ALUMIDUTY

The Black Sheep of the Ford Fam­ily

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY CHRIS HAMIL­TON PHO­TOS BY TUCKER HAR­RIS

YOU MIGHT RE­CALL OUR TRIP TO JIMMY’S ROD AND CUS­TOM (ST, AUG. 2018, pg. 44) from last is­sue. Not only did the visit give us in­sight into some unique builds the crew is work­ing on, but it also al­lowed us the chance to get more fa­mil­iar with one of Jimmy’s most re­cent cre­ations.

Alumiduty, as it’s known around the in­dus­try, started life as a typical, ev­ery­day ’17 Ford F-350.

But af­ter trim­ming a lit­tle un­nec­es­sary fat and com­pletely re­plac­ing the orig­i­nal bones of the truck, this diesel-pack­ing pow­er­house now lays the pinch mold­ing on 26-inch wheels and can still haul a friend’s ride that’s se­curely strapped down to a trailer. Un­for­tu­nately, this level of fab­ri­ca­tion doesn’t hap­pen overnight, and Jeremy Smith’s most re­cent build, Alumiduty, took more than 800 hours to com­plete, but he wouldn’t trade an ounce of the qual­ity to get back one sin­gle minute of time.

A lot of builders will quickly shy away from a project this mas­sive, es­pe­cially when you throw a 6.7L Pow­er­stroke diesel mo­tor in the mix. The fear of never-dis­ap­pear­ing dash lights or any num­ber of other diesel demons will usu­ally make the challenge of find­ing a fab­ri­ca­tor much more dif­fi­cult. Luck­ily for Jeremy, this isn’t his first time

WITH HIS DREAM BUILD FI­NALLY COM­PLETE, WITH­OUT A SIN­GLE WARN­ING LIGHT FLARING ON THE DASH, JEREMY CAN MEET UP WITH THE REST OF HIS CREW IN RE­LAXED AT­MOS­PHERE AND HEAD OUT TO ANY NUM­BER OF SHOWS THEY FRE­QUENTLY AT­TEND …”

build­ing a mod­ern cus­tom truck, and he knew just the man for the job. Right af­ter a long list of pa­tient clients re­ceived their killer rides, it was Jeremy’s turn to get on Jimmy Gra­hams’s chop­ping block. Just as he rolled it into the bay the odome­ter hit 5,000 miles—far fewer road hours than it would spend un­der the knife. For­tu­nately, the time went by quickly, and no ma­jor road­blocks got in the way, just a whole lot of ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion, which still can make it dif­fi­cult for a man to sleep at night.

The plan for this build was plain and sim­ple: It would lay bumpers front to back, keep­ing the fac­tory floor­board in­tact, and a full plate chas­sis would re­place the fac­tory frame rail. Un­for­tu­nately for Jimmy, no one makes a tem­plate for some­thing this cus­tom, so the first few hours of the project were spent with a tape mea­sure and a pad of pa­per, map­ping it out be­fore trans­fer­ring it to Auto

Cad. This al­lowed Jimmy to cut all of the pieces he needed on his plasma ta­ble, leav­ing clean edges with pre­cise mea­sure­ments. Once it was all metic­u­lously welded back to­gether and placed un­der the truck, un­e­d­u­cated eyes would think Ford put it there, which was Jeremy’s goal from the start.

Sure, Jeremy could’ve started with an ev­ery­day Plat­inum F-150, but as he told us, “All the other Su­per­du­ties I see are lifted or du­allys, so I de­cided to build a laid-out, sin­gle-rear­wheel Su­per­duty that tucks 26s.”

The full-plate cus­tom-built chas­sis

wasn’t the only metal-re­lated challenge for the team at Jimmy’s Rod and Cus­toms. Rais­ing the all-alu­minum bed floor and ex­tend­ing the fac­tory wheel well tubs had to be done us­ing ad­di­tional alu­minum and ab­so­lutely no steel. Nat­u­rally, this in­creases the price tag, not only on the metal, but also the amount of la­bor re­quired to weld it back to­gether.

Once all of the ma­jor fab­ri­ca­tion was com­plete, new front con­trol arms were built in-house us­ing the fac­tory Ford knuck­les up front and a par­al­lel 4-link with a Watts-link in the rear. An Ac­cuair e-level air man­age­ment sys­tem main­tains the psi at all four cor­ners, while four VIAIR 444 com­pres­sors sit on deck ready to pump fresh air when needed. One of the final pieces of the fab­ri­ca­tion puz­zle was a cus­tom-built oil pan that holds the per­fect amount of oil and comes nowhere near the asphalt. Once all of the parts were built, they were pack­aged and sent to the pow­der coater, which gave Jimmy a lit­tle time to clean up and pre­pare for final assem­bly.

With the frame freshly coated and all of the wir­ing com­plete, the fuel lines were run, the en­gine was in­stalled, and the sus­pen­sion was hung. Fi­nally, the time fi­nally came to bolt on a brand-new set of 26x10 In­tro Hauler 8 wheels wrapped in 305/30/26 Pirelli tires. The com­pleted rolling chas­sis is an amaz­ing sight, but you tend to for­get about all of that amaz­ing de­tail work re­ally fast once the body is set on top, and the whole thing is aired out flat on the ground. That’s when the smil­ing con­test be­gins, and the camera phones come out in full force. Even with ev­ery­one’s jaw hit­ting the floor, Jeremy knew there were still a few things left to fin­ish up, in­clud­ing a full JL Au­dio sound sys­tem from Mo­bile Toys in Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas.

Jeremy’s vo­cal on so­cial me­dia, which has earned him a rep­u­ta­tion as a mini-trucker who’s also a great cus­tom truck de­signer, and the level of qual­ity he de­mands in his builds is sec­ond to none. Nat­u­rally, when you spend up­wards of $100,000 de­sign­ing a one-of-a-kind cus­tom truck, you want it to be per­fect, so why not brag about the de­tails?

With his dream build fi­nally com­plete, with­out a sin­gle warn­ing light flaring on the dash, Jeremy can meet up with the rest of his crew in Re­laxed At­mos­phere and head out to any num­ber of shows they fre­quently at­tend, in­clud­ing Lon­es­tar Throw­down, Bat­tle in Bama, Doin’ it in the Dark and Day­tona Truck Meet. If you see Jeremy’s truck, let him know you like his work, and ask him what he’s go­ing to build next.

THE FAC­TORY IN­TE­RIOR WILL MAKE YOU FOR­GET YOU’RE IN A CUS­TOM-BUILT TRUCK RE­ALLY QUICK.

BULL’S-EYE RETROS PAINTED THE OEM LED HEADLAMPS AND ADDED CLEAR TO THE COR­NERS.

JEREMY REP­RE­SENTS HIS TRUCK CLUB, RE­LAXED AT­MOS­PHERE.

ALL-ALU­MINUM EX­TENDED FENDERS AND A RAISED BED FLOOR WEREN’T A CHALLENGE FOR JIMMY’S ROD AND CUS­TOMS.

ALUMIDUTY TUCKS 26X10-INCH IN­TRO HAULER 8 WHEELS, NO PROB­LEM.

BOB BALL IN CANADA BUILT THIS ONE-OFF BIL­LET EM­BLEM FOR THE GRILLE.

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