Motorsports Safety Solutions; they’re a company very well known for providing first-response services to the racing community. They just celebrated their 21st anniversary serving many off-road organizations; most notably, Best in the Desert. To those unfamiliar, these aren’t people making a living, or even cashing a paycheck, from their time spent at the races. These are people with full time jobs who give their free-time (and often take time off work) to support the racing community with their first-response services. As fate would have it, their trusty Excursion met it’s end after 10 years in service.
The racing community pooled its resourced and, through a much more arduous process than you care to read about, MSS became the proud owner of a brand new, 2016 F350 6.7L Diesel, 4×4, Crew Cab, Long Bed Chassis, XL Trim.
Before we’d even begun talks with the guys at MSS, KC lights, TR Beadlock, General Truck Body, General Tire, Johnson Emergency Equipment, and Ford all sponsored the build. A conversation with David Nehrbass, point-man at MSS, and we were on board as well. King was eager to step in and provide the shocks; Deaver was in for the leaf springs and we were up for the install, all Carli hard-parts and tuning to make it all jive. We’re honored to be a part of the build to give back to those that have given so much to the racing community. Our conversation with David was a breath a fresh air as he was humbled by this whole experience.
First thing’s first, the truck. We’re accustomed to starting with boring, stock trucks. For once, we had the privilege of being the last to the party so it was up to us to bring it all together. The truck showed up looking the part.
It didn’t take more than a quick test drive to figure out with what we were working. The truck was overloaded by about 500lbs respective to the door sticker. Driving it at highway speeds, mildly-controlled chaos at best. The service body and cargo engaged both the upper and lower leaf spring overloads. The body roll was overpowering in all turns and any dip or imperfection in the road larger than a couple inches would bounce the rear load off both overload springs long enough confirm the factory shocks were not up to the task of controlling the load or the violent, rhythmic bucking from the overload reengagement.
This performance spectrum of which this truck was capable would be unacceptable for the task at hand. Our job was to take it to the next level as its timely arrival could mean the difference between life and death. First, a trip to the scales to see with what we were working; quickly followed by a call to Deaver Suspension. We needed a set of leaf springs that was progressive in design, implemented our custom center pin location, and would handle the max capacity of this F350 through chase roads and the occasional run down the race-course. The truck scaled at 11,740lbs; 5,400 front, 6,340 rear. The guys at Deaver jumped in head first to the seemingly insurmountable task of producing this custom leaf spring in the 2-3 week time frame they were given.
The production was handled in a timely fashion and Deaver’s very own, Scott Born hand-delivered the leaf springs to our facility. When comparing the custom leaf springs to our production version of the Leveling Full Progressive Leaf Springs with ¾-ton capacity, they’re over ½” thicker thanks to the heavier gauge spring steel needed to bear the load.
L18 – Carli Production Full Springs with ¾-Ton Capacity
Next up, Tear down. We were equipping this with our 2.5” Lift Dominator System as the 3.0” King Shocks would provide a massive control increase for the over-loaded Super Duty. Man shocks require Man-Mounts; the factory coil buckets were replaced with our Dominator Buckets constructed of cold-rolled ¼” plate with full length reinforcements. We modified the upper shock mount to a higher, more outward position when compared to the factory buckets allowing longer, larger diameter shocks to cycle matched-travel to the extended free-length of our front coil springs.
Out with the old:
In with the new:
The front end was assembled with everything we make. Carli Coil springs, Carli Spec extended brake lines, Fabricated Radius Arms with Limit Straps, High Mount Steering Stabilizer, Front Differential Guard and 2° Caster Cams. Hell, our reservoir decal even matches the truck’s wrap. With this completed, we moved onto the rear.
With the tight deadlines with which we’re working, we only had one shot at the leaf springs. Even when all variables are set in stone, ordering a rear spring usually takes a couple tries to get it exactly where you want it. Luckily for everyone involved, Deaver knocked it out of the park. The truck sat 1/2” taller in the rear than the front with the water-tank full and all gear loaded up; we couldn’t be happier. The progressive springs will provide an extended and MUCH more predictable travel stroke while the monster King-3.0” shocks make short work of keeping the tires planted and the springs in check.
Out with the old:
In with the new:
The result – a perfect stance. Our custom Dominator valving needed an overhaul for the over-loaded 1-ton. A week of running the truck between our local testing hot-laps and the shock bench and the truck drives like one half its size; driver confidence is through the roof and getting into the spring rate no longer means spending 250 feet following an obstacle trying to regain control.
We’re excited to hear how David and the crew enjoy the new rig and will continue to post pictures of it in service as MSS sends them!