SWAMP'S RAT

A QUICK AND STEALTHY SHOP TRUCK

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

A quick and stealthy shop truck

One of the most over­looked diesel trucks on the mar­ket is the stan­dard cab, long-bed pickup. Most are rel­e­gated to fleet duty and live a bor­ing life rack­ing up miles and miles of work. Ev­ery once in a while a diesel en­thu­si­ast will get ahold of one of these over­looked gems and work some magic on it. The end re­sult is usu­ally one quick “sleeper” diesel that will leave a Mus­tang or a Corvette owner scratch­ing his head.

Such is the story be­hind David Arm­strong’s 2008 plain white wrap­per stan­dard cab, long-bed pickup. Hav­ing pur­chased it on the cheap as a re­tired fleet ve­hi­cle, Arm­strong, who is the owner of Swamp’s Diesel in La Vergne, Ten­nessee, uses the truck as an R&D ve­hi­cle for new prod­ucts and has come up with one cool daily driver hot rod in the process.

Since the F-250 is a two-wheel-drive model, giv­ing it a short drop was a nat­u­ral. A DJM 3/5 kit was used, uti­liz­ing DJM “Dream Beams” up front and a spring hanger and shackle kit out back. In true hot rod fash­ion, the truck sports semi-skin­nies up front and fat tires out back. The rears are 305/50R20 Nitto 420s mounted on 20x10 Method Race stan­dard wheels while the fronts are 285/50R20s wrapped around 20x9-inch wheels.

UN­DER THE HOOD IS WHERE THE MAGIC

BE­GINS. SINCE SWAMP’S DIESEL SPECIAIZES IN FORDS AND DOES LOTS OF HIGH-HORSE­POWER EN­GINE BUILDS, THE STOCK 6.4L WAS GIVEN A POW­ER­FUL BUT STREETABLE TREAT­MENT.

Un­der the hood is where the magic be­gins. Since Swamp’s Diesel spe­cial­izes in Fords and does lots of high-horse­power en­gine builds, the stock 6.4L was given a pow­er­ful but streetable treat­ment. The heads were fit­ted with Hamil­ton Cams pushrods and valve springs and new OE lifters were in­stalled. Top­ping the en­gine is a unique Swamp’s Diesel Stage 2 ported in­take man­i­fold, which is fed via a Swamp’s cus­tom com­pound turbo setup that uti­lizes 74/88 and 66/68. The tur­bos are mounted on a Swamp’s Diesel cus­tom-fab­ri­cated sys­tem made from 321 stain­less steel with two waste­gates.

Tun­ing is courtesy of Swamp’s Diesel Per­for­mance while the ex­haust is han­dled via 6.0L ex­haust man­i­folds backed to a 4-inch alu­minized ex­haust sys­tem. Arm­strong says the setup makes a solid 630 horse­power and 1,150 lb-ft of torque, but again it is a very streetable com­bi­na­tion. Be­lieve it or not, he also says the trans­mis­sion is still stock and hasn’t given up the ghost yet. A combo of 3.55 gears and a Detroit Locker put the power to the pave­ment with the help of some cus­tom trac­tion bars.

Vis­ually, the truck is real plain-white-wrap­per ma­te­rial, but sports a newer FX4 grille shell and painted bumper with a Job 1 va­lence. The Ford also re­tains the orig­i­nal vinyl in­te­rior and bench seat. Arm­strong says the truck is a blast to drive and still makes for a good shop truck—if only he can keep the em­ploy­ees from roast­ing off the rear tires in true Don Gar­l­its Swamp Rat drag­ster style. UDBG

TUN­ING IS COURTESY OF SWAMP’S DIESEL PER­FOR­MANCE WHILE EX­HAUST IS HAN­DLED VIA 6.0L EX­HAUST MAN­I­FOLDS BACKED TO A 4-INCH ALU­MINIZED EX­HAUST SYS­TEM.

The two-wheel-drive F-250 was given a street-smart stance courtesy of a DJM low­er­ing kit. Twenty-inch Method Race wheels are wrapped with Nitto 420 street rub­ber. A Detroit Locker at the rear en­sures max­i­mum trac­tion.

Swamp’s Diesel did the cus­tom tun­ing for the 6.4L while the tuner also keeps track of en­gine vi­tals. The in­te­rior is all work truck, in­clud­ing the orig­i­nal vinyl bench seat.

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