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1994 Ford F-350 - Classic Lines, Legendary Power

This OBS Ford Packs A Nasty Cummins

Mike McGlothlin
Dec 9, 2013
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
What do you do when you’re a Blue Oval fan with a 12-valve Cummins taking up space in the garage? If you’re Scheid Diesel employee Reuben Spicer, you find something to put it in! Since Reuben is an avid old-body-style (OBS) Ford fan, there was only one option when it came to which truck the inline-six would be powering. “I don’t like the Dodge chassis,” he told us. “I love the powerplants, but that’s pretty much where it stops.”
After locating a low-rust, ’94½ F-350 in Kentucky, Reuben and his father trailered it home. When it was purchased, the truck was nothing more than a rolling chassis, void of its Power Stroke engine, five-speed manual transmission, and front clip, among other things. Needless to say, it was the perfect engine swap candidate, and Reuben wasted no time getting started on the project.
As a performance salesman at Scheid Diesel’s Terre Haute, Indiana, location, Reuben knew exactly which combination of parts he’d need to make the 12-valve a screamer on the street—and it wouldn’t take a whole lot. The only changes made to the bottom end were the addition of H11 rod bolts, a Scheid street cam with 24-valve tappets, a billet-aluminum tappet cover, and machine work to the block in order to accept 14mm head studs. The head was fire-ringed and uses a marine gasket, was fitted with 150-pound valvesprings, and is graced with one of Scheid’s billet-aluminum intake plates. Chromoly pushrods made the cut, too.
A Scheid billet front cover provides access to an adjustable timing gear for the Bosch P7100 injection pump, and the pump gurus in Scheid’s injection shop made the factory 12mm unit capable of flowing 660 cc of fuel. Diesel makes its way to a set of Scheid’s International-based 5x18 injectors via .093 mild steel, custom-bent fuel lines. Seeing what this engine and fueling package is capable of over the years convinced Reuben he would have a heck of a horsepower combo at his disposal once it was finished. “It’s a combination of all the parts we [at Scheid] know work,” he said. “And about 800 to 850 hp is what they dyno at the crank.”
Photo 2/11   |   Salvaged from a ’95 Ford school bus, the 12-valve Cummins under the hood of Reuben and Whitney Spicer’s Ford was gone through and rebuilt from the ground up with select parts from Scheid Diesel. With the factory crank, rods, and pistons retained, a Scheid street cam with 24-valve tappets, billet front cover, adjustable timing gear and drive hub, and aluminum intake plate made it into the build. The head was fire-ringed and treated to 150-pound valvesprings and clamped to the block via 14mm H11 head studs. A set of motor mounts from Fordcummins.com and a reworked Ford transmission mount made the 12-valve and 47RE swap surprisingly straightforward.
Big airflow comes by way of a 68mm S400 turbocharger from Fleece Performance. A relatively small turbine housing combines with a free-flowing Steed Speed T4 exhaust manifold to aid low-rpm driveability. Sourcing a 47RE automatic from Fast Layne Diesel, Reuben had the transmission built and added a full manual valvebody to command his own shifts. To keep things simple, he picked up an NP241HD transfer case from Craigslist and had front and rear driveshafts made locally.
Working out of his uncle’s shop, Reuben was able to piece together this one-of-a-kind Ford in less than a year. In fact, just a month before we ran into him, the cab was yet to be bolted on and plenty of bodywork lay ahead. After our photo shoot, Reuben surprised his wife, Whitney, when he handed her the keys to her new truck. It’s not every day a husband performs a yearlong Cummins swap for his significant other, but there is no doubt that the simplicity of an OBS Ford combined with the reliability of a 12-valve Cummins will allow them to share this unique creation for years to come.
Scheid-built International-style injectors equipped with 5x0.018-inch nozzles were modified to fit in the Cummins’ head. Reuben chose this injector due to its great reliability and horsepower potential. In fact, with a P-pump and turbo upgrade, the injectors can support more than 1,000 hp—should Reuben ever feel the need to go bigger.
Fast Facts
Year/Make/Model: ’94½ Ford F-350
Owners: Reuben and Whitney Spicer
Hometown: Covington, Indiana
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 12-valve
Fuel: Scheid Diesel 5x18 injectors, P7100 with full-cut delivery valves, 5,000-rpm governor springs, adjustable fuel plate, AirDog 200-gph lift pump
Air: Fleece Performance S468, aluminum 7.3L intercooler
Estimated Horsepower: 700 hp (at the wheels)
Transmission: 47RE four-speed automatic with manual valvebody
Tires: 33x12.5R20 Toyo Open Country M/T
Wheels: 20x9 Fuel Hostage
Fun Fact: Reuben built the truck for his wife, Whitney.

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