IMPROVING THE 6.4L POWER STROKE FOR SUPERB USABILITY
Project SUPER Duty was introduced in last month’s issue to show you 2008-2010 Ford owners what kind of product is out there to improve on an already pretty solid truck. The Super Duty chassis was a home run for Ford right from its introduction clear back in 1999. From the solid-axle front suspension (now on coil springs instead of the original leaf spring design) to the beefedup drivetrain, the F-250 and F-350 trucks just flat out work as daily drivers, for towing, or even for some offroad abuse. The 6.4L Power Stroke has a few flaws, which some will argue are mostly emissions equipment related, but with the right maintenance and upgrades, they can make great power and perform really well in any driving situation.
For this build, the idea was to keep things relatively tame, no crazy 600hp burnouts, no monster lift kits with massive tires. Just a pile of parts that can improve the drivability and usability of the truck without sacrificing towing and daily driving ability. In Part One of the build, the power side of things was taken care of thanks to Banks Power and their complete emissionsfriendly, CARB-compliant Big Hoss Bundle. Since this truck would be used year-round for towing a 3-horse living quarter-style gooseneck trailer from one rodeo to the next, towing performance was key to the build. The total airflow package offered by Banks was a nobrainer; the massive high-flow TechniCooler intercooler and Ram Air cold-air intake box helped get a cooler, denser charge of air into the engine while the 4-inch dual-exit Monster Exhaust helped reduce backpressure as well as offering a distinct and aggressive look with the massive 5-inch dual oval tips. For added power, the truck can take advantage of the extra 100 hp available through the IQ monitor with Six Gun tuner. The IQ monitor offers touchscreen monitoring of the engine’s vitals along with control over the innovative Banks Speed Brake, which gives you control of the turbocharger’s variable vanes for additional turbo braking and engine hold-back power when towing.
Here in Part Two of the build, the front end of the truck will get some love with the addition of a big steel bumper from Throttle Down Kustoms (TDK) of Moore, Montana. The ’08-10 Ford trucks had a much bolder look to them with the massive grille and headlights, but the factory bumper left something to be desired cosmetically. While it was functional, there wasn’t much shape or style to the OEM bumper and bolting on a TDK bumper changes all of that while adding extra strength at the same time.
TDK offers multiple different front and rear bumper designs for the Super Duty truck, from a basic bumper to the full-tubular Mayhem grille guard. Options include a Pre-Runner style bar or Push Bar like the one used on this truck. The bumpers can be built to offer multiple lighting options, from large LED bars to locations for square or round fog and driving lights. For this truck, there was no need for much extra lighting and the grille guard seemed overkill for what the owner wanted, so the Push Bar Bumper was the perfect compromise. This bumper will re-use the factory fog lights, but does have tabs for mounting a small LED light bar on the push bar. There are a few notches laser-cut into the front of the bumper that not only add to the styling but help airflow travel through the bumper to the engine coolers mounted behind it. There’s no worry of air restrictions causing hotter fluid temps when towing in the hot summer months.
The bumper came from TDK in raw steel, but it was smoothed out and ready for coating. The bumper could’ve been taken over to the body shop and painted to match the truck, and a bed liner spray-on coating was suggested as well, but in the end the tough textured black powdercoat got the nod and turned out great. The coating should stand up well to road debris and rock chips and looks great on the black truck. TDK supplied the required grade 8 hardware and brackets to make it a super simple install, and since there weren’t new fog lights to have to wire in, installation only took about an hour. TDK’s engineering was spot-on and the bumper fit perfectly; there was no grinding of brackets or beating it with a hammer to get it square on the truck. The slotted mounting holes offered plenty of adjustment. There’s something to be said about a product that can just be bolted on without the headache of looking for extra hardware or having to modify it to fit.
Next month, this Super Duty will get an altitude adjustment with the addition of a front leveling kit from One Up Off-Road, along with some additional fluid cooling from the OUO front and rear differential covers cast specifically for the F-250 and F-350 platform. That part of the build will be followed up with OUO rear traction blocks, which will raise the back end up a couple inches while making a great place to mount a set of rear suspension airbags and OUO short gusset traction bars under the truck. DW
THROTTLE DOWN KUSTOMS