A ’69 F-350 With An Unlikely Powertrain And A Super Duty Chassis

Steve Burris owned a 6.0L once. Back in ’05, he bought a brand-new Super Duty with one, lived with it and the engine’s problems for a little over a year, and then sold it and went right back to the 7.3L. Fifteen years later, Steve—now a ’67-‘79 Ford truck hobbyist well-known for resto-modding High Boy-era trucks and converting them to Power Stroke propulsion and Super Duty running gear—was ready to give the 6.0L a second chance. After stumbling into a deal on an ’05 F-350, the items required for his next baby were in place. It would be a crew cab bumpside creation sitting atop a Super Duty chassis, sporting a coil spring, radius arm front suspension, the aforementioned 6.0L Power Stroke, and a 5R110 TorqShift transmission. Some 18 months later it was complete—and we were there to catch a ride in it.

As you can see, things are tight but not too tight in the bumpside engine bay, thanks in part to Steve Burris ditching the 6.0L’s factory radiator and clutch fan arrangement. In their place, electric Derale Performance fans and a 4-core, ‘67-’79 style radiator get the job done. The Power Stroke itself is an ’05 model with 260,000 miles on the clock, but was treated to new head gaskets and ARP studs, fresh injectors, and a new oil cooler and HPOP 40,000 miles ago. Warren Diesel tuning dials in the PCM and, with a 61mm VGT in the mix, the truck has 450-rwhp potential.

Body Work—Lots Of It

With bumpside Fords now more than a half century old, very few good body panels can be found near Steve’s northern Illinois home. Luckily, he was able to pluck various salvageable pieces—including the bed, front doors, and front clip—from a ’68 F-100 out of Washington state. And thanks to his exceptional fabrication and auto body skills, Steve was able to make a Kansas-sourced ’71 cab reusable. When he was done with it, the roof, front A-pillars, floorboard, and firewall had all been replaced. Then, because his Super Duty donor was originally an extended cab long bed model and he wanted to build a crew cab long bed, Steve had to lengthen the frame roughly 8-inches. In addition to his physical labor, Steve put countless hours of legwork into hunting down parts, be it through friends, fellow High Boy enthusiasts, or eBay.

A JetFire Stage 1 drop-in VGT from KC Turbos sits in the factory location in the valley, but offers much more airflow than the factory GT3782VA. The KC Turbos unit sports a 61mm milled billet compressor wheel, a 360-degree thrust bearing, and a 10-blade, 64/73mm turbine, which is what puts the “jet” in the turbocharger’s name. It whistles like no other. The JetFire turbo breathes through a No Limit Fabrication cold air intake, and exhales via a 4-inch downpipe that transitions into a 5-inch exhaust system.

Front Clip Fitment

Steve knew the 6.0L would be a fairly tight fit within the bumpside front clip, but having already performed similar body swaps in the past he packaged all heat exchangers closer to the engine. Steve saved considerable underhood space (and not to mention got away with scrapping the degas bottle) by ditching the 6.0L’s factory radiator and clutch fan assembly in favor of a 4-core, ’67-’79 Luxerad radiator and electric fans from Derale Performance. The aluminum radiator is located in close proximity to the Super Duty steering box, but enough clearance exists to not make it worrisome. The intercooler, which packaged just fine with the other heat exchangers from the Super Duty donor, is a CSF piece. At the back of the engine, use of the Super Duty firewall allowed for ample clearance for the 4-inch downpipe.

To keep the fresh injectors supplied with ample pressure and supremely-clean fuel, an AirDog II-4G system was installed. The 4G lift pump flows 165-gph and pulls fuel from the factory ’05 Super Duty tank, a 38-gallon unit. It’s concealed mounting location places it inside the driver side frame rail.

Fresh Parts And Added Pep

Approximately 40,000 miles before Steve got his hands on the 260,000-mile 6.0L Power Stroke, it’d been treated to fresh head gaskets and ARP head studs, brand-new injectors, an oil cooler, and a high-pressure oil pump. Clean, air-free fuel, and consistent supply pressure is delivered to the injectors thanks to a Driven Diesel regulated return combined with a 165-gph AirDog system that pulls fuel from the factory Super Duty tank. Squeaky-clean, well-refined tuning from Warren Diesel gleans every last drop of performance out of the stock injectors while a JetFire Stage 1 drop-in VGT from KC Turbos, a 61mm billet wheel unit with a 10-blade turbine, spools quick and pushes the truck into the 450-rwhp range.

A Driven Diesel regulated return system ensures that each injector enjoys its fair share of fuel quantity and pressure at all times. Steve keeps the Fuelab bypass adjustable fuel pressure regulator set at 65-psi. Also notice the brand-new alternator on the other side of the regulator, a 250-amp unit that’s needed to support the truck’s sound system.

Frame, Axle, Suspension, And Steering Work

With the Super Duty body and bed out of the way, Steve went over the chassis with a fine-tooth comb. The frame was hit with two coats of epoxy and then top coated, the Dana 60 and 10.5-inch axles were rebuilt and then later fitted with new brake rotors and calipers, and before all was said and done the undersides of the cab and bed would be sprayed with Raptor Liner. As for suspension, the ’05 radius arms were replaced with rust-free ’12 versions Steve had in his parts inventory, and 2-inch longer coil springs from Skyjacker were added (along with 1-inch blocks) to level off the truck’s stance. All-new steering components and a dual steering stabilizer from BDS Suspension were added to rule out any surprises once the truck was road-worthy.

