The Rudy’s performance 6.4L Pro Mod
In drag racing, speed and quickness are the top priorities. In the 14 months or so that Rawlings Barnes and the team at Rudy’s Diesel Performance have been running their new 2WD Pro Mod, they can already lay claim to being the quickest and fastest Power Stroke diesel drag racer in the known world. They are still dialing in the truck, fine-tuning the performance and getting used to driving it, but as of our press time the best pass they have recorded is 4.78 seconds at 152 mph in the eighth mile.

The Foundation

Like most Pro Mod racers, this truck started out as a pile of steel tubing that was chopped, bent, notched and welded into a strong tube chassis. The tube chassis was fabricated by Elite Fab and Design and is wrapped in GTS Fiberglass & Design body components that include a one-piece front clip, doors and bedsides. Only the steel cab from a donor 2008 Super Duty remains. The NHRA-certified roll cage uses a funny car style safety cocoon around the Sparco PRO-ADV seat that Barnes calls home while he’s blasting down the track. The 6.4L Power Stroke is set back deep in the front of the chassis to better balance the weight of the truck.

The Power Stroke mill, controlled by a MoTech standalone controller, currently churns out around 1,200-1,300 hp, but the engine is built to handle and make much more than that. The team is slowing turning up the power nearly each time they take it out. The 2008 6.4L Power Stroke block and crank are completely stock, but the crank swings a set of Rudy’s billet forged rods and Mahle forged pistons through the cylinder bores. The block is capped with a pair of factory cylinder heads that were ported by Elite Diesel, and they use Rudy’s valve springs and pushrods to actuate the valves with input from the Colt cam. An MPD billet aluminum machined intake manifold tops the engine.


Fabricated stainless steel short-tube headers are used to get spent exhaust gases out of the engine quickly and effectively. Note the Nitrous Express solenoids mounted on the firewall, as well as the custom machined Rudy’s valve covers made by Beans Diesel Performance to cap the Elite Diesel ported heads.
Hot exhaust gases from each side of the V8 are sent forward through the stainless steel plumbing to a single 75mm Precision Turbo. Dual 45mm Turbosmart wastegates are employed to prevent overspeeding, while a PTP Turbo Blanket is used to keep the heat in the turbine and out of the engine bay.
Removing the lightweight GTS Fiberglass & Design one-piece fiberglass front end reveals the well-built tube chassis, as well as the simple yet mighty 6.4L Power Stroke diesel engine. The Strange struts were built by Menscer Motorsports and use PAC coil springs to set the ride height and support the chassis.

Fuel Suppy

The fuel system starts in the rear of the chassis with a small fabricated aluminum fuel cell. A pair of custom AirDog pumps send fuel through a filter and up to a pair of Rudy’s K16 high-pressure injection pumps. The high-pressure fuel is delivered into the engine through a set of large Dynomite Diesel Performance injectors. A shot of nitrous oxide from a Nitrous Express system is plumbed in as well, but the team is not leaning heavily on the spray as of yet.

Air Supply

To keep up with the fuel, a single Precision Turbo S475 75mm turbocharger is remote mounted in front of the engine. The compressor draws in fresh air from outside of the engine bay through an 8.75-inch Vibrant Bellmouth Velocity Stack and polished aluminum 5-inch tubing channeled directly into the turbo. Then the compressed charge is fed into a C&R Racing Ice Barrel Intercooler that uses about five pounds of dry ice per pass to cool the intake charge. It runs without the added weight of a water-to-air intercooler setup that requires an ice/water tank, pump and heat exchanger. After being cooled down, the intake charge is channeled into the front of the MPD aluminum intake manifold and down into the Power Stroke engine.

On the exhaust side, custom stainless steel tubular headers were fabricated to channel the spent exhaust gases forward toward the single turbo. A pair of 45mm Turbosmart wastegates is employed to keep the large turbo from getting unruly. After spooling the turbine, spent gases are directed skyward through the hood via a stainless steel stack that pops through a fabricated, polished aluminum stack mounted to the hood.

