GALAXIE 6.0

A Twin-turbo Power Stroke Coun­try Squire Wagon

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Text: Joe Daniels Pho­tog­ra­phy: Joe Daniels

Twin-turbo Power Stroke Fam­ily Wagon

In the world of au­to­mo­tive en­thu­si­asts, there are movers and shak­ers. While some folks might be con­tent putting a laun­dry list of after­mar­ket good­ies on their “cus­tom” trucks, there are folks that look be­yond the norm and want to build some­thing com­pletely out of the or­di­nary. No cookie-cut­ter cus­toms for them.

One such per­son is Chaz Light­ner, of Phoenix, Ari­zona. An elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer by trade, he is a hard­core (and we mean hard­core) au­to­mo­tive en­thu­si­ast with a garage full of Ford hot rods, in­clud­ing a GT40, a cou­ple of Mus­tangs and a Cum­mins 4Bt-pow­ered vin­tage Bronco.

Across his ranch, an unas­sum­ing shop dubbed “Chazni­land” houses the race shop for his Cum­mins drag truck and a whole other host of in-progress projects. It also serves as this “mad sci­en­tist’s” lab­o­ra­tory for com­ing up with some wild stuff.

The lat­est cre­ation to come out of Chazni­land is this ul­tra-clean 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 sta­tion wagon. The main­stay fam­ily truck­ster in the ’60s, the sta­tion wagon is gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity for hot rod en­thu­si­asts—so much so that you’ll see some very cool ver­sions show­ing up at na­tional rod and cus­tom events such as Goodguys.

How do you meld a pas­sion for fast cars and diesels into one po­tent pack­age? Why, drop in a diesel, of course! How­ever, that’s eas­ier said than done.

Ac­tu­ally, the the­o­ret­i­cal con­cept looked promis­ing. Many of these vin­tage, full-size wag­ons came with big block en­gines, such as the 427 cid, which had sim­i­lar di­men­sions and weight as a mod­ern-day diesel. In ad­di­tion, Light­ner had a 6.0L Power Stroke up at the shop, so the next or­der of busi­ness was to fig­ure out how to stuff it in the Galaxie—and make it work.

A pro­ject of this mag­ni­tude re­quires a lot of help, so Light­ner en­listed the aid of diesel spe­cial­ists Den­nis Schroeder and Nate Brekken, own­ers of Strictly Diesel, in Phoenix, along with good friend Matt Bong. And the fact that Light­ner is a mas­ter fab­ri­ca­tor made the two-year pro­ject go smoother.

Once the orig­i­nal 390 cid en­gine and trans were lifted out, Light­ner went to work on giv­ing the wagon the proper stance with Ride Tech air sus­pen­sion at each cor­ner. Up front are 8-inch air springs to hold the mas­sive weight of the diesel, while 6-inch springs and a four-link are used out back.

To ac­com­mo­date the diesel en­gine, the steer­ing sys­tem was cus­tom made and moved be­hind the cen­ter­line, while steer­ing in­put was trans­ferred via an IDIDIT steer­ing col­umn. To stop the beast, the stock brakes were tossed in fa­vor of Baer Brakes’ 13-inch ro­tors and six-pis­ton calipers at each cor­ner, fed with stain­less steel hard lines and ac­tu­ated by an F-350 hy­dro boost setup and Mus­tang Co­bra mas­ter cylin­der.

Ari­zona Dif­fer­en­tial Spe­cial­ists cut and mod­i­fied a 10.25-inch Su­per Duty Ster­ling rear end from an F-350 by adding 3:73 gear­ing and capped it with a Strictly Diesel diff cover for more fluid ca­pac­ity. To ac­com­mo­date the five-spoke Vin­tage Model 46 wheels, which are wrapped with Nitto 555 tires, a set of Strange 35-spline axles with Ford 9-inch out­ers was fit­ted.

The heart of the black beauty is a 2006 6.0L Power Stroke that got the full monty,

in terms of mod­i­fi­ca­tions, well be­fore the en­gine was dropped into the wagon. Light­ner got the welder out and fabbed up a cus­tom oil pan, along with some cus­tom 1 ½-inch head­ers, to fit the low stance of the car. The 6.0L also was fit­ted with a Bul­let Proof Diesel re­mote oil cooler and fil­ter setup; the cooler was lo­cated be­hind the front bumper li­cense plate bucket.

Turbo Auto Diesel went through the cylin­der heads and added O-rings and ARP head studs. Turbo Auto Diesel was also the source of the cus­tom twin 52mm turbo setup (with cus­tom plumb­ing by Light­ner). The head­ers and turbo plumb­ing were both Jet Hot coated and then wrapped with heat wrap to pre­vent blis­ter­ing the hood paint. Even the tur­bos have their own heat blan­kets to keep the heat con­tained. Ex­haust is then routed out through tra­di­tional hot rod muf­flers (Flow­mas­ter 40s) and then out each side via Dr. Gas NASCAR-STYLE tips.

And speak­ing of cus­tom plumb­ing, the show­piece of the trans­plant is a pro-stock­style, cus­tom-made, pol­ished sheet metal in­take man­i­fold that feeds each cylin­der. On the fuel side, diesel trav­els from a cus­tom alu­minum 37-gal­lon fuel tank via an Air Dog fuel pump, fil­ters forward to a Strictly Diesel reg­u­lated fuel re­turn sys­tem, and flows on to Strictly Diesel 90-horse in­jec­tors.

With no mass air me­ter, cus­tom tun­ing from SCT/DP Tuner was uti­lized. Keep­ing the whole she­bang cool is a cus­tom ra­di­a­tor and ther­mal fan setup from a 5.4L gas en­gine. Ob­vi­ously, it took a cus­tom wiring har­ness and plumb­ing by Light­ner to get the trans­plant to work.

Back­ing up the 400-plus-horse­power, 600 lb-ft diesel is a John Wood-built 5R110 au­to­matic with a 700rpm stall speed con­verter. Mesa Driv­e­line fab­ri­cated the cus­tom drive­shaft to make it all work.

Since the Galaxie Coun­try Squire wagon was semi-straight to be­gin with, body­work

con­sisted of re­mov­ing all the chrome trim, welding up the holes and cus­tomiz­ing the front bumper to ac­com­mo­date the Bul­let Proof Diesel re­mote oil cooler. The car was then wheeled to Troy Wester­man, of Bornie Cus­toms in Tempe, AZ, for the flaw­less PPG black paint job. Fin­ish­ing touches in­cluded a re-chromed stock grille and some cool Mus­tang Pro­ject LED tail­lights for the rear.

Light­ner opted to keep the in­te­rior as stock as pos­si­ble, reusing door trim, han­dles, and so on. Todd, at Phoenix’s In­te­rior Shop, added the Mercedes-benz black car­pet­ing and seats from an ’06 Cadil­lac CTS-V, along with the cus­tom head­liner. Light­ner takes credit for the cus­tom dash­board, which is fit­ted with a Race Pak dis­play. A Vin­tage air sys­tem keeps the car cool.

Chaz Light­ner de­buted the Galaxie at the NHRDA Desert Diesel Na­tion­als in Phoenix. He says he’s still work­ing out the bugs but can still drive it. Be­sides smok­ing off the rear tires at will, the car gets more than 28 miles per gal­lon and even sounds like a vin­tage hot rod, courtesy of the Flow­mas­ters and NASCAR-STYLE pipes.

As for the cool factor, we’ll let you de­cide; in our book, it tops the list. UDBG

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