Ultimate Adventure is over. Our truck survived and made it home in one piece, but we can’t say it was easy. There was carnage, things broke, but we fixed them and kept going. In the end that is all that matters: Can you keep going? This month we button up the build of our ’11 Ford EcoBoost F-150 project truck with a showcase of what all we took to keep the truck moving forward as well as what damage was done and the fixes to get it ready for the next adventure. The EcoBoost F-150 isn’t headed for a retirement pasture; it’ll still hit trails and attend events and shows, but it won’t be in the magazine for a while. To get your fix check out the online photos of the truck build and trip at 4wheeloffroad.com and order a copy of the 2011 Ultimate Adventure DVD. As with any project truck that hits the trail it is important to take adequate tools and supplies. Our tool kit came from Summit Racing Equipment in the form of the Craftsman Track or Trail handtool combo set. The kit includes metric and standard wrenches and sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, and a torque wrench. We stuffed it all in a set of MasterCraft tool bags and wrench rolls.As with any project truck that hits the trail it is important to take adequate tools and s Flexible socket holders from Off Road Trail Tools are some of the coolest tool storage items we’ve come across recently. Offered in different colors and 1⁄4-, 3⁄8-, and 1⁄2-inch sizes they are a made of urethane, resistant to fluids, and great for rolling up and stuffing in toolbags.Flexible socket holders from Off Road Trail Tools are some of the coolest tool storage ite Mounted along the inner bed rail is the famous Hi-Lift Jack. If you have never used one, you have no idea how helpful they can be for lifting a broken 4x4 that needs tire or suspension work. They can also be used for extracting a stuck vehicle in a pinch when used as a hand winch.Mounted along the inner bed rail is the famous Hi-Lift Jack. If you have never used one, y Storage is important on a trail rig that must be self-sufficient, and we have three great containers in the F-150. The new ARB Fridge Freezer is perfect for two people to haul food and drink when camping. It runs off of 12 volts and is a luxury item we would hate to be without. Beside it is a Poly Performance Baja Basket. These lightweight tubular racks are great for stuff that doesn’t need to be stored inside or that needs to be easily accessible, such as camp chairs or our Bubba Rope recovery strap. Under the Baja Basket is our two-drawer Tuffy Security bed box. This lockable unit is perfect for heavy gear we don’t want to lose, such as tools and spare parts.Storage is important on a trail rig that must be self-sufficient, and we have three great Behind the fridge we brought a 5-gallon water can and gas can from Off Road Trail Tools. Both are important for a weeklong wheeling trip. We never got into the fuel during the trip, what with the fuel sipping of the EcoBoost, but the water was a godsend after a dusty trail day. Beside them is a Warn VTC air compressor, by far the best air compressor we have ever had on an Ultimate Adventure. Yes, it is big and heavier than most, but flip the switch and you have gobs of air (100 psi and 20 cfm) to fill tires or run tools.Behind the fridge we brought a 5-gallon water can and gas can from Off Road Trail Tools. B In years past we’ve carried a Hobart Trek 180 rechargeable MIG welder on the UA, and we were glad to have it with us again this year. It got used just about every day, and luckily not always on the F-150. It will weld 3-6 feet of weld on one charge, and that is an amazing amount when you need it.In years past we’ve carried a Hobart Trek 180 rechargeable MIG welder on the UA, and we we To recharge the Hobart or plug in camera battery chargers, video equipment, grinders, or any other 110 items, we added an inverter from Harbor Freight. The 2,000-watt unit would probably have been better suited in the cab, but we protected it with a thick plastic sheet, and found it convenient for plugging in the welder to recharge while running down the road or trail.To recharge the Hobart or plug in camera battery chargers, video equipment, grinders, or a The spare 40-inch Nitto Mud Grappler was strapped down with a Poison Spyder Customs three-way tire tie-down. Luckily the Nittos laughed at trail abuse and the spare never left the bed of the Ford.The spare 40-inch Nitto Mud Grappler was strapped down with a Poison Spyder Customs three- During our buildup of the truck at Randy Ellis Design (RED), we encountered a local outfit, Copper State Bolt & Nut. They sell everything you need, such as tools and fasteners, so when they told us about their bolt kit that includes various size bolts, in Grade 5 or 8, as well as electrical and plumbing parts in a handy storage box, we rounded one up for the F-150. People were coming to see us all week looking for special fasteners to fix their rigs. Stay tuned; we’ll be giving one away in an upcoming issue.During our buildup of the truck at Randy Ellis Design (RED), we encountered a local outfit One requirement of the Ultimate Adventure is a fire extinguisher. We mounted one from Sun Devil Fire and Security within reach of driver and passenger.One requirement of the Ultimate Adventure is a fire extinguisher. We mounted one from Sun The independent front suspension was the groundbreaking upgrade of this truck. Would it work? Or would we be wrenching all week? Here are the facts. We did have to work on the IFS, but only on the final day when first a CV boot slipped off the inner CV and then when the outer CV came apart.The independent front suspension was the groundbreaking upgrade of this truck. Would it wo On one particular climb the rear Dynatrac Pro-80 axle got wedged hard between two boulders. Throttle was applied and something had to give; the rear springs wrapped up and the driveshaft and pinion yoke bound until the U-joint