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One Piece At A Time

Built Wrecking Yard Tough

Text By Jason Thompson, Photography by Jason Thompson

Gene Tourangeau paid $2,500 for this ’96 Ford F-350. He got such a good deal on it because it had been buried in 6 feet of river silt during a flood. Including purchase price, parts, and labor, Gene figures he’s got about $20,000 in the truck. That is the kind of value Sound Diesel Performance, located in Auburn, Washington, brings to the table when they get involved in a project. Goals set for this truck included nasty, all-out racing performance with a maximum horsepower of 941 and 1,834 lb-ft of torque. At the same time, it had to provide docile but potent towing capability. About $8,000 of the total project budget went to the wrecking yards for select parts. This pickup was built with the help of family and friends—one piece at a time.

A Gene’s fuel system was very budget-minded and included two remote- mounting bases, a Fleetguard water separator, and a Baldwin filter. The ½-inch fuel line and Push-Lok fittings create worry-free connections. The small electric pump first used in this system couldn’t quite deliver the adequate fuel needed, so it was removed and the Cummins is now fueled by a FASS 200-gph fuel system.
B An unmodified Ford Excursion crossmember secures the wrecking yard-sourced ZF-6 six-speed manual transmission. A 1-inch spacer was placed between the frame and crossmember to get the right drivetrain angle. Drivelines Northwest built the driveshafts. The rear is custom made from 4-inch steel tube using the original ends and U-joints. Since Gene got rid of the rear two-piece driveshaft and carrier bearing, he had to step up from the 3-inch-diameter tube to a 4-inch because it’s rated for higher rpm—considering the length from transfer case to differential. The front is from an ’05 Super Duty, which also gave up its manually shifted NV271 transfer case and internal slave cylinder for the clutch. Gene made the shift linkages and adapters. A 1997 Ford F-350 clutch was sourced for the swap. Transmission fluid now goes through a cooler located in the front radiator.

This truck originally came with a 7.3L Power Stroke, but now it has a 5.9L Cummins 12-valve from a ’96 Dodge Ram 2500. The conversion looks like it was performed at the factory. Notice the batteries are left in the stock location. Even with two turbochargers and the A/C, the cruise control and everything else works as it did before the swap. The vacuum assist for the brake master cylinder is made from a ’97 Ford booster (back half) and an ’05 Super Duty booster (front half) mated together (arrow A). Now a hydraulic hydroboost from a ’96 F-Super Duty fits the bill.

First, Gene tore down the I-6 Cummins and inspected it. The engine only had 190,000 miles on it, and with no major issues present, only new rings and bearings were added. No expensive machine work was necessary, except a slight rework of the rocker arms so they could accept the head studs. The connecting rods were re-bushed and equipped with heavy-duty bolts. The main bearings holding the balanced crankshaft received an engine girdle since the 700 to 800hp range was expected to be surpassed. The cylinder head was ported and held in place with ARP 625 studs. A performance camshaft was installed, along with 110-pound valvesprings. Sound Diesel Performance created the piping for the compound turbochargers, while Industrial Injection supplied the Silver 62/80 (which sits on top) and the S474 (located on the bottom). Destroked was called for the adapter plate, which bolts the Cummins to the ZF-6 transmission—cryogenically treated by Longfield Super Axles. The aluminum radiator is from Performance Radiator, and Gene says he dosent come close to needing it. The all aluminum intercooler is from a 1999 Super Duty.

Gene and his brother James of Sound Diesel Performance built the Bosch P7100 injection pump (arrow B). A stock pump has about 12 to 13 mm of rack travel—this one was modified to have 20½ mm. With the addition of a custom fuel plate, this 12mm pump is said to flow 1,100 cc of fuel. It also has an aneroid switch (also known as a valet switch) that, when engaged, limits the pump flow to 260 cc. This tow setting limits EGT temperatures to a safe 1,050. In this mode there is no smoke, but there's still plenty of power and 42 psi of boost. Industrial Injection supplied the 350hp injectors.

Dynomat, a new carpet kit, and reupholstered front seat bottoms make for a quiet and comfortable interior. The rear seat is actually the front seat of another Ford pickup—you guessed it—from the wrecking yard.

By Jason Thompson
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