Collection of updates from “Project Obsessed” Installment
Are you a fan of the 7.3L Ford Power Stroke? Project Obsessed is all about taking a project build from top to bottom and creating the ultimate 7.3L. Below are all of the chronological articles from the “Project Obsessed” installment. Follow this story along with its progress and get some insight on what it takes to modify an OBS Ford Power Stroke diesel truck, what you’ll be looking to spend, and how much work it’ll take.
Part 1: Introduction to the build-up of a ‘96 F350 Ford Power Stroke
The Old Body Style (OBS) ‘94-’97 Ford is one of those trucks that will never go out of style. Like the ’68-’72 Chevys, the OBS Ford is timeless. There’s just something about that 7.3L Power Stroke that drivers continue to love. Whether you owned one, your dad owned one, or your neighbor owned one, many of us have a memory of these old trucks.
Part 2: Ford F-350 Interior Cleanup
Last month, we introduced an all-new project build—Project Obsessed. This 1996 7.3L Power Stroke F350 has 224,000 miles, had one owner and has seen its fair share of tough miles. However, given its age, it’s in great overall condition. After spending its life in Utah, where snowy salt-covered roads are the norm four months of the year, it’s still solid and rust-free.
Part 3: Ford F-350 Upgrade Basics
Well, Project Obsessed—our remake of an old-body-style Ford—is finally taking shape as we convert this worn-out truck with 220,000 miles into a little nicer of a driver and tow rig using some of today’s improved technology. In Part 1 of the build, we removed outdated exterior accessories and installed new headlights, turn signals, chrome light bezels, and a grille shell. In Part 2, we focused on the interior by adding a new dash bezel, replacement door hinge pins, door sill scuff plates, and a touchscreen double DIN stereo with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.
Part 4: Horsepower. Finally.
Now into month 6 of ownership of this classic old body style 227,000 mile Ford F350 and we’re starting on the fourth installment of the project build-up we plan to fill quite a few issues of Diesel World with. We started this build in hopes of making some great content on some of the ins and outs of these old 7.3L Power Strokes. Show some of their strengths, point out some of the weaknesses, and help you guys, like us, that still have a weakness for these old trucks. Sure, they’re a little outdated, but they can still be great trucks, with the right amount of love and attention. No, they don’t make the power new trucks do. Yes, they run a little on the loud side compared to a new truck. And no, they don’t ride like new coil-sprung and air bagged trucks do. But we know there are plenty of guys out there that just love these OBS Fords, it’s a nostalgic truck that just won’t ever go out of style. So why not appreciate that about them and build something unique and classic, instead of just another 2018 showroom floor model with some shiny wheels and stretched tires.
Part 5: Air Density
With Project Obsessed now into its fifth part of the build-up with a few basic bolts already completed and over 300hp on the chassis dyno, it’s really starting to take shape. But since this truck was bought to be somewhat of a daily driver with plans of taking the family to the mountains camping in a fifth-wheel camper and making horsepower isn’t the main goal. Making usable horsepower would be a more sufficient way to describe our plans. Adding some custom tunes, a cold air intake, and a new 4” exhaust system really woke this big white school bus up, but after the first big towing trip it was apparent it was going to need more work to become what it needed to be. In order to keep up with the new trucks on the road, it’s still going to need some more horsepower, but the EGT’s towing with what we had proved that wasn’t possible unless we addressed some airflow issues.
Part 6: Buckboard Delete
Part six of the major update and overhaul of this 1996 F350 we’ve dubbed Project OBSessed will focus on finally doing something about that horrendously rough riding, outdated, buckboard wagon-inspired front suspension. In previous parts of the build, we took care of some cosmetics with a new grille and headlight package. Replaced some broken interior parts in the dash and doors. We added some horsepower with custom tuning, a cold air intake, and a 4” turbo-back exhaust system. While most recently, we dropped our charge air temps with the addition of an intercooler kit that has been one of the most beneficial modifications to date. But this month, we might just surpass that ‘number one must have OBS mod’ intercooler package with the swap from a poorly engineered OEM leaf spring setup to a Reverse Shackle Kit (RSK) that not only relocates the spring shackle to the rear of the front springs but updates to the later model 1999-2004 Ford Super Duty spring.
Part 7: Tighten Up The Ship
Here we are once again, another installment of upgrades for Project Obsessed, our long-term build-up of a 1996 F350 7.3L Power Stroke. In hopes of building our rendition of the perfect Old Body Style Ford, we’ve already made significant improvements in this old truck with the most notable being the installation of an intercooler system from Banks Power and the new front suspension swap to a Reverse Shackle kit with Super Duty leaf springs from Sky’s Offroad. Of course, we’ve dialed up the horsepower a bit with a Banks 4” exhaust, S&B cold air intake, and custom tuning from AA Design & Tuning. As it sits, the old girl made a little over 300hp to the tires and does a pretty decent job of towing our fifth wheel around the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. The new front suspension made this quite possibly the best riding leaf spring truck we’ve ever been in, but 23 years and a couple hundred thousand miles have not been kind to the steering system. With some noticeable play in the wheel and a significant ‘wander’ at freeway speeds, this F350 isn’t quite the ultimate daily driver just yet.
Part 8: Injecting some Horsepower
The OBS Resto-mod project just keeps moving right along now into our eighth installment of the buildup of this 1996 F350 Ford truck. We’ve made a host of upgrades and have already really turned this big white school bus into quite the multi-use daily driver. New reverse shackle front suspension, heavy-duty steering parts, some interior upgrades, minor power bolt-ons with an intake, exhaust, and a chip. At this point, it’s time to silence some naysayers about the potential of that old 7.3L Power Stroke to make a respectable horsepower number. We’re going to dive into the fuel injection system and pump up the potential volume of fuel injected with some modified Hybrid injectors from Full Force Diesel of Murfreesboro, TN.