A modest approach to an 11-second 7.3L
At first glance, the average person would have no clue to the level of rowdiness that's concealed in Tony Salokas' '01 F-350. With the factory 16-inch Alcoas, ' 05 front clip, and King Ranch badging, it would be easy to assume cosmetic changes are the extent of its upgrades. But stumbling across this truck at a stoplight would leave you scratching your head. It's one of the nastiest Heui-fired 7.3L Power Strokes you'll find. Need proof? How about a 7,300-pound Super Duty that runs mid 11s on fuel?
Unbeknownst to most living outside the 7.3L beltway, huge breakthroughs in technology and performance have been made over the last 5-7 years—and Salokas’ truck is a perfect example of all of the progress that’s been made. Properly matched airflow via the heads, cam, and turbo all working well together, coupled with hybrid injectors and optimal tuning, culminates in a 7.3L churning out nearly 800 rwhp.
THE BEAST WITHIN
Built by Carson Stauffer Diesel, the 7.3L engine incorporates a Dyno Proven girdle and ARP main studs, Manley connecting rods, fly-cut cast-aluminum Mahle pistons with de-lipped fuel bowls, and a Stage 2 cam from Gearhead Automotive Performance. The block’s water jackets were also partially filled with Hardblok, along with the block (and heads) being cut to accept fire rings. A set of Carson Stauffer Diesel’s Stage 2 fire-ringed heads feature extensive porting and upgraded valve springs and fasten to the block via H11 head studs.
Going big on the injector side yet keeping things streetable is a set of 300cc/200-percent nozzle competition hybrids from Swamp’s Diesel Performance. Keeping up with the oil demand of the hybrids is the commendable Gen3 high-pressure oil pump from Swamp’s. With a Beans Diesel Performance sump in the tank, a fuel system from Marty’s Diesel Performance employing an Aeromotive A1000, and a regulated return kit from Carson Stauffer Diesel, a steady stream of diesel makes it into and out of the injectors. Swamp’s custom PCM tuning provides maximum power and good drivability.
When it came time to pick out the perfect turbocharger, Salokas spec’d one from Barder Turbo Service. The Borgwarner S400-based unit features a 75mm, 6-blade, billet compressor wheel, and an 87mm turbine wheel residing in a 1.10 A/R exhaust housing. A T4 turbo kit from Carson Stauffer Diesel mounts the S475 near the factory location and 3-inch-diameter piping routes air into an Alradco intercooler, then to the engine.
Bulletproofing the 4R100 automatic was left in the hands of Brian’s Truck Shop. While under the BTS roof, the transmission would be graced with 300M input, intermediate, and output shafts, as well as a custom-tailored valve body and other select internals. A 2,400 rpm stall, triple-disc torque converter built by Precision Industries was also included to make the S475 as drivable as possible on the street.
IT’S FUN TO SEE WHAT KIND OF POWER YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE 7.3L, AND IT’S CHEAP TO GET STARTED (COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS FOR A MOTOR). YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH A DURAMAX OR CUMMINS. —Tony Salokas
This is what you get when you bend a cryo’d forged rod at the 600-rwhp mark: bigger and better. A balanced and blueprinted short block from Carson Stauffer would entail a Dyno Proven girdle, partially filled block, Manley forged I-beam connecting rods,...
A regulated fuel return system from Carson Stauffer Diesel makes use of a polished, adjustable Aeromotive regulator. Salokas fabricated his own mount for the regulator, and he keeps fuel pressure set at 68 psi.
Serious injectors call for a serious fuel system, so Tony went with the 1375 Kit from Marty’s Diesel Performance, which includes an Aeromotive A1000. A Beans Diesel Performance fuel tank sump connected to 5/8-inch fuel line gets things started, and...
Keeping plenty of oil volume available for a set of Swamp’s Diesel Performance 300/200 hybrid injectors is a Gen3 high-pressure oil pump, also from Swamp’s. It works in conjunction with the stock 17-degree pump mounted in the factory location....
If the opportunity presents itself, Tony is always game for a little dirt drag action. Take it from us, this truck can build up a lot of steam in just 300 feet worth of track.
Keeping the rear leaf springs from twisting and the Sterling 10.5 from rotating, Salokas fabricated his own traction bars. They utilize bolt-on axle mounts intended for Caltracs traction bars, while the frame mounts are welded in place.