PROB­LEM SOLVED

RDP Solves a 6-Leaker Prob­lem with a Cum­mins Swap

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Text: Kyle Tobin Pho­tog­ra­phy: Chris Tobin

Fix­ing a 6-Leaker with a Cum­mins Swap

“Fum­mins” has be­come a com­mon id­iom in the world of diesel, but of­ten­times the con­verted trucks scream swap with every de­tail. Robert Parks, a re­tiree out of Louisville, Ken­tucky, wanted some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Parks turned to C. Troy Pop­plewell and his per­for­mance re­tail com­pany with its in­no­va­tive swap tech, Rag­ing Diesel Per­for­mance based in nearby Mt Wash­ing­ton, Ken­tucky, to trans­form his 2006 Ford F-250 into a sub­tle sleeper truck hid­ing the best of the Big Three. Pop­plewell and Parks planned to swap a Cum­mins en­gine paired with an Al­li­son trans­mis­sion into the Su­per Duty frame, bol­ster the en­gine’s per­for­mance, then tighten up the looks all while keep­ing a nearly stock ap­pear­ance. This de­tail-ori­ented build would take time, but the re­sult would be a seam­less daily driver up to any task put upon it.

To main­tain the stock ap­pear­ance, Parks wasn’t look­ing for much to be done to the chas­sis, but with the frame ex­posed, Pop­plewell was able to paint it and even­tu­ally add a few sub­tle mod­i­fi­ca­tions to im­prove

the ride. Tight­en­ing up the sus­pen­sion are Ran­cho RS9000XL shocks in both the front and rear. A Red Head steer­ing box was out­fit­ted as well as the Power Stop brake sys­tem with drilled and slot­ted ro­tors to get the heavy F-250 turn­ing and stop­ping on a dime, or at least a quar­ter. One of the most stand­out vis­ual up­grades to the truck was the ad­di­tion of the 20-inch KMC XD Se­ries Ad­dict wheels with Nitto Terra Grap­plers. Along with a lev­el­ing kit, this gives the truck a bit of ag­gres­sion with­out tak­ing it too far away from its stock sleeper roots.

The “Prob­lem Solved” nick­name came as Pop­plewell be­gan to pull the no­to­ri­ous 6.0 Power Stroke mo­tor out of the F-250 to re­place it with a 2008 6.7-liter Cum­mins. But a sim­ple “out with the old, in with the new” swap wasn’t Parks’ goal. Pop­plewell pro­ceeded to tear the en­gine down to the block to re­place and tweak al­most every part he could get to. He bored the block out .020 for .020 over pistons for a touch more dis­place­ment. A brand-new crank­shaft was in­stalled. Hamil­ton springs went into the val­ve­train. A FASS fuel pump and fil­ter sys­tem was out­fit­ted along with braided stain­less steel lines all the way to carry the fuel quickly and ef­fi­ciently. Pop­plewell kept the stock in­take man­i­fold but ported it for added air­flow. Main­tain­ing the daily driv­abil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity, a new stock turbo was in­stalled, and on the other side of the air­flow is a Rag­ing Diesel Per­for­mance cus­tom four-inch ex­haust.

Rag­ing Diesel Per­for­mance fea­tures and sells many of the com­po­nents nec­es­sary for a complete en­gine swap, so Pop­plewell was able to get all of the gauges read­ing just like fac­tory, as well as wiring in all of the ad­di­tional elec­tron­ics to com­muni-

cate be­tween the Ford and its new Cum­mins heart. He cre­ated a cus­tom EFILIVE tune for the rig and in­stalled an Edge CTS to mon­i­tor its vi­tals. Fur­ther­ing his at­ten­tion to de­tail, Pop­plewell re­lo­cated twin Op­tima Yel­low Top bat­ter­ies to a cus­tom mount at­tached to the truck’s frame as well as mount­ing a re­mote oil fil­ter kit to­ward the front bumper. On top of all the wrench­ing and wiring, Pop­plewell painted all the outer en­gine com­po­nents the OEM red color for the ISX en­gine he sourced straight from Cum­mins. This fur­ther cleaned up the retro­fit­ted en­gine bay and aided the near-fac­tory-look of the in­stal­la­tion. The reengi­neered Cum­mins is es­ti­mated to be churn­ing out about 550 horse­power and 1,200 lb-ft of torque.

