From Father’s Daily Driver to Customized Performance Machine

Although this  Ford F-250 from Miami, Florida, now features a substantial list of performance modifications, owner David Venereo had two very good reasons to be cautious when he began customizing the truck. First, he was only 15 years old at the time, and, second, the truck belonged to his father. “Being my father’s daily driver, I slowly did minor mods,” David explains. “Being 15, I couldn’t do anything major.”

David got started with an SCT 4-inch exhaust and intake. He then added a Snow Performance water/meth injection system and an AirDog fuel pump, which, David tells us, he hid nicely so his dad wouldn’t notice. David quickly began making a name for himself at local after-hours race hangouts. The performance trend continued with the addition of a Garrett PowerMax turbocharger with a Bullseye BatMoWheel.

David’s dad quickly got wise to his son’s customizing ways and worked a deal to sell him the Ford. With the truck now all his, David figured it was time to get it lifted and tighten the lugs on some new wheels. A BDS 6-inch (front) and 4-inch (rear) lift kit with dual Fox 2.0 shocks and steering stabilizers was installed by his friend Carlos Pellitero at X-treme Performance in Miami, while another friend—Carlos Gonzalez at American Force Wheels—hooked him up with some 22-inch Rebel SS8 rims. David also decided to swap out the AirDog for an A1000 with parts from Irate Diesel.

David and Jose Rodriguez at A&D Towing in Miami built the engine, and over time the Ford powerplant acquired more than its fair share of custom add-ons. David lists MPD (Maryland Performance Diesel) 190/100 injectors, MPD S366/74.91 turbo, Steed Speed exhaust manifolds, CED T-4 up-pipes, S&B filters and intake, MBRP 4-inch turbo-back turn-down, SCT tunes, Sinister coolant filter kit, dual 18-inch electric fans, Dieselsite external high oil pressure drive system, Driven Diesel regulated return, Banks Techni-Cooler intercooler, Turbosmart blow-off valve and Sun Coast billet flexplate.

There are other external and internal mods that further raise the Ford’s profile. Recon smoked mirror taillights can be seen by the other racers as David pulls away from the pack. Meanwhile, David’s cabin throbs thanks to a Pioneer head unit with Infinity Kappa amplifiers and speakers, and a pair of 12-inch subs mounted in a custom box behind the rear seat.

This F-250 that was once his father’s daily driver is still driven every day by David. He also uses it to tow and race, and he gets a respectable 15 to 16 mpg. David’s customizing fever shows no sign of cooling, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a full feature on this Ford in the future.


Dual Diesels

A long way from the Sunshine State, this pair of his and her rides comes to us from St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada. The 2002 Chevrolet 2500HD belongs to Jeff Martel, who owns a shop up in that neck of the woods that specializes in diesel, drivelines and transmissions.

Jeff offered a one-word explanation for the build: “fun!” With help from his friend Tim Ducharme, the Chevy now sports a front ELocker differential, rear Grizzly locker, built trans with an ML-G converter, transfer case pump rub update, 4.5-inch BDS suspension lift, 20×9 BMF Novakane wheels wrapped in 35-inch Nitto Terra Grappler tires, track bars, a full complement of gauges, BD SuperMax turbo, BD intercooler, Snow Performance water/meth injection, FASS 150-gph fuel pump, Flex-a-Lite fans, SSBC Big Bite brake kit, PPE steering braces and tie rod sleeves, ATS manifolds and up-pipes, 52-gallon Titan gas tank, and an EFILive DSP5 tune.

Jeff paid attention to the exterior of the vehicle as well. The body was outfitted with 2006 tow mirrors and color-matched door handles, as well as color-matched Bushwacker cut-out fender flares, HID headlights, LED taillights and N-Fab step bars.

Jeff tells us his heavy Chevy has approximately 150K miles on the odometer and gets 18 mpg. He also reports a dyno reading at 546/1,076 at the wheels on the “big tune” even with stock injectors and CP3.

Jeff refers to his wife Giselle’s 2009 Audi Q7 S-Line with the 3.0L TDI V-6 as the “kiddie hauler.” The Q7 is bone stock except for the 22-inch Rinspeed replica wheels wrapped in 285/35R22 rubber. It pulls close to 24 U.S. mpg on average, which makes it an efficient complement in the Martel’s pair of his and her diesels.



Budget Build

Ethan Sluder of Newland, North Carolina, is another young diesel enthusiast who proves that you don’t have to pay through the nose to get noticed. His 2003 Ford F-250 has turned more than a few heads in the Carolinas. “I bought this truck completely stock in 2012,” Ethan explains. “All these mods have been done in the last year and on a budget while I’ve worked my way through college.”

The 7.3L Power Stroke engine was upgraded with a 4-inch downpipe, 5-inch Diamond Eye exhaust, Superchips Flashpaq programmer, aFe Stage 2 intake with ProGuard 7 filter, AirDog 150 fuel/air separator, and Banks turbo wheel. A ZF6 six-speed manual transmission handles the increased torque.

Ride height was raised 2.5 inches thanks to a leveling kit. The tire/wheel combo includes chrome 951 Moto Metals wrapped with 35/12.50-18 Toyo Open Country M/T radials

A GlowShift gauge pod allows Ethan to keep an eye on essentials like boost, EGT and fuel pressure, while a custom-made shifter knob lets him smoothly and confidently change gears. The truck’s outward appearance was enhanced with N-Fab running boards and a custom-made drop hitch.

Ethan clearly knows how to get the most customizing bang for his buck. To which we say nice work, young man. DW

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