Wheels and Tires


Today’s 4x4s have become extremely specialized. At one end of the spectrum are one-off, purpose-built, non-street-legal rock buggies. These are the cream of the rock crop. Most have tube chassis with what seems like nearly 360 degrees of axle articulation. Often the transfer cases are doubled up to produce crawl ratios way beyond the once magical 100:1. They’re obviously awesome, and capable of handling boulders as if they were speed bumps.

Extreme F-250

Stan Belcher didn’t start out like a man possessed when he bought his ’03 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab truck. But it didn’t take long for him to turn into one. Initially, the plan was to lift the truck enough to run a set of 44-inch tires. Stan liked the Super Duty trucks because of the straight axle, which made lifting it 12 inches a snap. Three weeks later he had the body lifted three inches. He actually drove the truck with the 15-inch (total) lift and the stock wheel and 30-inch tires for about a month and a half. After installing the 44-inch tires the truck looked perfect. Everything was great, and Stan loved the truck… and then Swamper comes out with a set of 49-inch Irok tires!


Lowering a truck usually involved cutting coils and shaving bump stops. Out back, the rear end was treated to lowering blocks, a few pulled leaf springs or heated coil springs. Over the years, manufacturers began to address these demands, as lowering coils, spring leaf blocks, dropped spindles and flip kits were offered. Times changed with the introduction of airbags, as owners were able to slam their pickups with full ride height adjustability. Air Ride Technologies (ART) is one of those companies offering quality suspension solutions for truck owners, with kits that fit specific applications.



The suspension of stock four-wheel-drive vehicles is deliberately set very high to provide improved ground clearance. For years the trend in serious off-roading has been to “lift” the vehicle even higher. The OEs suspend their four-bys high enough to clear rocks, traverse gulleys and fallen trees and most anything else that one might encounter in more serious off-roading. Nevertheless, there are four-by owners who would like to lower their vehicles, as they spend more time on-road than off. Recently we met just such an owner, and we couldn’t resist questioning him about his desire to drop this ’04 Ford F-150 four-by-four.



Embark on the extraordinary journey of the “F-This” F-100, a groundbreaking collaboration between Chip Foose and Super Rides by Jordan. This radical pickup, born from a 12-year project, captured attention with its rapid 12-month transformation. Uncover the intricacies of the custom-fabricated chassis, boasting elaborate plumbing systems for air suspension, fuel delivery, hydraulics, and brakes. Experience the thunderous power of the 850hp 540ci ZZ 502 GM big block and the innovative design elements, including a tilting front end and reversed suicide doors. Explore the meticulous body modifications, the eye-catching House of Kolor Spanish Gold paint, and the handcrafted interior adorned with leather and snakeskin. Immerse yourself in the accolades earned, including “Best Radical Pickup” at the ’05 Autorama, as “F-This” emerges as a triumph of automotive artistry and innovation.



Cars and trucks are all about utilitarianism. Although vehicles have become status symbols, at the core, it’s all about getting people or things from one place to another. Through the years, Ford Motor Company has solidified its place in the annals of automotive history with its incredible lineup of consumer and commercial trucks. As the nameplate has been expanded and new options made available, Ford’s famed F-Series truly offers something for everyone.

Super-High Super Duty

Tall lift kits used to mean a rough ride. Times have changed—the suspension aftermarket has figured out how to accommodate huge meats without inflicting permanent kidney damage on the driver and passengers. Computer-modeling and other engineering advancements prioritize ride quality into the suspension design. Spring packs with more, thinner leafs is an example of how tall-truck suspension philosophy has evolved.

The 2022 SEMA Show

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show engulfs Fabulous Las Vegas annually. It brings together the biggest names in the automotive world to show off the latest and greatest, whether it’s new products, amazing custom builds, or the newest trends. TheAutoBuilder is excited to be in the thick of it all.

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