My 2020 F-150 Coyote build aka "Truck Norris"

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LONO100

Rank I

Enthusiast I

231
Bay Area CA
First Name
Ken
Last Name
PXXXXXXX
Hi all, I'm fairly new to this forum and thought I would post how my current project is going. My family is growing and my trusty 2003 lifted Sport Trac was getting a little too small and a little long in the tooth so we decided to buy a brand new 2020 F-150 XLT Super Crew Cab 4.0 with the fabled 5.0 L Coyote engine. We needed more room and something much more reliable as my well maintained but 17 year old midsize truck was not cutting it for a family of 4 and 2 dogs. After overlanding in everything from a 94 Mazda B, an Isuzu Rodeo, Multiple Subies, a Ford Focus, and my aforementioned and beloved Sport Trac, we picked up this beauty. It was the very first vehicle I ever bought Brand new and I didn't compromise on any of the features I wanted so it's exactly tailored to me. Here she is right out of the dealership:






After a day trip down to Morro Bay, we took her on a 5 day trip to the Mammoth Lakes area in Cali.


first mod: gotta go with a stubbhy antenna!


we kayak, fish and I also wood work so I needed a set of crossbars. I went with Thule Wing Bars (60")



first overland trip to Mammoth Lakes with no lift. No fancy racks or towers, just throw everything in the bed and go!



This truck has proven to be very very capable in its stock form, so not much was needed in terms of modifications. It came out of the factory 4x4, with locking rear differential, plenty of undercarriage clearance, 400 hp, 400 lb-ft of torque. After many years of lifting other trucks, stuffing tires, trimming wheel wells, rubbing, recalibrating speedos, and all the things that come with lifts, I didn't want or need to jack this thing up. I chose to go with a simple 2" leveling kit by Rough Country. I did the lift myself in my shop in Berkeley CA.

lift day:


how she looked on stock wheels/tires with a two inch lift.


I marked and measured the apex of the wheel wells before the lift and was at 37 1/8". After the lift, I netted 2", jumping to 39 1/4".


After the lift, I slapped on a set of Goodyear Duratracs 275/70 R18 on the stock Sport Package wheels which I really love. The tire measures out in inches to 33.3" x 10.8". I have always run 33 x 12.50" tires on my old truck and on our Jeep JK, but since this thing for the majority of its life will be used to haul my family around, I wanted to keep the cabin noise down so I went with a tire that would fit just inside the wheel wells. I also wanted to minimize the MPG loss and power loss. So far, I am loving it. I measured the cabin at freeway speed with a meter at an avg of 65 dB, post 33's, the avg only increased to 66 dB. The crossbars actually gave a bigger increase in cabin noise jumping almost 3 dB when I put them on. I was tempted to stuff 35's under there, but on top of all of the reasons I listed above, I believe 33" is the perfect off road tires size. It gets you the clearance you need, but is still easy to source in case you are in a pinch for a replacement some place in the middle of nowhere.






Just got this Bestop Supertop 2 in. I did the install yesterday. Took about 2 hours to get it all on there, and then another hour mounting and wiring the third brake light. I had a Leer fiberglass shell on my old truck, and while I love that hard top, it was a pain getting it off the truck, and an even bigger pain storing it when it wasn't on the truck. I know the soft top wont offer any security for things in the bed, and I have heard all of the opinions that the zippers will freeze up in cold weather but I didn't really buy it for that. I live in the sunny Bay area, and I needed this top for two things. The first was to give my dog shade from the sun, and shelter from the cold, and the other reason was to make the truck bed a place to sleep and camp out of when it is just my wife and I on short overnight camping trips. Outside of that, this top will be either in the folded down position, or taken off and stored easily in my garage unlike my fiberglass top.