With the donor truck being an extended cab long bed model and Steve’s plans consisting of a crew cab long bed, he had to lengthen the Super Duty frame 8-inches. The truck now boasts a 165-inch wheel base. Lengthening the rear driveshaft was left to an area shop and—thanks to being a self-taught and talented fabricator, wrencher, auto body guru, and electrician, it’s one of the few things Steve had to outsource during the course of the build.

Resto-Modded Interior

Modern touches are intertwined with the classic features you’d typically find inside the cab of a ’67-’72 F-series. For example, the recovered original dash is fitted with Dakota Digital’s HDX cluster package, which looks right at home. In the center of the dash, the controls for the Restomod A/C system mesh very well with the RetroSound radio positioned directly above it. But, by far, one of the most notable features in the cab are its seats. Robbed from an ’04 Harley Davidson model Super Duty, they bring the comforts of plush leather and electric adjustability to the table. The front captain’s chairs are divided by a Harley Davidson center console.

Like the engine, the 5R110 automatic has 260,000 miles on the clock. But with a good service history, combined with the five-speed TorqShift’s ability to handle 450 hp and 850 lb-ft without skipping a beat, Steve isn’t worried about its longevity being an issue in his ’69 Ford.

A Homegrown, One-Of-One Creation That’s Daily Drivable

Make no mistake, Steve builds his classic diesel-powered Fords to accumulate miles, and this one was no exception to that rule. It was built to be driven—and that’s exactly what it gets any time the weather is fair. In fact, it’s also no stranger to dragging a trailer behind it, hence the Class V receiver hitch and the gooseneck plate in the bed. But the most important aspect of Steve’s ’69 is the fact that he performed 99-percent of the work himself. He handled the auto body, fabrication, wrenching, and electrical tasks all by his lonesome, and accomplished it in the 45×72 shop next to his home.

While it just made sense to retain the front Dana 60, Steve did go through it for peace of mind, and then topped it off with a Mag-Hytec diff cover. New brake rotors and calipers were installed all the way around as well. To dampen vibrations and inputs from the 35-inch tires, Steve also installed a dual steering stabilizer from BDS Suspension.

The Big Question: Will He Be Able To Keep It?

Thanks to the quality craftsmanship, a solid 450-rwhp 6.0L Power Stroke and TorqShift transmission combination, the rugged Super Duty chassis underneath, and the timeless styling of the sheet metal up top, Steve’s F-350 is the perfect blend of old and new. His unique, 6.0L bumpside creation represents a truck that’s capable of breaking the Internet one minute and that could also be sold for a six-digit figure the next. And while Steve plans to hold onto this one for a while, we suspect the build’s high-quality and well-executed attention to detail will eventually attract a buyer that offers a price too good to pass up. Rest assured that if it ever does sell, another ’67-’79 Ford project is guaranteed to flare up inside Steve’s shop.

The rear 10.5-inch Sterling received the same treatment, the 3.73 ring and pinion unit being treated to a rebuild, a Mag-Hytec diff cover, and fresh rotors and calipers on both ends. Believe it or not, the 5-inch exhaust was actually retained from the ’05 donor, which Steve sand blasted, painted, and reinstalled.
Cementing the old-school look are a set of 17×9-inch Rockcrushers from Raceline Wheels. They’re wrapped in all-terrain Nitto Terra Grappler G2 rubber that measures 35×12.50R17. The 390 badges pay homage to the cubic inch count of the FE family, big block V-8 that would’ve likely powered a ’69 F-350 leaving the factory.
For unmatched ride comfort, the coil spring, radius arm front suspension from the ’05 donor was justifiably retained. But to level up the front-end, Steve sourced a pair of Skyjacker coil springs, each unit 2-inches longer than stock. And beneath each coil spring sits a 1-inch spacer. Fox Performance Series shocks are employed all the way around.

Although Steve has retrofitted Super Duty dashes into High Boy-era Fords in past projects, this one was left as close to factory as possible while also embracing new-age technology. For starters, a Dakota Digital HDX system (controlled by a single module) gives Steve a classic-appearing gauge cluster but at the same time offers digital parameter monitoring. Other well-placed modern luxuries include a RetroSound ’68-’79 F-series radio with Bluetooth connectivity and a Restomod A/C system.
Despite the original dash, much of the cab is dominated by Super Duty scenery—and by that we mean the Harley Davidson seats and center console Steve scored from an ’04 F-250. Because the condition of the original ‘71 cab was in such poor shape, the ’05 Super Duty donor’s floor (and firewall) were integrated—which made bolting the power leather Harley seats in place that much easier.
The front face of Steve’s F-350, i.e. the grille, is the reason he calls it a ’69. Oddly enough, this was the only model year the F-series Ranger emblem featured the two accompanying red lines spanning horizontally across the center of the grille.
In case you were wondering, yes that’s the fuel cap in the bed located beneath the upper trim. The filler neck is connected to the 38-gallon, factory-location Super Duty tank along the chassis (and a sound system exists in the space the factory in-cab fuel tank once resided in). The bed, as well as the front doors and front clip, are off of a Washington state donor, a two-wheel drive ’68 F-100. The heavy-duty receiver hitch, complete with a 2.5-inch receiver, is a Class V commercial unit from Curt. Believe it or not, there is also a gooseneck hitch plate in the bed.

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