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Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Marc)>> There's nothing like starting a new project with a clean slate. We'll give you our first impressions of the 2020 F-150 XLT, and then we'll take it to the track to see how well this thing handles the braking, slalom, and zero to 60 acceleration tests. Then later on we're gonna go for a lower look. [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Brandon)>> Welcome to Music City Trucks. I'm Brandon Burke.

(Marc)>> And I'm Marc Christ.

(Brandon)>> And we're in our new project and speaking of new it's pretty much a new truck.

(Marc)>> It's not brand new, but I'm looking at the odometer here. It's got 10,000 miles on it.

(Brandon)>> That's new to me.

(Marc)>> This is a 2020 F-150 XLT and considering it's an XLT it's pretty well equipped.

(Brandon)>> It's got touch screen, all the power everything, sunroof. That's probably one of the coolest aspects of this interior on this truck.

(Marc)>> It does have some things that some people might want to upgrade. It's got cloth seats, two wheel drive. If we're gonna point out the negatives there are a few.

(Brandon)>> The two wheel drive thing to me is not really a big negative because there's one option on this truck that most trucks don't have, and that's a rear locker. So, for the average person, or for the majority of everyone with a truck if they ever think they need four wheel drive sometimes they just need a rear locker, and you're golden.

(Marc)>> But what this truck does have that we're really interested in under the hood is the 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost engine. So, the plan for the build is this is gonna be a sport truck, and this thing's already pretty sporty out of the gate. In all seriousness this truck's pretty quick.

(Brandon)>> It's quick!

(Marc)>> Where it needs the improvement would be in the handling department, and the braking department.

(Brandon)>> Handling, braking, a little bit more power, maybe some exterior upgrades just to make it personal.

(Marc)>> I think we should take this thing out completely stock form the way it is right now.

(Brandon)>> Get a baseline.

(Marc)>> Well any day I get to come to the track is a good day. Unfortunately for Brandon he had to stay back at the shop and get some stuff done there, but we're here at Nashville Super Speedway because they're gonna lend us their parking lot to do some testing with our F-150 here. Now this is just gonna be a baseline test because for all the big plans we have for this truck once we get finished, we're gonna come back out here and then compare the two to see how big improvements we made. So, for now I just need to get behind the wheel and get strapped in and see what this thing will do. Well, the first test we're gonna do is the 60 to zero braking test. That's where we have a desired starting point. I've got to get up to 60 miles per hour, hold it steady. As soon as I get to that starting point, which is a cone, I'm gonna start braking as hard as I can, and that distance from the cone to where I come to a complete stop is your 60 to zero braking distance. Alright, let's see what this baby will do. I always like to wear my helmet for added safety, though it's not required for these tests, and here's the first run. [ tires squealing ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Let's see what she did. [ Music ] Alright did it look like I started applying the brakes about right there? This may not look impressive, but for a full size four door truck, for it to stop that quickly is pretty impressive. We're at 25 foot 6 inches. So, 125 feet and 6 inches. Looking at that cone from here that's a pretty short distance to me for a truck like this to come to a stop, and it's still stock. So, we're gonna make it better, and on our second attempt things didn't go so well. [ Music ] Well, it wasn't as good. We lost a whole truck length at least there. Well, that's 158 and 3 inches. That's a pretty significant decrease or increase in stopping distance. Our third attempt yielded a little better result. [ tires squealing ]

(Marc)>> This leads me to believe this is a little more repeatable than I though. I think on that last one what I did was I either was going too fast or I started hitting the brakes too late because this is very close to where we started on the first time. Let's give it a shot. Okay that was 120 and 6 inches. We need to do another one because we're kinda all over the place. We need to get some more repeatable numbers, and here's run number four. [ tires squealing ]

(Marc)>> Alright, now we're getting some repeatable data here. Looks like we've got three now all within a few feet of each other. This is our 100-foot mark.

Okay that's 124 and 3 inches. So, we've got three within five feet of each other. So, I call that good. We'll use that as a baseline, and we'll move on to the next test. We hit Nashville Super Speedway to put our F-150 through some rigid braking and acceleration testing, and we're gonna see how it handles, or not handles.

(Marc)>> We're at Nashville Super Speedway doing some baseline testing on our F-150, and we've already knocked out the 60 to zero braking test, and here are the results. We're throwing away the oddball 158-foot run, and the average stopping distance of the other three runs is 123 feet 5 inches. Alright here I go! Next up is the zero to 60 acceleration test. [ Music ] 6.14 seconds, I bet your grandpa's truck can't do that. Here we go again! [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> That was 7.62. I don't know if we're just heat soaked or if that was just too much tire spin. We'll do one more. Here we go! We're doing these tests with the traction control on and the locker engaged. [ Music ] That was over 8 seconds. So, I think we're heat soaked. We did get two in the 6 second range. So, I think we'll call that good and use that as our baseline, move on to the next test. These are gonna be fun. Alright well we've got 10 cones set up 18 yards apart in a straight line and we're gonna do what's called a slalom. Main thing with this is it shows how the handling is of the truck. See how much speed you can carry weaving through the cones. The better handling and the more grip you have the more speed you can carry through the cones. If this was a dump truck we'd probably be able to maintain about 15 miles per hour through here, maybe less. If it's a Porsche maybe 100 miles an hour. This will fall somewhere in between. Let's see how it does. Alright, here we go. The idea here is to maintain your speed. Accelerating and braking will just slow you down. Steady throttle input and staying as tight to the cones as possible is the name of the game. [ tires squealing ] The first run yielded a speed of 26.5 miles per hour. Time for run number two. Let's see if we can make it through any quicker. [ tires squealing ]

