Ford Truck and SUV Questions, Answers and Comments

Jul. 01, 2003 By Fidel Gonzales
Question Answered

Mr Fidel:

I am just a passing reader to this website. Your BAJA story intrigues me.
I read another article a while back in some sort of outdoors magazine about
travelling around Mexico and the various small towns. I do have a question
though. How do you find these towns/missions? Do you use a map? Do you
just risk turning off the main road down a dirt path hoping it leads
somewhere? Just curious.

Thanks in advance for the reply,



Thanks for passing through. What I experience through my travels depends upon which way I yank the steering wheel. I generally create my travel plans with room to explore whatever we encounter upon the way. For the most part, it's all about improvising and adapting to the will of the moment. And though I do use a map as a guide, the map I use is long out of print.

If you're looking to learn more about Baja and the maps thereof, I've provided some links for you to check out, but your best place to begin with the good folks at Discover Baja . You'll likely find everything you need, including the Baja Almanac, which is for sale in their online store.

Question Answered

Dear Ford,

What are the largest tires that I can fit on my stock 4x4 F-250 super-duty.
It's a year 2000 diesel. I don't have a lift kit but am considering a
leveling kit. A friend of mine told me that without a leveling kit I could
fit 33's on it and with 34's. So far I have not been able to find anyone
who could tell me if that is true. Thanks for your time.


Lee Woods


Your friend is right on the money with 33s. You really don't need a lift for that size tire. Though with 33s and the leveling kit, you'd be in business, and your truck would be looking pretty sharp. If you're satisfied with the stock wheels that are currently on your truck, especially if they are the hot forged aluminum alloy wheels from Alcoa, I'd say keep them to mount your 33s on. They are probably the toughest wheels you'll ever find for your truck. And not only will you save yourself some cash, but you'll keep your truck looking clean by keeping the road debris from flinging ferociously toward the body panels.

Question Answered

I bought a new ford 2002 powerstroke my buddy bought a new 2002 Chevy Duramax .We raced these trucks up a pretty good hill and that chevy BLEW me away.I was wondering who made the 40000 + mistake

Your buddy made the mistake. He bought a Chevy.

Question Answered

OK.. I just read your deal on the diesel fuel milage you got towing 4600lbs and hauling 1400lbs. at 80mph you say you got almost 15mpg.. I say no way!!

Who's doing your calulations? Did you forget a fill up?

Please be truthful and tell your readers that you really got 10mpg. maybe.

I run a large Government Fleet with about 15 or so Power Strokes and have friends that haul desert toys with their Power Strokes and they don't even come close to your mpg's.. Or maybe you have a secret way of figuring fuel economy eh?
It's called denial.

Dan Collins
Fleet Operations


Basically, you're calling me a liar. But, let's work beyond your false charge and get down to the nitty gritty. You're running a large government fleet. By default, anything the government gets its hands on is inneficient. I am certain this is true with your case and is the reason why your sense of reality is so skewed.

First off, when driving my truck, I drive it like my truck. I pay for the fuel. I fix what breaks. I pay for the parts. I perform the maintenance out of my own pocket. And unlike your fleet and its drivers, my pockets are not lined with endless amounts of cash, which means I take damn good care of my truck because it pays off with food on the table. Unlike in your situation, I am the sole person responsible for my truck.

Now as for your friends, I'm wondering why you didn't give me a number. Perhaps, maybe, your just going with the gut on this, but next time front some figures. I did. And, I stand behind them.

Question Answered

Your truck looks great!!
In my shopping for a lift, I have been told that I need a 6" lift to clear a 35" tire. I see that you have a 4.5" lift and 35's, and seem to use your truck offroad. Is this working ok for you, and are there any other modifications that you had to make? I am trying to maintain a everyday practical truck with some offroad performance.
Thanks for your time!


Thanks. On that note, I was driving through a McDonald's yesertday for some one-buck specials to stuff the gut with. The dog and I ordered up two double cheeseburgers each. As I eased up the truck to the pickup window, the attendant turned to hand me the goods. As he turned, his eyes widened, did a double take on the truck and shouted, "Hot damn!!!"

The dog returned a bark over the clack of the diesel and excitement of the attendant. The guy looked back at the dog, looked down at the tires and wheels, scanned the rest of the truck up and down and said, "Damn, that's one bad ass truck! Hey, guys, check this truck out!"

The Q & A at the MacDonalds drive-thru window ensued, and believe it or not, the guy behind the window was a Super Duty owner, asking much the same question as you.

The guys at many off-road shops will usually try telling and selling you anything they think you can afford, which usually means anything they can lead you to believe. You can toss the great many of them to the same sesspool as politicians and snake oil salesmen. In fact, while you're at it, you can toss a great many magazine and internet editors into that same heap. The great lot of them are all on the take in some facet or another.


Like you, my objective in building my truck is all-around practicality. I use it. Towing, hauling, extreme grocery shopping and adventure are all in a week's work. And though the majority of miles I burn are on the asphalt, I do log a lot of miles on the dirt, traversing deserts, mountains, beaches and some mud during the wet season in the west. The bottom line: The truck works well and is fully functional. I've driven several Super Dutys. Each of them were equipped with other suspensions. So far, I have yet to drive one that came anywhere near matching the ride quality and handling of the Edge Suspension. Overall, there isn't one thing I'd change.

Setup just the way it is, with stock wheels, 35" BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KMs, Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers and the Edge Advanced 4-1/2" Plush Ride Suspension, I must say, my truck absolutely kicks ass. Having driven other trucks that are setup similarly, I wouldn't have mine any other way.

The ride quality is better than stock.

The 35 BFGs take command of the terrain, rolling over the washboard roads with ease and charging through the mud and sand washes without a hitch. On the highway, they are not so large that they are impratcial. They corner well. They get good fuel economy. The full-size spare fits in its stock location. And, they can be easily replaced at most any tire shop - even in Baja.

Why 4.5" rather than 6"? The taller you go, the more wind resistance you're going to get, worsening your fuel economy. Additionally, the taller you go, the worse your center of gravity gets. On the trail, this generally translates into a greater opportunity for roll over, while on the road, this also means you'll have to take turns much slower. The 4.5" carves through any terrain with ease - even the streets. My idea with a suspension is to only go as high as you need to go in order to fit the tire you're running. If you're running a 35", which I believe to be the most practical for my truck, you don't need anything larger than the Edge Advanced Suspension 4-1/2" Plush Ride Suspension.

Other than simple installation, the only cutting required is that which is stated in the story, and that is cutting a small portion of rubber cowling that extends from the front bumper. Otherwise, you're good to go.

Now if you choose to stick with the stock wheels, as I have, you will have some slight rubbing on the front leaf springs under extreme turns and articulation, but personally, I prefer to live with this rather than go any wider an offset on the wheels. I prefer my wheels and tires tucked in tight beneath the wheels wells, which keeps the body clean and turns tight.

If you're up for it, I'm considering puting together a Baja 1000 trip for the readers this November. I run into a lot of people who have always wanted to go to the race and the place but just don't have anyone to go with. Although this would be a trip for your own truck, I would be willing to let you take reigns of mine for a while. Newsletter
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