Seeking Perfection

Making an F-350 ride like a dream

Published in the June 2019 Issue May 2019 Feature Steve Janes

Sometimes you think you’re driving the perfect truck until you happen to ride in a truck that is more perfect than yours. That’s what happened to Diesel Tech’s Contributing Editor Nate King.

“My tow/haul truck was a 2014 Dodge Ram 3500 with the Cummins and Aisin transmission and fully loaded with options,” King explained. “This was a great truck.”

But last summer King fell in love with the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor and purchased it.

“I loved everything about the Raptor,” he explained. “The bottomless suspension, super-comfortable cab, every feature you could ask for—that truck has it all.”

However, Nate noted the only thing the Raptor couldn’t do well was tow and haul heavy loads. But it rode so much nicer than his Dodge.

“After I’d been driving the Raptor for some time, the difference in comfort and accoutrements between the Raptor and the Ram became noticeable and I found myself pushing the limits of the Raptor with towing in order to keep myself in the Raptor vs the Ram.”

 Recognizing that continued towing with the Raptor wasn’t a good option, King started looking to see if he could find a Raptor-like ride in a heavier work vehicle.

“The thought occurred to me that I needed a truck that drove like the Raptor, had the same interior and features, and could do the work that my Ram does when I need it,” he explained. “This would be the ideal truck.”

After visiting with Brent Willsey at PowerTech Diesel in Idaho Falls, ID, King started looking into the Carli suspension—more specifically, the Pintop System.

This is the Carli’s premier system for the mountainous terrain of the West. It has a great highway ride, yet can leave the pavement and tackle the rocky terrain of unmaintained roads.

Carli calls it the “jack-of-all-trades” system for Super Duty trucks. By raising the Super Duty platform and adding 2.5-inch diameter shocks which offer more piston surface area than stock shocks, the Pintop System allows for more off-road capacity.

“I did every add-on Carli offered in the Pintop System, including the long travel air bags and added a self-leveling kit from Powertech Diesel,” King said. “I ran 37-inch tires on 18-inch rims as Carli recommends for this build. They tuned this suspension package for this wheel/tire combo and even provide guidance for tire pressures on their site.”

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