The wildest ideas come out in the most mun­dane of places—around a guy’s din­ing room ta­ble, for in­stance. If we were bet­ting men, we’d put money on the num­ber of crazy project ve­hi­cle builds dreamed up around din­ing room ta­bles na­tion­wide in the range of around 90 per­cent. That was the case with this 2017 F-250 Su­per Duty. And when all was said and done, the project col­lab­o­ra­tors would do bat­tle with one of the big­gest storms in mod­ern U.S. his­tory.

As the story goes, Tyler Stephens (truck owner) was sit­ting around said ta­ble with Bran­don and Dustin Naivar around the time of Lone Star Throw­down in Fe­bru­ary 2017. The name Naivar should sound fa­mil­iar. The broth­ers are the founders of Show­time Metal Works and their work has been fea­tured in these pages be­fore, the last be­ing Dustin’s cus­tom Ford F-450 that was fea­tured on the Fe­bru­ary 2017 cover.

Once an STMW cus­tomer, Stephens now works for STMW in a sales and man­age­ment ca­pac­ity, and this par­tic­u­lar con­ver­sa­tion had to do with tak­ing STMW’S busi­ness op­er­a­tions to the next level. Since the com­pany’s found­ing, the Naivars had carved a niche in the cus­tom truck in­dus­try cre­at­ing hand-fab­ri­cated bumpers and grilles for full­size trucks, along with other treat­ments on a more lim­ited ba­sis.

“We’ve been do­ing cus­tom sus­pen­sions since 2008 or ’09 for our

per­sonal ve­hi­cles,” Stephens says. “We weren’t happy with what was out there, and we knew there was a big de­mand for our treat­ments, which were [at the time] cus­tom weld-on kits. We de­cided we wanted to do a 100% bolt-on kit that still met our stan­dards.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion would be for the new-gen­er­a­tion Ford Su­per Duty, and Stephens’ truck would be the test sub­ject. He had pur­chased it new only a month prior with the orig­i­nal in­tent of us­ing it to pro­to­type new bumpers.

The STMW Su­per Duty lift is no joke. It jacks the truck a full foot in the air up front and no as­sem­bly or com­po­nent has gone un­ad­dressed. The front setup is a fully fab­ri­cated 4-link (up­per and lower) honed from ASTM A36 steel with forged chro­moly 1.25-inch joints. Up­per and lower spring mounts book­end 12-inch-travel, 2.5-inch, du­al­rate, re­mote-reser­voir coilovers aug­mented with 14-inch-travel, 2.5-inch smooth body re­mote-reser­voir by­pass shocks. The whole is re­in­forced with a Cnc-ma­chined 6061 alu­minum sway bar mounted with poly bush­ings.

A trans­fer case in­dex­ing ring and cus­tom dual-cv front drive­shaft help align the driven com­po­nents, and the steer­ing sys­tem is up­graded roundly with a heavy-duty DOM steer­ing drag link with 1-inch rod ends and mis­align­ment spac­ers, an ad­justable DOM track bar and dual 2.0-inch, 8-inch-stroke Fox steer­ing sta­bi­liz­ers. In the rear, the lift is ac­com­plished with 10-inch At­las leaf packs

and 14-inch-travel, 2.5-inch, smooth-body, re­mote-reser­voir dampers. Mas­sive fab­ri­cated trac­tion bars with cus­tom axle and frame mounts re­in­force the back end and pre­vent the 6-ply leaf springs from wrap­ping.

Since cus­tom truck lifts can po­ten­tially run any­where up to half the cost of the rig it­self, one of the more chal­leng­ing as­pects of de­sign­ing the sus­pen­sion was cre­at­ing a lift that did not sac­ri­fice qual­ity but could be sold at a price point that was vi­able for both the fab­ri­ca­tor and cus­tomer. In the end, Stephens feels that they ac­com­plished that mis­sion and that it is the qual­ity of fab­ri­ca­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail that sets their kit apart.

“We re­ally left no stone un­turned,” he says. “[The kits] are still 100-per­cent built by the founders. Ev­ery­thing is hand-welded. A lot of fab­ri­cated parts as well as Cnc-ma­chined parts. Ev­ery­thing heavy duty.”

A lift this se­ri­ous al­lows for run­ning some equally se­ri­ous rolling stock. Stephens’ com­bi­na­tion of choice mates forged 24x16-inch Fuel FF16 con­cave wheels in a black-and-ma­chined scheme with Fuel Grip­per M/T off-road tires sized in a 40x15.50x24-inch for­mat. All told, with the sus­pen­sion up­grade and the new run­ning gear, the front and rear bumpers now sit roughly three feet above ground level.

From start to fin­ish the project took around eight months to com­plete. In late Au­gust, in the mid­dle of the sus­pen­sion build phase and with the truck lit­er­ally in pieces at the STMW shop, dis­as­ter struck when Hur­ri­cane Har­vey hit the east coast of Texas. The project was put on a manda­tory hold as ev­ery­one in­volved waited for the flood wa­ters to re­cede. Stephens him­self was more or less trapped in his home for the bet­ter part of a week.

“It was touched by a lot of peo­ple,” Stephens says of the truck. “Ev­ery­one that got to touch the truck was af­fected by Har­vey.”

 The STMW front bumper is built to ac­com­mo­date a pair of KC Hilites 40-inch LED bars… which this Su­per Duty has. The rear is ported for a pair of 3-inch KC LEDS.

 The STMW Su­per Duty lift leaves no stone un­turned. Here you get a look at the At­las leaf packs and burly fab­ri­cated trac­tion bars se­cured at ei­ther end with ma­chined chas­sis/axle mounts.

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