Erik T.’s Street Style XTF Build

Erik T. is a familiar figure in the Factory Five community. He has built everything there is to build when it comes to Factory Fives. His most recent XTF build is as custom and unique as he is. Erik says, “I know these are all just cars and stuff, but it’s more than that. I don’t know where I would be after coming home from multiple deployments, being able to cope by diving into one of these kits – like Factory Five Therapy.

Since I built all of them by this point, I decided to buy a “nice” tow vehicle, a 2017 GEN2 F150 2WD tow vehicle to hangout with the family and tow my Factory Five Gen 3 Coupe to all the events. I had this set up for about 2 years but wanted more for the truck to make it stand out even more. In fact, I was looking at wide body kits for the stock F150s.

My journey with the XTF started in 1997 when I built my Mark 1 Roadster with a promise to my wife that it was going to be my daily driver. That went on for 11 years, during which I drove the Mark 1 Roadster daily. When my child was born my wife’s outings with me in the Roadster were a thing of the past, and family trips were in her car. As the years went on I completed and sold several new builds, including: three Roadsters, one 818, and one 35 Truck, all my personal cars. The last kit car I bought from Factory 5 was the Gen 3 Coupe. The Gen 3 Coupe is the finest driving car, (both performance and ride comfort). 

Well as life happens, unbeknownst to me, Factory Five was working on a donor based F150 “kit” to turn the stock F150 into an extreme truck! My daily truck was a lowered “mall crawler” with 2WD at that never saw the dirt. Since I was a long time customer, Factory Five invited me to come and look at it! When I first walked in and saw this huge truck with massive mud tires, I was impressed. The problem was my wife and I are under 5′ 6″, and I wasn’t sure about this being practical for us. I spent some time speaking to engineer, Jim Schenk and asked him if there would be an option or capability for towing. To my surprise, the answer was yes!

I left that day with a thought…pull my Factory Five WITH a Factory Five?! Now, no matter what vehicle I was in, driving solo in the Gen 3 Coupe or in the Family XTF – I am driving a Factory Five! My current truck was in the right year range (2015-2020), but it was 2WD. Challenge accepted – the only thing holding me up was committing.

About a month later I put my Truck up for sale and started looking for a 2018+ F150 Gen 3 4×4 FX4. The plan right from the start was always to build each kit bigger and better than the last one. I have always wanted a 1000hp daily driver and what better platform to do it on than the XTF. I added a custom twin-turbo Coyote engine. I also stayed with the lowered stance as a main design goal, and full tow package.

All the Factory trucks at Factory Five were mainly based on off road or at least started their life that way. I wanted to be different, and build a lower tow vehicle with as much HP as I could get out while still being reliable. 1000hp (1030 at the tires) may have been too many scoops of ice cream, but I made my target and have dialed it back down to 700hp for daily use and towing. The overall truck building process was very straightforward and I was able to complete the build in 40 days.

The support of the Engineering Team was top tier. There were some growing pains with my plans for the truck, but I was committed. I was happy to help shape the final configurations, and contribute knowledge from my unique experience that have been added to the build manual. 

To prove out the simplicity of the build, I have a 2 post lift in my garage, but elected not to use it for this build to prove that the XTF kit could still be built in the “home garage”. Mission accomplished Factory Five!

The next thing I had to do was drive it SEMA in Las Vegas! Having made this trip once in a 2011 F150, I can say the XTF doesn’t drive like an F150 —not even close. Even in the lowered stance I have my truck set at, the truck DRIVES very smooth and is extremely connected to the road, even with 37 inch tires! I can’t describe how non-truck’ish the truck drives like. It really does mess with my head even after 7000+ miles on the truck. I made it to Vegas, but I did have an issue with some of the custom choices I made in building this kit.  One of the turbos seized, yet I made it to SEMA on time! In the end, the 40 day build made it to SEMA from Northern Alabama and back. I would say there isn’t a better way to break in a new build than to drive it across the country!

Back in Alabama since November of 2023 – the XTF has met or exceeded all of my expectations. The truck is now 100% my daily vehicle and so much so in fact, that the Gen 3 Coupe battery is DEAD from non-use -time for a trickle charger! The XTF Truck draws a crowd every place it has been between Alabama and Tennessee. It is often mistaken for a RAPTOR or a body kit for a regular F150, that is, until they look underneath it! Between the big long red trailing arms, and lowered stance direction I took on the build, it definitely has the masses confused about what it is. 

The neatest thing about the design of the truck is that even in Street Trim, it is only about 45 minutes from being reconfigured into a full on jump truck ready to attack the dirt. Once you are inside the truck and at the controls you are looking at an F150, so that is very familiar, but you have to experience it to understand it. The long travel suspension and the stiffness of the chassis provide a very capable ride that would put many OEM trucks and cars to shame!

In the end, my truck is the Anti Pre-Runner, lowered and on street tires! I made this build my own, and that’s what’s so great about it. To top it all off, it has a tow hitch on it! So while I may not be killing the sand dunes today- I am towing my Factory Five WITH a Factory Five from Alabama to Texas tomorrow headed to the Texas Cobra Club Spring Meet!”

Learn more about Erik’s build on The Factory Five Forum or on YouTube.

Cover Photograph taken by Annie Jay