ZACH SCOLES

BEAUTY IS A BEAST

Diesel Power - - Dpc ’18 - Words by KJ JONES Pho­tos by BEN COOPER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY and DIESELPOWER STAFF

ZACH SCOLES’ Bluffton Diesel Ser­vice started as a side busi­ness, main­tain­ing lo­cal farm­ers’ pickup trucks, and be­came of­fi­cial (in the eyes of the gov­ern­ment) in July 2015.

Zach and his right-hand man Ja­son Brown have done all the work get­ting his ’04 Ford F-250 to a point where it is ready for Diesel Power Chal­lenge 2018 Pre­sented by XDP. As of May 19, the en­gine was back be­tween the frame rails — af­ter Zach dis­cov­ered the lim­its of its stock bot­tom end dur­ing a test and ad­just­ment ses­sion (105 psi of boost and 4,500 rpm re­sulted in four bent rods and a hurt trans­mis­sion).

When the DPC vot­ing re­sults were an­nounced, Zach, Ja­son, and trans­mis­sion builder (and Diesel Power Chal­lenge 2016 alum) David Fer­gu­son de­cided to make some whole­sale

changes. Red Di­a­mond Diesel’s ex­per­i­men­tal test parts were in­stalled on the Stage 3 bil­let trans­mis­sion, and the de­ci­sion was made to move to a bil­let four-disc torque con­verter with higher stall speed.

The en­gine was stripped down to the bare block and re­built in-house with a long list of new com­po­nents and a rac­ing mind­set. “We want to make sure we can make good, re­li­able power, but still look good do­ing it,” Zach says. “We have set up a base for some other up­dates we hoped to make (a BorgWarner

S472 pres­sure tur­bocharger, dif­fer­ent pip­ing, cus­tom-run­ner in­take man­i­fold, wa­ter-to-air intercooler, and such), but due to time lim­i­ta­tions—and the fact that we know our pack­age will work—we de­cided to stick with the cur­rent S369 in the val­ley, ported in­take, and Mishi­moto air-to-air ’cooler.”

Zach and team were a bit stressed to get the truck ready for DPC, but they think they’re up for the chal­lenge.

“David, a previous DPC com­peti­tor, is one of our crewmem­bers, along with Ja­son and Sam Ga­bel,” Zach says.

As far as the com­pe­ti­tion goes, Zach tells us he’s pro­ceed­ing with cau­tion. “We

will cer­tainly give it our best ef­fort in mak­ing sure we rep­re­sent the Ford crowd well. We lit­er­ally dis­sected this truck down to ev­ery last bolt—more than once.” Although he’s at a slight dis­ad­van­tage by not hav­ing test time on the truck’s new en­gine, Zach heads to Den­ver with con­fi­dence, know­ing that with the ex­cep­tion of the trans­mis­sion, he and Ja­son did ev­ery­thing them­selves (and David is a crewmem­ber, so sup­port will be there).

“Zach and team were a bit stressed to get the truck ready for DPC, but they think they’re up for the chal­lenge.”

Bluffton, Ohio’s Zach Scoles brings this beau­ti­ful ’04 Ford F-250 to Den­ver for Diesel Power Chal­lenge 2018 Pre­sented by XDP.

Fol­low­ing the foot­steps of sev­eral DPC alumni who proudly fly the Blue Oval’s ban­ner, Zach be­lieves in Ford’s 6.0L Power Stroke en­gine. The pow­er­plant in his rig is twice boosted by BorgWarner’s S488 and S369 SX-E tur­bocharg­ers, and the en­gine fea­tures noth­ing but good stuff in­ter­nally. To our sur­prise, Zach says the fin­ish on the intercooler tub­ing and all the en­gine’s color is sim­ply care­fully ap­plied paint—not pow­der­coat.

Trac­tion bars, like so many other pieces on Zach’s F-250, were fab­ri­cated in-house at Bluffton Diesel Ser­vice.

Dual Bil­stein 5160 Se­ries reser­voir shocks are in­stalled up front on the F-250.

The ’08-to-’10 bumper up­date sets off the front of any ear­lier Su­per Duty or even old-body-style Ford pickup.

Fab­u­lous footwear for this mean rig comes by way of 35x12.5R22 Cooper Dis­cov­erer STT Pro tires and highly pol­ished 22x12 Fuel FF12 wheels.

“Clean” is the theme through­out Zach’s F-250, with the in­te­rior look­ing just as im­mac­u­late as the truck’s body. Au­toMeter gauges are taste­fully ap­pointed in the lower por­tion of the dash area, along with “the but­ton” at the end of a coiled wire, ready to shoot a healthy shot of ni­trous-ox­ide the mo­ment it’s pressed.

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