2001 Ford F-250 - Sports Car Killer
Corner Carving with a 425hp 6.0L-Powered F-250? You Bet!
The truck on these pages certainly doesn't look like a lifted, gas-powered 4x4, but according to the VIN, that's exactly how it started life. After a few years as a mud truck, the '01 Ford F-250 was combined with a rolled '05 6.0L Power Stroke diesel-powered Harley-Davidson edition and turned into a shortbed, two-wheel-drive work truck. That's before diesel enthusiast Julian Allen came into the picture.
"When we got the truck and started the project by tearing apart the interior, we found mud everywhere," says Julian, "so I believe the story of its mud-truck origin." Since Julian owns Hammer Performance in El Paso, Texas, he wanted to build something unique that would stand out from the crowd. A shortbed-converted '01 F-250 with the 6.0L powertrain provided the perfect platform to work from, but Julian still had quite a bit of work to do for it to be able to happen.
Knowing the Power Stroke's history, the first thing Julian did was head off any future reliability issues by installing a Sinister Diesel coolant filtration system and an upgraded oil cooler. Head gasket problems were also avoided by replacing the factory head bolts with ARP studs, which have a much greater clamping force than OEM parts. Since Julian also knew he wanted a bit more power than stock, a set of 155cc injectors from Innovative Diesel was added, along with a 58-volt FICM and an '03 turbocharger for a mean stoplight whistle.
The final piece of the puzzle was a custom KEM Performance calibration, uploaded via an SCT X4 Power Flash programmer. An Edge CTS is used to monitor all the engine's vital signs. The 5R100 automatic transmission is surprisingly close to stock, with the only modification being a shift solenoid kit from Go-Go Diesel.
With an estimated 425 hp, the shortbed is pretty fast, clocking a 13.1-second quarter-mile e.t. at more than 100 mph. However, the real story is in the cornering department. "I'd never seen a road-race-style diesel truck before, so I decided to mock up some fiberglass fenders on the front and see how they looked with the 20x12 wheels I had—and they looked pretty good," says Julian. "It kind of just snowballed from there."
The front fenders from Perry's Fiberglass Products feature a 3-inch flare. The hood is also from Perry's, and it has a 4-inch cowl with a scoop incorporated into it. Making the rear fenders took some creativity, as Julian wanted to retain the stock bed since the diesel is still a work truck. "We took out the stock bedside support plates, carefully flared the bed, and then made some new stainless steel support units for the wider stance," says Julian. The end result was about a 3-inch flare, so the rear of the truck matches the front. To unify the colors after adding the aftermarket fenders, Julian says he PlastiDipped the entire truck with a Pearlized Aluminum dip.
The suspension, wheels, tires, and brakes underwent a full transformation, starting with DJM's suspension parts for a 3-inch drop in the front, and a 5-inch drop in the rear. The lowered stance is complemented by Bilstein 5100 shocks, which firm up the suspension for cornering duties. Straight-line performance is also improved with the addition of CalTracs traction bars that are virtually invisible thanks to the lowered stance. Tires are 305/50R20 Nitto NT420S models, mounted on Fuel Maverick wheels. EBC brake pads and cross-drilled rotors help bring the vehicle to a halt.
Because he's in it every day, Julian also updated the interior, beyond the types of modifications we typically see. The changes are tasteful and give the inside of the truck a definite street-rod vibe, which somehow works together with the road-racing look quite well. Almost every control on the inside is aluminum. The turn-signal handle, wiper controls, and tilt lever are aftermarket pieces from Unlimited Products Company. The steering wheel is a Billet Specialties piece. A Kenwood DVD head unit handles sound, and a pair of MasterCraft seats ensure both driver and passenger ride in comfort.
While turning a regular gas rig into a corner-carving diesel took quite a bit of effort (and two owners), the end result is pretty awesome. In addition to the Ford's killer looks, it can get 20 mpg on the freeway, is quick at the dragstrip, and is still in use as a work truck. And how does it handle? Well, with 12 inches of rubber per wheelwell, it's probably the best-cornering diesel pickup we've ever seen and has given quite a surprise to many a sports car owner. Perhaps the best part of the build is that a diesel for the twisties isn't something you'd expect, that is, until it blasts by you inside the apex of a turn.
Year/Make/Model: '01 Ford F-250
Owner: Julian Allen
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Odometer: 135,000 miles
Engine: 6.0L Power Stroke V-8, ARP head studs, upgraded oil cooler, and Sinister Diesel Coolant Filtration kit
Fuel: Innovative Diesel 155cc injectors, 58-volt FICM, and custom tuning by KEM Performance
Air: '03 6.0L turbocharger, MBRP intercooler piping and boot kit, and No Limit Performance intake
Exhaust: MBRP 5-inch exhaust with side exit
Transmission: 5R100 five-speed automatic with Go-Go Diesel shift solenoid kit
Horsepower: 425 hp (est.)
Torque: 700 lb-ft (est.)
Tires: 305/50R20 Nitto NT420S
Wheels: 20x12 Fuel Maverick
Suspension: DJM 3-inch (front)/5-inch (rear) lowering kit, Bilstein 5100 shocks, EBC brake pads and cross-drilled rotors, and CalTracs traction bars
Axles: Stock with 3.73:1 gears
Fun Fact: With a 5-inch drop in the rear, the factory shocks couldn't be used. After a brief talk on the phone with Bilstein, shocks for a '77 to '87 Chevrolet Suburban turned out to be a perfect fit.