Earlier in the year, we purchased a Ford F-150 EcoBoost that we had plans of transforming into a Raptor killing machine. The EcoBoosts have always intrigued us due to the lengths that Ford went through to produce a powerful, yet still efficient engine, that was designed to take a beating. Our basic plan was to upgrade several of the factory components that would allow us to then utilize a multitude of aftermarket components actually designed for the Ford Raptor SVT’s, and so we did!
The biggest changes to the truck were definitely in the suspension, thus we enlisted the help of ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Camburg, and ReadyLIFT in order to create a combination of parts that would make the heaviest built Raptors blush. As with most of our builds, our focus was to have minimal lift with as much wheel travel as possible to maximize the handling and capabilities when off road. Up front, we hooked up the EcoBoost with a set of ICON’s Raptor 3.0 1”-3.5” Adjustable Coilovers with Compression Adjust and Hydraulic Bumpstops. To allow these coilovers maximum travel, we looked to Camburg’s Raptor Performance Dual Shock Lower Arm Kit that is a complete work of metallurgical art to say the least. Built with 1.0” and 1.5” PTFE lined uniballs, these boxed lower arms are unstoppable. And because we knew this truck would be running at least 37” tires and would see a beating off road, we installed a ReadyLIFT Heavy Duty Steering Kit that upgrades the tie rods with 17-4 stainless CNC machined inner clevis’, hard anodized 7075 aluminum tie rods, 7/8” outer heims, and ¾” inner heims. With this combination, the steering would be unbreakable, and the front suspension would afford tons of wheel travel while producing exceptional handling, on or off road.
In the rear, we looked to balance out what had been done to the front end, thus the ICON Raptor ZETA 3.0 Piggyback Reservoir Bypass Shocks were a no brainer. And to ensure the rear was as protected as the front, another set of ICON Bumpstops were added. The rear bumps are a much more involved assembly in comparison to the front as they have an integrated cross member and tension rods that will prevent frame twist under extreme impacts. To ensure the rear had as much travel as the front, we installed a set of Deaver Progressive Leaf Springs designed for the Raptors. Finally, we had Crown build us a set of their Kevlar lined brake lines to avoid overextending the lines at full droop. As an added benefit, there is a noticeable increase in braking responsiveness because these do not swell like the factory lines do.
To balance the new stance of this build, we went shoe shopping and opted for a set of 37” Maxxis Trepador Radials mounted to KMC Enduro Beadlocks that we then had powdercoated charcoal to complement the exterior color of the truck. With the large upgrade in tires, we knew that regearing the truck would be a necessity, thus a set of 4.88 ring and pinions from Nitro Gear & Axle made their way into the cases, coupled with a Nitro Girdle Rear Differential Cover to protect against any rock damage. You may ask how we were able to fit 37” tires with the minimal amount of lift we have. That leads us to our next phase: body work.
Boatec has adopted a name for themselves in the Raptor community for building the best fitting fiberglass fenders and it made this an obvious choice. Front and rear glass fenders not only provide for ample clearance, but also deliver a very factory-like finish. To replicate the Raptor theme we were after, we fitted the truck with a factory Raptor hood, grill, and lower valance. In order to aid in overland excursions, the truck was next fitted with a Leer 100XQ canopy to keep cargo secure, as well as providing a dry place to sleep in the event of an overnighter. While we’ve found that having a canopy is beneficial in many ways, it also makes getting cargo out of the truck bed difficult, thus a call to BedSlide was in order. For those unfamiliar with a BedSlide, they are similar to a drawer in your kitchen, but for your entire truck bed. This system makes loading and unloading equipment, groceries, or whatever a breeze by unlocking the latch and pulling out the “shelf” on the ball bearing casters. We opted for their 1000 Pro SE due to its multiple tie down points and rubberized decking.
Power, what about the power? While the 3.5L twin turbo EcoBoost engine has made quite a name for itself for having a remarkable power to displacement ratio, more is ALWAYS better. For programming, we looked to SCT due to their ability to load custom tunes, giving us the ability to remove traction control, adjust for gear ratio changes, and much more. The SCT Livewire seemed like a perfect choice with its fully integrated interface and then had MPT build us a file that would suit our build. While the program that was built for us delivered outstanding throttle response, we wanted a little more to keep our 37’s rolling with the flick of the throttle. To accomplish this, we also plugged a Sprint Booster into the factory throttle position sensor to liven it up, and it made a HUGE difference! There are three setting, from stock to mild to wild, but in our eyes, there’s really only one setting…..WILD! To get the engine breathing, we started at the front of the truck, the very front. The factory intercooler, while fairly efficient, lacks the volume we were after in the likelihood that we would upgrade the turbos, but also hangs down behind the factory front bumper. With this location, it would immediately lend itself to getting smashed in the rocks of Moab. Our friends at Full Race build a completely upgraded intercooler that is positioned behind the grill and comes with all of the necessary hardware for the retrofit. Next, an AFE Stage 2 Magnum FORCE Cold Air Intake would further assist in getting cold air in. Now, to get the engine exhaling, AFE lined us up on one of their new 3.0” to 3.5” Y-Pipes that we mated to a Magnaflow Off Road Pro Series 3.0” Exhaust. We opted for this particular exhaust system because it dumps prior to the rear axle, meaning the exhaust would not be a limiting factor to rear axle articulation. Finally, we upgraded to a 170 degree thermostat to make sure the truck stays cool, even on the hottest days of crawling through desert terrain.
And finally, what kind of off road battle ram would this truck be without some gnarly lighting to keep the road-less-traveled well lit for us? With the help from Baja Designs, we can now have utter daylight 24 hours a day and wheel in confidence. A single 37” OnX Arc Series 5 Cell LED Light Bar sits atop the front bumper, delivering 21,500 lumens of light, while consuming only 210 watts.
You may ask what this truck will be used for, well….everything! Like the majority of our in-house builds, we build them to be able to handle nearly anything we can throw at them, and this one is no different. Its already seen some major wheeling in Moab, towed some trailers, and pounded plenty of pavement.