(Marc)>> That one was nearly the same at 26 miles per hour flat. On run number three I'm using the same technique. If you're going too fast you'll overshoot your next apex, effectively making the distance longer, which makes your time to make it through the course longer, which actually slows you down. So, it's a delicate balance. Run three was at 26.3 miles per hour. [ Music ] On the fourth run I'm trying to increase my speed just a tad, which requires me to stay closer to the cones so I don't overshoot my next apex. Problem with that technique is... [ tires squealing ]

(Marc)>> ...cones get murdered! So, I'm throwing that run away. So, we're gonna take our first three runs and the average of those is 26.27 miles per hour. Not bad for a big ole truck.

(James)>> Hi Brandon, hi Marc.

(Marc)>> Up next, we chat with the CEO of EBC Brakes to see what he thinks about our F-150 upgrades.

(Brandon)>> Well we got the truck back in the shop, and I've got to say it handled pretty good for a heavy crew cab pickup truck. It does have a V-6 but it's got turbos, but there's always something we can do to this thing.

(Marc)>> It's no slouch but we've got a long list of things that we want to do.

(Brandon)>> Before we get to turning a wrench on this truck we've got James from EBC Brakes on the line. James thanks for joining us.

(James)>> Hi Brandon, hi Marc!

(Marc)>> Obviously you and I have worked a lot together over the years. We've done some really cool projects, and it's always a pleasure to work with you, and I feel like every time we've always tried to raise the bar a little bit with the projects we do with you guys, and I think this truck is just the next iteration of that. I think it's the next one in line to really represent your product and what Music City Trucks does well. So, we're really looking forward to working with you.

(James)>> Thanks Marc. Well trucks is a huge part of our project here at EBC. We sell many, many truck parts across the world, and particularly in the USA.

(Brandon)>> So we came up with three concepts that we think we're gonna run with. So, concept one is more of a traditional stripe.

(James)>> It looks awesome guys. That's taking out all the chrome. It's looking a lot more modern, black wheels, red bumpers. Not that you call them bumpers, but I do.

(Brandon)>> And then concept two is kind of a throw back to the '80's, early '90's with that three colored wave on the side. I kinda like it.

(James)>> That looks good, I love that. That's modern, looking cool. I think you'd be pleased to drive that truck around, especially the blacked out windows.

(Brandon)>> And then concept three is kinda like a hot rod scallop. It's gonna be a hot rod truck. So, I figured that was appropriate.

(Marc)>> Brandon and I each have our favorite of the three. We like all three, but we have our favorites picked out, but without telling you which one's our favorite what's your pick?

(James)>> It's got to be number two for me. I like the stripes, I like the look of the car, the black wheels, the red body color, and I think that the lines of the stripes match the type of vehicle it is, type of truck it is. I think that will look cool. What was your guys' choice?

(Marc)>> Personally I like number one, but I like subtle. That's just my favorite, but I definitely do like number two as well. I think it's a really exciting kind of design, and if you're going to SEMA with a truck like this, which we are, you want something that's gonna pop.

(Brandon)>> I'm not the most subtle person. So, number two was my pick as well. I like the throw back '80's, '90's stuff. I think it's gonna look really appropriate on our truck.

(James)>> Are we gonna give this truck away then Marc and Brandon?

(Marc)>> When it's done, yes, this thing is gonna be given away to one of our lucky viewers. So, it's very exciting for us to be able to kinda bring this truck from a factory truck on up to a full performance street truck, which obviously the EBC brakes are gonna help us do.

(James)>> And it's gonna look so individual. There's not gonna be another truck like it around.

(Marc)>> No, it'll be one of a kind. I know you guys make a lot of performance products, which we've used a lot here in the past, and I know you make truck specific stuff that's good for towing and hauling. This truck's kinda both. What kind of product do you recommend that we get on this truck?

(James)>> What we're gonna do on the rear of the truck, we're gonna make you some brake lines, some braided stainless steel brake lines, and we're gonna do some grooved rotors for the back. Just sort of a standard groove rotor, and on the front we thought what we'd do is give it a bit of an upgrade and have a two piece floating rotor, and also a six part caliper. I have a two piece floating here just like this one. Something like that's gonna go on to it.

(Marc)>> That's awesome!

(James)>> Fully floating. We'll go with the same standard size I think cause it needs to fit in those wheels. If we can do a slight upgrade maybe we'll look at that as well. A slight diameter increase, but I think it's gonna stop on a dime.

(Brandon)>> We are gonna go with some bigger wheels. So, if you want to upgrade the brakes to a bigger brake that's always welcome.

