2002 Ford 350 - Outer National
A Super Duty That Shows Its Roots
There are millions of Super Duty diesel trucks roaming the streets of America, so it's not easy to build a functional work truck that stands out from the crowd. Louie Ferraro of Lebanon, Ohio, was not afraid of that challenge and started his project by ordering a brand-new '02 F-350 with a six-speed manual transmission-which required an extra-big deposit because the dealer was afraid of getting stuck with a manual truck on the lot. Louie races open-wheel Formula V cars and says he can't stand automatic transmissions, so his turbodiesel project could not be saddled with a slushbox.
In addition to towing two race cars, the Super Duty would be used as a work truck with a platform for taking architectural photos. That cargo box on top of the camper shell was not installed just for looks. When a step-ladder is used, the Bella PhotoGraphics team is able to tower over the competition and take pictures from 18 feet above ground level. Helping the photographers achieve that monstrous height is a 5-inch suspension lift combined with 35-inch mud tires.
Look a little closer, and you'll notice the custom International badges on the front doors. While the diamonds on the front and rear are sourced from the International parts bin, the "T 444E" emblems are the result of an Internet collaboration among Super Duty fans. Many Power Strokers wanted to represent the company that builds the engine (like the Cummins badge found on Dodge Rams), but the existing emblems looked too big when mounted on the doors. Louie and friends decided to make their own badges and bounced ideas around the Internet message boards until they came up with a design that combined the International logo with the company's "T 444E" internal designation for the 7.3L Power Stroke engine (and "VT 365" for the 6.0L). You can order a set for your truck at: www.bellaphotographics.com/international
In addition to paying homage to the powerplant under the hood, Louie has upgraded its output with a six-position programmable chip, a high-flow air intake, a custom 4-inch exhaust, and a turbo from a Ford E-series van with an upgraded housing. That power is fed into a ZF six-speed manual transmission that's built-up with a high-performance Luk clutch and a South Bend pilot bearing.
Louie has lots of plans for his work truck/family hauler/tow rig. He'd like to add an intercooler from a 6.0L truck, put a locker in the rear axle, install a ladder to the roof rack, add a swing-out spare tire carrier, install pocket-style Bushwacker fender flares, swap-in an Excursion steering wheel, and convert the A/C fan buttons to control the engine programmer settings. Those plans may sound overly ambitious, but spend a few minutes talking to Louie at a Ford Ohio Kentucky Indiana Super Duty (www.fokisd.org) club gathering and you'll learn that he's not just daydreaming-he's planning custom modifications for his project.