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2008 Ford F-250 - Runnin’ Broke

Building a 900hp, 11-second Ford for $11,000

Jason Sands
Nov 1, 2013
Photographers: Dustin Woodhouse
If the name Dustin Woodhouse rings a bell for some of you long-term readers, that’s because he was a Diesel Power Challenge competitor in 2010. Dustin entered a mean single-turbo 6.4L-powered ’08 F-350 in the event and made a strong showing, finishing Sixth out of 14 trucks, and winning the sled pull. Since then, life, a wife, and kids have meant his black F-350 was de-modded—and retired to daily driver and tow duty.
But Dustin wasn’t going to let his performance dreams die, though he’d be building a new truck on a very tight budget. The answer to his needs came in the form of a regular cab 4x4 that had been used as a plow truck. Unfortunately (for the old owner), the plow had caught the corner of a bridge and spun the truck around, resulting in a bent frame and body damage. This was exactly the type of truck Dustin was looking for, and he scooped it up for a mere $5,000.
Photo 2/17   |   Dustin’s Ford is seen here parked next to Mike Haller’s shortbed 6.4L at Truck Fest 2013. Notice anything? Dustin’s truck has a license plate and current registration. “Driving a race truck on the street is even more fun than hitting the track,” laughs Dustin.
Since Dustin had lofty performance goals, he immediately took the cab off and started tearing the engine apart. He took the stock pistons and de-lipped them to prevent cracks, using an old mill his father owned. The cylinder heads had hardened valve seats installed, along with a Stage 1 valvetrain, head studs, and pushrods from Elite Diesel. As the studs in the previous application had trouble holding more than 70 psi of boost, Dustin torqued the studs to an insane 325 ft-lb.
"I’m still looking for that 10.99-second timeslip! —Dustin Woodhouse"
Power-producing parts also came courtesy of Elite Diesel, with 200hp nozzles, dual K16 pumps, and a high-pressure VGT turbo. Unfortunately for Dustin, Elite’s compound setup wasn’t in the budget, but he did find an interesting solution. A mammoth 86mm turbocharger off a Caterpillar-powered 793B haul truck was hung out front and feeds the high-pressure turbo with 38 psi of boost. The air is then further compressed by the VGT turbo to an impressive 85 psi of total pressure.
With a dyno-tested 850 to 900 rwhp (depending on the tune and the dyno used), a stout transmission would be needed to get Dustin’s Ford down the track. Luckily, he simply swapped the built Elite Diesel Stage 3 transmission with a Sun Coast converter directly from his 2010 DPC truck into his new race truck. The stock transmission then went into his tow rig.
Photo 3/17   |   Dustin’s rollcage (NHRA required for 11.49 E.T. and faster in the quarter-mile) is tucked up into the corner of the cab to take up the least amount of interior space possible.
Much of the rest of the truck came in the form of begged, borrowed, and secondhand parts. The wheels came off a friend’s truck, and Dustin built the rollcage, traction bars, and pretty much anything else that needed fabricating. He also does his own tuning via H&S Maxx Calibration Control tuning software.
While he’s not opposed to nitrous, Dustin is proud of his fuel-only times, having run a best of 11.22 seconds at 124 mph at 7,140 pounds. As we type this, he’s installing new, lighter wheels and stickier tires, as well as a fuel cell to shave weight, as his search for the 10-second zone continues. Not bad for an old plow truck.
Photo 4/17   |   2008 Ford F 250 Rollcage Exiting Cab
The Perfect Start
For many, a lightly smashed-up truck like this is the perfect start for a build. While bodywork isn’t cheap, things like a tailgate, bumpers, and doors can usually be replaced if you’re not looking for something to look perfect. And, since race cars and trucks usually receive their fair share of fluid spills, fires, dropped tools, and massive failures, having a vehicle that’s a little dinged up to start isn’t all that bad.
Photo 5/17   |   Crashed 2008 Ford F 250
Fast Facts
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Ford F-250
Owner: Dustin Woodhouse
Hometown: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Odometer: 190,000 miles
Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke V-8
Air: Elite Diesel 62mm VGT upgrade, 86mm Caterpillar turbo, custom piping, No-Limit Fabrication intercooler and pipes
Fuel: AirDog 150-gph lift pump, Elite Diesel 200hp nozzles, twin stock K16 pumps
Horsepower: 850 to 900 rwhp
Torque (est.): 1,500 lb-ft
Transmission: Elite Diesel Stage 3 5R110 with a Sun Coast torque converter
Tires: 305/55R20 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ
Wheels: 20x9 BMF Novakane
Suspension: Rear block and leaf removed, homemade traction bars, front stabilizer shock from a Ford Ranger
Fun Fact: Time marches on, and so does performance: Dustin’s new truck is more than 1 second and 10 mph faster in the quarter-mile than his old truck was with nitrous.

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