The 10 Best Super Duty Mods
The Ford Super Duty F-250 and F-350 were spun off the lighter duty F-series when that truck got more car like in 1997. In 1999 the all new Super Duty trucks were introduced, designed for all the heavier hauling and towing needs of Ford’s power users. Sure you could get them with all sorts of options for work, play, convenience, and durability, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to improve. Many of these 1999-2007 trucks are still working hard, and a bargain on the used market, and need only a handful of updates to match the features we all expect on new trucks. Read on and we’ll go over some of the best mods, as reported in our forums at Ford-Trucks.com.
1. Leveling Kit
These trucks come from the factory with a rake from back to front, so you always look like you are going downhill. Depending on whether you have a 2WD or 4WD drive, F-250 or F-350, you may need to lift the front 2 to 3.5 inches in order to make it look level. Owners of 2WD trucks have it easy, needing only a spacer to bring it up slightly. For trucks with front leaf springs, you really need a whole new leaf pack if you want to retain a decent ride with the new height.
2. Performance Exhaust
Everyone knows that turbos need to breathe, and turbo diesels especially. If there was room under there you could plumb it with huge 12-inch diameter cast iron drain pipe, like the city uses under the street, but that would be awfully heavy, and prone to rust. Many companies offer turbo back large diameter single or dual systems that lower back pressure and let the scavenging exhaust help pull more gas through the turbo. The fact that the truck sounds meaner is just a bonus!
3. Double DIN infotainment system
These trucks are plenty modern in most respects, but chances are you are going to miss the Bluetooth integration, touchscreen, text to speech, and GPS navigation aspects of the infotainment systems that come in even the lowest priced cars today. The good news is that for just a few hundred dollars you can install a double DIN system in place of the AM/FM radio in your truck and get all that. Once you have the head unit installed you can even integrate it with the next item.
4. Rear view camera
If you do any towing with your Super Duty, and that is what they were made for, you will appreciate a rear view camera to help hook up that trailer hitch. Get the right stereo head unit and it will already have provisions for a backup camera, or you can add a standalone unit that is integrated into the mirror. Because of the commonality of various Ford trucks over the years, you can get a camera integrated into the tailgate handle, or even hidden in the blue oval in some cases.
5. Diesel Tuner
Many people consider the Super Duty with the 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel to be one of the best towing vehicles this side of a Peterbilt. With over 500 lb-ft of torque they could practically pull the moon out of orbit, if you could get a rope around it. But what if you want more power? With the right tuner, and the right maps, you can gain up to 75 hp, and 200 lb-ft of torque when you need it! Or leave it at a much closer to stock setting, and still get better fuel economy and cooler running. The lowest priced ones are less than $500, and even the highest priced tuner is worth it if it keeps you from frying the transmission, or blowing the motor because you can’t monitor it properly with the factory gauges.
6. Rear Wheel Well Liners
Ford may have cut a few corners when making these trucks. With their high riding nature and large wheel wells, especially in the back, there is a lot of bare bed exposed to dirt and salt kicked up by the tires. Add a set of plastic inner fenders, from one of the several companies that offer them and you’ll not only improve the looks, you’ll protect your investment. The best part is they typically cost just a few hundred dollars and install in minutes.
7. Retractable Running Boards
The F-250 and F-350 Super Duty can ride high, especially if you have added aftermarket wheels and tires, or a lift kit, or both. To keep the tough modern lines, and also maintain off-road ground clearance, why not install a set of power retractable running boards? Hit the button and getting in and out is easy, but you don’t have to worry about getting hung up on a big rock because they fold away when not needed.
8. LED Fog Lights
When these trucks were new LED lights were those little red and green indicators on the dashboard. Now LED technology has produced light bars which can easily outshine your headlights, or even a set of KC Highlighters, for a fraction of the power. The long horizontal openings in the Super Duty grille practically beg to be filled with a long LED bar.
9. Trailer Brake Controller
These days big trucks like the super duty typically come with the trailer brake controller pre-installed and integrated into the vehicle’s computer. Back when the first Super Duties rolled out, it was typically an option, if offered at all. No problem, though. Installing a trailer brake controller is easy and you can do it in a few yours on a weekend.
A pair of upright diesel stacks behind the cab of your truck are not a performance improvement, and they actually make the bed less useful. But if you want to crank up the badass level of your F-250 or F-350 Super Duty, there is no better way than with a set of fat stacks. Rollin’ coal just doesn’t have the same effect if you are blowing it out of your tailpipe, and not sending it up towards the heavens. Plus, the ladies seem to like them.
For information on maintenance or repairs, please check out our do-it-yourself technical articles at https://www.ford-trucks.com/how-tos/.