Particulate Matters - For Better or For Worse
I Ain’t Skurr’d
I have a confession to make. Since coming aboard as editor of this fine brand and spending most of my time either reading about, hearing about, or checking out modified (from mild to wild) diesel-powered vehicles in person, I really haven’t been in a tremendous rush to do anything with my own truck: the ’95 Ford F-350 we call Big White.
The reason for this hesitance is not because I’m “afraid” to make changes. No. That’s not it at all. I definitely “ain’t skurr’d” to alter White’s stone-stock state. However, while I know I’ve also said that I’m perfectly content with leaving well enough alone, I guess the truth is there’s a caveat for that statement. While some things are fine staying just as they are, others actually do need adjustment every now and then. The amount of tweaking that’s necessary varies, of course. But when you’re considering upgrades for a truck, it’s important to choose the modifications wisely. That’s what I’ve been doing since the middle of 2015.
Yes, I’ve decided it’s time to break the F-350 out of its stock shell, from both a performance and appearance standpoint. But, choosing the upgrades has been the real challenge for me. On the performance side, yeah, I want it all. I’m thirsty for the same ridiculous gobs and gobs of horsepower and torque the newer diesel engines are capable of pumping out. However, I’m all too aware of the sad reality: Horses that wild will never gallop from a ’95 7.3L Power Stroke with 146,000 miles (well, not without investing the kind of money that could probably buy—or help buy—a newer truck).
And that’s the thing. You see, the catch-22 is, while I’m completely and totally in love with new 1-ton diesel pickups—across the board, Ford, GM, and Ram—I’m not in (or even close to being in) any position to go out and buy one. Sure, creative financing could probably put my dream dualie in the driveway. But, in my household, the $70,000 (plus) price tag for any one of the Big Three’s bad boys needs a lot more justification (than just me being editor of Diesel Power) for making that kind of investment.
So, that’s where putting time and effort into improving Big White comes into play. The truck is heavy and has an engine that really isn’t of “hot rod” caliber, and her once-contemporary appearance is now pretty dated, but she’s long been paid for and owes me nothing. And, thanks to the large and loyal fan base for old-body-style Ford pickups (yes, despite the non-acceptance of the Ram “Cummins guys,” GM “Duramax lovers,” and late-model Ford Super Duty loyalists reading this, the 7.3L-powered OBS rigs really do have followers...a lot of them, actually), I’ve been able to study photos and specs about modified ’94-to-’98 F-250s and F-350s and consider some of those same upgrades for mine, with the mindset that White’s true purpose is to work: towing and hauling. But she also steps out for fun on occasion, and I also want her to look good while doing it.
I’m finally giving in to a makeover effort that certainly isn’t any reinvention of the wheel, as mods for old-body-style Fords are pretty much tried and true at this stage of the game. However, I think it’s important to understand those proven mods also aren’t “dead” by any means and to communicate the message to those of you who own or may someday own stock older trucks that rejuvenating them to your liking can be a rewarding alternative to throwing down the big bucks for something brand-new (especially if you really can’t or really shouldn’t be spending that kind of money).
As the cool kids say, “That’s my current situation,” and I hope you’ll stay tuned for updates and enjoy the journey (which starts with a cool 7.3L power bump from ATS Diesel Performance) to making Big White “like new”…kinda/sorta.