BEAUTY IS A BEAST
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.