Shayne Merriman

KICKIN’ IT OLD SCHOOL… SORT OF

Diesel Power - - Contents - Words by KJ JONES Pho­tos by BEN COOPER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY and DIESELPOWER STAFF

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 Of­fRoad. 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 pow­er­steer­ing 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

“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.”

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.”

Early Ford truck en­thu­si­asts, stand down. De­spite sport­ing a later grille from the’78 model, Shayne Merriman’s F-250 is in­deed a ’74.

The ’74 Ford F-250’s busy en­gine bay is high­lighted by a 24-valve, 5.9L Cum­mins I-6 en­gine and two su­per­sized tur­bocharg­ers. While a BorgWarner S369 SX-E is the pres­sure turbo, this Comp Turbo Tech­nol­ogy 491 ’charger pulls in at­mo­spheric air and whips it into a ver­i­ta­ble boost frenzy. Ev­ery­thing about the Cum­mins is show-qual­ity, in­clud­ing its highly pol­ished, food-grade stain­less steel in­take man­i­fold and intercooler tub­ing.

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.

As­sorted Auto Me­ter gauges are mounted in the truck’s orig­i­nal dash, keep­ing tabs on en­gine vi­tals such as rpm, oil pres­sure, wa­ter and trans­mis­sion tem­per­a­tures, all-im­por­tant EGT, and more. Note the late-model throt­tle pedal, ad­di­tion of a floor shifter, fire ex­tin­guisher, and bucket seats that re­place the OG bench, too…“for safety,” Shayne says.

It makes no dif­fer­ence whether a rig’s stance is high, low, or lev­eled—a good pro­file is a qual­ity all truck fans ap­pre­ci­ate. Shayne’s F-250 was ac­tu­ally taller—and two-wheel drive—at one point, but the big Fum­mins is now low­ered 1.5 inches and up­dated with a com­plete four-wheel-drive axle pack­age and sus­pen­sion from an ’06 Su­per Duty.

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