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1997 F-250 - Project Ford F-IXED: Part 1

Pulling the Power Stroke and Prototyping a 6.7L Cummins Swap

David Kennedy
Feb 5, 2014
Photographers: BY David Kennedy
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber was designed in the late ’40s and put into service in 1952. When conceived, it was designed to carry nuclear weapons and intended to play a key role in our nation’s Cold War strategy. More than 60 years later, our Air Force still operates many of these B-52 aircraft, a fleet that is expected to remain in service until 2040.
The key to the B-52’s longevity is rooted in its large size, simple design, and ease of retrofit. Through the years, these airframes have been upgraded with newer, more powerful engines as technology evolved. Like our diesel pickup trucks, however, it’s difficult to improve on their foundation that is great at hauling massive loads—but you can always add more power.
Over the next four issues, we’ll be adding a lot more power to our Ford equivalent of the B-52 bomber. Built from ’80 to ’97, these Ford F-250, F-350, and F-450 trucks were manufactured by the hundreds of thousands—and many of the later-model versions are still on the road. Though Ford equipped these trucks with state-of-the-art powertrains at the time—technology has advanced to the point that every single piece can be updated. We’ll call this project “F-IXED,” as in all the old-body-style Ford F-Series problems will be addressed, and fixed. This month, we’ll pull the tired factory Power Stroke, test-fit a Cummins 6.7L engine, and give you a glimpse at the powertrain we plan to back it with.
Photo 2/17   |   Starting with a ¾-ton F-250 meant the truck’s frame, front suspension, axle, ball joints, and brakes could handle the weight of the Cummins 6.7L engine. For reliability and competition use, we plan to upgrade the frontend with a Dana 60 solid axle. But keep in mind, your truck’s foundation is critical. If you’re using an F-150 (or other ½-ton truck), we’d recommend a lighter diesel engine.
Bulletproof Drivetrain Formula
Medium- and heavy-duty truck builders let you spec out the engine transmission, axles, and even suspension you want. Why can’t we order our pickups that way? Simple, the sales volume of light trucks is just too high, and the added complexity of offering multiple diesel drivetrain options would drive costs through the roof. Ask us how we know! So by removing and replacing every drivetrain component in our truck, we are adding lots of cost—but we’ll end up with the ultimate combination of parts for durability and power. Here’s our plan:
Engine: ’08 6.7L Cummins ISB
Transmission: Allison 1000 five-speed built by ATS Diesel
Transfer Case: 2006 NVG 271F
Front Axle: '06 Ford Dana 60
Rear Axle: Custom Dynatrac Pro-Rock 80 (Based on Dana 80)
Front Driveshaft: Spicer CV-shaft with 1350-series U-joints
Rear Driveshaft: Two-piece Spicer shaft with 1410 and 1480-series U-joints
Front Suspension: ’05 to ’07 Ford F-250 Super Duty with Bilstein shocks
Rear Suspension: ’80 to ’97 Ford F-250 rear leaf springs with ProComp traction bars
Steering: Lee Power Steering ram-assist steering using ’05 to ’07 F-250 linkage

Sources

ATS Diesel
Arvada, CO 80002
866-490-5573
www.atsdiesel.com
Snow Performance
Woodland Park, CO 80863
866-365-2762
www.snowperformance.net
BD Diesel Performance
Sumas, WA 98295
800-887-5030
www.dieselperformance.com
Destroked
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
720-897-7477
www.destroked.com
Design Engineering Inc.
Avon Lake, OH 44012
800-264-9472
www.designengineering.com
Lee Power Steering
818-768-0371
www.lee-powersteering.com
Sinister Diesel
888-966-6543
http://www.sinisterdiesel.com

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