BLACK RHINO

ONE CLEAN SEMI-TRUCK-IN­SPIRED 2014SUPERDUTY

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Text/pho­tog­ra­phy: Phillip Day­ton

A Clean Semi-in­spired 2014 Ford Su­per Duty

IN THE BE­GIN­NING

It all started with Bryan Lin's en­joy­ment of de­sign­ing, ren­der­ing and bring­ing a cre­ation to life. Even though Lin has a de­gree in bi­ol­ogy, he de­cided to pur­sue his true pas­sion, build­ing dis­tinct ve­hi­cles. He's still at it to­day with his new­est cre­ation, the “Black Rhino.”

This 2014 Ford F-350 XLT du­ally started out on the draw­ing board as a minia­ture semi-truck ren­der­ing. Lin wanted a large front air dam and a large grille, and he wanted it to be low to the ground. Af­ter cre­at­ing the look he was af­ter, it was time for him and his crew at The Mo­tor­sports Author­ity (MSA) in Con­way, Arkansas, to start search­ing for a Ford that of­fered some of the fea­tures they were look­ing for, like a two-wheeldrive and Ster­ling Gray paint.

As luck would have it, one was lo­cated on­line less than two hours away. Af­ter Lin went to the lo­cal deal­er­ship to pick it up, he found out that it had been sold the day be­fore. Well, that put a kink into things. The lo­cal dealer looked for any two-wheel-drive in any color lo­cated in the South­east. The an­swer came back with a big zero, none avail­able.

At that mo­ment, Lin knew that to pull off this project for the SEMA Show he would now also have to mod­ify the frame of a four­wheel-drive. So, for this six-week SEMA build, he uti­lized as many two-wheel-drive com­po­nents as he could, mod­i­fy­ing the parts for the four-wheel-drive truck to best rep­re­sent the ren­der­ing that had been cre­ated. Most peo­ple lift the four-wheel-drive trucks, not lower them like Lin was plan­ning, so that was an­other hur­dle to get over, and an­other chance for him and his crew to show off how cre­ative they can be.

TEARDOWN AND BUILDUP

Af­ter pick­ing up the Su­per Duty, the crew couldn’t wait to start tear­ing it down. First to be dis­as­sem­bled was the front sus­pen­sion. For the front end of this truck, they went with Airbagit.com 2,700-pound air bags and brack- ets to re­place the orig­i­nal stock springs. For the truck to sit at the de­sired rest­ing point with­out any clear­ance is­sues they had to shave down the trans­fer case cross­mem­ber and a few other parts. The orig­i­nal front brack­ets for the air bags were mod­i­fied to ac­com­mo­date the four-wheel-drive ap­pli­ca­tion. The front pan­hard bar and brack­ets were de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in-house by MSA for this unique ap­pli­ca­tion.

Next was the rear sus­pen­sion. For this they also used Airbagit.com parts but went with 3,200-pound air bags and brack­ets. They also had to re­in­force the frame. Air bag brack­ets, heavy-duty par­al­lel bars and a Watts link, along with a few other com­po­nents from Airbagit.com, were then mod­i­fied to work on this new de­sign. They de­cided not to notch the frame in the rear. That way they could add the af­ter­mar­ket Be­drug and Bed­slide the way

AT THAT MO­MENT, LIN KNEW THAT TO PULL OFF THIS PROJECT FOR THE SEMA SHOW HE WOULD NOW ALSO HAVE TO MOD­IFY THE FRAME OF A FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE.

their re­spec­tive com­pa­nies de­signed them. A 5-gal­lon, three-port stain­less chrome air tank with dual 250/380 air com­pres­sors was bolted to the frame. To top it off, they in­stalled an AB9000 con­troller that reads pres­sures with five al­low­able pre­sets that will main­tain the truck’s height re­gard­less of the load on it. They added dual steer­ing sta­bi­liz­ers to as­sist with the steer­ing sta­bil­ity.

OLD SCHOOL HOT ROD MODS

With the sus­pen­sion and chas­sis com­plete, it was time for MSA to start on the body mods. They went with some new tech­nol­ogy and some old hot rod tricks. The grille in­sert is from Rigid In­dus­tries and in­cludes a 30-inch E-se­ries light bar. For the front bumper, they went old school and took two front bumpers and welded/molded them into one large bumper to get the large front air dam look. For the rear, they used the stock bumper but cut and mod­i­fied it to mount a set of Rigid In­dus­tries du­ally D2 lights.

