Long Live the King

Older 7.3L Power Strokes are worthwhile investments

July 2012 Spotlight

Note: The following is an archive story from the July 2010 issue of Diesel Tech Magazine.

If you're one of those guys who continue to think the 7.3L Power Stroke is a dead, outdated platform, let us introduce you to Richard Scott of Roy, UT, and his 2001 F350.

This big red Ford just might be the one that changes that old school train of thought, as this truck not only looks good standing still but it'll look good as it's pulling away from you on the track as well.

Scott was born and raised with blue-oval blood running through his veins, so it was only natural to find himself behind the wheel of this truck back in 2003 when he went truck shopping.

Scott bought the red Ford in basically stock form with just 30,000 miles on the clock. It wasn't too long after the purchase that its transformation into the truck you're seeing now began. Scott had originally lifted the truck more than 9 inches and had it sitting on 38-inch tires, but after what seemed like never ending "run-ins" with the law due to its massive stance, he eventually gave in and dropped the truck down onto a smaller 4-inch Pro-Comp suspension lift. It's outfitted with 35x12.50 Dick Cepek Fun Country II tires and 20x9 black machined BMF Novakane wheels. To complement the Pro-Comp suspension is a full set of Billstein 5100 shocks, along with a dual steering stabilizer kit using Billsteins as well. To aid in traction and prevent axle wrap, a Pro-Comp Traction Bar kit was also bolted on.

With the proper stance on the truck Scott looked to improve the overall look of the truck with the addition of a 2008 Super Duty tailgate, smoked tail lights from Recon and some larger fender flares from Bushwacker. The lower valance on the front bumper was also removed and sprayed to match the rest of the truck, giving it that more aggressive and bold look. The windows have also been tinted with a double layer of 5 percent limo tint to keep the cab nice and cool even on the hottest summer days.

The inside of that dark cab is outfitted with the factory Lariat leather seats and a very impressive upgraded sound system. The truck is running an Eclipse double-din head unit that has been wired into MB Quartz mid- and high-range speakers that are powered by a Planet Audio 400x4 amplifier. Added bass is handled through three 12-inch L7 Solo Baric subwoofers powered by a Planet Audio 2250D amplifier. To keep up with the power demands of the stout stereo system, Scott also upgraded the batteries to Optima Yellow Tops. There is also a set of Autometer Ultra-Lite gauges mounted on the A-pillar to monitor boost, egt and transmission temperatures.

Don't let the ripping stereo system lead you to believe this truck is for show only, as there is a very robust 7.3L Power Stroke living under the hood as well. Believe us when we tell you this truck performs just as well as it looks. While still running stock motor internals, this 7.3L has put down more than 475 rear wheel horsepower on a Superflow dyno-not bad for an older HEUI injector powered truck.

On the fueling side of the things, aftermarket upgrades start at the tank where an FASS 150 pump system sends fuel into a set of Hypermax Stage II 200cc single shot injectors with a larger .010 edm nozzle. Unused fuel in the cylinder heads is returned back to the tank through a custom Wide Open Performance regulated fuel return kit. Controlling all that fuel is a DP Tuner F5 chip with an in-cab switch that allows shift-on-the-fly programming. Ensuring those big oil-thirsty injectors are receiving all the volume and pressure they need to run properly is a dual high pressure oil system from Terminator Engineering.

All that added fuel prompted the need for added airflow as well. Scott replaced the restrictive factory air box with a higher-flowing system from AFE Power. Ingesting air at high quantities through that Stage II intake system is a GQSSB turbocharger system from Wide Open Performance of Sandy, UT. The GQSSB turbocharger flows a very impressive 1150 cfm, which is more than enough to support 500 rwhp, while still offering great street manners and super quick spool-up even at the higher elevations of Utah. The turbo made for the perfect fit for Scott's daily driver with the ability to handle heavy towing with ease. On the exhaust side of things, Terrace Muffler of Ogden, UT, installed a complete four-inch Flo-Pro system with custom dual tailpipes running out to five-inch polished stainless tips.

To ensure sending all that horsepower to the ground reliably wasn't a problem, Wide Open Performance also installed a sturdy 4R100 transmission from Brian's Truck Shop of Lead Hill, AR.

Scott says he couldn't ask for more out of his daily driver, with plenty of power on tap for a little weekend hotrodding with the truck still maintaining that worry-free reliability we all ask for.

With just more than 120,000 miles on the truck, Scott says he has no plans of getting rid of the truck anytime soon. But with 475 reliable horsepower under the hood and the looks to back it up, we can't say we blame him.

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