Street Diesel Performance’s F-450 Mighty Makeover
Sean O’Hara and his team at Street Diesel Performance (SDP) are known for making truly impressive trucks and debuting their crown jewels each year at SEMA. Everyone always jokes about the SEMA Crunch, but O’Hara and his team know it all too well. They debuted this 2017 Ford F-450 6.7L crew cab longbed at SEMA 2016, soon after it rolled off the production line and with only about a month to build it. For the 2017 show they decided to give this monster a serious makeover, and managed to put it together in just two weeks.
We showed you this impressive first-of-its-kind F-450 last year in the April 2017 Issue, but SDP has now taken it to a whole new level of refinement and performance. Love it or hate it, this rig demands your attention!
SDP works closely with American Force Wheels, showcasing the latest AFW wheels on their truck builds at shows across the country. This F-450 build made the rounds throughout 2017 at a wide range of events. The last three events for the truck in 2017 were Lifted Truck Nationals in Branson, Mo. (Sept. 8-10), XDP Diesel Nationals in Englishtown, NJ (Sept. 16-17), and Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, NC (Oct. 6-7).
O’Hara had to go to Lifted Truck National on his own, as SDP was sponsoring a large sled pull event in Connecticut at the same time, and American Force Wheels had called last-minute asking for the F-450 to be at the Missouri event. The event is a relaxed affair on a resort golf course, highlighted by the nightly BBQ get-together at the “cabins”—read high-end golf course houses—on the property.
The Big Idea
At one of these dinners O’Hara was chatting with Johnny Ramirez, the owner of Fusion Bumpers. Fusion had a prime vehicle location at SEMA that it was trying to fill, and a plan was quickly hatched to build a truck for SEMA. They needed to create something that would make an impression but could also be built in less than the six weeks left before the show.
This already-impressive F-450 was a perfect starting point, as it was already turning heads and was ready for some key modifications and upgrades. The stars-and-stripes theme was hatched over this dinner. It was sure to get attention, especially on such a large canvas as this lifted, four-door, longbed dually truck.
The time frame was going to be the major obstacle, however, as this truck, in Race Red trim with Code wheels, was still scheduled to be at two more shows all the way up to two weeks before SEMA.
After verifying with sponsors, who have many international buyers, that the American Flag theme would be okay, O’Hara set about making a plan to update this on the crazy-tight schedule he had before him. The first step was getting new wheels fast-tracked from American Force, as most wheels take 6-8 weeks to build.
Once he got the green light from the wide variety of parts sponsors he put his plan into motion. Parts started to fill the shop while the truck was at XDP Diesel Nationals and Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam. With such a tight deadline to hit, a full new nose for the truck was purchased and sent to Johnson Autobody in Tolland, Conn., so that TJ Ryan and his crew could prep and paint it while the truck was at the Rudy’s event.
The truck rolled back into the shop on Monday, October 9, with a deadline to have the build finished by the October 23 so it could leave on the 3,000-mile journey to SEMA the next morning. It was going to require all hands on deck from the entire SDP crew to make the deadline, especially with the ambitious updates O’Hara had planned.
The first week was mainly about engine and performance upgrades. These upgrades included an H&S Motorsports dual-fueler kit modified to fit a dual-alternator 2017 truck, an MDP single fixed-geometry BorgWarner SXE369 turbo kit and a MPD intercooler with intake piping kit. The turbo kit and piping had not yet been installed on a 2017 truck, so it too was a bit of a challenge. With some modified piping and the addition of S&B’s new air intake the SDP crew was able to make it all work. The tuning side of things is handled with a GDP Tuning EZ Lynk device. This cloud-based tuning device allows for custom tunes, which in turn allow the use of dual pumps and a fixed-geometry turbo on this 2017 platform.
A switch from traditional dually wheels to super dually wheels was also accomplished the first week. This required a custom-made front wheel that has a 10x170mm bolt pattern machined into the center, removing both the OEM front dually adapter and the American Force 8 to 10 lug adapters from the previous traditional dually wheel. To make these wheels match the rear, a custom second lug pattern was put in the face of the wheel to run matching caps and lugs front and rear.
