2003 F250 Expedition/offroad build....


Honestly, we started this build about a month ago and I just got around to finally posting about it.

My wife & I have always wanted to build a dedicated expedition/hunting rig, mainly my wife wanted me to build a rig so I could go camping/exploring/shooting & riding and we have always kind of just half as*@& a build. We have always just bought what we could afford and just figured we could make it work and always ended up just throwing away money at a truck that did not work! So about 6 months ago we finally decided to stop wasting money & time and just by the truck I really want....without spending too much money!!

So....about 2 months ago we finally found the closest thing we could find to our perfect truck. Yes, we would love to have a ext cab diesel but they are over priced and for the price we paid for the truck we bought it would of had well over 200k, been beat up and no flatbed! So we bought a 2003 F250 4x4 straight axle, 5.4 with 120k. It is in excellent condition and came with a 1 year old CM flatbed that was never used! We got a great deal on it since it was no longer being used by the previous owner, we paid $7500 and were more than happy to pay that. Our goal is to build a truck that we can use for hunting/target shooting/exploring and towing my dirtbikes around. We will be adding a rack above the cab to mount a RTT and a couple awnings for shade when we are shooting off the flatbed. And quite a bit more...

On to the build....
As soon as we got it home we did a full tuneup (spark plugs, pcv, fuel filter and air filter) just to get it running solid. We than started to figure out our build ideas.
What we have done so far.....
Suspension & wheels: Procomp 3" front leaf springs & 2" rear add a leaf
Bilstein 5100 shocks front & rear
315/75/16 Cooper STT Pro MT w/ Level 8 wheels
Procomp Steering Stabilizer

Performance: 5 Star Tuning X4 programmer
SPD Y-pipe
Spectre drop-in air filter
2011+ tow mirrors

Whats next & our ideas....
We were not happy with the Procomp rear add a leaf, so we will have a local shop do custom rearched leaf springs and custom add a leafs
Custom roof top rack for the rtt & cargo carrier
Custom front bumper
Custom removable bedsides
Custom insulated padded/carpeted lockable rear tool box for our rifles
Custom stowable ramps for our bikes
Full OD green paint job
CB radio
A ton of aftermarket lights front & rear

We will be posting pics and updates as we progress with our build.
Here are a few pics of it when we bought it and a few with the front springs installed.


We than did a full 180 degree turn and changed the entire build, still the same basic idea but changed somethings!!! With the truck have a 5.4 engine, combined with the weight. lift and 35" tires, it was a complete gutless turd! It also handle like total crap with the extra weight on the freeway, so we decided the best idea was to go back to the original bed with a camper we could sleep in.

I was lucky enough to score a killer deal on a complete 2011 bed with tailgate w/ step and rear bumper for $500! I also sold the flatbed for $1200, so technically we made $700 by swapping back to a factory bed! We than ordered a new ARE Overlan campershell and the dealer we bought it from gave us a loaner camper to use until our new one was built.
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After lifting it and adding the 35" tires it really killed the power, so we did some research and found the best upgrades that actually work for increasing power. SPD guarantees 35hp from their y-pipe and after removing the factory y pipe, you can see why it has such an improvement! We also installed the 5 star tuning SCT tuner at the same time and it really woke the truck back up. Next will be 4.56 gears.

Here are a couple pics of the factory y-pipe and the SPD y-pipe, you can definitely see why it helps out!


We had custom rear springs installed, picked up a used Bedslide for $300 and started building custom 5ft drawers with extra storage. Here are some pics of our progress so far.....


I got quite a bit of work done on the truck today. Since the day we bought it, it had the dreaded exhaust manifold leak on the passenger side and sounded like total crap on startup and driving until it warmed up. So I picked up a new manifold, felpro gaskets, new studs and nuts. All of the old nuts came off without issue, but once I started removing the old studs is when it got interesting! The last bank closest to the firewall had warped and that is where the leak was coming from, so when I went to remove those studs they decided to snap off in the head about 1/8" in!! God forbid they snapped off flush or a little sticking out. I decide that I would try and build up a weld from inside the hole off the stud, I than place a washer over the built up weld and welded that to it and than welded a nut to it. I was very nervous about how much pressure I was using when turning my wrench, but wouldn't you know it worked!!! So I buttoned everything up and started her up and no more annoying ticking noise on startup, yeah!

I also have been wanting to primer my roof because the paint is gone in some spots close to the windshield and surface rust is start to show and it looks like crap. So I knocked that out today.

I started to bedliner my front grilled and headlight bezels and bumper. I got the grille and bezels done, the bumper will be tomorrow. I just think it goes with the overall theme better than the gray paint. Oh yeah, I think it looks great also.
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Great project. Are the front flares the type you have to cut the fenders? Do the tires rub at all? Hit the leaf springs when turning?


Great project. Are the front flares the type you have to cut the fenders? Do the tires rub at all? Hit the leaf springs when turning?

The flares are just the bolt on style. The tires do rub, but very little and only at full turn.


I’m not sure about the F250, but the F150 5.4L has a very restrictive intake track. If K&N, or anyone similar, makes an intake for your truck, it may be worth it for a solid 10-15hp gain.


So, I bought the fender flares when I had the flatbed installed and I was trying to make the frontend look more aggressive to match the dually flatbed. Now that I installed a regular longbed, I fell that they are a little over the top.

I am feeling that they should go by by! Should I keep them or get rid of them?!!


Most time adventurer
Looking good! One thing I may have seen in the pictures under the front....looks like the passenger side sway bar link may be ruptured or it could just be flash....the driver side link, both upper and lower links look off-center from the bolt....again, it may be the angle or they may be worn....its always the last thing you look at....good to see you got the new side mirror too...I like them much better.

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