straps came apart. The rear Deavers are excellent springs, but big leverage of 40-inch rubber and low gearing surpass their intended use, so a Randy Ellis–built traction bar has been added for future rock work.On one particular climb the rear Dynatrac Pro-80 axle got wedged hard between two boulders The 140-plus inches of wheelbase and tight trails left their fair share of carnage on the body of the long-legged Ford. Turning wasn’t tight, so a taillight, rear window, and both driver-side doors took a beating. After the trip we returned to Randy Ellis Design to beat them straight enough to raise the windows (and replace the rear glass).The 140-plus inches of wheelbase and tight trails left their fair share of carnage on the This is the spare outer RCV CV joint we carried with us. Notice how the stub shaft splines into the CV and is held with a snap ring. For some reason this came apart on the last day of our trip. Disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling the shaft took about an hour. We were bummed.This is the spare outer RCV CV joint we carried with us. Notice how the stub shaft splines The CV boot failure was remedied after the trip when we installed a new one at RED. So, did the IFS fail? Well, it worked as good off-road as a solid axle. It flexed, it crawled, and it ran down the road. The parts did come apart, so that is a negative, but they all could have been repaired on the trail. Basically we’ll give it a solid B . We had hoped for zero issues; we got two. As minor and preventable as they were, they were still inconvenient.The CV boot failure was remedied after the trip when we installed a new one at RED. So, di This was the first Ultimate Adventure truck we’ve built with full hydraulic steering, and though it worked, we weren’t 100 percent satisfied. What we expected was something odd on the road but unstoppable off-road. What we got was odd both on- and off-road. The steering worked great until the tires were bound up, then it was back to Armstrong Steering. We discussed the problem with PSC and they thought our reservoir is a bit too far away from our pump, so it may be cavitating when it needs constant fluid. We replaced the pump after the trip, hoping that was the issue. It is better but still not perfect. We’ll keep fine-tuning it.This was the first Ultimate Adventure truck we’ve built with full hydraulic steering, and Here is an odd one; after the trip was over we drove the truck a few hours to our trailer drop before hauling it back to California. About ten miles from the trailer it lost power and a check transmission light came on. We soon realized the transmission was only in 5th gear. The EcoBoost had plenty of grunt to start in 5th, but the transmission would never down shift or upshift into 6th. We drove it that way for the remaining miles to the trailer and hauled it to a Ford dealership where the transmission was replaced under warranty after chunks of metal were found inside. Was it a fluke, or just not up to our trail abuse? We’re running 5.38 gears to offset the 40-inch tires, so we’d hope the drivetrain is happy, but we’ll keep wheeling it to see if the replacement survives.Here is an odd one; after the trip was over we drove the truck a few hours to our trailer SOURCES Nitto Tire 6021 Katella Avenue Suite 250 Cypress CA 90630 877-565-8448 www.nittotire.com Sam's Offroad Equipment 4345 SOuth West Blvd Tulsa OK 74107 800-446-5503 www.samsoffroad.com Summit Racing PO Box 909 Akron OH 44398 800-320-3030 www.summitracing.com MasterCraft Safety 9335 Stevens Road Santee CA 92071 800-565-4042 www.mastercraftsafety.com Harbor Freight 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd Camarillo CA 93011 800-444-3353 www.harborfreight.com Ford N/A MI 800-392-3673 www.fordvehicles.com Dynatrac 7392 Count Circle Huntington Beach CA 92647 714-596-4461 www.dynatrac.com TrailReady 12410 Beverly Park Road Suite A Lynnwood WA 98087 425-353-6776 www.trailready.com ARB 4x4 Products 720 SW 34th Street Renton WA 98057 800-761-8192 http://www.arbusa.com Bubba Rope 310 W Melody Lane Casselberry FL 32707 N/A www.bubbarope.com Poly Performance 245 Tank Farm Road Units L & M San Luis Obispo CA 93401 805-783-2060 www.polyperformance.com Zone Offroad Products 888-998-ZONE Vortex Spray Liners 27161 Burbank Street Foothill Ranch CA 92610 949-770-2316 www.vortexsprayliners.com The Offroad Connection 1417 Decatur Hwy. Fultondale AL 35068 800-792-2280 www.offrdconnection.com RCV Performance 611 Beacon Street Loves Park IL 61111 815-877-7473 www.rcvperformance.com Randy Ellis Design 2855 W. Fairmount Avenue Phoenix AZ 85017 602-803-1122 www.randyellisdesign.com Off Road Trails Tools 7099 W Hutchs Pools Place Tucson AZ 85743 520-579-2079 offroadtrailtools.com Auto Body and More 3335 Standish Ave Santa Rosa CA 95407 707-584-2886 www.autobodyandmore.com Fox Racing Shox 130 Hangar Way Watsonville CA 95076 619-768-1800 www.foxracingshox.com Off Road Design 970-945-7777 offroaddesign.com/ Hobart Welders N/A AK 800-626-9420 www.hobartwelders.com Competitive Metals 619-442-4130 www.competitivemetals.com Hi-Lift Jack Company 46 W. Spring Street Bloomfield IN 47424 812-384-4441 http://www.hi-lift.com/index.html Dana Corporation P.O. Box 2424 Fort Wayne IN 46801 www.dana.com PSC Motorsports 11468 FM 730 South Azle TX 76020 817-270-0102 www.pscmotorsports.com Coverall Technologies 480-242-7392 Spidertrax Off-Road 7510 Hygiene Road Longmont CO 80503 800-286-0898 www.spidertrax.com Ram Print & Communications 415-383-9000 www.ramprint.com Deaver Suspension 902 E. 2nd Street Santa Ana CA 92701 714-542-3703 www.deaverspring.com Copper State Bolt & Nut Co. 800-603-6887 www.copperstate.com Warn Industries 12900 S.E. Capps Road Clackamas OR 97015 800-910-1122 www.warn.com Sun Devil Fire & Security 800-536-3845 www.sundevilfire.com Poison Spyder Customs 47275 Twin Pines Rd. Banning CA 92220 951-849-5911 www.poisonspyder.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!