Next up are just a few more things. I am still trying to decide on which roof basket to go with. Right now I am leaning toward a rocky mountain basket. I will also be adding a set of rocky mounts rock sliders, and then adding a hidden winch in the stock bumper. Once the shocks need ot be replaced, I may go with a Fox Coilover lift, but being that the truck was brand new, I didn't want to scrap and waste the stock shocks that came on the truck which are really good. After that, this truck will be complete. I really try to keep it simple, less parts equals less things to worry about in my mind. My wife and I are planning our first trip to Death Valley right after Thanksgiving and will be camping out of it for about 5 days. This will be our first big overland trip to a place we have never been. Here are a few more pics.

overlooking Mono Lake


right outside of Twin Lakes


June Lake


my old truck (which I still own) at Donner pass


 
Last edited:

Peccavi18

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Rogus
What rod case do you have shown in between the kayaks on the Mono lake pic? I use mine very similar to how you do camping, biking, kayaking and fishing. I love your build and I am really considering a rack on top the cab like that for my lighter kayaks.
 

LONO100

Rank I

Enthusiast I

231
Bay Area CA
First Name
Ken
Last Name
PXXXXXXX
What rod case do you have shown in between the kayaks on the Mono lake pic? I use mine very similar to how you do camping, biking, kayaking and fishing. I love your build and I am really considering a rack on top the cab like that for my lighter kayaks.
The tube is called "the bazooka" made by Flambeau. It has a telescoping length, and I also use it to bring my fishing rods on airplanes. It's really handy and cost about 50 bucks. It can be secured to any set of roof crossbars and a few bungies.
 
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LONO100

Rank I

Enthusiast I

231
Bay Area CA
First Name
Ken
Last Name
PXXXXXXX
BUILD UPDATE:

After I installed the top, we took our first trip off road into Death Valley CA. For this trip, it was just me and my wife so we were able to pack very minimally, and we also slept out of the back of the truck. The leveling kit, tires and soft top worked perfectly while we were out in the desert. It got down into the 20's at night, and the top provided enough insulation from the cold to keep us warm in our bag over night.




I should also mention that it was a bit of an event sealing up the bestop from the inside. It took quite a few moves, and on one of the nights I really had to take a leak, and it was an event just getting back out and closing it back up. Other than that, I am very happy with the build so far, and this first trip into the desolate wilderness of Death Valley was a good first test. We are short people, my wife is 5'1'' and I'm 5'7'', so sleeping out of the back was just doable, although I had to sleep at an angle to stretch my legs fully.

Over the holidays, my wife gifted me a set of weathertech floormats and I also received the roof basket I had been planning on getting, but hadn't got around to. Here she is after I threw the basket on.



And here she is at the boat launch pulling my boat.


I used a decibel meter to measure the cabin noise at stock, and averaged 64-65dB at 65 MPH. After installing the Thule crossbars, that went up to 67dB. After adding the basket, that went up again to 70dB. I was also averaging about 16.5 MPG combined average over 1000 miles of driving. I performed the same test after adding the 33"s, and I now get 15.5 MPG combined. This was measured by measuring gallons at the pump and mileage on the road, not using the trip computer. The roof basket is much louder than my old Thule basket on my old truck. It almost drowns out that sweet sounding 5.0 when I punch it on the freeway. Almost.

So far, I'm loving where this build is going . The truck has been everything I could ask for with the exception of a few issues with a rough idle I've had a few times during cold morning starts. I plan to make some mods to the soft top and tailgate to make it easier to close up everything while inside the bed. I am also toying with the idea of adding some type of CB or ham radio to the inside like I had on my old truck, but I am leaning against it so far. There really isn't much to mod or improve upon as these trucks come equipped and very capable out of the factory. Once the shocks need replacing, I will most likely upgrade to a Fox kit 1.0. I may also upgrade the exhaust to a Magnaflow like I had on my old truck, or maybe a Borla system. Other than that, not many plans other than machining a few custom mods for the interior.
 
