98 F150 - Frankenstein

Jun 12, 2023
Long Beach
Copied from my original thread on DR, will just copy, paste, and post as time allows. So starting from 2019 is as follows…

Waited until I was getting the new kit on this truck to make a build thread.

I bought the truck over a year ago off of Christian Ewing. It has the 4.2 V6, cold air intake and throttle body spacer. 8.8 rear end, re-geared to 4:56. 37” typo open country R/T on walker Evans beadlocks; wheel pattern 5x135mm. Simple cab cage (needs some work) bed cage, deavers, and king 2.5x14” 2 tube piggy back. The front was a CST long travel kit with Fox 2.5x8” COHR. Had all heims and uniballs or upgraded bushings. Worked good but really needed an air bump.

I changed out the 2 tube piggy back bypasses for 3 tube hose remotes, put a longer driveshaft on it, put the light box from my ranger on the back of the F150, added an external trans cooler with fan, and added a LED light bar to the front bumper.

Last fall I bought Jerry Larimore’s old HM race kit. The kit that ODR fab fixed and made better. Over the last 6 months or so I had been collecting parts for it. Got the kit powder coated (probably should’ve waited on that) new 1.5” uniballs and heims for the steering through some friends, wilwood 4 piston calipers, king 2x2 bumpstops and cans, Dana 44 hubs, and snouts. Upgraded to 5/8 studs and had eversen performance redrill the rotors and hubs to my wheel pattern. I had bought front and rear shocks for my ranger before I blew the motor and transmission. I have 2.5x10 dual rate coil over hose remote with adjusters and 2.5x14” coil over hose remote with adjusters for the rear (when I get there). Gonna use the the 55” BTF links I bought for the ranger too.

Last week brought the truck in for the install and this is where we are at the moment. Had to drill out the lower pivot points to 3/4”, make some weld washers, plate the frame, and mock up where the upper arms are going to land. We had to cut off all the stock upper arm mounts, previous shock mount tabs, and eventually dismantle the stock brake calipers.

Pictures before and where I’m at. Will post updates as we go.
Shock package:

Spring rates for my front coilovers: 3”x4”x550lbs over 3”x18”x600lbs. Valving started at 20c-12F/ 12r and 15 in the compression adjusters with a foam bump stop. Took the 15’s out of the comp adjusters and put 18’s in. Notched the rod ends and spring plates, to use all of the shaft at bump, also went to a shorter seal cap and removed the internal shaft spacer. So it strokes 11”. Front end does extremely well. Hydro bumps off the uppers, set to 50psi 2”x2”.

I had the idea of running a 4.0x10” 5 tube hose remote up front because it would fit. I ultimately ditched the idea due to shaft displacement and the long hose to the reservoir. Mocked up a 3.5x10” with 1” bypass tubes, piggyback, fin reservoirs. It all fit and theres wiggle room to lean the shock in towards the frame for more clearance. Im currently waiting for Sean’s bronco to be done, to get my truck in for the engine cage. James will mount the bypasses and do a basic engine cage, tying the cab cage into the shock hoops. He’ll leave the core support alone for the time being; ill return at a later date to do that and mount the 1 piece i got from turboyota.

Rear bypasses: truck came with 2.5x14” 2 tube piggybacks. Wanted more tuning out of them and picked up a 3 tube hose remote. My issue was that i needed a fast rebound and the rear was getting stuck in the bump zone on the way out. We re-valved the compression to 15, 15, F, 18+ and rebound half stack of 8’s. It did okay but i wanted more out of them. I had found some used set of 3.0x14” 5 tube piggys at work, sold mine and bought those. Dicked around with the valving a bit and me, not knowing what i was doing, put a custom stack in by mistake. Turns out, it works really good…so whatever lol.
Compression, biggest diameter to smallest:
2.05-15, 1.75-15, 1.00-10F, 1.60 -> 0.085-18
Rebound, biggest to smallest:
2.05 -> 0.085-8
Then light springs in all the tubes. Added a 2.5x4” shortened to 2.5” bumpstop with 175psi.

