When Ford Motor Company decided to change to an EcoBoost engine for the second-generation F-150 Raptor, the only thing louder than the previous generation’s exhaust note was the grumbles of loyal V8 lovers. Ford has since corrected that with the Raptor R, but before the Predator-equipped truck was made public, Jeff Kirschner from Juicy Motorsports decided to showcase what could be done with the second-generation Raptor.
When it comes to off-roading, big V8 power comes to mind. The deep rumble of a throaty eight-cylinder engine blasting through the desert or handling technical trails with pure low-end grunt is exciting to say the least. So, when it came time to showcase the potential of the second-generation Raptor, Kirschner decided to remove the EcoBoost engine in favor of the 7.3-liter Godzilla engine found in the modern Super Duty truck. However, what was found on top, came from down under.
This is a $7,200 engine at Summit. I wanted the consumer to see that you can buy the crate motor, do our conversion, and have a very competent truck for very little money. – Jeff Kirschner, Juicy Motorsports
Wanting to maximize the potential of the stock engine, Kirschner sourced a Harrop Supercharger from Australia. The new supercharger pushes 12 pounds of boost into the engine and gives the fiberglass and carbon-fiber cladded Raptor approximately 1,000 horsepower at the wheels. The engine is tuned by Alex Peitz through an HP Tuners product to keep the newly-supercharged engine satisfied. All this power is then transmitted through a 10R140 transmission before it reaches the Currie rearend.
The bold appearance of the Raptor is further enhanced by Advanced Fiberglass fenders that boast 2-inch bulge and 1-inch rise. Carbon trim pieces were all provided by Anderson Composites. Kirschner wanted to stay with OEM colors, so he decided to respray the truck in Tuxedo Black and Granite Crystal Gray only separated by hand-painted turned silver leaf pinstriping. Connecting each panel to the truck’s chassis are over 240 12-point stainless bolts from ARP. The bolts are utilized on the bed sides, beadlock wheels, and even the license plate!
Allowing this Raptor to ride high are color-matched Method 305 beadlock wheels wrapped in 39.5-inch tall BFGoodrich Projects. Absorbing almost any impact the Raptor will face is a full Camburg long-travel suspension. Kirschner wanted to ensure that the interior was treated with the same love, and utilized Alea Leather throughout the interior. An Alpine head unit replaces the factory one and a complete Focal sound system rounds off the build.
While the word “swapped” gets used frequently, Kirschner has done more than swap in a new drivetrain — his Raptor continues to keep all the factory features and creature comforts that make the Raptor a high caliber off-road vehicle, but now features a stout V8 engine that looks like it was made for the truck to begin with. The age long question of “what if” can be removed as Kirschner has now shown what it would look like had Ford provided the second-generation Raptor with a 7.3-liter Godzilla engine.