Cummins Ford: The Perfect Daily Driver - Diesel World

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.

The inline-six Cummins diesel fits like stock and runs great. This 180,000-mile-plus engine puts out a respectable 579 hp and 1,041 lb/ft of torque. Dual Optima batteries ensure that the diesel will start on the coldest days.

This F-250 is not your typical Ford diesel-powered truck. While it started life with a 7.3L Power Stroke, it now has a 12-valve Cummins 6BT under the hood.

Firestone air bags help with trailer towing and with heavy loads too.

The truck sports tried and true BFG All-Terrain T/A tires… perfect for work and play.

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.

The air intake on this Cummins-powered F-250 is a custom unit that David built himself. You can also see the double turbo setup he installed.

A FASS fuel filter and lift pump were added to the back frame rails for better fuel delivery.

The truck has twin stacks that come up from the bed, behind the cab corners.

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