En­dor­phin Ex­press


Diesel Power - - Contents - Words by JOE GREEVES + Photos by JOE GREEVES

How does your truck stack up against a McLaren?

THEREÕS AN old adage that warns against too many cooks spoil­ing the broth. It pre­dicts a less than sat­is­fac­tory out­come when mul­ti­ple hands are in­volved. While that might be good ad­vice in the kitchen, the op­po­site is true when it comes to au­to­mo­tive cus­tomiz­ing. As­sem­ble a crew of ex­perts, cre­ate a cen­tral theme, and turn them loose so each can in­fuse his spe­cialty into the project.

Adam Pela and his team at Pela Mo­tor­sports in Jupiter, Florida, have been do­ing just that—cre­at­ing rolling works of au­to­mo­tive art—for more than 15 years. Spe­cial­iz­ing in high-per­for­mance diesel trucks, their builds are fea­tured in mag­a­zines and show­cased an­nu­ally at SEMA.

The se­cond im­por­tant el­e­ment in the cus­tomiz­ing process is an en­thu­si­ast with strong cre­ative ideas, as well as an equally stout check­book. En­ter Peter DeGe­orge, an en­tre­pre­neur who is also from Jupiter. Peter has an amaz­ing col­lec­tion of high-per­for­mance ve­hi­cles, and when it was time to ex­pand the mix, he had some un­usual guid­ance for Adam. One of the cars in Peter’s garage is a McLaren 570S. When he showed up with his ’12 Ford F-250, the plan was to com­pletely redo the truck from scratch, tear it down to the frame and re­build it, then make it per­form like his McLaren. Adam and his crew

smiled at the com­par­i­son, then re­al­ized he was se­ri­ous. Since the team not only takes pride in build­ing per­for­mance ve­hi­cles but also de­sign­ing unique com­po­nents to launch them to a new level, it took just a mo­ment be­fore they were up for the chal­lenge. There were just a cou­ple of key stip­u­la­tions to the build, be­gin­ning with an ob­vi­ously se­ri­ous amount of horse­power, a smooth, lifted ride, and big, 40-inch tires.

With a truck build, since a firm foun­da­tion is the key to ev­ery­thing that fol­lows, Peter’s F-250 was stripped and the bare frame painted satin black. Adam and his team cre­ated an up­grade list that was a blend of the lat­est af­ter­mar­ket equip­ment, choos­ing each com­po­nent carefully in or­der to walk the line be­tween nec­es­sary stiff­ness for per­for­mance, and ev­ery­day ride com­fort. De­signed by One Up Of­froad, the 10-inch lift kit uses ra­diusarm four-links front and rear and 10-inch King Off-Road Rac­ing Shocks by­pass coilover shocks on each cor­ner. Both axles are fit­ted with cus­tom al­loy shafts and 4.88 gears. A heavy-duty– splined an­tiroll bar from Over­time CNC Per­for­mance en­sures flat cor­ner­ing, and since steer­ing pre­ci­sion is of­ten lost when lift and over­size tires join forces, King’s dual off-road steer­ing sta­bi­lizer keeps the big rig on the straight and nar­row.

Top-level brakes are al­ways cru­cial to bal­anced per­for­mance, so stop­ping power is guar­an­teed thanks to pizza-sized, Wil­wood 16- inch disc brakes and six-pis­ton calipers. Fi­nally, ev­ery­one agrees that wheels can make or break a ride, so huge 24x14 Amer­i­can Force Con­cave series wheels are the right choice to ac­com­mo­date the de­mands of a pow­er­ful engine and achieve the “tall sports car” han­dling goal. The cus­tom Blue Metal­lic painted rims are en­graved with a “Rebel Edi­tion” logo and fit­ted with 40-inch

Toyo Open Coun­try M/T rub­ber.

Once the chas­sis el­e­ments were com­plete, the team took on one of the big­gest chal­lenges of the build: rais­ing the per­for­mance bar. This ef­fort be­gan with bal­anc­ing and blueprint­ing the 6.7L Power Stroke engine. Big horse­power goals meant re­in­forced in­ter­nals that start with a cus­tom-ground crank­shaft with a welded camshaft gear, coated and valve-re­lieved stock pis­tons, Car­rillo con­nect­ing rods, Elite Diesel Engineering five-axis, CNC­ported cylin­der heads, and Stage 2 bil­let cam. As­pi­ra­tion is crit­i­cal when four-digit-horse­power num­bers are on the wish list, so two Bulls­eye Power TCT tur­bocharg­ers high­light the engine’s in­take strat­egy, us­ing a Grif­fin Ther­mal Prod­ucts air-to-air in­ter­cooler to en­sure a dense charge. De­signed and fab­ri­cated by Pusher In­takes, the com­pound-turbo setup uses a 66mm BorgWarner S366

with a 4-inch in­let for quicker spool­ing, aug­mented with a larger 83mm S483 and 5.5-inch in­let for added boost.

Ex­ergy Per­for­mance 100-per­cent-over in­jec­tors fol­low the tur­bos as part of a fuel sys­tem that also fea­tures dual 10mm Stro­ker Scor­pion CP4.2 in­jec­tion pumps, each rated at 800 hp. The cus­tom alu­minum fuel tank un­der the truck and the Trans­fer Flow aux­il­iary tank in the bed feeds the thirsty engine and dou­bles the F-250’s mileage range. Pela Mo­tor­sports ce­ramic coated all the ex­haust com­po­nents, in­clud­ing the man­i­folds and 5-inch stain­less steel sys­tem. The fi­nal per­for­mance step was safe­guard­ing all the heat-sus­cep­ti­ble parts us­ing Elite Diesel Engineering’s H13 high-per­for­mance oil pump, a Mishi­moto ra­di­a­tor, and Grif­fin alu­minum cool­ers lo­cated un­der bed for the re­turn fuel and trans­mis­sion flu­ids.