Eventually turned them from black and zinc to black and teal blue with fin reservoirs.

Picked up a used set of 3.0x18” race coilovers and shortened the cylinders to 16” (22”) bought new shafts and rod ends. I still have the 18”x1” race shafts if anyone is in need of a pair. Customized the coilovers to mayvh the color scheme i have going (tungsten cerakote with king blue anodizing). As of 6/25/23 i placed an order for 4.0x18” 7 tube piggy fin bypasses. Will have it set up with the low port so theres no clearance issues for the back half.
Ill get into the hood. Picked up Jerry’s old 1 piece from turboyota. I had planned on fixing everything and mounting it on my truck. Well…I realized i was in over my head when i was trying to fill the half moon area where his air filter went. Nothing was really working out the way i wanted it to, so i hit up glass tec and they fixed it up and did a great job. Picked up mini fenders from trailer products and 4 hood latches as well. But as stated above, waiting on shop space to get all this shit installed. I had asked to leave it open in the grille area, makes it easier for clearance on the light bar on the bumper. IMG_5721.jpegIMG_5725.jpeg1FC26AFF-33BE-4CAB-BEBD-6387597D8DC7.jpegIMG_5972.jpegIMG_6232.jpeg6F7E8AD1-BF06-43F9-8AF8-2F33295E784D.jpeg3FCA1FB2-044B-47D4-8760-5DDDE681555D.jpegIMG_0324.jpegIMG_0325.jpeg
Rear end:

I had the stock 8.8 with 4:56 gears, LSD, and wheel spacers. It ran great until it didnt. The shims/ clutches in the LSD came apart and wedged themselves between the ring gear and pinion gear… so it was time for a new rear end. We put stock 3:73 to get me by.

I bought a 3.5 DOM, MIG housing, with a truss, from camburg. It was 71” tube to tube, and my target WMS was 75-76” as my front is 77.5”. From there i bought big bearing flanges from currie, picked up a complete strange third from turboyota (had 5:13 gears and a spool. I had brand new 4:56 and had those put in), wilwood rotors, rotor hats, and superlite 4 piston calipers. From there it went to pro gear in san diego and kraig worked his magic. Kevin Lawrence (forgive me if I spelled his last name wrong lol) installed my gears and no issues. Using swepco gear oil as well.

He had told me that the housing was slightly warped/ bent. Tried to straighten it but could not. So he offsetted the flanges slightly, to keep the axles 100% straight. Ordered 35 spline chromoly axles from dutchman and set me up with my wheel pattern (5x135mm w/ 5/8” studs). Got everything back and then went to James.

He made a u-bolt delete set up, double shear caliper mounts, bump plates, and strap tabs. He later c - notched the frame, plated, and added the bump stops through the frame rails. He made me custom hangers as well; fixed the floppy shackle. Even later after that, i took it to a friend to add support to the frame as it was bowing worse than before lol. He put rectangular tubing in the c chanel and across, lowered the rear bumper, and added a flat bar.

Truck preformed much better than before and i soon realized that i needed a skid plate for the rear end. IMG_4838.jpegIMG_4839.jpegIMG_4840.jpegIMG_4975.jpegIMG_4972.jpegIMG_5384.pngIMG_5385.pngIMG_5465.jpeg5B168D5E-4925-4CB0-AC41-CBC2582A8299.jpegIMG_6385.jpegIMG_6399.jpegIMG_6490.jpegIMG_7198.jpegIMG_7199.jpeg63695920705__13211E91-5895-4248-BDD4-08AF4EB05464.jpegIMG_7351.jpegIMG_7354.jpegIMG_7413.jpegIMG_7543.jpegIMG_8578.jpeg
Cage work:

The truck came with what i think is a summit racing cage and IIRC christian said previous owner before him, had it done. Looked like mild steel 1 3/4”. It wrapped around the dash and had no real structure to it. It was your basic A-C pillars and sleeved out of the cab and in the A pillar. It would rattle along with the cab whenever id go off-roading or just bumps in the road. My original plan was to add to it and make it better. I was convinced to start over. Cut it all out and put 1 3/4” DOM in. I bought about 160’ and i think we used 170’ total. Truck is now a 3 seater, can comfortably fit a 6’3” 250lbs man back there; at least what i was told from my friends lol.

