Liberty Forged’s F-450 Breaks New Ground in Diesel Customization
Steven Statton’s Precision-Built 2020 F-450
The world of badass diesel trucks is not for the meek. It’s about the muscle, the noise, and making an unforgettably bold appearance. This isn’t to say that the scene is ruled by brute force, however. Cutting edge engineering and design work goes into creating the highest quality components possible to help build these high-class, coal rollin’ haulers.
A great example of one of the ultra skilled, precision-based businesses within the diesel community is Liberty Forged of Claremore, Oklahoma. Steven Statton, who is the head of operation and sales, and Justen Gaard, who is the tech support leader, run the day-to-day operations at Liberty. Together, the two have built a brand that offers some of the most incredible wheels for big, lifted truck applications, and a huge part of their success is due in part to Liberty’s roots in the aerospace industry.
Steven’s father, Kenny, owns a CNC machine shop that they now operate together called MST Manufacturing that specializes in aerospace and defense flight-critical wing components. With a history this deeply solidified in the stringent standards used in both atmospheric and outer space operations, why wouldn’t you trust a brand like Liberty Forged to deliver the highest quality wheels for your rig?
THE BIG BUILD
To promote the awareness of both businesses as well as take advantage of a perfect excuse to build a new truck, Steven began transforming his 2020 Ford F-450 to serve as a towering monument of mobile advertising that is impossible to ignore. To ensure that the truck was supremely impressive when the dust from the project settled, Steven planned on the build being a complete frame-off affair to assemble a crazy and capable chassis system.
To assist in this feat, a full 13-inch hydraulic assisted lift package from Any Level Lift was assembled, and damn, isn’t this kit cool? The Any Level suspension system, which allows Steven to lower his F-450 back down to factory ride height if so desired, is 100% hydraulically driven. A patented rear subframe is a helper airbag system for the rear of the truck. While this package was developed with dual rear-wheel pickups in mind, it can also be utilized with single-wheel-equipped trucks as well, making it highly adaptable to a wider range of applications.
Once the Any Level system was test fit underneath the F-450, it was disassembled and sent off to powdercoat, as were the driveshaft and both axles. Jazz Blue, the color of choice, was then accentuated by a strategically orchestrated underbody lighting system that showcases the freshly coated suspension components anytime of the day.
To fully furnish the totally reconstructed chassis system, Steven outfitted his Ford with a set of 30×16 Liberty Forged Super Dually LBTY21 wheels that were soon wrapped in 42-inch Fury MT rubber. To say this truck was looking large and in charge at this point would be a massive understatement, but there was still much more to do in order to further improve upon the visual impact of this heavy-duty F-series.
FROM STERILE TO STUNNING
To make the most of the F-450’s sterile Star White paintjob, Steven planned to outfit its exterior with a few interesting upgrades, starting with the custom grille from Boost Bars and color-matched accessories by Roy Jones at Highway 20 Collision for a much more cohesive appearance. From there, Road Armor Identity Series front and rear bumpers and a Cervini cowl hood were combined to substantially beef up the overall look of the Ford.
Since the build was done in part to place the Liberty Forged brand at center stage, Steven hired Apex Wraps to design and apply a vinyl Liberty logo between the bed and rear cab door on both sides. This strategic touch of advertising isn’t over the top by any means but is still a legitimate method of calling attention to the innovative wheel manufacturer.
While the factory 6.7L Powerstroke would be fine enough to be left alone, it was instead subtly outfitted with a Maryland Performance Diesel intake and a 4-inch Flo Pro stainless exhaust system. The upgrade combo allows the Powerstroke to breathe easier while amplifying its aggressive growl.
The same less-is-more approach was also rolled out inside of the cab with the black, blue, and white colored Alea leather upholstery, as well as the full Power Bass audio system that bangs just as loud as the exhaust note does. Code Zero Customs, the shop that handled the stereo install, doesn’t believe in simply swapping out speakers and calling it a day. A full custom subwoofer enclosure and amp rack have been fabricated and lovingly installed and fine-tuned to deliver a well-balanced audio signal.
Since its completion, Steven has paraded his killer F-450 through some of the biggest shows in the country. From SEMA ’21 and ’22, Lone Star Throwdown, Orange Beach Invasion, Daytona Truck Meet, and Lifted Truck National just to name a few, this tricked out Ford has garnered a lot of attention for the Liberty Forged brand and their manufacturing ethos, while accumulating the attention of diesel truck fans everywhere. You can catch this awesome build at SEMA ’23. Don’t miss it!
2020 Ford F-450
Shop: The Diesel Shop, Inola, OK
- 2020 F-250 6.7L Powerstroke
- Maryland Performance Diesel intake manifold
- Flo Pro stainless 4-inch exhaust system
- Intercooler piping
Shop: All Road Automotive, Sarasota, FL
- 176-inch wheelbase
- Frame, driveshaft, front and rear axles powdercoated Jazz Blue
- 50-gallon fuel tank
- Any Level 13-inch suspension lift
- Any Level springs
- King Coilovers
- Any Level springs
- King Coilovers
WHEELS, TIRES, & BRAKES
- 30×16 Liberty Forged LBTY21 Super Dually wheels
- 42×16.50R30 Fury MT tires
Shop: Paint by Roy Jones @ Highway 20 Collision, Claremore, OK
- Vinyl Liberty logo graphics by Apex Wraps, Claremore, OK
- Star White pearl paint
- Boost bars
- Road Armor Identity bumpers
- RekGen mud flaps
- Beemer Accessories accessory lighting
- Cervini cowl hood
Shop: Code Zero Customs, Tulsa, OK
- Bucket seats covered in black, blue, and white Alea leather
- Interior plastics painted to match
- Full Power Bass audio system
- Custom sub enclosure and amp rack built and installed by Code Zero Customs