The col­lec­tion of fuel sys­tem and turbo up­grades means the engine is es­ti­mated at more than 1,000 hp and 1,800 lb-ft of torque. The im­pres­sive grunt makes its way rear­ward, thanks to the Sny­der Per­for­mance Engineering au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with in­creased clutches, in­ter­nal mods, and bil­let triple-disc con­verter.

With the home stretch al­most in sight, the col­lec­tion of in­ter­ac­tive up­grades was a mas­sive un­der­tak­ing. “This truck has so many cus­tom de­tails that it took more than a year to build. It in­cludes a list of com­po­nents and mod­i­fi­ca­tions so long that it would make a good novel,” Adam says.

The truck is ac­tu­ally a ’12 model but has been trans­formed into a ’14 F-250 Plat­inum edi­tion through ex­ter­nal ad­di­tions that in­clude a Fiber­w­erX car­bon-fiber hood, Overkill Fab­ri­ca­tion grille with Rebel Pun­isher skull, Rigid LED light­bars, Plan B Fab cus­tom front and rear bumpers, and a Pace Ed­wards elec­tric ton­neau cover. Ideal Body Shop in Jupiter sprayed the body Metal­lic Gray with Metal­lic Blue ac­cents and Satin Black frame.

The fi­nal leg of the build fo­cused on the in­te­rior, be­gin­ning with mod­ern elec­tronic up­grades that in­clude Ford’s SYNC Ap­pLink, which al­lows the driver to use voice com­mands and steer­ing wheel but­tons to op­er­ate apps on a smart­phone with­out fum­bling with the phone it­self, and a RideCon­troller Pro Blue­tooth iPad con­trol sys­tem to man­age all the accessories. Adding to the fun on road trips is the full com­ple­ment of JL Au­dio amps and elec­tron­ics lo­cated be­hind the rear bench seat, de­liv­er­ing power to the eight JL Au­dio speak­ers po­si­tioned through­out the cab. Three Braille bat­ter­ies and a 250 DC Power Engineering al­ter­na­tor en­sure there is ad­e­quate power. Car­bon-fiber Hy­drodip ac­cents ap­pear through­out the in­te­rior as well as on the turbo com­po­nents. For a lit­tle ex­tra fun and to clear morn­ing traf­fic, dual Zenith air com­pres­sors power a set of Nathan AirChime train horns.

The com­pleted truck is an engineering marvel and a joy to drive, but it has not yet been pit­ted against Peter’s McLaren.

The heart of this rig is its high-per­for­mance 6.7L Power Stroke engine, up­graded with all-new in­ter­nals, a pair of Bulls­eye Power TCT tur­bocharg­ers, Grif­fin Ther­mal Prod­ucts in­ter­cooler, and cus­tom ex­haust. It all makes for a com­bi­na­tion that’s good for more than 1,000 hp.

Tight con­fines means care­ful plumb­ing to en­sure the tur­bos func­tion with max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency. Pow­der­coated and in­su­lated duct­work snakes through ev­ery avail­able open­ing in the engine com­part­ment.

It’s plush in­side, thanks to a ’14 Ford Plat­inum-edi­tion seat up­grade, aug­mented with mod­ern elec­tron­ics that in­clude a SYNC head unit, JLAu­dio amps and eight speak­ers, and a RideCon­troller Pro iPad con­trol sys­tem for the accessories.

Ev­ery­thing up front is cus­tom, be­gin­ning with the Overkill Fab­ri­ca­tion grille, Rigid LED light­bars, Plan B Fab­ri­ca­tion bumpers, and the sin­is­ter Pun­isher skull.

The pow­der­coated blue ad­di­tions to the ra­dius-arm four-link up front in­clude the 10-inch lift kit, King Off-Road Rac­ing Shocks dual steer­ing sta­bi­lizer, and 10-inch by­pass coilovers. Mag-Hytec dif­fer­en­tial cov­ers pro­vide in­creased lubri­cant and cool­ing ca­pac­ity.

The One Up Of­froad ra­dius arms hold a stock axle that is up­graded with cus­tom al­loy shafts and 4.88 gears. The splined an­tiroll bar from Over­time CNC Per­for­mance min­i­mizes lean in the cor­ners.

Lifted high enough so spec­ta­tors can see the so­phis­ti­cated sus­pen­sion up­grades, the F-250 uses pow­der­coated, ra­dius-arm four-links front and rear.

Con­cealed in­side the Pela Mo­tor­sports crest, the rearview cam­era is one of many mod­ern up­grades. LED rear light­bars and the trailer hitch add to the truck’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Sprayed with bed­liner, the bed holds the Trans­fer Flow aux­il­iary gas tank that en­sures the thirsty com­pound-tur­bocharged 6.7L Power Stroke engine al­ways has a solid source of fuel. The bed con­tents are pro­tected by the elec­tric Pace Ed­wards ton­neau cover.

Painted a rich Metal­lic Blue, the 24x14 Amer­i­can Force Con­cave Series wheels sport “Rebel Edi­tion” lo­gos and are fit­ted with 40inch Toyo Open Coun­try M/T tires.

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