthetically but it has to exceed everything that the factory frame can do from the dealership. The parts that we’re building are stronger than the factory frame.” Both he and Brian went to school for mechanical engineering, so they have years of experience in designing and building these trucks. They take a look at the payload capacity of the truck in its factory state, from the gross vehicle weight to the payload to the tongue weight. They take all of that into consideration and design a kit specific to each truck that includes gussets, internal sleeves, and internal structures. As Riley explains, “Nobody buys and builds a 6-door truck to drive it around town. They do it to haul people on camping trips, boat outings, work trips, whatever it may be. The trucks we build are designed to work.”

There’s a lot of work that goes into just the frame and getting and designing it to where it’s structurally sound. Custom body mounts, new cross members, the works. He says that they really like to work on GM vehicles, because their fully boxed frame allows them to replicate that boxed structure on the section they add, which only adds to the frame’s stability.

Of course, there are plenty of other adjustments that must be made when adding four feet to a truck’s length. One of the biggest ones is the driveshaft. They build a two-piece driveshaft and a custom cross member that goes in place to hold a carrier bearing. Riley says, “We have the driveline built to exceed anything the truck will ever see, but we want to make sure that because it is that length that we don’t compromise the drivability of it with having a weak driveshaft.” Other things that must be lengthened: the wiring harness for the fuel tank, the bed, and the rear lights; a computer module mounted by the spare tire; backup camera; fuel lines; brake lines; emergency brake lines; exhaust; and DPF systems.

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June 2021

And here we are, on to a big lift kit upgrade on our F350 Soup Build as our latest project truck rolls on. We figured it was time to kick our off-road adventures up a notch, so we added the BDS Suspension Coilover 4-Link 4-inch lift kit on our Power Stroke. This kit brings tried-and-true stability, strength and caster control over factory radius arm setups...

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