An '06 Ford Super Duty was chosen as the tribute truck's canvas. Yes, the SD was already a rugged offering, but the '05-'06 models benefit from key updates that set them apart from their forebears. A stronger frame combines with a pair of monster-sized radius arms that suspend an upgraded Dana 60 front axle using a pair of captured coil springs. The front '60 is controlled using an equally stout Panhard bar and a tie rod and drag link that overshadow those of the '99-'04 model years. For motivation, the UDT-SEAL tribute truck relies on the latest 6.0 Power Stroke diesel engine - powerful, refined, and reliable.
With a sturdy canvas to work on, Jeremy was able to put his suspension in place. The stock axles are a Dana 60 front and a Ford 10.5-inch full-floating rear axle, so there was no reason to swap them out. The UDT-SEAL tribute truck was the recipient of Rock Krawler's 8.0 Coilover Desert Race suspension system. Up front, the factory radius arms were deleted and a pair of Rock Krawler Racing Development (RRD) triangulated radius arms were bolted in their place. Ford's new-generation 4x4 Super Duty trucks use smooth-riding captured coil springs in place of the front leaf packs of the '99-'04 model years. Even with the smoothness of the captured coils, RRD replaced them with a pair of 2.5-inch-diameter RRD coilovers. The coilover combines the coil and the shock into a single unit that boasts far cleaner mounting than the parallel-mounted coil and shock it replaces. The RRD Desert Race system completely replaces the OEM rear suspension in both componentry and concept. The leaf packs are unbolted and set aside, after which a pair of RRD radius arms take their place in a set of custom mounts which must be welded to the frame and to the axlehousing. Axlewrap is completely eliminated, even with the biggest tires and the most torque-laden engine. As with the front, a pair of RRD coilovers now suspends and damps the rear of the truck.
To answer the burning question of "how does it ride?" we can't give it anything less than a resounding thumbs-up. Yes, the Super Duty is still a Super Duty, which is to say that it's a fullsize 4x4 with heavy-duty components and a solid front axle. With that said, it's a smooth ride, and the smoothness comes without a mushy feel or unpredictable handling. Better yet, the radius-armed rear suspension means that axlewrap is a nonissue no matter how big the rocks or how heavy the payload. We came away impressed. The buildup went quickly, and Conrad notes, "Building a cool truck is pretty easy with great aftermarket parts."
After the hard parts were in place, a set of Bushwacker Pocket Style fender flares added width and tire coverage to the fender openings, and were painted to match the rest of the truck. Making the tribute known was handled by Infamous Graphics, which wrapped the U.S. Navy SEALs graphics on the sides, tailgate, and windshield.
Researching the duties of UDT-SEALs made this writer do a bit of reflecting: Yours truly doesn't relish air travel, let alone jumping out before the flight is through, and prefers warm and dry to cold and wet, which is probably why I like the dirt so much. One can't help but be thankful to the men who sacrifice comfort and safety to be the "first over the wall" in defending the freedom so widely enjoyed in this country. One of America's most rugged trucks built with an equally rugged, smooth-riding suspension is a fitting tribute to fallen UDT-SEALs and a worthy ride for an elite member of the elite: Conrad Purick.
Here's a combination of smart planning and careful execution. Bushwacker Pocket Style fen
Up front, RRD Racing used a pair of its 10-inch-stroke, 2.5-inch-diameter coilovers in pla
Twelve-inch-stroke coilovers ride smoothly and are included with the RRD suspension kit.