But a strong en­gine isn’t all that’s needed for a con­ver­sion build, so Pop­plewell sought some help from his trans­mis­sion build­ing brother, Rob­bie Pop­plewell. From the be­gin­ning, the stout Al­li­son trans­mis­sion was se­lected to give Parks the best from the three Amer­i­can truck man­u­fac­tur­ers. A 2001 Al­li­son was cho­sen and built with PPE com­po­nents to take up to 1,200 horse­power for all the fu­ture needs (or wants) Parks may have for his F-250. A De­stroked flex­plate and adapters were used to mate the Al­li­son to the Cum­mins, along with a Pre­ci­sion torque con­verter. Repub­lic Diesel made cus­tom bil­let drive shafts for the F-250 to get all four wheels spin­ning.

Parks wanted to main­tain a sub­tle, streetable look for his Lariat Su­per Duty, so with only a few exceptions, he kept the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior stock. The Ford-is­sued wood­grain trim and camel-col­ored leather was enough for the in­side along with the in­stal­la­tion of an Edge CTS unit to keep an eye on his tune and en­gine vi­tals as well as pro­vide a rear view when needed. Cus­tom 6.7 liter Cum­mins and Ali­son badg­ing, an Anzo third brake light, and a 2012 Ford Su­per Duty tail­gate with a backup cam­era wired into the Edge mon­i­tor is all the buffed and pol­ished fac­tory paint and body work was miss­ing to complete Parks’ mis­sion.

With the goal of build­ing a daily-driv­ing sleeper, Pop­plewell and Rag­ing Diesel Per­for­mance were able to give Parks ev­ery­thing he wanted out of his trans­formed F-250. The

6.7-liter Cum­mins and its paired Al­li­son trans­mis­sion were swapped in so seam­lessly that it al­most looks fac­tory. The 550hp Cum­mins han­dled the prob­lems with the 6.0L Power Stroke for­merly found in the en­gine bay and pro­vided a stout and re­li­able heart trans­plant for Parks’ stealth warrior. Im­bued with new life, this sub­tle rig prowls the streets and events with­out the wor­ries typ­i­cal 6.0L own­ers may have—prob­lem Solved! UDBG

Ran­cho RS9000XL shocks, a steer­ing sta­bal­izer and lev­el­ing kit were in­stalled to ad­just the ride height slightly as well as im­prove the Su­per Duty’s per­for­mance.

In­side the Rag­ing Diesel Per­for­mance workspace, Pop­plewell be­gins in­stal­la­tion of the re­built Cum­mins.

These KMC XD Se­ries wheels and Nitto tires bump up the ag­gres­sion of the truck while keep­ing it streetable. You can also see the brake up­grade through the open­ings in the wheels.

Pop­plewell was able to graft the Cum­mins en­gine into the F-250 so flaw­lessly that at a glance it ap­pears stock, as though Ford put it in there to be­gin with.

A cus­tom mount was fab­ri­cated on the pas­sen­ger-side frame rail to house the twin Op­tima Yel­low-top bat­ter­ies. The FASS fuel pump and fil­ter sys­tem is mounted to the frame on the driver side.

It took time and ef­fort to get the mo­tor ready for the trans­plant, but there wasn’t a step skipped as the Cum­mins fac­tory paint was ap­plied to the block.

The plush leatherand-wood trim was enough com­fort for Parks’ Lariat in­te­rior. Edge’s CTS mon­i­tor is the only after­mar­ket ad­di­tion to the cab, dis­play­ing tune info, en­gine stats, and a feed from the rear view cam­era in the tail­gate. Sub­tle touches like the

Pop­plewell repo­si­tioned the oil fil­ter be­hind the bumper with a re­mote oil fil­ter kit.

At first glance, some may see noth­ing more than a slightly mod­i­fied 2006 F-250, but with a bit of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Cum­mins, Al­li­son, Ford hy­brid will sur­prise you with its at­ten­tion to de­tail in the pur­suit of Parks’ per­fect truck. Prob­lem Solved.

Part of the newer tail­gate is this backup cam­era feed­ing straight to the Edge in­ter­face in­side the cab. Anzo’s after­mar­ket third brake light blends well with the un­der­stated cus­tomiza­tion of Parks’ F-250.

The sleek, in­con­spic­u­ous, cus­tom-made badges are an­other great de­tail you may need a sec­ond look at.

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