David More from Oak Creek, Colorado, owns this 1996 Ford F-250, and it’s not your ordinary diesel-powered Ford. This F-250 is powered by a Cummins 5.9L diesel engine. Yes, Ford offers diesel engines and this Ford came with a 7.3L Power Stroke. However, David got tired of being beat at the track by the Dodge diesel boys, and when his 7.3L died he decided on the I-6 for V-8 diesel swap and hasn’t looked back since.
David is a light truck and auto mechanic so he was comfortable taking on the swap himself. The engine is a used 5.9L I-6 that currently has 180,000 miles on it and is still going strong. The Cummins just chugs along and keeps on going. David knows one day it will need a rebuild, but it already has more miles on it than the Ford’s original engine did when it died. No engine internals have been changed or modified; it makes plenty of power with some massaging on the outside.
For the intake, David hand built a duel-ram system. The engine has twin turbos, an IIS5362 over a BorgWarner 5480. He also uses a third-gen Cummins compressor housing on top. Boost is 60-plus psi. The intake is a Diesel Power Source three-piece unit that’s specifically designed for the rectangular ports on the 12-valve heads. David used aluminized tubing to build a cat-back exhaust system. We’re told that the 12-valve Cummins is putting out around 579 hp and 1,041 lb/ft of torque.
“David knows one day it will need a rebuild, but it already has more miles on it than the Ford’s original engine did when it died.”
Behind the Cummins 5.9 Dave runs an NV4500 manual from a 1997 Dodge 3500. The clutch is a Valair single-disc ceramic unit built specifically for heavy-duty use behind a Cummins mill. The power runs through a BW 1365 transfer case that provides a 2.72:1 low-range 4wd, as well as 2wd and 1:1 high-range 4wd. Of course, custom driveshafts were required. The front axle is a Dana 60 from a ’96 Ford F-350 and the rear is a Ford 10.25 Sterling unit with the OE limited slip. Brakes are factory disc front and drum rear. Since this is a work truck, it has work tires: 285/75/R16 E-rated BFG A/Ts.
Dave has made several other minor upgrades, improvements and parts swaps on his Ford, and will likely continue to do so. After all, a project is never really complete; it’s just in a holding pattern for the next upgrade session. DW