A Show-Ready, Five-Speed ’97 F-250 On ’05 Axles
In a world where easy horsepower, fancy paint, and the latest and greatest trucks tend to dominate the landscape, it’s rare that we come across a show-ready OBS Ford. Luckily, there are people like Tyler Williams left in the world—a true connoisseur of the diesels of old. Tyler doesn’t pump money and resources into his ’97 F-250 because he’s stuck driving an older truck, he does it because he wants to. In fact, Tyler has a show-winning ’18 F-450 Super Duty, a 12-valve Cummins sled-puller, a slew of diesel-propelled work trucks, and even a Duramax-powered ’69 C10 in his stable, but he prefers his OBS over all of them. The reason behind why he feels this way is both sentimental and simple: “I grew up in a truck just like this.”
Despite tracking down the five-speed ¾-ton he wanted in North Carolina, there was plenty of rust to contend with when Tyler got the truck back home to Tennessee. Undeterred by the F-250’s sizeable yet curable cancer spots, he pulled the bed, picked up a Cervini cowl hood on the cheap, sourced a rust-free core support, and had friend, Martin Ramsey, work his magic in the paint booth. The truck emerged wearing the same Oxford White paint code it did back in ’97, but was fitted with a paint-matched ’08 Super Duty front bumper and a rear roll pan from LMC. Custom badging, headlights, and tail lights were also thrown in, along with clear cab lights.
’05 Axle Swap
For improved ride comfort and durability, the truck’s previous owner ditched the factory twin traction beam Dana 50 in favor of a coil sprung, Dana 60 out of an ’05 Super Duty. Tyler would pick up where he left off out back, installing a 10.5-inch axle, which brought a larger ring gear and disc brakes into the picture. The front-end sits 6-inches higher thanks to a Rough Country suspension lift, while the leaf springs in the rear rest on 4-inch lift blocks. Thanks to the added lift and high-clearance radius arms Tyler is able to run the 37-inch tire, 24×12-inch American Force wheel combination he does without issue.
Bigger Injectors and E-Fuel
Despite having more than 200,000 miles on the clock, the 23-year-old 7.3L Power Stroke responded extremely well to a set of Full Force Diesel’s Stage 1.5 injectors. And even though the bigger sticks flow 180cc’s of fuel through 30-percent over nozzles, the factory high-pressure oil pump has no problem keeping up. An electric fuel system from 444fab, complete with the company’s regulated return kit, ensures a consistent 65-psi worth of fuel pressure is supplied to the injectors at all times. Both OEM fuel tanks are still intact and the selector valve fully functional.
66mm Turbo, 6-inch Exhaust,and Good Tuning
Boost production begins with a 66mm, dual ball bearing KC38R turbo from KC Turbos. The Super Duty-intended charger mounts in the early 7.3L’s lifter valley thanks to a set of ’99.5-’03 bellowed up-pipes and pedestal. Being that the engine is void of an intercooler, a modded OEM intake Y routes 30-psi worth of boost straight into the heads. Exhaling begins with a 3-inch downpipe, which transitions into a 6-inch aluminized axle-dump exhaust system, and culminates with an 8-inch, weld-on polished tip. The task of getting the most out of the airflow and fueling upgrades was left to Jelibuilt Performance by way of a Hydra Chip. Strapped to the dyno, the truck responded by making 370 hp and nearly 700 lb-ft of torque.
As the owner of a successful concrete pumping business, Tyler has the means to drive any vehicle he chooses, yet this is the one he prefers to take to the truck show or up town for a bite to eat. By pouring his work ethic, time, and interest into his ’97, he’s definitely done his part in keeping the older diesels alive. As for what lies ahead for his show-stopping OBS, Tyler plans to add an intercooler and an Adrenaline HPOP for more performance, an Overkill Fab grille for improved looks, and eventually pass the truck on to his son. It doesn’t get much better than that.
1997 Ford F-250 Crew Cab
Owner: Tyler Williams
Hometown: Sevierville, Tennessee
Odometer: 200,200 miles
Engine: 7.3L Power Stroke
Fuel: Full Force Diesel 180/30 Stage 1.5 injectors, 444fab electric fuel conversion system with Bosch SD lift pump, 444fab regulated return with Fuelab regulator
Oil: Factory 15-degree high-pressure oil pump
Air: KC Turbos KC38R 66mm turbocharger, Super Duty bellowed up-pipes and pedestal, Tymar cold air intake
Exhaust: 3-inch downpipe, 6-inch system to 8-inch tip
Electronics: Power Hungry Performance Hydra Chip with Jelibuilt Performance custom tuning, Edge CTS2 monitor
Transmission: ZF-5 five-speed manual with South Bend single disc clutch upgrade
Horsepower: 370-rwhp (dyno)
Torque: 690 lb-ft (dyno)
Tires: 37×13.50R24LT Comforser CF3000 M/T
Wheels: 24×12 American Force
Axles: ’05 axle swap, front Dana 60, rear Sterling 10.5, 3.73 ring and pinion
Suspension: Rough Country lift with 6-inch taller coil springs, high clearance radius arms, 4-inch lift blocks, Fox 2.0 shocks (front and rear), Fox dual steering stabilizer, homemade traction bars