Layla the last black unicorn - Blue Tape Fab


Aug 25, 2023
I just want to say my hats off to the fellas that got this site up and running. This stuff is not easy to do. I have been thinking to my self as I approach the ripe age of 41, that this social media life is just getting to be a bit to much. I hate just seeing a comercial on every post. I miss the nitty gritty of the build threads. Over the years I have learned soooo much from DR and other forums and was just thinking the other day how much I missed them, just haven’t had any good ones to go back to. I saw one of Elliot’s IG posts this morning and thought what the heck let’s see what this is all about! It came at the exact perfect time as I have been very bummed about my current situation. Im not destitute or anything but currently working a job on the island of Oahu. Mean while my whole life AKA my shop is boxed up in a storage unit in Northern California, with the exception of my welders and tube bender that my friends are using back home. So I sit here day in and day out for the last 8-9 months missing turning wrenches, and having tools to do things and build things, wondering… will I ever be done! (Island time is a real thing)

Start of 2021 my wife and eye decided to sell our business, close up shop, pack our belongings and fit what ever we could into my 2019 ford ranger and go for a road trip. That took about a year to get figured out, come 2022 we were fully unencumbered by any responsibilities and my truck was finished. So we packed our bags and set out on a 36000 mile road trip. Which took us to many amazing places including, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and about 30 other states.
We quickly figured out that a ford ranger, is just too small of a setup for two people and a dog. But We made due and I always thought man if only I had started with an f150 or super-duty. At any rate we traveled and traveled some more. About 6-7 months into our trip, I got a call from an old buddy, he asked if me and my wife wanted to help him with a job in Hawaii. Of course since we had no real responsibilities we said yes, paid trip to Hawaii to work! done!
Come early December 2022 we find our selves on the island of Oahu. We sold the built ranger at peak time. Made some money and decided to wait to find the perfect truck for the next build. …


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Ok so here I am moving to a small piece of land in the middle of a very large ocean. I have for the first time in a very long time had zero vehicles to my name, my first thought was to buy an island beater. So I purchased a 2016 jeep JKU, always wanted one…ended up going to the shop.. was there for 9 weeks, transmission issues.. the guy was hiding them when I purchased it…any normal day.. with tools I could have fixed it in a weekend.. but since I had no tools, jack or really anywhere to work on it. I said screw it, to the shop it goes.. again (island time is a real thing) 9 weeks later it was fixed. Replaced the TC… the reason I brought it in.. anyways it wasn’t that big of a deal though just frustrating , my boss sent his 2nd gen raptor and a transit van for me to drive. Long story short, I’ll never own another JKU.. it was quickly sold after realizing how crappy they are.. also itsucked to drive 30ft…


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So back again in the market for a vehcile.. looked around for island beaters..problem is.. island beaters… plus covid mentality means a 500$ car is now worth 5k and a 5k car people want 15k. So I started looking again at new trucks, doing research and really just not wanting to drop 60k on a baseline f150. Just madeNo sense.

So I started to look for first gen raptors. Really always wanted one, loved my ranger but to small, loved my excursion and superdutys, but just to big... and at this point I’m tired of buying and selling and just want to find the right Keeper truck. I setteled on a first gen raptor or a 12gen f150. The more research I did, the more I decided it had to be from either 2013-2014.(more to come on that later) So
The search was on. If Im going to buy a truck it’s going to be exactly what I want, right down to the axle ratio and
Tow package.
I went back and forth on wether it was
Going to be a raptor or an FX4 model. Turns out very few f150 non raptor models came with 6.2s. Which I was all about! I love that motor and they are pretty dang reliable. I searched for about 5-6 months. It came down to two trucks… a 2014 raptor with 90k miles or a 2013 fx4 unicorn with a 6.2. With only 22k miles.. The non raptor f150 was a very shady looking FB marketplace find that had horrendous pictures, and very little information. I was able to get a phone number and after talking to the guy for about 2-3 weeks on and off. It became apparent that he had no idea what he was selling or how to sell. This truck came from the original owner, he was a rich dude that had several million into cars in his garage. It was used strictly to go to the snow to ski. Still had sand bags in the bed of the truck, and very newish snow tires. Got the vin, pulled the carfax, and it showed it was at ford getting regular maintenance throughout its life. And it also showed me the window sticker, which showed that it was infact a factory ordered fx4 with a 6.2, the highest towing
Capacity, big tank, elocker and the upgraded interior. Not a penny spared when special ordered. And yes with only 22k miles. It was clear what I was doing at that point, I flew to Portland the next couple of days, and purchased what I beleive to be a very rare find of a truck, yes there are other 6.2 f150s and low mile raptors… but not for the price I got this for.. so I’m stoked! So Layla the Black unicorn it is! Besides a brand new vehicle, this is the cleanest car/truck I have ever owned!


