A 2013 Ford F-250 single cab long bed most definitely is not the first truck that comes to mind when searching for an off-road superstar project. But that’s what makes this particular truck so appealing. It’s a bit of an oldie, but yet it’s still a prime example of what can happen when you have the proper motivation, money, and skills to build something really cool. Which is where Shaffer’s Off Road comes into the picture. Shaffer’s is a 4×4 company based in California and they set out to build the most epic “off-road trail slayer” they could using a bare bones base model pickup truck.
The goal was to have the truck built for the 2013 Petersen’s 4-Wheel and Off-Road Ultimate Adventure, which is a week-long gathering of off-road enthusiasts enjoying every type of off-roading you can imagine. One of the main rules of the adventure is that the vehicle must be street capable for long periods of time, because there are times along the way where you have to travel on regular roads to get to the next destination spot. With that being said, the Ford F-250 starts to sound a bit more logical as far as the vehicle of choice.
One of the best parts about using this particular truck is the incredibly stout 6.7L Power Stroke diesel that’s rated at 400hp and a frame twisting 800lb-ft or torque, which comes in handy when trying to crawl up and over something. And that’s with all the weight that goes along with a stock pickup truck. For the build, however, there’s been a significant amount of weight reduction. They started with a model that had technically already been stripped of all the creature comforts and it only came with a heater and AM/FM radio, but yet they still started removing anything that didn’t serve a specific purpose, or help them achieve their goal.
They quickly ran out of the basic things to remove, so they busted out the torch and cutting wheel and started making some serious alterations. For example, when they started the truck was a single cab long bed, and I say “was” because that’s one of the first things the guys at Shaffer’s started cutting on. They ended up cutting a full 16 inches off the bed and the frame of the truck so that a short bed would fit in its place. This will drastically help the F-250’s departure angle, which would’ve been a major issue with the long bed. They also cut off the doors and anything else they figured they could do without. It’s unknown exactly how much weight they removed, but what was mentioned in the report was that as powerful as that 6.7L Power Stroke feels in a standard truck, it now felt like a rocket ship.
One of the other significant upgrades to “Project Super Dirty,” as they refer to it, is the Magnum 205 transfer case. This replaces the stock one because the Magnum is better suited for the stresses you encounter when out doing some hardcore wheeling. The stock transfer case is designed more for towing and daily driving.
Another significant upgrade added to the build were massive 40-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires to help Project Super Dirty find traction when it needed to. But with such a big tire, and the tidal wave of torque coming from the Power Stroke, it was crucial that Shaffer’s upgraded the axles as well. And boy did they make an excellent choice when they opted to install Portal boxes, which not only drastically improved the strength but also helped with ground clearance. In order for the tires not to rub when the Super Dirty started to flex, Shaffer’s also modified the fenders which also allowed them to install a full roll cage.
Motor Trends Dirt Everyday followed the entire build process and they put this little video together showing exactly what it takes to build an extremely capable “off-road trail slayer.”