Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong

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Photo: Jordan Jensen (Facebook)
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“It was a great idea... until it wasn’t” said Jordan Jensen, a Texas-based drift-car enthusiast who attempted to take the cab off of his 2009 Ford F-450 tow rig using a big tree and a chain hoist. The tree branch snapped, denting the Super Duty’s roof and dropping the cab into a precarious position on the frame.

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This went down on Wednesday in Jensen’s backyard in Boerne, Texas. “[The truck is] a daily/tow pig for the race cars. I needed to get the cab off to replace up pipes, manifolds, turbos, vgt actuator, and do head studs,” he told me over Facebook Messenger.

“All of my friends were busy and I got impatient, so I tried to get creative and do it myself.” Jensen told me the tree branch was about 20-inches in diameter, so he figured it’d be able to handle the load of the Crew Cab. And at first, it was, until Jensen had to lift the cab up a bit higher to clear the 6.4-liter diesel’s turbochargers. “Then it was a cab half off, tree on,” he said.

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Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong

Why did Jensen decide to remove the cab to do the motor work? Well, it turns out removing a Super Duty cab isn’t all that hard (well, if you have the right equipment), and wrenching on that motor in-vehicle can be a pain in the butt. From Jensen:

The motor itself weighs A TON. I dont have an engine [hoist] readily available (although thats my next purchase now..) With the cab design and the way the exhaust piping is routed between the engine and firewall, its a massive pain to do it. The cab really only takes about 2 hours to pull, and makes working on everything so easy. With the cab on, its a few days worth of pain and being annoyed trying to get to everything

Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong

The Air Force instructor’s neighbor offered up a forklift to get the cab off. Jensen told me jokingly that the forklift, and not the tree, will definitely be the tool of choice for getting that body back onto the frame.

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Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong

As for the damage to the cab, the roof got banged up, one door has some dings, and a cab corner has been pushed in and scraped up.

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Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong
Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong
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Jensen doesn’t seem too bummed about all this, though. “Couple solid kicks, some gentle hammering and maybe a little...[bondo]!” he told me about his plans to mend the new scratches and bruises on his burly truck. “Eventually I may swap to a different cab. But for now she’ll be justttt fine,” he continued, saying he’d throw a King Ranch cab on there if he spotted a good deal on one.

For now, though, the owner of a turbocharged 6.0-liter LS S13 Nissan 240SX and spouse of a wife who drifts a 350z, plans to keep the repairs cheap, since just dropped $5,000 on bigger turbos, special “up pipes” and other improvements.

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Illustration for article titled Man Tries Using Tree To Lift Ford Super Duty Cab And It Goes Terribly Wrong

The body is now off the chassis, and Jensen is wrenching away at the engine. Hopefully he can get that done and forklift the patched-up body back onto the frame relatively soon, as it seems the Texan uses the truck quick often and for some serious jobs. He described the truck’s role to me in a message, writing:

Our race trailer is 53ft long, and we load the golf cart, 3 cars, around 100 tire/wheel combos, tools, canopies, etc onto it so it gets heavy, and I like to drive 80 lol

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It may not look as pretty when it’s all back together, but this Ford F-450 should at least run better, and those bumps and bruises will tell a heck of a funny story.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

I’m going out on a limb and say that this was a dumb thing to do.