Posted by Corey Decker on 5/23/2020 to Before you Buy
Well it's groundhog day, again. Time these days just seems to run together thanks to the pandemic and apparently murderous hornets. If you are like me, then you spend a lot of your days dreaming about sweet upgrades to your truck, but the bank account says, "please try again later". You do not have to break the bank to give your truck a serious upgrade. Despite what you may see, a truck can look good and perform better for less than you think. There are three main mods that we have here that can make a world of difference when it comes to bettering the performance. Those three are suspension mods, tires, and tuning. Here at Stage 3 Motorsports we affectionately call these three the Holy Trinity of budget modifications because they can do a lot for your truck, without breaking the bank. When it comes to the 6.0L diesels, the best thing that you can and should do is bulletproof it prior to getting any of these modifications especially tuning. It is not a requirement, but it is highly recommended. If your 6.0L is not bulletproofed, luckily we have you covered. Check out our 6.0L Solutions section.
2004-2007 F250 & F350 Budget Suspension ModificationsEvery truck that we have ever built here at Stage 3 Motorsports has had some sort of suspension upgrade. The reason for this is because the right suspension can help you get a better ride on and off-road. Another reason is because trucks look badass when they are lifted or leveled and a suspension lift will definitely allow for larger tires. In keeping with the budget friendly motif, let's look at some leveling kits, shocks, and even a budget friendly 3in lift kit. The first thing to look at that would be budget friendly is a good spacer leveling kit like the 2005-2020 F250 & F350 4WD Rough Country 1.5" Spacer Leveling Kit. This particular kit comes in at about 70 bucks and has been highly rated by people that have bought it before. As you can see below it is a very simple kit but it will eliminate any front end rake your Super Duty might have. The spacers are constructed from solid aluminum and are designed with a subtle lip to lock into the factory seat, eliminating installation hassles and providing solid fitment. On top of their high quality construction it also has an easy bolt on installation process that can be done in your garage with basic tools.
One shock kit that we have for sale comes from Bilstein that includes front and rear shocks and is competitively priced at just under $400. The kit itself is four Bilstein 5100 Shocks For 0-2" Lifts, so it would go perfect with the leveling kit above and you have still spent under $500. Just like all of Bilstein's high-quality suspension components, the 5100 series front and rear shocks are built from the ground up for performance, longevity and reliability. These shocks feature Bilsteins Patented Triple-C-Technology" zinc plated silver finish for a more modern look. Each shock is built around a 46mm digressive piston used with a nitrogen gas-charged mono-tube design. The valving has a self-adjusting, deflective disc design that makes these shocks effective for a variety of different applications. The shocks install right into place of your factory shocks and reuse your stock shock mount and spring assembly.
Lastly as far as suspension upgrades go we also have this 3in lift kit from Eibach. The stage 1 lift system includes special springs that can provide you with 3" of lift of front with an extra inch in the rear. The issue with this is usually lifts are better when there's some sort of block in the rear, but you get what you pay for. This system is created utilizng race winning off-road spring technology and design that is specifically tuned to fit your vehicle for the best fit. This system is perfectly matched from the set of lift springs and shocks to the physical fit on your truck. The folks at Eibach take a lot of time to test their systems for fit and performance before putting them out into the open market. Purchase of this system includes detailed installation instructions from Eibach. The installation process itself is a bolt-on installation that requires no welding or cutting of any kind for an immediate upgrade that is easy to install. As far as lift kits go this particular one is one of the more cheaper priced ones coming it at just under 800. You can also get a spring leveling kit right here that does close to the same thing as this lift kit if you do not want that much height.
2004-2007 F250 & F350 Budget Off-Road TiresOf course no build is complete without some meaty off-road tires with a seriously aggressive tread pattern. Without the right set of tires the truck could look sort of like a football player with pads and a helmet on, but then high heeled shoes, it just doesn't look right. Getting a good set of tires does not mean that you have to spend four or five hundred bucks a tire like it may seem. Here at Stage 3 Motorsports we have some good options that sit at about 200-300 a tire that can give your truck a serious exterior upgrade and perform well. These three are the Toyo A/T IIs, the Falken WildPeak A/T Off-Road Tire, and the Cooper Tires Discoverer AT3 XLT A/T Tire. One thing that is important to note about tires is that they can not be shipped to Washington, Idaho, Montana, or Oregon. If you have any questions about that please do not hesitate to give us a call at 623-434-5277.
First is the 35in Toyo Open Country A/T II All-Terrain Tire. With an included 65,000 mile warranty, these tires are perfect for looking good on-road, and performing well off-road. It features an aggressive sidewall and open tread block design which allows your truck to get through dirt, mud and snow with ease... all while maintaining a quiet ride. It's polygonal blocks and zigzag sipes contribute to excellent snow performance while the deep tread grooves help to prevent rocks from getting stuck in the grooves. Also if you get the chance, check out the more in-depth review about these tires below. Another good set of tires you can get is Falken's Wild Peak A/T Tires.Falken Wild Peak A/T tire features an interlocking tread design for increased stability as well as Falken's DURASPEC sidewall technology for added durability. This helps deflect rocks and eject mud when you're caught in the thick stuff. These tires strike the perfect balance between the extra traction you need for rugged trails and the menacing street look you want for every day driving -- all while keeping excess tire noise to a minimum. Falken's Wild Peak A/T tires are one of the best options available for that cross between a quiet and smooth daily driver and extreme romps through an off-road trail filled with mud, snow, sand or anything else you get your truck into. It's also competitvely priced and comes in at about 286 a tire. Falken is a pretty good brand when it comes to tires so this price is a steal. Lastly, we have the Cooper Tires Discoverer AT3 XLT A/T Tire. This off-road tire performs better and experiences less wear on your treads when you haul heavy gear or travel on rocky trails. The durable tire resists punctures you might encounter on muddy paths with its tough biting edges on the tire's shoulder. No matter if the terrain has asphalt, mud or snow, the tire will not wear down quickly and will respond better to acceleration, braking, steering and turning. Through careful engineering and testing, Cooper Tires created a tire blueprint perfect for off-road trails. The contact area where your tire touches the road is optimized by Even Wear Arc Technology! The technology balances tire pressure to ensure its shape is optimal for even on-road treadwear and better handling. While driving, the Whisper Grooves' sound barrier lessens road noise for less annoying background noise. Stone Ejector Ledges protect your tire's carcass from stones, keep the tread cleaner, and provide better road traction. The ledges have no difficulty shooting out unwanted rocks that get stuck in your treads.