KICKIN’ IT OLD SCHOOL… SORT OF
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.