The second and last week of the build was all about making the truck look fresh and completing the stars-and-stripes theme. The team first swapped out and fitted the freshly painted nose parts, which had been prepped while the truck was at the Rudy’s event. This included a grille update, new LED headlights and fender flares. Once that was perfected, the electrical side of upgrading to LED headlights was tackled through some custom wiring and a little programming with Ford IDS software. The finishing touch was completing the full stars-and-stripes paintwork on the entire truck.
Just In Time
Somehow, just as planned, the truck was finished at 11 o’clock p.m. on Monday the 23rd and began its trip to Vegas the following morning. It rolled into its prime placement at the 2017 SEMA Show on schedule and wowed us all once again. O’Hara and his team at SDP delivered, this time improving upon an already-impressive creation.
The reason this F-450 was turning heads before the makeover was all the impressive modifications it already had. The highlight of the build is the impressive custom 4-link suspension setup that provides a full 12 inches of lift and features RIZE Industries components, Atlas rear spring packs, Fox shocks and Eibach front coils. Custom driveshafts and CVs eliminated the need to clock the transfer case, which would have caused issues with the way the truck was 4-linked. An SDP custom adjustable drag link, WC Motorsports track bar and dual 2.0 Fox steering stabilizers with SDP mounts fully upgrade the steering system on this big truck.
The look and functionality is kept clean with a variety of high quality mods. An Extang Revolution bed cover and Ford bed mat keep the rear of the truck tidy. The transmission temps are kept down with a MagHytec trans pan, while an Edge Insight CTS2 handles all monitoring of the vital systems. The unique 6.7L engine note resonates through a 5-inch stainless Magnaflow exhaust with a 6-inch axle turndown tip under the bed. Brake pedal response is improved through the use of custom flex brake lines routed to each caliper.
Ergonomics and actual use of this truck also played a role in the modifications. In order to let folks get up into this 12-inch-lifted monster Amp Research automatic powered drop-down running boards were installed. All factory safety features are also retained, as the front Fusion bumper has a center screen area that’s specifically designed to allow the forward-facing radar module for the adaptive cruise control to function properly. The rear Fusion bumper is designed to incorporate the factory backup sensors.
This massive SDP F-450 build did its job at SEMA 2017 and turned a lot of heads. You can expect to see the stars and stripes flying proudly on this rig at events all over the country in 2018. While it looks amazing here in photos, it is sure to impress even more in person. What will we see next from the team at Street Diesel Performance?[divider]Specifications[/divider]
2017 FORD F-450 6.7L CREW CAB LONGBED DUALLY
TRUCK COST: $78,000
BUILD COST: $30,000+
ENGINE: H&S Motorsports Dual Fueler Kit, MDP BorgWarner SXE369 turbo kit, MDP intercooler & intake piping kit, S&B intake, GDP Tuning EZ Lynk, Edge Insight CTS2
SUSPENSION: RIZE 4-link long arm system w/ custom cross member, RIZE floating rear traction bars, Atlas Springs 12” lift rear spring pack, 2.5” Fox remote reservoir shocks, Eibach 2-stage (600/800 lbs) front coils
STEERING: SDP custom adjustable drag link, WC Motorsports track bar, dual 2.0” Fox steering stabilizers & SDP mounts
DRIVELINE: High Angle Driveline Front 1410 Series CV, Driveshaft Services Rear 1480 Series CV
WHEELS/TIRES: American Force Omen Super Dually (24×12), Toyo Open Country MT (40×15.50×22)
EXHAUST: MagnaFlow 5” stainless exhaust w/ 6” axle turn-down tip
LIGHTING: Ridge Industries lighting (front bumper: 20” SR Bar, Q Series x2; rear bumper: Dually XL x2)
OTHER: Fusion bumpers front & rear, MagHytec trans pan, Hubb oil filter system, SDP custom flex brake lines, Extang Revolution bed cover, Ford bed mat, Amp Research PowerStep running boards