A C&R Racing Ice Barrel Intercooler is plumbed between the compressor output and the intake manifold. It’s designed to keep intake air temps down without adding a lot of weight, since it uses dry ice rather than a water tank with ice and pumps. To keep the Power Stroke engine cool, a C&R radiator is employed along with a pair of SPAL electric fans for good airflow.


Looking at the top of the 6.4L engine you’ll see that it is capped off with a custom-machined MPD manifold and uses twin Rudy’s K16 injection pumps, one unseen in the stock location at the back of the valley and the other up front. Nathannial DeLong fabricated a simplified belt-drive setup to save weight over the factory since the other accessories are not needed.


Everything Else…

A pair of Strange coilover struts that were built by Menscer Motorsports use PAC springs to support the weight of the front of the truck, while the rear is supported by a set of coilovers that were also set up by the team at Menscer. With an adjustable four-link setup and a wishbone to keep the axle centered in the chassis, along with a Mark Williams double-splined sway bar, the truck hooks hard and gives Barnes a smooth ride down the track. The beefed up 9-inch uses Strange axles, spool and 3.25 gears to put the power to the ground through a huge set of 34.5/17.0-16 M/T drag slicks that are locked into a set of double beadlock 16×16-inch Billet Specialties Comp Series wheels. To slow the truck down Barnes relies on a pair of Simpson parachutes, as well as Strange rotors and four-piston calipers at each corner that are controlled by a Wilwood master cylinder. Traditional skinny M&H Racemaster 4.50/28.0-17 tires are wrapped around 17×4-inch Billet Specialties five-spoke race wheels up front.

To set off the GTS body panels the team at the Brandsmith wrapped the truck in a blue, white and black theme emblazoned with Rudy’s graphics and stars throughout. Barnes currently records 60-foot times with the 2WD monster of around 1.1 seconds. As the Rudy’s team continues to refine the truck and put more power to the ground, we expect Barnes and his 3,350-pound Super Duty to improve on the quickest and fastest Power Stroke’s times. Despite missing a couple events in 2017, he finished in third place for the ODSS Pro Mod Championship and is looking to take home the title for 2018.

After opening the door and lowering the net you can see the Sparco steering wheel mounted to a Woodward column and quick release to allow Barnes to get in and out of the truck quickly and safely. The switch console and parachute release lever are located high on the roll cage front hoop where they can easily be reached, but are also far enough away that nothing can be accidentally triggered.


Looking through the passenger-side door you can see the MoTeC modules and harnesses on the forward portion of the floorboard, as well as the carbon fiber Nitrous Express bottle in the billet aluminum mounts toward the rear of the cab. A combination of steel, aluminum and carbon fiber panels are used to seal off the dash, firewall and floor of the truck. The Precision Performance Products air-actuated shifter is located centrally, within easy reach.
Barnes relies on a Sparco PRO-ADV full containment seat and a six-point Simpson harness system to keep him safe and secure as he pilots the truck down the strip.



Lifting the hinged access panel reveals the custom-fabricated aluminum fuel cell, as well as the custom twin AirDog fuel pumps and large fuel filter.
The rear of the tube chassis is covered by GTS Fiberglass & Design fiberglass bedsides, along with ightweight honeycomb carbon fiber panels the Rudy’s team fabricated to keep air flowing over the truck and keep it planted on the track.


Moving below the truck you can see the beefed-up, braced and narrowed Ford 9-inch rear axle and Strange differential, along with the custom four-link suspension with a wishbone locator and Mark Williams double-splined sway bar. The adjustable coilover shocks were built by Menscer Motorsports specifically for this truck.
DeLong and the build team also installed a carbon fiber belly pan below the engine to meet the ODSS rules and help minimize oil on the track in the event of a leak or failure.
Here you can see the Rossler-built TH400 automatic transmission that channels power from the Power Stroke diesel to the rear wheels. It uses an SFI-approved Reid Racing case and output housing to protect Barnes in case of a failure inside the trans.

14 24

the team is slowing turning up the power on the truck nearly each time they take it out.


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