There are many diesel enthusiasts who try and build their trucks to excel at virtually anything and everything, yet they rarely succeed. Erik Clausen is one of those guys who just wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to the capability of his blue 2008 Ford, and we think he may have actually built the perfect truck.
Don’t believe us? You be the judge. Off road? Guess what, thanks to a huge 8-inch lift and aggressive 37-inch tires, getting off the beaten path is no problem. How about speed? The Ford excels there too, with a 6.4L engine that’s put down a towering 900 to 1,000 rwhp on a variety of dynos. Towing and ride? The full coil-over suspension with air bags is able to adjust to trailers with ease, yet provide an improved driving experience on long trips. Even the braking system has been upgraded to match the level of the rest of the Ford.
Erik went all-out, and installed an 8-inch lift from Pure Performance, along with coilover shocks all around.
Back when Erik purchased the truck, he started out with the usual upgrades, basic performance stuff, along with wheels, tires and suspension. What really helped set Erik’s Power Stroke apart though was that he quickly started to push the envelope when it came to modifying his F-250. While it’s very common to see diesels with lifts and suspension upgrades, Erik went all-out and installed an 8-inch lift from Pure Performance, along with coilover shocks all around. The unique suspension was a perfect example of something that most people said wouldn’t work anywhere, but in fact, the coilover setup worked in virtually any environment, from drag racing to sled pulling to towing.
Where Erik really went off the deep end was with modifying the engine. While there have been a variety of different 6.4L powerplants in the Ford, the latest and greatest iteration is by far the wildest. Built by Midwest Diesel and Auto, the engine has HD pistons that have been de-lipped, fly-cut for valve reliefs and coated. Carrillo connecting rods were added for strength, and then the entire assembly was balanced. For better higher rpm breathing, a Colt Stage 2 camshaft was added, along with Side Action Diesel HD lifters and ported and O-ringed heads. MidWest Diesel also supplied virtually all of the valvetrain, including chromoly pushrods and valve springs, locks and retainers designed for high-boost and high-rpm operation.
While there have been a variety of different 6.4L powerplants in the Ford, the latest and greatest iteration is by far the wildest.
With a solid foundation for power, the rest of the common rail Ford engine was then upgraded with some equally impressive parts. A small but upgraded 62mm VGT turbocharger was used as the high-pressure turbocharger (the truck still had to tow, remember) but big gobs of horsepower would be available thanks to the low pressure charger, a mammoth 88mm Precision unit. Air is drawn in through a custom filter and expelled into the engine.
The fueling system was also upgraded, and virtually no part was left stock. An Elite Diesel low-pressure fuel system was installed on the Ford, along with dual K16 pumps, also from Elite. The engine’s injectors were also upgraded, with 125-percent over versions from River City Diesel. Mike Haller from Haller’s Diesel Performance supplied the final piece, as the Ford was custom dyno-tuned using an H&S Mini Maxx and MCC Tuning to 992 rear-wheel horsepower!
BACKING UP THE 6.4L
The rest of the Ford’s drivetrain was upgraded as a necessity since the truck makes so much power. Behind the engine, an Elite Diesel flexplate connects the Power Stroke to the 5R110 transmission, which has been completely rebuilt by Elite Diesel, with upgraded shafts, a revised clutch count, a Precision Industries torque converter, and other modifications. The fore or aft axles weren’t spared the aftermarket treatment either, as Detroit TrueTrac limited slips were installed front and rear while the rear axle was also upgraded with 300M shafts from RCV. Erik wanted to keep a stock-like powerband with the big tires between gear changes, so both front and rear ends received 4.33 gears.
While it’s easy to say a truck can handle whatever the owner can throw at it, we have an oddly personal experience with Erik’s ride. We’ve ridden in the truck from California to Arizona and can personally vouch for the ride. We’ve seen Erik tow with it, blast down a quarter-mile track in 11.80 seconds at 116 mph and compete against a field of equally impressive trucks in a sled pull and come out on top. Is Erik’s truck the ultimate all-around diesel? It just may be. DW