Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Competitor Shayne Merriman – #DPC2018
Kickin’ It Old School…Sort Of
Shayne Merriman, a 32-year-old project manager, says he has been into diesel trucks since he drag-raced his ’03 Ford Mustang Cobra at the track and suffered a humiliating loss to an ’07 Dodge Ram. Shortly after that experience, Shayne bought this ’74 Ford F-250 (a California truck) and shipped it home to New Brighton, Pennsylvania.
“I drove the truck with the 390 for a while, but I really wanted it to be diesel,” Shayne says. Working in his driveway and pole barn, Shayne ditched the gas-powered V-8 and installed a rebuilt ’97 5.9L Cummins I-6 powerplant for which he fabricated a compound-turbocharger system to fit the vintage Ford body.
Friends eventually talked Shayne into swapping the 12-valve engine with an ’06 common-rail 5.9L Cummins that’s boosted by a compound-turbo setup custom-fabricated using food-grade 316 stainless steel tubing, controlled by a custom standalone wiring harness created by Gray’s Performance and Off-Road. The driveline is completed by a fully built—by DPC alum Ray McClelland of FTK Diesel—47RE four-speed automatic transmission.
For Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Presented by XDP, Shayne says he removed a water-to-air intercooler, replacing it with the more simplistic air-to-air ’cooler of a 7.3L Ford Power Stroke engine. He also rebuilt the front end, fabricated a new track bar, installed an ’08 Ford Super Duty steering box and power-steering pump, and lowered the truck 1.5 inches.
Two stages of nitrous-oxide were also added, as was a Yukon Gear & Axle Grizzly locker in the rearend. For safety, Shayne replaced the front bench seat with two racing seats.
“I entered DPC one time before but was not voted in,” Shane says. “Leading up to the selection, networking was my biggest priority. Talking to friends and family and using my social media outlets got me the votes needed to make it into the event. I have been friends with Ray McClelland, the Third Place finisher of DPC 2016, since my Cobra days. He is a wealth of knowledge about the event and what to expect.
“I am glad my friends and the readers selected my truck, and I plan to show how an old pickup with newer technology can find a place in the spotlight again. I really appreciate the outpouring of love and support for an old truck competing in a new-truck world.”
Shayne also says he is confident that—barring any catastrophic failures—he will finish on the DPC podium. “I have experience in sled pulls, drag racing, dyno events, and I have towed a trailer or two before I could legally drive,” he boasts. “The truck is lightweight, has no frills, and is built for practical and competitive use. The idea is to drive it to the track, then drive it home.”
To enhance ride quality, Shayne added Rancho adjustable shocks in the rear and up front on his vintage rig. Traction bars, a second pair of front dampers, and dual steering stabilizers greatly reduce the amount of effort it would typically take to drive this big rig on a regular basis—as Shayne does.
Build SheetYear/Make/Model: ’74 Ford F-250
Owner: Shayne Merriman
Hometown: New Brighton, Pennsylvania
Odometer: 80,000 miles
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6
ECM Tuning: EFILive by FTK Diesel
Fuel: Fuelab 200-gph lift pump, Fleece Performance Engineering dual CP3 injection pumps, distribution block, Industrial Injection 200-percent-over injectors, 6.7L Cummins fuel rail, injector lines
Air: BorgWarner S369 SX-E/1.0 housing, Comp Turbo Technology 491/1.32 housing, CX Racing 7.3L Power Stroke air-to-air intercooler, 3-inch 316 stainless steel intercooler tubing
Exhaust: Steed Speed T-4 angled 24-valve manifold, 4-inch downpipe into 5-inch exhaust
Transmission: 47RE four-speed automatic (manual valvebody) by FTK Diesel, billet shafts and drum, extra clutches, Diesel Performance Converters torque converter
Lubricants: Amsoil 20W-50 engine oil, full-synthetic transmission and gear fluid
Horsepower: 1,180 hp
Torque: 1,900 lb-ft
Tires: 305/45R22 General Grabber UHP
Wheels: 22x12 American Force Special Force Concave Peak SFCC
Suspension: ’06 Ford F-250 Super Duty, Flight Fabrications limiting straps (front), dual steering stabilizers, Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks
Axles: ’06 Ford Super Duty, 3.73 gears, Yukon Gear & Axle Grizzly rear locker