Playing tricks on our friends can be a lot of fun. When a TV crew gets involved, things can get a little crazy. Nate Parks decided that his friend Joe McDonald of Las Vegas deserved to have his 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor restyled. Nate submitted an application to the TV show “Overhaulin’ ” in hopes of having Chip Foose and his A-team of fabricators transform Joe’s pride and joy into something amazing. After reading about how Joe always puts the needs of others before his own, the TV crew showed up, led him on about the how his truck had been involved in the theft of plutonium, and took the vehicle. After a few minutes of shock and dismay, Nate let Joe know he was on TV, and that his mobile office was about to be upgraded by the best in the business.
High-Mileage Pickup Truck Restoration
As the owner of a commercial refrigeration company in Las Vegas, Joe is frequently on the road visiting clients and overseeing projects his team is working on. His 2013 Raptor had already racked up 154,000 miles and was looking a little worn. The team secured a rebuilt 6.2-liter engine and swapped it into the chassis. They also upgraded the suspension with an external reservoir shock kit from Fox and a brake upgrade kit from Baer. The front bumper was updated with a Rigid light bar in the center and two sets of D-Series pod lights in the corners.
As is a key part of every project on the show, the look of the truck plays a huge role. After consulting with Nate, Foose decided to paint the truck white and create a custom graphics package for Joe’s company that plays off the splash graphic theme that came with the vehicle. While at GT Collision Center in Huntington Beach, show host AJ and Nate were able to get some time in the paint booth, helping to lay down some of the primer on the bed. The black-and-gold graphics were extended to the Fuel Covert D694 wheels with custom powder coating. The 20-inch wheels are wrapped in Fuel Gripper M/T tires.
Custom Truck Interior Makeover
The front and rear seats of the Raptor were delivered to Bill Dunn One Stop Shop to be rebuilt. New foam was cut, and black and gray vinyl was stitched together for a custom look. The show called on ARC Audio’s Fred Lynch to design and install a custom audio system for the Raptor. Fred enlisted the help of Chris Pate from Mobile Toys/MTI Acoustics in College Station, Texas, to help him with the project. Before the build, ARC sent Chris and his crew a pair of SW12 shallow-mount 12-inch subwoofers and a pair of ARC Series amplifiers so he could get started on the subwoofer enclosure and amp rack ahead of time. A few days later, Chris and Fred met up in Huntington Beach to begin the installation. The radio was replaced with a Kenwood double-DIN receiver, and the guys added a Maestro RR interface that provides communication with the vehicle to display gauge cluster, parking sensor and tire pressure information. Maintaining the factory-installed feature functionality was a focus point for “Overhaulin’ ” designer Foose.
The output of the Kenwood radio feeds to an ARC 1000.6 amp that has been upgraded with the IPS 8.8 digital signal processor module. The processor will provide Fred with complete control of the final sound that Joe will experience. The subwoofers in the truck are powered by an ARC 1000.2. In total, there are 2,000 watts of power available to drive the speakers in the cab.
Speaking of speakers, the front of the truck features ARC X2 6.2 6.5-inch component speakers. The tweeters are mounted in the factory locations in the A-pillars, and the woofers are installed in the doors using a set of MTI Acoustics mounting adapters. Each of the four drivers has a dedicated channel on the ARC 1000.6 amplifier. Before the speaker installation began, the doors were treated to a layer of Xtreme sound deadening and Dynaliner foam from Dynamat. The combination of materials was added to reduce the overall noise level while helping keep the truck cool on those hot Las Vegas summer days.
The rear doors are home to a set of matching ARC 602 6.5-inch two-way coaxial speakers, and another set of adapters made their installation quick and painless. The remaining two channels of the ARC 1000.6 feed the rear speakers. Fred called on J.T. Torres of Automotive Entertainment of Huntington Beach to create a set of custom badges for the door speaker grilles to definitively establish the new sound system as something truly special.
The ARC Audio SW subwoofers are installed in an MTI Acoustics Stage 4 down-firing subwoofer enclosure. The enclosure is finished in vinyl that matches the seats and includes a pair of illuminated windows that show off the cast baskets of the ARC SW subwoofers. Chris and his team added a personal touch by etching Joe’s company logo into an acrylic panel on the face of enclosure and back-lighting it with RGB LED lighting. Using an app on his phone as a controller, Joe can change the lighting color to whatever he or his kids like.
The amplifiers and Stinger power distribution are mounted to a custom rack that bolts to the back wall of the truck behind the rear seats. MTI Acoustics cut the panel out of expanded PVC using one of their many CNC routers. With all the gear wired and ready to install, Fred and Chris were able to get the system installed quickly, so Fred could work his magic configuring the IPS 8.8 DSP to deliver amazing sound.
Though it seems like only a few hours in “TV time,” it was several weeks before Joe was able to see his transformed truck for the first time. The look on his face was, of course, priceless. Foose gave him a tour of the exterior upgrades, then Fred gave him a demonstration of the new sound system.
Nobody should be surprised that Joe didn’t want to get out of the truck once the music started playing. With small touches slowly revealed — including a work platform for his computer, upgraded tool storage in the bed, and gold graphic inserts in the fender vents — the magnitude of the project and the stellar attention to detail became more and more evident. There’s no doubt that Joe will enjoy the next few years in his customized Ford Raptor and its amazing ARC Audio, MTI Acoustics, Kenwood, Dynamat and Stinger entertainment system.
If you’d like to check out the episode, head over to the Motor Trend website. You can learn more about the audio products used in the build by visiting the ARC Audio, MTI Acoustics, Kenwood, Stinger and Dynamat websites.
Images provided by Fred Lynch.