Here at OFF-ROAD we warm up to just about any vehicle that plays in the dirt. We decided it was time to start a new truck project and thought we’d do a little something we don’t often do. We’d build up a 2WD fullsize truck. We decided the vehicle of choice would be a Ford F-150, much like what a lot of our readers might own and be in a position to modify and upgrade. As such, we purchased a clean 2006 XLT Supercab with 6.5-foot bed. We went with the reliable three-valve 5.4L Triton V-8 backed with the 4R75E four-speed auto tranny. We’ve got some plans to turn this truck into a fun dirt romper but keep it practical as well. The idea is to build a performance truck that can be used as a daily driver and as a weekend camping/exploring/desert running truck. We’d like to leave the bed mostly intact to retain cargo area for hauling building materials, camping gear, and dirt bikes. The project emphasis will also be towards a good bit of DIY work using readily available vendor products. Most of the work could be done in an average home garage, but might require some fabrication tools. We also know that a lot of you can work on your trucks on the weekend, but can’t have the truck down for a long time. So, we’re looking to try to complete each build phase over a weekend or less so the truck is ready to drive to work again on Monday. One of the first upgrades we wanted to tackle was engine performance. We were pretty pleased with our engine power, but know we’ll yearn for a little more power and torque as we upgrade to bigger tires later. We went in search of more power first. Most truck enthusiasts are well aware of the prowess of Banks Power when it comes to making big diesel power. But not everyone knows that Banks also offers some kits for gasoline engines as well. We turned to them when we wanted to add some ponies and pulling power to our Triton V-8. 01. We started the installation of the air intake kit by unplugging and removing the MAF sensor in the stock intake tract, and removing the stock plastic intake tube and air filter housing. The Banks kit reuses a few small stock parts but the majority (of pieces) are replaced with upgraded components.01. We started the installation of the air intake kit by unplugging and removing the MAF 02. With the MAF sensor transferred to the Banks intake tube, it was installed using the factory throttle body gasket. The kit comes with attractive stainless bracketry to hold the intake in place.02. With the MAF sensor transferred to the Banks intake tube, it was installed using the 03. The new Banks filter element is a large, oiled type which is mounted into a new filter housing. The filter housing is attached to the new intake tube with a supplied rubber boot. The housing still draws air from the original hole in the inner fender, but also intakes air in the large opening shown here that resides behind the driver side headlight. The housing rides snuggly on two large grommets and the intake installation was complete.03. The new Banks filter element is a large, oiled type which is mounted into a new filte 04. Next, we turned our attention to the installation of the headers. We followed the Banks instructions which are well detailed. We unbolted the Y-pipe and removed the stock manifolds from the engine. Accessing the manifold bolts is the hardest part of this installation. It’s helpful to have a good variety of wrenches, sockets, extensions, and swivel attachments to access them all.04. Next, we turned our attention to the installation of the headers. We followed the Ban 05. We were careful not to scratch or gouge the aluminum heads. After removing our stock manifolds, we found the heads had a slight carbon residue around the ports. We used some abrasive pads and carburetor cleaner to clean the surfaces for the new gaskets.05. We were careful not to scratch or gouge the aluminum heads. After removing our stock 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Jay Kopycinski Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!