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2006 Ford F650 - Serious Business

Mon Nguyen's '06 F-650 Is A Winner

Chad Westfall
Sep 1, 2008
Photographers: Chad Westfall
Marines are a unique breed. No matter what life throws at them, they find a way to rise above it. Well, Mon Nguyen, a 12-year veteran of the marines, is no different. No matter what has been thrown his way, he has always found a way to rise up, and his '06 F-650 is his latest example.
Photo 2/15   |   How often do you see a pickup that is taller than a cement truck? Lattimor Materials was gracious enough to allow us to use one of their trucks for this photo.
Even during our photo shoot, we found someone in need of help, and Mon was there with a smile to lend a helping hand-well actually a winch cable in this instance. The front of the F-650 features a custom (yeah, you are going to hear that word a lot in this article) prerunner bar with four 5-inch PIIA lights built by Santa Clarita Off Road. Behind the pre-runner bar is his factory bumper that has been extended out to house a 16,500-lb Warn winch.
The vehicle itself has undergone quite a transformation, especially since F-650s only come as two-wheel-drive cab chassis. An Arvin Meritor (commonly referred to as Rockwell) MX120 (12,000 lbs) axle was installed on the custom front springs made by Atlas Spring. Sending power both ways is a two-speed, air-activated Arvin Meritor MTC-4210 transfer case. The rear of the vehicle still retains the factory 20,000-lb Goodyear air suspension with the Dana 17060 axle. Tulsa Truck created a custom drop bracket to keep the factory suspension in the same place while lifting the frame up. Race Runner 3.0 Shocks with remote reservoirs were then installed to help keep everything riding smoothly. A custom steering linkage rod was created and runs from the Ross TAS-40 steering box to the tie rod. This custom steering linkage rod controls the massive Alcoa 22.5x13 wheels wrapped in 445/65R22.5 Goodyear tires.
Photo 3/15   |   This double-duty diesel looks good, plays hard, and is fully capable of anything you want it to do.
Tulsa Truck also extended an 8-foot bed to 11 feet in order to ensure a proper fit. On each side of the truck are factory fuel tanks with a capacity of 110 gallons (45 on driver side /65 on passenger side). The factory steps are still used, but AMP Research power running boards are mounted to the bottom step to help passengers enter the cab. Once in the cab, there are a handful of switches just below the dash panel, as well as a few more on the dash. The factory radio has been replaced with a Pioneer AVIC-D2, which is a navigation head unit with a rear-mounted camera. The Pioneer sends power out to the JL 1,000-watt amplifier and then to two MTX 10-inch subs mounted behind the rear seats. When looking around, you will notice that there are three Autometer gauges (boost, EGT, and transmission) mounted on the A-Pillar, which allude to the modifications that have been made under the hood.
The air enters the intake through the factory hood scoops and then is channeled into the AFE air filter. It is directed through the Caterpillar variable geometry turbocharger and sent through the intercooler. After leaving the intercooler, it has an opportunity to meet up with its friend, propane, thanks to a custom propane injection kit made by John Hamlin at Diesel Performance Shops in Van Nuys, California.
The air is then directed into the heads and joins up with the fuel a little earlier than normal because of the TS Performance MP8 power module. Once everything is burned, the exhaust is sent out the heads through the turbo and into the 5-inch stainless steel custom exhaust system. It is then directed through the Magnaflow muffler and up the 6-inch MBRP stacks.
The C-7 Caterpillar engine produces 300 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque. Mon doesn't know how much the truck produces now, but he does know his fuel mileage is a little better, thanks to the improvements he has made. His truck is now getting anywhere between 8 and 9 miles a gallon.
With a truck this tall that looks this good, most people assume that it is just a show truck. More than 28,000 miles on the odometer over the past 2 1/2 years tells us otherwise. Mon uses this truck as his daily driver, and on the weekends he hooks up his 30-foot trailer and heads to the dunes to play. Mon said he has actually had all four wheels off the ground while jumping a dune in this truck. Now, that's what I call rising up.