Front seats are corbeau hard shell racing seats and kept the one good race trim leather seat for the back. 5.3 PRP harnesses for all seats, PCI intercom and race radio for the front seats. Kept the stock dash and modified the stock center console for the back seat passengers. My subwoofer also fits in its original spot but i had to get creative to get it back there…good luck to thieves trying to get it out haha.

After the engine cage, ill be sending it to my buddy dirt skum for an aluminum dash and custom center console.
Update: haven’t been on for a bit. All ford shut down and plans on my truck cane to a hault. Talked to a few new fab guys and settled with Metul Munky since he’s done a few 10th gens already. So what hes doing is starting the engine cage. He’ll be tying the cab cage into the shock towers, adding upper bypass mounts, new cross brace, and new bump stop mounts. Maybe some misc stuff as well.

Dropped the truck off today and pulled the dash as best as possible. Started it yesterday. Cut 90% of the bump stop mounts off and took my shocks off. Left him mock up coilovers for both sides and everything else he will need shocks and steel wise. Ill be re building my shocks, new bearings, bearing spacers, fresh oil and seals, and re cerakoting the cylinders from black to tungsten. I can’t remember what valving im putting in but ill post it up. Keeping the adjusters too with a lighter valving in them and keeping the foam Bump stops.
Valving for my coilovers are as follows:
- .012 stack with standard flutter.
- 1.75x.008, 1.60x.008, 1.45x.008, 1.30x.010, 1.15x.010, 1.00x.010
Comp adjusters
- .012 stack

Kept the foam bumps as well.

Some progress pics and the finish line is coming soon. The material i dropped off, had been in the elements for about a year and i lagged on cleaning it off before fab work. Headed out there on Saturday 11/4/23 to drop off the coilovers and take pics.

Only few things left to be done and ill probably start on putting the dash back in on Saturday too.

20231113_160552.jpeg20231113_160602.jpeg20231113_160556.jpegIMG_6998.jpegIMG_7040.jpegIMG_7043.jpegHe didn’t want the foam bumps and cut them off lol buttttt the front is butter anyways so it don't matter. Picked it uo the week of thanksgiving, took it out that Saturday for a day run, and put down a total of 45miles in barstow. The razor ruts out there are making me not want to go out anymore, it’s extremely difficult keeping the truck straight through that shit. The front took everything i threw at it; even a 3’ deep rut i saw at last minute. Front soaked it up and the rear kicked.

Went out again the following Saturday to Johnson Valley. Ran from camp rock to boone, put another 45 miles down. Before i left, i noticed i was weeping fluid from my pinion seal. My only guess is that rut i hit in barstow was enough to jar it loose. I ordered a complete 3rd from strange with a big bearing pinion support. Ill swap the 3rd’s out, and service the current one, upgrade the pinion support, and have it as a spare for when i need it. It did last 2 years with axle wrap and everything else ive thrown at it. Not complaining at all there.

The rear is currently the only thing slowing me down. “Easy” fix would put a fuel cell behind the axle but id have to redo the bed cage and at that point rather just do a back half. Ill be selling my 30 gallon jaz cell and be on the hunt for a 40-45 gallon cell. Had an idea to cut my current shock mounts on my links and drop them a little lower into the arms too. When my bypasses are done and i have a fuel cell, ill buy the material and figure out who will do my back half.