It might surprise some that one of our most potent Ford entries this year will be powered by a 7.3L Power Stroke. Brian Jelich's '00 F-250 Super Duty has come a long way since just last summer, when it made 680 hp on fuel with 240,000 miles and a stock bottom-end. Now sporting a complete engine built by Empire Diesel Performance, a much bigger turbo, big-by-large injectors, and three stages of nitrous, he will be no stranger to making low 11-second quarter-mile passes look easy. In a questionnaire, we asked how Brian is gearing up for this year's Diesel Power Challenge. Here's what he had to say:
Diesel Power: What changes are you making to the truck?
Brian Jelich: "The turbo has been changed from a BorgWarner S476 to an S480. The injectors have also been upgraded from 355cc's to 400cc, courtesy of Swamps Diesel. I upgraded the nitrous to three stages, including a progressive controller, along with .157 orifice solenoids. To run all that nitrous safely, I got my engine builder, Empire Diesel Performance, to fab two 46mm Precision Turbo wastegates into the headers-one in each. Now, I will never have to worry about the turbo over spinning with a lot of nitrous."
DP: What tires do you plan to use?
BJ: "I will be rolling on a set of Nitto Terra Grapplers mounted on a set of light weight 16x10 aluminum wheels. These should be a great all-around tire for every event."
DP: What is your strategy going to be for each event?
BJ: "My goal is to be very competitive in every event and be reliable. I am willing to push the limits pretty good, and hopefully we'll see a Ford out on top for a change."
DP: What spare parts are you bringing?
BJ: "Spare parts will be; driveshafts, yokes, a transmission, torque convertor, valvetrain parts, fluids, hoses, tools, etc. And one of my crew members will be bringing his enclosed trailer full of tools, so we will be very well prepared in case something breaks."
DP: Who are your crewmembers?
BJ: "All are mechanics by trade. I think between the four of us we should be able to fix about anything. I would like to have one person dedicated to take notes throughout the event, so we know how the competition is doing."
DP: Any other thoughts?
BJ: "We have spent the last three weeks dialing in my new setup at the local eighth-mile track. My best time so far on two stages of nitrous was a 6.9 @ 101 mph. I'll be back at the track this weekend doing some final testing before the event. I believe that if it will hold up here at my local track, it should hold up fine in Bowling Green. I am really looking forward to the event. I have worked so hard to get to this point and I really hope for the best."