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A JAW-DROPPING, 700HP ’15 F-450

While everyone appreciates gawking at the sea of custom vehicles that is the SEMA Show, very few know the struggle of creating a high-end project to showcase at the premiere event in the automotive industry. And unfortunately, most of the stories behind these incredible builds go untold. Given the miniscule window of time most builders have to work with, it’s a wonder that half the vehicles at SEMA turn out as polished as they do. Enter Sean O’Hara, owner of Street Diesel Performance in Chaplin, Connecticut and SEMA truck veteran. He’s successfully overseen the buildup of 12 SEMA-bound Super Duty trucks to date and his projects always deliver.

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With the factory 6.7L Power Stroke known to handle big power in stock form, the entire long block went untouched during the buildup of Sean O’Hara’s ’15 F-450. The biggest power adders would come in the form of an H&S Motorsports Dual High Pressure Fuel kit employing a belt-driven CP3 (in addition to the factory CP4.2), a T4 turbo mounting system from Maryland Performance Diesel, and custom tuning.

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A fixed-geometry BorgWarner S467.7 sits in place of the factory Garrett VGT courtesy of a T4 mount, the corresponding up-pipes, and intercooler piping kit from Maryland Performance Diesel. The S467.7 makes use of the proven 74/83mm turbine wheel and resides in a spool-friendly 0.90 A/R exhaust housing. Under full load, the BorgWarner charger produces 50 psi of boost.

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The bottom side of the Power Stroke received a little dress up courtesy of a CNC-machined, billet-aluminum oil pan from Maryland Performance Diesel. In addition to looking like a million bucks, the one-piece aluminum pan likely offers a considerable improvement in durability over the factory stamped-steel piece.

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Due to the 6R140 transmission’s reputation for holding up to incredible power in stock form, a Mag-Hytec deep pan was the only component added to the six-speed automatic. Even with more than 1,300 lb-ft of torque being sent through it, the TorqShift has yet to skip a beat.

Built in just four weeks’ time, the ’15 F-450 shown here represents the complete package: a fl awless custom paint job, a four-link front suspension, 40-inch mud-terrains on 24-inch wheels, and 700 rwhp. However, it was one long month leading up to its trip out to Las Vegas.

Crunch Time

After wearing a coat of Bronze Fire Metallic for more than a year, the truck was stripped to bare metal mere weeks before the 2015 SEMA Show. And because O’Hara and his team were so pressed for time, the truck actually had to be painted in sections. “The truck was going in two different directions,” he tells us. “We were doing chassis mods at the shop while the truck’s body panels were being hauled to the auto body shop to be painted—then we married it all back together the night before we left for Vegas.”

Attention to Detail

The truck’s metallic custom blue was applied by TJ Ryan of Johnson Auto Body, located in nearby Tolland, Connecticut. TJ would also paint match the Fusion bumpers and customize the truck’s grille, headlights, badging, and tailgate. According to O’Hara, the reworking of minor factory components that make it into all of his SEMA builds has indirectly started a fad in the SEMA build segment. “No one really used to do anything with the OEM badges or grille or emblems,” he says. “We started doing that back in ’12 and created a trend where people are now taking the stock stuff apart—now it’s a thing.”

High-Rise Super Duty

Offering the best of all worlds— optimum articulation, travel, and traction—is a four-link front suspension system developed by Rize Industries. By making use of Fox 2.5 coilover remote shocks, complete with dual-rate Eibach springs, the custom four-link effectively raises the Super Duty’s ride height 14 inches. As for the rear suspension, a pair of custom leaf spring packs from Atlas Suspension grant an extra 12 inches of lift. The added altitude makes clearing 40-inch Toyo Open Country mud terrains mounted on 24-inch American Force Zone wheels a cinch.

Little Fuel, a Little Air— 700 HP

Knowing the 6.7L Power Stroke could handle a 100-percent increase in power without breaking a sweat, the common-rail V8’s internals were left alone. Instead, an extra 350 hp would be found through fuel and air mods. First, the factory turbocharger system was replaced and the Garrett VGT scrapped in favor of a fixed-geometry 67mm S400 and T4 mounting system from Maryland Performance Diesel.

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A burly four-link front suspension designed by Rize Industries replaces the factory radius arm arrangement, while Fox 2.5 coilover remote shocks—fitted with dual-rate Eibach springs—contribute to the 14 inches of lift that’s present up front. A secondary Fox 2.5 remote reservoir shock resides on each side as well.

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The wide-track Dana Super 60 was fitted with a Mag-Hytec differential cover and retains its factory 4.30 ring and pinion, which no doubt helps the truck get its massive wheels and tires moving. A custom adjustable track bar built by WC Motorsports & Off-Road keeps the front axle located laterally. Fusion Bumpers keep both ends of the truck protected.

