2020 F-450 Super Duty Gets the OEM++ Treatment

Every year the team at Street Diesel Performance (SDP) brings us their latest take on the Ford F-450 Super Duty at the annual SEMA Show. While 2020 didn’t go as planned for any of us, SDP still had a new truck built, but no-where to show it. Once it realized the 2021 SEMA Show was actually going to happen, it went into full upgrade mode on their already cool 2020 build that never got any public love.

This is the story of that truck, its evolution, and how SDP pulled it all together. You’ll likely see this Velocity Blue 2020 F-450 at shows across the country in 2022.

How It Started

As soon as order books were open for the new 2020 F-450s SDP put in an order for a Velocity Blue truck. This model year is the first year this extremely vivid blue color was ever offered on the Super Duty.

The intention for this truck was to build it into a show truck that could also be a tow vehicle for SDP’s vendor trailers. This way it would pull double duty as a show and work horse for big diesel truck events across the country.

V1 Build

The truck arrived at the very end of 2019 and went directly under the knife. First up was to dial in the suspension, which started with a lot of parts from McGaughy Suspension. This involved a Stage 2 Radius Arm Kit with floating traction bar kit for the rear of the truck and a dual steering stabilizer for up front.

Fox 2.0 steering dampers and shocks were then installed, as SDP has appreciated the ride quality of the Fox shocks on multiple builds in the past. In order to handle towing a heavy vendor trailer a rear air bag setup was also installed. It is a combination of PMF Suspensions rear blocks with air bag tangs and a set of Firestone Ride-Rite air bags. To control the air bag system an Air Lift WirelessONE with EZ compressor mount and remote setup was installed under the truck. The setup was located forward of the spare tire under the truck, for a clean undercarriage look.

Once the suspension was dialed in, polished 22-inch American Force Quake wheels were wrapped in 12-ply 37-inch Nitto Ridge Grapplers. This setup not only looked good, but was the right size for quality on-road handling and rated high enough to handle the serious towing demands of this big F-450 Super Duty.

To finish off the build, the bed was toughened up and secured. A Bullet Liner spray-on bed liner was installed for durability and good looks while a BAK Industries Revolver X4 rolling tonneau cover cleaned up the lines and offers secure storage in the bed of the truck.

The World Changed

The truck was ready for the 2020 season and was put in the corner of SDP’s Connecticut shop to wait for the first spring events and some clean roads. The salt in the northeast is not a show truck’s friend!

Well, as you know, 2020 didn’t turn out the way any of us had anticipated, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down before the event season could kick in. As such, the fresh SDP build sat in the corner of the shop waiting patiently to go out and get noticed.

With the pandemic causing event cancellations throughout 2020 and 2021 SDP figured that SEMA 2021 would be on the chopping block, as there is no bigger gathering of the automotive industry. In a shocking, to some, turn of events, SEMA indeed announced it was going live once again. SDP has a vehicle display spot at the show every year with their partner Fusion Bumpers, so a few weeks before the 2021 show it decided to blow the dust off its 2020 F-450 build and give it some upgrades for the show.

SDP Velocity Blue V2

In just two week’s time the crew at SDP and their build partners were able to substantially upgrade this F-450 build to something SEMA worthy. First up was to install front and rear Fusion Bumpers, which first had to be zinc base coated and then powder coated satin black before being painted, for that clean OEM+ look. The front bumper features Rigid Q Series lights, while the rear has Rigid Dually XL lights.

Next up was some suspension and driveline upgrades to accommodate 40-inch tires. McGaughy stepped up with parts too coil over convert the front end of the truck. Eibach coils were also added into the setup, along with upgrading the shocks to Fox 2.5 remote reservoir units. A WC motorsports adjustable heim joint track bar keeps the axle centered under the chassis, and Drivelines Plus built a high angle 1410 CV front driveshaft to keep the 4WD system fully functional. With a change in block size in the rear and some longer brake lines from Crown Performance the truck was standing tall.

American Force Wheels rushed out a set of larger, 24-inch, Quake wheels. While 40-inch Toyo MT tires are SDP’s go to for their bigger dually builds, the crazy supply chain issues had them scrambling for tires, as the Toyo’s just couldn’t be sourced. They found a set of 40×13.50×24 Fury Country Hunter MT’s on a pallet in the corner of its warehouse.

SEMA Journey

A quick wash and wax before loading it a trailer behind SDP’s Kenworth T800H tractor and off to SEMA it went. An open trailer also meant that they brought a filtered water pressure washer and full detailing kit ready to wash the 3,000 miles of road grime off before rolling into the show.

The truck was completed just one week prior to opening day at The SEMA Show 2021. This allowed for plenty of time to travel the 3,000+ miles from SDP’s Connecticut HQ. The extra time was eaten up, however, when the Kenworth had a minor issue and needed to be repaired. A pitstop at SDP’s Virginia location got the repairs done in short order, and the rig headed to SEMA with just enough time for load-in at the show.

Of course SDP delivered and the truck was sitting pretty on the show floor in time to get the attention it deserved. What impressively clean Ford F-450 Super Duty builds will we see out of SDP next?

2020 Ford F-450 in Velocity Blue

Wheels & Tires: American Force 24” Polished Quake Wheels, 40” Fury Country Hunter MT Tires

Suspension: McGaughy Front Coil Over Conversion Kit, McGaughy Stage 2 Radius Arm Kit, WC Motorsports Adjustable Heim Joint Track Bar, McGaughy Dual Steering Stabilizer Mount, PMF Suspensions Rear Blocks w/Air Bag Tangs, Firestone Ride-Rite Air Bags, Fox 2.5 Shock & Dampers, Eiboch Front Coil Springs, Air Lift WirelessONE w/ EZ Mount

Misc: Fusion Front Bumper, Fusion Rear Bumper, Rigid Q Series Lights, Rigid Dually XL Lights, Drivelines Plus High Angle 1410 CV Front Driveshaft, Crown Performance Brake Lines, Bullet Liner Spray-On Bed Liner, BAK Industries Revolver X4 Rolling Tonneau Cover, Mag-Hytec Differential Covers.


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