Elvis had blue suede shoes; David Bowie put on red shoes to dance the blues, and Paul Simon sang about a rich girl with diamonds on the soles of her shoes. But Josh White of ADA Offroad went “Footloose” on his Ford, a 2015 F-250 Platinum Super Duty. You just can’t miss fancy footwork of its Full Throttle 8-inch lift, powdered and painted in Lime Time metallic green, along with its spiked American Force rims.
“551 horses and 1,104 lbs. of torque”
All the more remarkable, Josh managed to knock out this suspension upgrade in only nine days for the Lifted Truck Nationals. That’s because his firm has been handling show trucks for several years. In fact, it built five trucks for the 2015 SEMA show in just a month.
But Josh didn’t start out with high-steppin’ Fords and other pickups. Back in 2000, he founded Arkansas Direct Auto, a used car lot, but soon realized he needed to stand apart from the local competition, so he began offering lifted trucks—more than a marketing approach, though, “I actually enjoy lifted trucks,” he enthuses.
All in the Details
No surprise that his passion morphed into ADA Offroad, which creates custom-crafted rigs of all types. One of the most popular upgrades is a seven-inch lift with 20-inch rims and 35-inch tires. Josh is particularly fond of using Full Throttle’s Ford suspension setup, with taller springs and twin-reservoir shocks up front, along with higher spring packs and blocks in the rear. He says the setup goes on in only a day, unless he’s applying custom colors like those seen here—and there’s the rub. For those considering a similar treatment, he shared a few insider tips on getting that done in short order, and making sure the color treatment turns out just right:
“The Prismatic Illusion powder-coating goes on first, and then we match the color with paint on those parts that can’t be powdered, such as the drag link and front driveshaft. All told, the whole underneath of the truck has been powdercoated or painted.” –Josh White
“We even did the rotors and calipers,” Josh points out. That requires plugging the holes for the hydraulic lines on the calipers, and also turning the rotors on a lathe afterwards so the pads contact bare metal, while the rest of brake components are protected from corrosion. He also upgraded the front with Readylift’s anti-wobble, heavy-duty Trac Bar. (Note that trucks with more than four inches of lift usually require using the straight bar kit, instead of the bent-bar application.)
Getting the colors of the paint and powder to look exactly alike isn’t easy, though. “The powder coating color never lays like the sample,” he points out. “It’s usually a shade or two darker.” And even though the laser color-matching system he uses comes close to matching the hues of the powder and paint, he usually does a “spray out” on a couple test sheets of aluminum for pre-check. From there, he eyeballs the two side-by-side to make sure they are exactly in sync. He’s used this method time and again on all sorts of suspension colors—blue, yellow, purple, whatever.
But he kept the brightest shade of metallic lime green for himself: “It’s my personal truck. I wanted it to stand out,” he says. “Prismatic offers a whole illusion line of colors. They all contain high amounts of metal flake in them, and you apply a clear vision topcoat over them. We like to use them because even if the smallest amount of light hits any part of the lift then the color really pops.” Snyder Customs did all of the powdercoating and has been handling all of Josh’s builds for the past four years.
While his Ford is a promo vehicle for his firm in every sense of the term, it’s not just a showboat. There’s more to the build since he uses it to tow a 2008 Corvette racecar and a 27-foot Crownline bowrider. He also drives far and wide to attend auto auctions, so he needs a smooth, dependable cruiser.
But not on any dirt trails. He jokes that his Ford Platinum is a “Pavement Princess” rather than an offroader. “It doesn’t get muddy,” he admits, since it’s a show truck that needs to stay clean to represent his company. (But he did make a big exception for our shoot, kicking up clouds of dust in the desert and jumping a berm, too.)
The rolling stock gave him lots of grip and grunt for this jaunt. As noted at the outset, the rims are from American Force. Josh’s contact at the company, Andy, who’s now a personal friend as well, asked him, “What can we do that is new?” He said, “I’ve always wanted to do a 10-lug conversion on a 3/4-ton truck.” So, we went with 24×14 Evos 10 lugs that were brushed and then cleared.”
Oddly enough, he actually got the rims before the truck, so in a way, they bought the truck to match the wheels! Of course, adaptors had to be installed as well for the 10-lug conversion. As for new rubber, the tires they went with are Interco M16s for an aggressive look and better bite.
How about the rest of the rig? Several mods were added specifically for the 2015 SEMA show, since the truck was going to be displayed in American Force’s booth.
“For the grille, I turned to Luis Reyes from Gravel Empire,” Josh notes. “He made us a one-off piece with our logo in the center of it in black and chrome.” Under the hood is SCT X4 diesel tuner, custom calibrated by Punch It Performance to deliver 551 horses and 1,104 lbs. of torque, a substantial increase over the stock output. Add to that a Flow Pro stainless 5-inch, turbo-back exhaust, powdered in a Prismatic high-temp silver. Josh also contacted Johnny at Fusion Bumpers. At the front, he supplied a bumper with cutouts for four Rigid Dually XL LED spot beams. The rear bumper has four Rigid Duallys for reverse lights. For further illumination, the headlights are Morimoto HIDs, along with Recon LED smoked cab lights and side-mirror lights. To protect the cargo, Derek Zacha at Undercover provided a LUX tonneau, color matched to the factory color of the truck. Finishing off the cargo area is a soft Bedrug, plus a pair of Undercover swing cases that tuck against the wheel wells for secure storage. The cases can hold up to 75 lbs. of gear and pivot out for easy access.
Does Josh want to add anything else to his truck? Nope, he’s happy with everything as is, as he feels he’d have to start over if he were to make any more changes. All told, this Ford has kicked off its Sunday shoes and is ready to cut loose…footloose. DW
“The whole underneath of the truck has been powdercoated or painted”
ADA Off Road
American Force Wheels
Punch It Performance
Full Throttle Suspension