MADE IN TEXAS
SHOW TIME METAL WORKS’ LATEST BUILD WALKS TALL
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.