RDP Solves a 6-Leaker Problem with a Cummins Swap
Fixing a 6-Leaker with a Cummins Swap
“Fummins” has become a common idiom in the world of diesel, but oftentimes the converted trucks scream swap with every detail. Robert Parks, a retiree out of Louisville, Kentucky, wanted something a little different. Parks turned to C. Troy Popplewell and his performance retail company with its innovative swap tech, Raging Diesel Performance based in nearby Mt Washington, Kentucky, to transform his 2006 Ford F-250 into a subtle sleeper truck hiding the best of the Big Three. Popplewell and Parks planned to swap a Cummins engine paired with an Allison transmission into the Super Duty frame, bolster the engine’s performance, then tighten up the looks all while keeping a nearly stock appearance. This detail-oriented build would take time, but the result would be a seamless daily driver up to any task put upon it.
To maintain the stock appearance, Parks wasn’t looking for much to be done to the chassis, but with the frame exposed, Popplewell was able to paint it and eventually add a few subtle modifications to improve
the ride. Tightening up the suspension are Rancho RS9000XL shocks in both the front and rear. A Red Head steering box was outfitted as well as the Power Stop brake system with drilled and slotted rotors to get the heavy F-250 turning and stopping on a dime, or at least a quarter. One of the most standout visual upgrades to the truck was the addition of the 20-inch KMC XD Series Addict wheels with Nitto Terra Grapplers. Along with a leveling kit, this gives the truck a bit of aggression without taking it too far away from its stock sleeper roots.
The “Problem Solved” nickname came as Popplewell began to pull the notorious 6.0 Power Stroke motor out of the F-250 to replace it with a 2008 6.7-liter Cummins. But a simple “out with the old, in with the new” swap wasn’t Parks’ goal. Popplewell proceeded to tear the engine down to the block to replace and tweak almost every part he could get to. He bored the block out .020 for .020 over pistons for a touch more displacement. A brand-new crankshaft was installed. Hamilton springs went into the valvetrain. A FASS fuel pump and filter system was outfitted along with braided stainless steel lines all the way to carry the fuel quickly and efficiently. Popplewell kept the stock intake manifold but ported it for added airflow. Maintaining the daily drivability and reliability, a new stock turbo was installed, and on the other side of the airflow is a Raging Diesel Performance custom four-inch exhaust.
Raging Diesel Performance features and sells many of the components necessary for a complete engine swap, so Popplewell was able to get all of the gauges reading just like factory, as well as wiring in all of the additional electronics to communi-
cate between the Ford and its new Cummins heart. He created a custom EFILIVE tune for the rig and installed an Edge CTS to monitor its vitals. Furthering his attention to detail, Popplewell relocated twin Optima Yellow Top batteries to a custom mount attached to the truck’s frame as well as mounting a remote oil filter kit toward the front bumper. On top of all the wrenching and wiring, Popplewell painted all the outer engine components the OEM red color for the ISX engine he sourced straight from Cummins. This further cleaned up the retrofitted engine bay and aided the near-factory-look of the installation. The reengineered Cummins is estimated to be churning out about 550 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque.
But a strong engine isn’t all that’s needed for a conversion build, so Popplewell sought some help from his transmission building brother, Robbie Popplewell. From the beginning, the stout Allison transmission was selected to give Parks the best from the three American truck manufacturers. A 2001 Allison was chosen and built with PPE components to take up to 1,200 horsepower for all the future needs (or wants) Parks may have for his F-250. A Destroked flexplate and adapters were used to mate the Allison to the Cummins, along with a Precision torque converter. Republic Diesel made custom billet drive shafts for the F-250 to get all four wheels spinning.
Parks wanted to maintain a subtle, streetable look for his Lariat Super Duty, so with only a few exceptions, he kept the exterior and interior stock. The Ford-issued woodgrain trim and camel-colored leather was enough for the inside along with the installation of an Edge CTS unit to keep an eye on his tune and engine vitals as well as provide a rear view when needed. Custom 6.7 liter Cummins and Alison badging, an Anzo third brake light, and a 2012 Ford Super Duty tailgate with a backup camera wired into the Edge monitor is all the buffed and polished factory paint and body work was missing to complete Parks’ mission.
With the goal of building a daily-driving sleeper, Popplewell and Raging Diesel Performance were able to give Parks everything he wanted out of his transformed F-250. The
6.7-liter Cummins and its paired Allison transmission were swapped in so seamlessly that it almost looks factory. The 550hp Cummins handled the problems with the 6.0L Power Stroke formerly found in the engine bay and provided a stout and reliable heart transplant for Parks’ stealth warrior. Imbued with new life, this subtle rig prowls the streets and events without the worries typical 6.0L owners may have—problem Solved! UDBG