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LONO100

Rank I

Enthusiast I

231
Bay Area CA
First Name
Ken
Last Name
PXXXXXXX
Update: went up into the Sierra mountains for a few days last week, and did a few day trips before that. I'm usually driving or hiking my way into small lakes in the area and I needed a way to transport my trout rods safely and out of the way of all of my other gear, so I took my "Bazooka Tube" made by Flambeau and used a couple bungies to strap it to my Thule crossbars. I never worried for a second that my rods would be damaged as I rattled my way up those granite trails.

 
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ptgarcia

Rank II

Enthusiast II

336
Alta Loma, CA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Garcia
Update: went up into the Sierra mountains for a few days last week, and did a few day trips before that. I'm usually driving or hiking my way into small lakes in the area and I needed a way to transport my trout rods safely and out of the way of all of my other gear, so I took my "Bazooka Tube" made by Flambeau and used a couple bungies to strap it to my Thule crossbars. I never worried for a second that my rods would be damaged as I rattled my way up those granite trails.


Nice. I use a Bazooka Pro also and bolt it to my Leitner rack using a couple Super Quick Fist clamps. Works like a champ!
 

SS308

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Contributor III

827
Cheyenne, WY, USA
First Name
Randy
Last Name
Miller
Member #

29772

Ham Callsign
KF7QFH
Service Branch
USMC
Coming along great. How are you going to secure you rack to your bed?
 

SS308

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Contributor III

827
Cheyenne, WY, USA
First Name
Randy
Last Name
Miller
Member #

29772

Ham Callsign
KF7QFH
Service Branch
USMC
BUILD UPDATE:

After I installed the top, we took our first trip off road into Death Valley CA. For this trip, it was just me and my wife so we were able to pack very minimally, and we also slept out of the back of the truck. The leveling kit, tires and soft top worked perfectly while we were out in the desert. It got down into the 20's at night, and the top provided enough insulation from the cold to keep us warm in our bag over night.




I should also mention that it was a bit of an event sealing up the bestop from the inside. It took quite a few moves, and on one of the nights I really had to take a leak, and it was an event just getting back out and closing it back up. Other than that, I am very happy with the build so far, and this first trip into the desolate wilderness of Death Valley was a good first test. We are short people, my wife is 5'1'' and I'm 5'7'', so sleeping out of the back was just doable, although I had to sleep at an angle to stretch my legs fully.

Over the holidays, my wife gifted me a set of weathertech floormats and I also received the roof basket I had been planning on getting, but hadn't got around to. Here she is after I threw the basket on.



And here she is at the boat launch pulling my boat.


I used a decibel meter to measure the cabin noise at stock, and averaged 64-65dB at 65 MPH. After installing the Thule crossbars, that went up to 67dB. After adding the basket, that went up again to 70dB. I was also averaging about 16.5 MPG combined average over 1000 miles of driving. I performed the same test after adding the 33"s, and I now get 15.5 MPG combined. This was measured by measuring gallons at the pump and mileage on the road, not using the trip computer. The roof basket is much louder than my old Thule basket on my old truck. It almost drowns out that sweet sounding 5.0 when I punch it on the freeway. Almost.

So far, I'm loving where this build is going . The truck has been everything I could ask for with the exception of a few issues with a rough idle I've had a few times during cold morning starts. I plan to make some mods to the soft top and tailgate to make it easier to close up everything while inside the bed. I am also toying with the idea of adding some type of CB or ham radio to the inside like I had on my old truck, but I am leaning against it so far. There really isn't much to mod or improve upon as these trucks come equipped and very capable out of the factory. Once the shocks need replacing, I will most likely upgrade to a Fox kit 1.0. I may also upgrade the exhaust to a Magnaflow like I had on my old truck, or maybe a Borla system. Other than that, not many plans other than machining a few custom mods for the interior.
I purchased a portable urinal so I didn't have to leave my tent. Just a thought...:yum:
 
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SS308

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Contributor III

827
Cheyenne, WY, USA
First Name
Randy
Last Name
Miller
Member #

29772

Ham Callsign
KF7QFH
Service Branch
USMC
Has an adapter for the wife...:grinning:
Works great!