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  • Diesel Power Challenge 2016 - Charlie Keeter

Diesel Power Challenge 2016 - Charlie Keeter

’04 Ford F-250, 6.0L Power Stroke

KJ Jones
Jul 6, 2016
Photographers: Ben Cooper
A love of competition is the catalyst that drove Charlie Keeter to take a shot at earning a spot in the Diesel Power Challenge 2016 competitor field. “I like that in DPC you’re basically competing on a national level against trucks and drivers from all over the country—not just the local guys you already know,” Charlie says.
A homebuilt ’04 Ford F-250 is the rig Charlie’s using at this year’s event. The rig is highlighted by a triple-turbocharged, nitrous-oxide–injected 6.0L Power Stroke engine, but Charlie is pretty tight-lipped about its power and torque capabilities. “I’ve never been a big dyno fan,” he says, adding, “I consider the dyno to be a tool more than anything else. Track (quarter-mile and eighth-mile) e.t. and mph don’t lie about horsepower and can’t be manipulated.”
Photo 2/15   |   002 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
A touring racer in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series drag racing circuit (in the AirDog 6.70 Index Class), Charlie admits that the dragstrip is where he and his F-250 feel at home. “I’ve been racing one thing or another since I was old enough to know what drag racing is,” Charlie says. “I inherited the trait from my dad. I’ve tried sled pulling a few times but never got into it.”
“Lots of pride, time, and effort have gone into building this truck in my friend’s frontyard and driveway, as well as in my backyard, and it feels awesome to be selected,” Charlie adds. Without the help of a few close friends—and making good connections with people in the industry (Jesse Warren, injector guru and Diesel Power Challenge 2015’s Third Place finisher, is one of Charlie’s crew members)—this truck wouldn’t be where it is today.
As far as preparedness is concerned, a full set of Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks and an oil change are the only differences between the truck you all selected and the rig that is competing for the DPC 2016 title. “My strategy to win is just keeping the truck together for the entire duration of the event,” Charlie says. We’ll be watching closely to see if he’s able to do it.
Photo 3/15   |   004 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
While Charlie isn’t very forthcoming when asked for details about his truck’s 6.0L Ford Power Stroke engine, he’s confident it’s ready to hold its own against a field of nine tough fellow competitors. Information about the powerplant that Charlie did share is that its boost comes by way of three BorgWarner turbochargers: a pair of 69mm S369SX-E units and one 68mm BorgWarner S468 high-pressure ’charger. If that isn’t enough to help put the ’04 F-250 on the DPC podium, the setup also has two stages of nitrous oxide that can be added to the engine’s intake charge at any time.
Photo 4/15   |   016 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
This empty (at the time of our photo session) truck bed also serves as home to a pair of Nitrous Express nitrous-oxide bottles. Note the hole on the right side. With the conversion to a triple-turbo setup, Charlie ditched the single exhaust stack that once resided there and now vents the engine’s spent gases via the hood.
Photo 5/15   |   012 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
On the inside, Charlie’s made a few changes, including Auto Meter’s Cobalt Series air-fuel ratio, boost, and fuel pressure gauges mounted in an A-pillar pod, plus an Edge Products Insight CTS programmer (used for additional system monitoring and to change ECU calibrations) that’s affixed to the windshield. We bet Charlie’s mind and arms will stay pretty busy while he’s in the driver seat. In addition to the instruments, the F-250’s cockpit also houses adjustment controls for wastegate regulator setup that actually requires two separate valves (which allow him to drop boost to 75 psi or jack it up as high as 90 psi). Charlie calls it “backyard ingenuity,” which is typically used when he’s competing in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series’ AirDog 6.70 Index Class.
Photo 6/15   |   013 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
While the truck’s rear passenger area is consumed by the rollbar’s tubing, Charlie maintains a “street truck” interior by using sport bucket seats up front and keeping the rear seat cushion in place.
Photo 7/15   |   009 Charlie Keeter 2004 Ford F 250
A fresh set of Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks constitutes the only updating Charlie has done in preparation for Diesel Power Challenge 2016. With the exception of a 2-inch drop in the rear and a set of traction bars, the rig’s suspension system remains factory stock.
Build Sheet
Name: Charlie Keeter
City: Franklin, Virginia
Vehicle: ’04 Ford F-250
Driver Experience: Drag race, sled pull
Engine: 6.0L Power Stroke V-8
Turbo(s): Two 69mm BorgWarner S369SX-Es (atmospheric) with one 68mm BorgWarner S468 (high-pressure)
Fuel: Warren Diesel 7mm hybrid injectors and HPOP, and an Aeromotive A1000 pump
Electronics: SCT programmer with tuning by Innovative Diesel, Edge Products CTS monitor, and a Powertrain Control Systems transmission controller
Injectables: Custom two-stage nitrous-oxide system using Nitrous Express solenoids
Intake/Exhaust: Custom intake manifolds, and dual 3.5-inch hood stacks
Transmission: Fully built 4R100 four-speed automatic by Twisted Diesel Performance, and a Diesel Performance Converters four-disc torque converter
Suspension: Lowered 2 inches in the rear, and Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks
Tires/Wheels: 305/50R 20 Toyo Proxes ST and 20x12 Fuel Throttle
Differentials: Stock
Fluids: Shell Rotella T6

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