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But here I am stuck on an island with the desire of wanting to build this truck. I have zero tools short of a Home Depot husky 200peice tool box and and a Ryobi power tool set. Its a humbling experience to say the least, I have every tool I need sitting In Storage 3500 miles away. But here I sit, hot and sweaty, jonesing to do something fun to my new truck. After much research I found that 2013-2014 12gens had Ford Sync 2 and could be upgraded to SYNC 3 very easily. Very easy upgrade, i didnt want to go backwards in that technology field. My ranger had sync 3, my work van, and bosses raptor. So it was a must. Took longer to clean the condensation from my margarita in my cup holder then it did to install new setup. I have to say if you have a 2013-2014 and have yet to do this upgrade.. it’s a must!


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It’s suffice to say I’m having to settle for the small things to get me by till the end of the year. So it got husky floor mats, hard wired radar detector, Built right tray on the dash, usb chargers…. Things of that nature…it’s really weird because All these things I did before without thinking twice.. was just normal things I did to my vehicles. But ATM I have to settle on changing the oil… and think that was the “mod” I did for the weekend. Like I said, I came across Elliot’s post just in the Knick of time. I was really getting bummed that the simplest, or what was the simplest of things to do now seem so hard..the right tools for the job type of deal I always took for granted. When all your friends had tools and trucks, doing things like UCA upgrades or just bolt on shock upgrades seems like a no brainer, and I would do that in an evening after work. So I will be taking to other things like paint correction and ceramic coating for the time being. And hope that I can come across enough parts to have a stock pile when I get back home. Plans will be LT and im not trying to make a raptor, the glass I want to get will be as non raptor as I can get. To me this will be more like a Sally v6.2… and I look forward to perusing the forum and finding motivation!


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Thanks for the kind words dude. Little shit like hearing that it’s fuel enough for me to keep hammering on what ever the hell this is we are doing here.

That f150 is sweet. I’ve been eyeball the raptors for awhile now. I need to get something to tow with that’s bigger than my Tacoma. Haven’t manned up and pulled the trigger. How much longer you supposed to be out there in HI ? the fuck are you doing out there?
Thanks for the kind words dude. Little shit like hearing that it’s fuel enough for me to keep hammering on what ever the hell this is we are doing here.

That f150 is sweet. I’ve been eyeball the raptors for awhile now. I need to get something to tow with that’s bigger than my Tacoma. Haven’t manned up and pulled the trigger. How much longer you supposed to be out there in HI ? the fuck are you doing out there?

Its pretty cool to have the feel of the old DR but a bit more refined...maybe its just all us old dudes more refined and not such aholes? not sure really but yeah made me go change the oil and finish wiring in my radar detector tonight... mind you I used my wifes nail tool to wittle away some plastic...thats how hard up i not used to this and its horrible! I am having an all new appreciation for having the shop i had for soo long!!

And yeah i have a 18 foot Jayco back on the mainland that we will end up living out of when we go back I presume....So having a nice tow rig was needed. This f150 is just the beez nees really. I get to drive my bosses 2nd gen Raptor pretty regularly, but having the v8 is just nice. Its def not as quick, but its just a nice grandpa truck. I just need to build it to how i like it.

I'm here doing a massive Commercial HVAC job for my buddy, Im doing some work but mainly helping managing it, since its hard to find good help here on the island! its a good size job with lots to it, just waiting on permits and crap like that takes forever on the island. Every piece to the puzzle has been shipped out, by boat...its just a waiting game...then go time, then I will be done. It was perfect situation since me and my wife were already living super simple last year, was sorta a no brainer, but its suffice to say we are not island people....i love the blue water and i fish alot here, but thats about it. I miss trucks, and dirt, and offroad, and mtns, and desert...In n out...and the list goes on.
E foils look like so much fun! Been wanting to try one out for awhile.
They are super fun! Its the closest thing I got to riding dirt bikes here.. as it involves some adventure spirit to go out past the break.. or reefs.. they are a blast though! This was yesterday mornings sunrise!


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This isn’t Layla, but the last real project I built was my 2019 ranger. Started brand new, did a stage 7 icon kit on it..then started building the overland side of it.. started from scratch on the pop top. Did all the sewing cabinet work and fabrication. Truck was pretty dialed. Just to small.. would like to go a little more Long travel with the f150.. but same idea.. fully self contained. The ranger had hot water, propane, griddle and fridge all built in… it was pretty nice! Totally self contained.


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Hell yea Marshall! Glad to see you on this forum, defiantly different lifestyle living out there on the island. Hope to go off-roading with you in the future. It’s Luis btw used to ride bikes with you and pismo trips haha
Hell yea Marshall! Glad to see you on this forum, defiantly different lifestyle living out there on the island. Hope to go off-roading with you in the future. It’s Luis btw used to ride bikes with you and pismo trips haha
HEY! yeah i think we follow each other on IG still. dont you have a baby and stuff now?