There aren’t many trucks that are universally liked by everyone, but Brig Pannepacker’s ’04 Ford fits the bill. Not only is his truck a stylish Harley Edition, it mixes the best parts that the Big Three have to offer, with a Cummins engine and Allison 1,000 transmission shoved into the sturdy Ford frame. The drivetrain has also been extensively modified, and the truck has put down a dyno-proven 770 horsepower to the rear tires in towing mode and crested 1,000 hp in an all-out race tune.
When he first acquired the truck, Brig knew he didn’t trust the 6.0L power plant that it came with, so it was immediately yanked. The Cummins engine that now resides in the engine bay is also a displacement bump as compared to the old engine, at 6.7L. Built with the help of Destroked, the inline-six has a number of internal upgrades, including connecting rods from Woodruff Diesel, coated pistons, ARP 625 head studs, and a Colt Big Stick camshaft. The head has also been O-ringed to help keep the engine’s cylinder pressure in the cylinder, where it should be.
Since Brig lives fairly high up in elevation, the reliability and drivability of compound turbochargers won out over the simplicity of a single turbo. The smaller of the two turbos is a 64mm S300 from Engineered Diesel, while the bigger of the two is a 75mm S400 that has a 90-degree cover from Destroked. Together, both chargers push an impressive 70 pounds of boost through a Banks intercooler and into the engine. The engine’s injection system has also been heavily modified for performance. Twin CP3 pumps now keep rail pressure up and feed massive injectors from Industrial Injection, which are rated at 300 hp more than stock. The final touch was a water-methanol injection kit from Snow Performance, which helps control EGT when towing heavy loads.
Backing the well-engineered Cummins combination is an equally built Allison 1000 six-speed transmission. Built by Destroked, the Allison has added clutches, a revised valve body, and a triple-disc converter from Precision Industries. Destroked also provided the adapters for the transmission-to-engine and transfer case connections.
After the basic Cummins/Allison combination was figured out, there was still a matter of controlling both the engine and transmission. Here Brig went a path less travelled and installed a complete stand-alone Zeus ECM with the help of Destroked owner Scott Countryman. Nearly infinitely adjustable, the Zeus can be programmed with custom fueling, timing, and rpm limits to give full control over the Cummins engine. In addition to the Zeus, a stand-along Allison controller from Destroked was also added, which allows the use of such niceties like tow-haul mode, a tap shifter, and EFILive for tuning.
With such a nice powertrain, Brig wasn’t about to let the rest of the truck stay stock. With help from his buddies Chris Wilson, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Pannepacker, Brig and his crew started on modifying the Ford’s suspension and interior. The front of the truck was upgraded with a 4-inch 4-link conversion from Full Traction with King coil-over shocks. The steering also received assistance in the form of a hydraulic assist from PSC. Out back, Firestone airbags, Bilstein shocks, and custom-arched Deaver progressive springs give the rear of the truck a lift and extra support.
BRIG’S BIG RIG
With a reliable and fully tunable powertrain, and extremely capable chassis, Brig now finally had the Ford that he’s always wanted. After making a number of both exterior and interior upgrades, the ’04 has looks that are hard to beat and a cabin that’s extremely comfortable on road trips. Brig reported that he’s grossed more than 30,000 pounds with his Harley, so nobody can question the truck’s capability. We even got a chance to drive the big Ford, and we honestly can’t think of a better combination of looks, power, and durability than Brig’s big rig. DW