From any angle, this is a...
From any angle, this is a big truck! The combination of an 8-inch suspension lift, 2-inch spacers, a 3-inch body lift, and wide-opening Bushwacker flares creates plenty of room for the 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws.
Marty Paolino from Port Richey, Florida, has been in the pool service and repair business for the last 27 years. Trucks have always been a part of his daytime work, but for the last six years, they have become an integral part of his after-hours entertainment as well. The attraction began with his first lifted truck: an ’04 Ford F-250 Lariat crew cab painted maroon and gray. There were no readily available lift kits for it, but the talented crew at his local truck shop, Altitude Adjustments in Hudson, Florida, combined elements from three different kits to make the 8-inch lift, which was just right for clearing the set of 38-inch tires. It was a great combination and a cool truck, but the story does not have a happy ending. His lifted Lariat was stolen one night—never to be seen again.
Under the hood, the 5.4L V-8...
Under the hood, the 5.4L V-8 motor runs three valves per cylinder and produces lots of usable low-end torque, along with about 375 hp. It is connected to a five-speed automatic. For the moment, Marty says, it’s quick enough.
Insurance covered the loss, and Marty began the search for a replacement, finding this ’06 F-250 Lariat crew cab, already equipped with an 8-inch lift. Hoping to improve a sweet ride, Marty decided that bigger was better and wanted to crank the truck skyward. The father and son team at Altitude Adjustments was more than up to the challenge. Rick Merrill Sr. and Rick Jr. began the upgrade process, taking the original suspension package and adding their own experienced touch. The original Pro Comp 8-inch lift kit was augmented with 2-inch spacer blocks and the Performance Accessories body lift added another 3 inches. An additional 4 inches of clearance was achieved by trimming the stock Ford fenders to accommodate the aggressive Bushwacker cut-out fender flares. The combination of improvements allowed Marty to run the big, 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws on 20x12 Mazzi Hulk chrome rims.
Suspension specifics include Pro Comp Nitro reservoir shocks up front, teamed with Pro Comp’s heavy-duty coil springs and larger sway bars. When you’re running large wheels and tires, every bump can throw your vehicle off-course. But the triple-shock BDS Suspension steering stabilizer package tames those big-tire deflections with help from the front radius arms, which stabilize the Ford front end. In the rear, a second set of Pro Comp Nitro shocks, along with heavier rear leaf springs and a set of 5-inch blocks, gives the F-250 a perfectly level stance. Since the rule is “when you go up, go out,” Marty added 2-inch wheel spacers to relocate the tires away from the body, with the Bushwacker flares complementing the big wheels perfectly.
Lots of Harley-Davidson accents...
Lots of Harley-Davidson accents give the original Lariat a new persona. Recon lights (front and rear), along with signal lights in the mirrors, make the truck a standout—day or night.
At this point, Marty was well on his way to having the high-altitude truck of his dreams, but there were some external changes required to make it complete. He always wanted one of Ford’s Harley-Davidson editions, but there weren’t any available, so it was time to create his own. The Lariat was already black, so he added the Harley-Davidson badges, bumpers, and grille along with Halo Projector headlights by Anzo. Stylish and functional, these lights look good and turn night into day. Recon smoked LEDs replaced the factory third brake light and the turn signals in the sideview mirrors. A full-width Line of Fire tailgate LED strip augments the brake lights. While the subtle ghost flames along the rocker panels and the Harley logo on the bed add style, the AMP Research automatic steps with 2-inch extenders add function, activating automatically when the doors are opened.