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1939 International D39 - 6.4L Diesel Street Rod

This Custom Classic rolls with 6.4 liters of International MaxxForce power!

Jul 1, 2008
Photographers: Courtesy Of International and American Speed Company
What Happens When You Combine One Of The Best looking pickups ever built with the new 6.4L MaxxForce 7 diesel engine? You get the DMAXX, a one-of-a-kind International D-Series street rod that's packing compound turbos and brewing 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 2/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom left Front Angle
The LoneStar Influence
The project was designed to help promote the new LoneStar Class 8 truck that was inspired by the styling of the original International D-Series pickups of the '30s and '40s. The DMAXX started out as a '39 International D-39 1/2-ton pickup that was found at George Mitchell's Nollenberger International Dealership in Toledo, Ohio. From there, it was shipped to American Speed Company in Plymouth, Michigan, where it received a body-off restoration and a proper V-8 powerplant.
Photo 3/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom lone Star Class 8
6.4L Maxxforce 7 And Allison 1000
Since the DMAXX was being designed to promote the heavy-duty LoneStar, a gasoline V-8 would not be right for this street rod project. Instead, the International 6.4L MaxxForce 7 engine (which is the basis for the Ford 6.4L Power Stroke) was installed. The V-8 uses a compound turbo system that combines a large fixed-volume turbo with a fast-acting variable geometry unit to provide up to 40 psi of boost. Fueling is provided by a Siemens VDO injection pump that fills dual high-pressure common rails to feed the incredibly fast piezo injectors. Exhaust that's not routed through the emissions-friendly EGR system is split by a Y-pipe that leads to Flowmaster mufflers and dual outlets under the rear bumper. Power from the turbodiesel is routed through a five-speed Allison 1000 automatic transmission and is sent back to a Ford 9-inch rear axle.
Photo 4/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom diesel Engine
Body And Bed Modifications
Part of the ground-up restoration included upgrading all of the nuts, bolts, and washers on the engine, body, bed, and frame with polished stainless steel hardware. Body modifications involved the cab being chopped with 2 inches removed from the roof height, and alterations to the pickup box. The bed was shortened by 4 inches and then raised 4 inches to match the new bodylines of the pickup cab. The rear wheel housings were tubbed to accommodate the wide tires mounted on 18-inch tall wheels.
Photo 5/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom dashboard
Interior Upgrades
Luckily, the gauge cluster from the original donor truck was in terrific shape and could be reused after receiving new glass and paint along with modern internal electronic components. Many of the original knobs and levers were also refurbished and polished until they looked brand-new. Everything that was not reused was replaced including: the seats, steering wheel and column, rearview mirror, ignition switch, headlamp switch, dimmer knob, brake pedal, throttle pedal, emergency brake lever, body insulation, and lots of other items. Parts such as the kick panels, sill plates, and door panels were fabricated from scratch, and a Ford truck automatic transmission center console was installed in the floor.
Photo 6/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom left Side
Boxed Frame And Air Suspension
The original frame was boxed and large crossmembers were welded into place to allow the nearly 70-year-old chassis to handle the torque of the modern MaxxForce diesel V-8. A Heidt's Mustang II independent suspension system was mounted up front, and a four-bar link suspension was attached to the 9-inch axle out back. An Air Ride Technologies "ShockWave" airbag suspension system was installed at all four corners to provide a smooth ride, even with the truck's low stance. Baer brake discs and calipers with braided stainless steel lines are mounted inside each 18-inch wheel to give this classic some modern stopping power.
Photo 7/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom left Door
There's only one '39 DMAXX D-39 truck in existence so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to see it, but you'll be able to spot the influence of classic International trucks every time you spot a customized LoneStar semi hauling down the highway.
Photo 8/20   |   1939 International D39 Custom rendering
DMAXX Specifications

Engine: International MaxxForce 7 diesel V-8
Turbos: EVRT compound turbos
Power: 350 hp @ 3,000 rpm
Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: Allison 1000 five-speed automatic
Exhaust: Custom dual outlet exhaust w/ Flowmaster mufflers
Front Suspension: Heidt's Mustang II independent suspension
Rear Suspension: Four-link live axle suspension w/ track bar
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch
Steering: Heidt's power rack and pinion
Air Suspension: Air Ride Technologies "ShockWave" front and rear
Brakes: 4-wheel Baer disc brakes w/ stainless steel lines
Body: Cab roof lowered 2 inches
Bed: Shortened 4 inches and raised 4 inches
Frame: Fully-boxed original framerails w/ custom crossmembers


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