Servando Salazar’s Custom F-150

 It takes a lot of courage to drop a gripload of cash on a truck that most people pass right over on their way to buy a Chevy. The ’97-’03 Ford full-size trucks were never super huge with the custom crowd—even the Lightning was never really that popular in comparison to other trucks—but Servando Salazar was all about straying away from the pack and building something that was totally unique from the get-go. And we don’t think anyone can say that his 2000 F-150 isn’t in a league of its own! 

The interior is also the perfect blend of factory and custom, with reshaped Expedition seats stitched in custom stamped leather, with matching Expedition center console and other stamped interior pieces.  

The complete build took about six years from start to finish, and it had a few different looks along the way while Servando figured out exactly where he wanted the truck to end up. And because he was building a lowered Ford, a lot of the parts had to be adapted or built from scratch rather than just adding them to an online shopping cart like most of us are lucky enough to be able to do.

Heavy Lowering

As a member of Draztik Truck Club, Servando had some pretty high ideals to live up to, but being a millwright by trade, that didn’t bother him any since he’s used to doing some heavy lifting on the daily. But again, starting out with an F-150 was a challenge.

At first, the truck was just lowered a bit over a set of off-the-shelf wheels with a few mild custom touches to tide him over, but as the project progressed it was clear to Servando that the Ford needed a lot more to stand out. A few of the mods were easy enough—bolting on some engine upgrades, including under-drive pulleys, a 75 mm throttle body, a short ram intake, Pacesetter headers, and a Carven side-exit exhaust—but the more exciting stuff required cutting and welding.

The complete build took about six years from start to finish, and it had a few different looks along the way while Servando figured out exactly where he wanted the truck to end up.

Servando employed the help of Tony Rivera of Family Kustoms in Alvarado, Texas, to get the truck a lot lower to the ground. The frontend was modified extensively to fit a set of airbags, and a custom Mustang rack-and-pinion steering rack was used to better work with the now-adjustable ride height. Because the truck was about to see a set of huge wheels, a more compact Ford Explorer brake booster was used for additional clearance. The rear was just as involved, requiring a monster notch and 4-link, in addition to another pair of airbags over the narrowed rear end. All of this was to make sure that a decent amount of the 26×9 and 28×12 Intro Berlusconi billet wheels would tuck plenty hard, and they certainly do!

And then there was the sheetmetal work required to keep the impressive wheel and tire setup covered, which included cutting out the factory wheelwells and welding in large wheel tubs. When all was said and done, Tony’s hard work definitely brought a smile to Servando’s face once he hit the “down” switch for the first time!

Factory Frontend 

But even with the amazing suspension and wheels, one of the first things that always attracts folks to the F-150 is the frontend. While a lot of people assume it’s totally custom or aftermarket, the truth is that it’s simply a (mostly) factory front sheetmetal swap from a 2005 Expedition with a custom billet grille! It obviously doesn’t hurt that it (and the rest of the truck) is painted in Ford’s T5 Dark Copper Metallic, which also looks completely custom.

The interior is also the perfect blend of factory and custom, with reshaped Expedition seats stitched in custom stamped leather, with matching Expedition center console and other stamped interior pieces. The W-Power steering wheel adds the perfect finishing touch, while still allowing a perfect view of the white-faced gauge overlay.

Even though most would consider a masterpiece such as Servando’s F-150 finished, he tells us that he has even more planned, including a possible engine swap, graphics, and possibly even a new color. Guess we’ll have to wait and see, but we definitely wouldn’t be disappointed if Servando decided to leave the truck as-is!


TRUCK SPECS

Owner

Servando Salazar
Fort Worth, TX
2000 Ford F-150
Draztik Truck Club

Chassis & Suspension

  • Work performed by Tony Rivera at Family Kustoms
  • Airbags front and rear
  • Monster notch over rear axle
  • 4-link rear suspension
  • Front frame notched for airbags
  • Custom Ford Mustang rack-and-pinion steering
  • Ford Explorer brake booster
  • Drilled and slotted brake rotors
  • Moser rear axles in narrowed axle housing

Wheels & Tires

  • 26×9 and 28×12 reverse Intro Berlusconi wheels
  • 255/30R26 and 295/30R28 Atlas tires
  • Engine & Drivetrain
  • Original transmission rebuilt by First Professional Transmission

Body & Paint

  • Work performed by Celso’s Auto, California Collision, Texas’ Finest, and TJ’s Customs
  • 2005 Ford Expedition front sheetmetal swap
  • Billet grille insert
  • Ford T5 Dark Copper Metallic paint
  • Custom pinstriping
  • Front and rear wheel tubs

Interior & Stereo

  • Work performed by Northside Upholstery
  • Reshaped Ford Expedition seats, upholstered with stamped peanut butter leather
  • Ford Expedition center console
  • Matching stamped/upholstered interior pieces
  • Power steering wheel
  • White-faced gauge overlay
  • Pioneer double-DIN head unit

 

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