SCORE Journal


SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 47 of 91

BaJa Ready SCORE’s ProJect F-350 Gets An upgraded Suspension System Text and Photos By Dan Sanchez It’s been two years since SCORE obtained its 2020 Ford F-350 truck, but with COVID and supply chain issues, the company is finally able to start building it into a luxury chase truck that is capable of handling the tough roads, and highways of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. This 4x4, Crew Cab is a Platinum SE edition that is equipped with capability and technology features that will make this chase truck Baja worthy, as well as comfortable. With an optional 332-amp alternator it can power up equipment from laptops and radio chargers to power tools and more from both inside the cab and the bed of the truck, with an available 110V/400W outlet. The 6.7L Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission, has plenty of power to tow just about anything, creating 475 horsepower and 1,050 lbs.-ft of torque. To aid in towing, this truck was ordered with a trailer brake controller, trailer two camera system with Ford’s backup assistant, and voice-activated navigation.  Although the truck features Ford’s FX4 package with skid plates and a 3.55:1 ratio rear axle with locking differential, the rigors of Baja can quickly destroy even the best racing suspension systems. With added weight from tools, tires, fuel, and more, the factory set-up would not be sufficient. Therefore, the first step in this truck’s transformation into a SCORE-worthy chase vehicle was to upgrade some of the suspension components. Companies like Brenthel Industries build and race SCORE Trophy Trucks, and their aftermarket suspension division Baja Kits includes design characteristics that are brought over from their Baja racing experience. The company recently released new billet radius arms for these vehicles PN-F2RA17-A000, which are much stronger than the factory steel arms and can work with race-style shocks and handle the abuses of the Baja terrain.  The Baja Kits’ radius arms are machined in-house and feature a 1” high-angle SCORE Trophy Truck-grade Uniball instead of a rubber joint. The system also uses stainless steel alignment spacers that allow for proper wheel alignment and improve articulation and durability. According to Brenthel, the radius arms also have increased caster angles to maintain proper stability and handling, even with larger tires, and will raise the vehicles up to three inches.  Accompanying the Baja Kits billet radius arms are a set of King Shocks 4WD 3.0 Coil-Over Conversion Kit for Ford F-250/F-350 trucks. The shocks replace the factory shock and coil spring up front, with a heavy-duty and adjustable coil-over and remote reservoir offering greatly improved performance over difficult terrain. The rear shocks are also a part of the kit and feature remote reservoirs with full adjustment.  INSTALLATION At the Brenthel/Baja Kits facility in Perris, California, the factory radius arms, coil springs, along with the front and rear shocks were removed from the F-350. Replacing the front system with the King coil-spring set requires removing the lower spring perches and cutting the steel coil spring centering perch at the top of the shock mount. The kit comes with new lower shock mount brackets and the reservoir bracket is sandwiched between the top of the coil-over and the factory shock mount. The Baja Kits billet radius arm easily bolts in place of the factory unit, as do the rear King shocks over the rear axle. Both mount to the factory locations without modification. WHEELS & TIRES No suspension upgrade is complete without a proper set of wheels and tires. For the Project F-350, a set of BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires measuring 37x12.5x17 were installed on a set of Raceline 17x9 inch Avenger 929B wheels that are strong enough to handle the off-road pounding and extra weight this vehicle will soon be subjected to. BFGoodrich Tires is the Official Tire of SCORE International, and Raceline Wheels are the Official Wheel of SCORE International.  Once the installation was complete, the truck’s ride was just as smooth as it came from the factory, but with much more capability for off-road, infinitely adjustability for any terrain, and with the traction capabilities to keep it from getting stuck in Baja’s silt or rocky terrain. More updates to the truck are already underway and will be showcased in an upcoming issue.  Sources Baja Kits BFGoodrich Tires King Shocks Raceline Wheels

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