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For obvious reasons, the massive Dana S130 has gone untouched, but serves as the foundation for the spring packs built by Atlas Suspension that add a whopping 12 inches of lift to the rear of the truck. A 5-inch stainless steel exhaust system from MagnaFlow routes exhaust over the axle and out a 6-inch polished tip.

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Just as the Rize Industries four-link keeps the front Dana 60 from wrapping, a set of Rize traction bars keep the rear Dana S130 from rotating. To account for all of the lift that’s been added to the F-450, High Angle Driveline supplied the driveshafts. A two-piece 1410 C/V is used in the rear and employs 1480 series U-joints, while the front drive shaft incorporates the company’s 1350 C/V setup. Also notice the 65-gallon mid-ship replacement Titan tank bolted in place of the factory unit.

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A CTS monitor from Edge Products affords O’Hara the ability to keep an eye on as many as five powertrain parameters at a time. EGT, boost, coolant temp, and engine oil temp are the primary vitals he pays the most attention to. Thanks to Ford’s Lariat trim level providing ample styling, comfort, and gadgetry, the remainder of the interior went unmodified.

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According to O’Hara, a mirror positioned on the underside of the hood is “really the only way to show off the engine bay on a truck with this much lift.” This one is made from polished stainless steel, although we had originally mistaken it for a sheet of glass! “We try to add these kinds of ‘extra’ touches to each build,” O’Hara adds.

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Free reign was given to TJ Ryan of Johnson Auto Body when it came to painting the sheet metal, Fusion bumpers, and customizing the grille, headlights, and badging. In our opinion, he knocked it out of the park with the subtle (yet meaningful) changes he made. In the end, all of the cosmetic alterations culminated in a truck that’s not overly flashy—exactly the way O’Hara and his team at Street Diesel Performance prefer it to be.

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With American Force being the driving force behind O’Hara’s SEMA builds, it’s no surprise that a set of custom-built wheels grace the truck. The 24×8.25-inch American Force Zones are made from 6061 forged aluminum and sport a mirror finish. They’re fitted with six Toyo Open Country M/T tires, each measuring 40×15.50×24.

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Then, to ensure the rail pressure required to make big horsepower remained consistent, a Bosch CP3 was combined with the factory CP4.2 by way of H&S Motorsports’ dual high-pressure fuel pump kit. The stock injectors and OEM lift pump went untouched, and were onboard when the truck cleared 710 rwhp and 1,320 lb-ft of torque while strapped to Mass Diesel’s chassis dyno.

Perfect Execution

Judging by the stunning curb appeal, well-placed performance parts, and overall versatility built into O’Hara’s F-450, it’s obvious why he’s built a dozen SEMA trucks. Big name companies rely on him to represent them in the best possible light—and on the aftermarket’s biggest stage. By cramming hundreds of hours into a matter of a few weeks, it’s also clear that O’Hara rises to the occasion when under pressure, and his highly motivated crew of Scott Johnson, TJ Ryan, Tyler Brancifort, and Kreg, Ryan, and Lisa O’Hara certainly didn’t let him down on this project.DW

SPECIFICATION

2015 FORD F-450

OWNER: Sean O’Hara
HOMETOWN: Chaplin, Connecticut
ENGINE: 6.7L Power Stroke with Maryland Performance Diesel billet-aluminum oil pan
FUEL: H&S Motorsports Dual High Pressure Fuel kit, 65-gallon Titan replacement tank
AIR: Maryland Performance Diesel T4 turbo mount and intercooler piping kit, BorgWarner S467.7 with billet 67.7mm compressor wheel, 74/83mm turbine wheel and 0.90 A/R exhaust housing, S&B Filters cold air intake
EXHAUST: 5-inch MagnaFlow stainless steel axle dump system with 6-inch polished tip
ELECTRONICS: Edge Insight CTS
TRANSMISSION: Stock 6R140 TorqShift automatic with Mag- Hytec deep pan
HORSEPOWER: 710 hp (chassis dyno)
TORQUE: 1,320 lb-ft (chassis dyno)
TIRES: 40×15.50×24 Toyo Open Country MT WHEELS: 24×8.25-inch American Force Zone
SUSPENSION/STEERING: Rize Industries four-link front suspension with Fox 2.5 remote coilovers and dual-rate Eibach springs, Fox 2.5 remote reservoir shocks (front), 12-inch Atlas Suspension leaf springs, Fox 2.5 remote reservoir shocks (rear), Rize Industries traction bars, WC Motorsports & Off-Road adjustable track bar
AXLES: Dana 60 wide track (front) with 4.30 gears and Mag- Hytec differential cover, Dana S130 (rear) with 4.30 gears