Talk'n Torque

Big Dreams for Big Blue

Published in the August 2011 Issue August 2011 Column

Big BlueI've been patiently waiting for the buzz surrounding Nate King's Back To Basics series to finally die down, but it looks like I'm going to be waiting a little longer. For you fans out there, the last installment in this popular series will be in our next issue. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed following this build myself. I just don't like to admit it when I was wrong.

When Nate first suggested last year that his next project truck should be a 1998 12-valve Dodge, to be honest I was concerned. There are plenty of these trucks on the road still, but our technical editor was proposing a six-part, extremely-detailed series on this '98 Cummins. I questioned if there was enough reader-interest to justify such a commitment. Well, it just goes to show you what I know.

Turns out our Dodge enthusiast was on to something as emails and phone calls started to pour in with praise, follow-up questions and just an overall demand for more information. Not to mention the requests for back issues when people would come across Diesel Tech on the newsstand and would want to get their hands on every issue that includes his Back To Basics feature in it. Yeah, it's safe to say this 13-year-old truck generated some heavy reader interest.

So I decided to take a lesson from Nate and go back a few years myself on my next project truck. And even though it's been a few years since Ford created the 7.3L engine, I knew this truck could generate some interest as well from our readers.

I picked up a 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel truck earlier this summer and man am I excited to tear into this stock beauty. It's funny, the guy selling it told me not to worry, that it "hadn't been messed with or anything like that." When I questioned what he meant by messed with, he was proud to say he hadn't modified the engine in any way and that it was still completely stock. So in other words, he hadn't had any fun with it or even come close to finding its true potential. Well not to worry, I've got that part covered. I'm half tempted to give him a ride in his old truck when I'm all done so he can appreciate the joys of "messing" with a stock diesel after I double the horsepower.

The only thing that had really been done to this Super Duty is what I refer to as a poor man's lift. A couple of extra leaf springs had been added to give the truck a little lift and I knew with the right tires and wheels I could give this truck the look the original owner was probably hoping to get to some day.

I'm a tall guy and I love that it sits up a little higher than most trucks and I guess my kids do, too. They're at that young age where they tend to give everything a nickname and the day I brought her home they started calling her Big Blue, which works for me.

So starting in our next issue, which will be our October edition, we're going to start covering this F-250 and I think you're going to like where she ends up. We're going to "mess" with it alright and it's going to be a lot of fun to take a strong engine like the 7.3L and create a truck that is worthy of the Big Blue name. And who knows? Maybe this project truck will get a following like Nate's Back To Basic truck. Well, I can dream can't I?

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