For the front fend­ers, they added Bushwacker Ex­tend-a-fend­ers with a set of Re­con Light­ing F-350 fender badge lights. On the rear fend­ers they also went old school hot rod style and took two stock du­ally rear fend­ers and molded them into one unit for a com­pletely flush rear tire look. The truck bed was oth­er­wise left stock, but Lin in­stalled a Re­trax Pro slid­ing bed cover, a Be­drug, and a Bed­Slide Pro 1500 sys­tem. Af­ter he added Lariat run­ning boards, it was time to go back to the

TO GET IT ALL DONE IN SUCH A SHORT TIME, LIN HAD NOT ONLY HIS FRIENDS HELP, BUT ALSO THE SHOP GUYS AT MO­TOR­SPORTS AUTHOR­ITY.

front to fin­ish off the light­ing. The head­lights were moved to the top and retro­fit­ted with pro­jec­tor HIDS while the bot­tom was mod­i­fied for turn sig­nals. XB light strips re­placed the park­ing lights.

As for the cab mods, the rear doors were re­moved and mod­i­fied for a sui­cide-style open­ing. These doors still have all the fac­tory latches and com­po­nents like the orig­i­nal doors, and still open and close just like a fac­tory door. For the ex­te­rior cab light­ing, Lin changed it to smoked LED light­ing to match. All the paint and body mods were com­pleted by Mo­tor­sports Author­ity. The paint is a Ster­ling Gray base coat that was care­fully scratched in one di­rec­tion to make it look like brushed steel and then cov­ered with a matte clearcoat by Ma­trix Paint Sys­tems.

CLEAN IN­TE­RIOR/CUS­TOM AU­DIO

On to the in­te­rior—the car­pet was left stock, but the seats were re­placed with Cus­tom Road­wire two-tone leather seats with seat heaters. MSA com­pleted the cus­tom up­hol­stery in-house as well. For the sound, Lin went with a Pioneer head unit am­pli­fied with a Power­bass five-chan­nel unit rated at 1,920 watts sent to a whole slew of Power­bass speak­ers through­out. All of these are mounted in cus­tom-built fiber­glass speaker pods in all four door pan­els with a cus­tom sub­woofer box mounted be­hind the rear seats. For rear pas­sen­ger com­fort, he added a head­rest DVD/ me­dia cen­ter setup.

THE FIN­ISHED RIG

To get it all done in such a short time, Bryan Lin had not only his friends help, but also the shop guys at Mo­tor­sports Author­ity like Justin Carter, Martin Mendez, Pa­trick Walker and Bruce Castilio. With a crew and group of friends to sup­port you and help you build a SEMA ve­hi­cle as spe­cial as this cre­ation in such a short time, Lin is ex­tremely lucky. If you ask Lin, he would tell you he prob­a­bly could have never got it done in time with­out such an awe­some sup­port crew. UDBG

The 6.7L Power Stroke is mostly stock but ben­e­fits from a free-flow­ing in­take from AEM as well as a 4-inch stain­less steel ex­haust from Mag­naflow.

The bed is fairly decked out with a Be­drug, Bed­slide and a Re­trax ton­neau cover to keep it all un­der lock and key.

The lug nut spikes are a per­fect touch and add to the Mini-semi theme.

Rolling stock on this “Mini-semi” is a set of 24-inch Amer­i­can Force Du­ally Im­pacts wrapped with Nitto Terra Grap­plers.

Body mod­i­fi­ca­tions are ev­ery­where on this 2014 F-350. The rear du­ally fend­ers have ac­tu­ally been sec­tioned and length­ened to per­fectly cover the Amer­i­can Force Wheels.

Ex­ten­sive work was done re­in­forc­ing the rear doors to elim­i­nate any sag­ging when open, which is com­mon with af­ter­mar­ket sui­cide door mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

It’s all Rigid up front, start­ing with the 40566 grille in­sert and a pair of E-se­ries LED light bars.

The in­te­rior fea­tures a mass of stereo up­grades from Pioneer and Power­bass as well as mul­ti­ple mon­i­tors for pas­sen­ger TV view­ing. The seats were wrapped in cus­tom two-tone leather for the ut­most in road trip com­fort.

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