We took our Race Red 2012 F150 5.0L Project Truck from boring to brutal with a healthy mix of suspension and performance mods. The new suspension setup, wheel and tire combo, exterior parts, and lighting upgrades all worked to create a truck that was perfectly streetable, but could handle just about any terrain off-road. We tossed every part we could think of at this truck from basic bed lighting to ICON coilovers and even a ProCharger Supercharger on top of our F150's 5.0L V8. Check out the build progress below for details on each step!
One of the first things we did with our project truck was find some of the highest quality suspension hardware on the market and paired it with an aggressive set of wheels and off-road tires to give our truck a great look, more ground clearance, and the traction it needed so we could horse around off-pavement. To that end, we grabbed a 2009 to 2013 F150 ICON Stage 2 Suspension System, a 2004 to 2014 F150 ReadyLift 3" Rear Block, four 18x9" KMC XD Misfit wheels, and 275/70/R18 General Grabber Red Letter Tires. Topping off the suspension and wheel/tire combination was a customized FX4 Side Stripe Kit and a FX4-style hood decal which helped to round out the look. You can read even more about it right here.
Once we had the suspension and wheel/tire situation sorted out, it was high time to squeeze some more power out of that 5.0L Coyote V8 to help turn those heavy XD Misfit wheels and General Grabber tires, while also giving us some more grunt when it came to off-road adventuring. So, we scooped up a customized version of our F150 5.0L Phase 2 Package which comes with an aFe Stage 2 Cold Air Intake, a BBK 85mm Throttle Body, and an SCT Livewire TS with custom tuning from 5-Star. We swapped out the MBRP exhaust for an aFe cat-back kit, which stayed on the truck for roughly 15 minutes due to our very comprehensive exhaust testing. Check out all the details right here.
What's a tough off-road truck without a bunch of off-road lights? For the kind of things we intended to do with our 5.0L truck, we would need some serious accessory and LED off-road lights to keep us from breaking anything after the sun goes down. We started out with a pair of Rigid D2 Driving Lights in the flanks of our grille, and quickly expanded to a complete Starkey Backup Light Kit, Recon Illuminated Side Emblems, LED puddle lights, and finally a Rigid Industries 50" SR-Series Light Bar mounted in some N-Fab Roof Mounts. The lighting upgrades gave our truck a tough, wicked look while giving us the off-road night time visibility we needed. You can see all of the nitty-gritty details by clicking here.
With most of the major hardware on our project truck taken care of, it was time for a few finishing touches to get a great look and some improved ergonomics out of our truck. For the bed, we threw in a BedRug complete BedLiner kit and a TruXedo Battery-Powered B-Light,. For the love handles, we ditched our factory side steps for a pair of N-Fab Nerf Bar Steps. Lastly, our factory brakes were worn down to the utter nubs, so we grabbed a Power Stop Complete Front and Rear Brake Kit. Our truck had a great look and improved stopping ability, two things that we really just can't complain about. You can read all about out installs and get more details by clicking here.
Despite the addition of our Phase 2 Kit, our big heavy truck, was still, in fact, a big heavy truck that only got heavier with all the modifications that we threw at it. So, as our favorite saying goes, "when in doubt, throw a blower on it." Thus, we grabbed one of ProCharger's recently-developed Stage II Intercooled Supercharger Systems for the 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0Ls. This centrifugal-style supercharger kit added a huge boost in horsepower, torque, and surprisingly even improved our F150's fuel economy. We splurged a bit and got the black finish for the head unit and piping, and were surprised by its easy installation. Check out the details and dyno chart by clicking here.
No one likes trying to figure out and compare the sounds of cat-back videos when shopping around for a new way to make your truck sound awesome. I mean, what can you actually get from two different YouTube videos shot on some grainy cellphone on two different trucks with different modifications? That's why we here at Stage 3 grabbed all of the exhaust systems that we could and put them through a full barrage of sound testing using the exact same truck, exact same camera, exact same microphone, on the exact same stretch of road to give you a true apples-to-apples comparison of 5.0L Cat-Back Exhaust Kit sounds. Click here for the full list of videos or head over to our YouTube Page.