A QUICK AND STEALTHY SHOP TRUCK
A quick and stealthy shop truck
One of the most overlooked diesel trucks on the market is the standard cab, long-bed pickup. Most are relegated to fleet duty and live a boring life racking up miles and miles of work. Every once in a while a diesel enthusiast will get ahold of one of these overlooked gems and work some magic on it. The end result is usually one quick “sleeper” diesel that will leave a Mustang or a Corvette owner scratching his head.
Such is the story behind David Armstrong’s 2008 plain white wrapper standard cab, long-bed pickup. Having purchased it on the cheap as a retired fleet vehicle, Armstrong, who is the owner of Swamp’s Diesel in La Vergne, Tennessee, uses the truck as an R&D vehicle for new products and has come up with one cool daily driver hot rod in the process.
Since the F-250 is a two-wheel-drive model, giving it a short drop was a natural. A DJM 3/5 kit was used, utilizing DJM “Dream Beams” up front and a spring hanger and shackle kit out back. In true hot rod fashion, the truck sports semi-skinnies up front and fat tires out back. The rears are 305/50R20 Nitto 420s mounted on 20x10 Method Race standard wheels while the fronts are 285/50R20s wrapped around 20x9-inch wheels.
UNDER THE HOOD IS WHERE THE MAGIC
BEGINS. SINCE SWAMP’S DIESEL SPECIAIZES IN FORDS AND DOES LOTS OF HIGH-HORSEPOWER ENGINE BUILDS, THE STOCK 6.4L WAS GIVEN A POWERFUL BUT STREETABLE TREATMENT.
Under the hood is where the magic begins. Since Swamp’s Diesel specializes in Fords and does lots of high-horsepower engine builds, the stock 6.4L was given a powerful but streetable treatment. The heads were fitted with Hamilton Cams pushrods and valve springs and new OE lifters were installed. Topping the engine is a unique Swamp’s Diesel Stage 2 ported intake manifold, which is fed via a Swamp’s custom compound turbo setup that utilizes 74/88 and 66/68. The turbos are mounted on a Swamp’s Diesel custom-fabricated system made from 321 stainless steel with two wastegates.
Tuning is courtesy of Swamp’s Diesel Performance while the exhaust is handled via 6.0L exhaust manifolds backed to a 4-inch aluminized exhaust system. Armstrong says the setup makes a solid 630 horsepower and 1,150 lb-ft of torque, but again it is a very streetable combination. Believe it or not, he also says the transmission is still stock and hasn’t given up the ghost yet. A combo of 3.55 gears and a Detroit Locker put the power to the pavement with the help of some custom traction bars.
Visually, the truck is real plain-white-wrapper material, but sports a newer FX4 grille shell and painted bumper with a Job 1 valence. The Ford also retains the original vinyl interior and bench seat. Armstrong says the truck is a blast to drive and still makes for a good shop truck—if only he can keep the employees from roasting off the rear tires in true Don Garlits Swamp Rat dragster style. UDBG
TUNING IS COURTESY OF SWAMP’S DIESEL PERFORMANCE WHILE EXHAUST IS HANDLED VIA 6.0L EXHAUST MANIFOLDS BACKED TO A 4-INCH ALUMINIZED EXHAUST SYSTEM.
The two-wheel-drive F-250 was given a street-smart stance courtesy of a DJM lowering kit. Twenty-inch Method Race wheels are wrapped with Nitto 420 street rubber. A Detroit Locker at the rear ensures maximum traction.
Swamp’s Diesel did the custom tuning for the 6.4L while the tuner also keeps track of engine vitals. The interior is all work truck, including the original vinyl bench seat.