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DSE couldn’t fabricate special mounts for the IRS, because the half-shafts on the Navigator rear end are positioned through the frame rail. Instead, DSE cut out a section of the F-150 frame and welded in the corresponding section of the Navigator’s frame rails. While the approach is simple, the actual work is more complicated to ensure proper alignment. Also, DSE mounted the new frame rails 5 inches higher to lower the body over the wheels. For a closer look into the actual installation, see http://www.detroitspeed.com/FordF150Page0110.html.
Despite being stuffed that high into the bed, the rear suspension still has full suspension travel, thanks to custom Koni coil-overs in place of the factory air bags. The Konis are fully adjustable and will allow bonspeed to tune the suspension for the best ride on the open highway or for better handling in the canyons. The front suspension was also treated to custom Koni coil-overs and Hotchkis improvements.
DSE pulled the stock engine in favor of a supercharged, 5.4-liter all-aluminum V8 that is similar to the Ford GT engine. Bonspeed added a handcrafted induction system and milled finned cam covers before bolting the 32-valve, DOHC engine to a Hurst-shifted 6-speed manual transmission. Exhaust is routed through Borla mufflers, and engine coolant is circulated through a Be Cool radiator.
DSE started the bodywork by cutting a section from the bed to make room for a race-inspired diffuser panel that smoothes out air flow from under the truck. This large duct also gives onlookers a great view of the rear differential. Interior bed panels were also fabricated for a smooth look and to accommodate the Optima batteries and relocated fuel filler.
Bonspeed then took over, making a new lower front fascia that features T-bird driving lights and a honeycomb-mesh grille. Air ducts for the rear brakes were fashioned on rear fenders, and a pro-drive carbon fiber wing was fabricated for the bed. One of the neatest changes was the rear bumper, which was flipped, narrowed, smoothed and reshaped to give the tail a GT appearance. L&G Enterprises then squirted on specially mixed DuPont paint called Black Currant that appears black but in direct sunlight can offer deep purple hues. The truck rolls on bonspeed wheels (20x9 front, 20x10 rear) wrapped with BFGoodrich rubber (P265/50R20 front, P305/50R20 rear).
Andy Harrison of bonspeed stitched the unique interior with leather specially dyed by Mulholland Brothers Luxury Luggage of San Francisco. More than 300 square feet of leather was needed to cover the Recaro seats, door panels, headliner and other areas. Bonspeed’s Rick martin designed the instrument panel in a Gothic design and had US Speedo laser cut the faceplate from polished copper.
Since Fanshaw’s partner and best friend is Michael Anthony, bassist for Van Halen, a pounding sound system was needed. Bonspeed’s Eric Pepper and Jon Polo installed the Sony/Diamond Audio system with Metra electronics. The 10-inch subwoofer is located in the reconfigured center console. Front speakers are positioned in the door panels. The entertainment system also includes a Sony DVD player with two viewing screens.
Summing up, Fanshaw says he wanted to push the F-150 “out of the box” as well as showcase bonspeed equipment and abilities. Following the Hot Rod Power Tour, he’ll turn his attention to a new 2005 Mustang. Then he can build a trailer queen if he wants, since he now has a bad-ass pickup truck to tow it to the 2004 SEMA show.
More information on bonspeed can be found at bonspeed.com.
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