DDP’s 700HP, Cummins Powered F-450
In 2008 the F-450 represented the ultimate working man’s truck. A properly spec’d model came with a 33,000-pound GCWR, and four-wheel drive versions featured a King Pin Dana 60 axle up front, a massive Dana S110 in the rear, and who could forget those factory 19.5-inch Alcoas? Had the 6.4L Power Stroke been more reliable, the ’08-’10 F-450’s might’ve gone down in history as the quintessential tow rig. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Emissions system, fuel system, and hard part failures are all too common—and replacement parts are expensive to say the least.
Practically Born Out of Necessity
After picking up a 140,000-mile Lariat on the cheap, Lenny Reed of Dynomite Diesel Products (DDP) immediately found himself pulling the cab to replace the head gaskets, followed by injectors, a fuel system, and so on. Needless to say, his plans to leave the 6.4L in place of his new tow mule quickly vanished. Right then and there, “the intention was to build something I could use to tow two trucks from here to New Jersey with—and with the 6.4L that just wasn’t gonna happen,” he told us. The F-450 would soon be the recipient of a 6.7L Cummins.
WITH THE TRUCK DESTINED TO TOW 28,000 POUNDS, OFTEN THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS, A COMPOUND TURBO ARRANGEMENT WAS BUILT IN HOUSE
The Seamless Swap
A ’12 model year engine would be sourced and treated to a refresh that included 12-valve rods, Mahle cast-aluminum pistons, a cam from Hamilton, a valve job, and ARP head studs. To keep the Cummins swap as straightforward as possible, Lenny reached out to Diesel Conversion Specialists of Kalispell, Montana. The company responded by supplying the appropriate engine mounts, an adapter plate kit, and even modified both the Ford and Cummins’ factory engine wire harnesses to ensure everything integrated seamlessly. Even the factory Ford starter was retained.
The Air/Fuel Ratio
With the truck destined to tow 28,000 pounds—often through the mountains—a compound turbo arrangement was built in-house at DDP’s Monroe, Washington facility. The system combines a quick-lighting BorgWarner S364 SX-E with a proven S475 SX4, and sends 60 psi of boost through a 6.4L-intended Mishimoto intercooler. For added fueling, a set of DDP’s 50hp injectors work in conjunction with one of the company’s 12mm CP3’s. Low-pressure fuel supplied to the CP3 is handled by a 150-gph Titanium Series FASS system.
SCT and EFI Live Tuning
Although Lenny retained the hard-to-kill 5R110 TorqShift automatic, it was fitted with a triple disc converter from BD Diesel and one of BD’s TapShifters, which allows for manual gear selection on the shift column. The aforementioned adapter plate kit from Diesel Conversion Specialists made mating the 5R110 to the Cummins physically possible, while DCS’s custom TCM tuning (via an SCT X4 device) put the transmission’s operation in perfect sync with the 6.7L. Custom tuning of the Cummins’ ECM is handled by Jarid Vollmer of Breakout Tuning, by way of EFI Live software.
The Ultimate Tow Mule
Truck guys know the F-450 was meant for hard work, but the Cummins-powered version Lenny put together offers a level of reliability and capability that allows it to be used exactly how it was intended. He regularly saddles the Super Duty with 14 tons worth of pulling trucks and tandem axle gooseneck—and then turns it loose towing through the mountains. No matter the load or driving condition, the Cummins never runs warm, the tow-friendly S300/S400 compound arrangement provides plenty of boost, and the well-integrated TorqShift is always in the right gear. It’s the ultimate modern day work horse.
’08 Ford F-450
Owner: Lenny Reed
Hometown: Hayden, Idaho
Odometer: 140,000 Miles
Engine: 2012 6.7L Cummins with 12-valve rods, Mahle pistons, Hamilton camshaft, ARP head studs
Fuel: Dynomite Diesel Products 50hp injectors and 12mm CP3, FASS 150-gph Titanium Series low-pressure system
Air: Dynomite Diesel Products-built compound turbo system with BorgWarner S475 atmosphere charger and S364 SX-E manifold turbo, Mishimoto intercooler
Exhaust: ATS Diesel 3-piece Pulse Flow second-gen (flipped) exhaust manifold, Diamond Eye stainless steel 4-inch system with Flowmaster 50 Series Heavy Duty muffler and 5-inch MBRP polished tip
Electronics: EFI Live ECM tuning from Breakout Tuning, SCT TCM tuning and engine wire harness modification service from Diesel Conversion Specialists
Transmission: Ford 5R110 TorqShift five-speed automatic with BD Diesel triple disc torque converter and TapShifter
Horsepower: 650 to 700-rwhp (est.)
Torque: 1,300 to 1,400 lb-ft (est.)
Tires: 245/70R19.5 Goodyear G622 RSD
Wheels: Factory 19.5-inch, 10-lug, forged Alcoa
Axles: Factory Dana 60 wide track (front) with 4.88 gears, Dana S110 (rear) with 4.88 gearsnty of boost, and the well-integrated TorqShift is always in the right gear. It’s the ultimate modern day work horse.