(James)>> Well let's see if we can try and fit a 380 mil in there.

(Marc)>> If not I know you already have pads and rotors for this truck that will increase its stopping power over stock immensely, right?

(James)>> Absolutely Marc. If you just upgraded with our standard YellowStuff brake pad or a slotted rotor it would make a huge difference straight away, but we just want to go that one bit further and just make it stop on a dime.

(Marc)>> Well James I'm really looking forward to working with you on this build as always, and excited to see what you can come up with for our F-150 here, and definitely want you to come out and drive the truck when it's all done.

(James)>> That's 100 percent guaranteed I'll be there to have a little play in the truck with you guys. That's always good fun, and thanks very much guys, Marc and Brandon, you're stars.

(Marc)>> Thanks James! Talk to you later.

(James)>> Cheers!

(Marc)>> Next, Brandon and I rip out the old and lower in the new. You didn't think we were gonna do all this work and not use it did you?

(Brandon)>> We're starting with a two-wheel drive bone stock 2020 F-150 XLT crew cab, which is equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 rated at 375 horsepower and 470-foot pounds of torque. A well capable truck. Here's how we're gonna make it better. We're gonna tear out all the stock suspension and replace it with a kit that gets our F-150 lower to the ground. Then of course add some EBC Brakes pads and rotors to help bring this hauler to a halt. Then we'll upgrade to a new set of 22-inch wheels and tires. In the bed we're installing a drawer system for storage as well as a tonneau cover. Finally, we'll be swapping out some of the shiny bits for some color matched body panels and trim pieces. We'll add a ceramic coating, and then we'll complete the look with some custom graphics.

(Marc)>> We're gonna start by removing the front struts. First by unbolting them from the frame up top, and from the lower A-arm underneath. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> To get the struts out the upper ball joint has to be separated from the knuckle, and with the sway bar link disconnected the strut is free. Well since we're gonna be lowering this truck we don't need these stock struts anymore. What we're gonna be doing is installing this Belltech kit that we got from Summit Racing. Now it'll lower it between one and three and a half inches in the front and four inches in the rear. What we're gonna do is install these coil overs in the front, which are basically struts, with adjustable ride height, and in the rear everything else. As for the front just bolt these things in. The new coil overs bolt right in the stock location. Put the bottom in first, and with those bolted in we can reassemble the rest of the stock parts. These stock shocks would probably work fine out back, but any time you lower a vehicle it's best to have a different shock with the correct amount of travel built in. We'll go ahead and support the pinion because we don't want the axle rolling once we remove the U-bolts. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Alright, get the other side done and we can move to the rear. Well, we've got the rear end supported. Now back here it's gonna be a little different than we did in the front. This is a leaf spring stick axle. So, we're gonna have to do a flip kit on this. Now we've done that before but those are a little less traditional. This is gonna show you what you can accomplish with some out of the box parts right out of the Summit Catalog. First thing we need to do is remove the shocks. [ drill humming ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Now it's time to unbolt the leaf springs from the frame, starting with the rear mounts. [ drill vibrating ]

(Marc)>> The next step requires a little cutting. So, we're grabbing our Matco Infinium Series 20-volt brushless angle grinder. This cool tool works just like a typical corded 4.5-inch grinder using the same size spindle and with a built-in spindle lock. It's especially convenient because it's lightweight and you don't have to deal with the dreaded power cord. It's capable of 7,000 r-p-m and it's plenty powerful enough to cut through these leaf spring bolts. What they say about having the right tool for the job. If you want to get the job done right you've got to have the right tool. The reason we need to cut the heads off these bolts is because Ford puts the bolts in from the inside out, and the only way to remove them is to remove the exhaust on the passenger side and the fuel tank on the driver's side. And with those bolts out of the way we can remove the leaf springs. We have to swap out the factory shackle for the shorter one. Just need to unbolt it, bolt the other one in place using the same hardware. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> What we're gonna do now is install some C-clamps onto the leaves because we need to remove the center bolts and flip them over facing the other way because now the axle's gonna be sitting on top of the leaves instead of underneath. Next, we'll replace the factory shackle with the shorter ones that came with the kit. The drop brackets bolt into the front leaf spring mounts. Then we can swap out the factory bump stops with the new shorter ones. Now we'll lower the truck, install the leaf springs under the axle, bolt it in place. We'll lower the truck, install the leaf springs under the axle, bolt it in place at the front and rear, install the hardware, and tighten the U-bolts. [ Music ] The new shorter shocks can go in next... [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> ...followed by the sway bar. [ Music ] Well, I love lifting level trucks but when you lower the right truck it just looks perfect. I love this one. Brandon welcome back.

(Brandon)>> I love a lowered truck!

(Marc)>> We're not gonna need the steps anymore, and we've got some other things we want to do to jazz up the exterior, but for now we're getting there.

(Brandon)>> Speaking of the truck looking better, I just brought all the painted parts back. Got the wheels, got the tires. You want to go see them.

(Marc)>> Yeah, we'll see y'all next time.

(Brandon)>> See ya!

(Marc)>> Oh yeah!
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