The Fuel Saving, Racing Machine

Modifying the 6.4L workhorse

February 2014 Feature Brady L. Kay

In the auto industry, Chip Foose is a legend. Through his business, Foose Design—an automotive and product design development company—Chip Foose has created a legacy of designs and accomplishments that are well beyond his years. When you think Foose, most people think of Chip.

On the other hand, there is another Foose that isn’t nearly as well-known or even in the auto industry for that matter. Kevin Barfuss picked up the Foose nickname years ago, but welcomes anyone who might confuse him with the artist. But just because his chosen profession doesn’t involve the auto industry, at least not directly since he does work in the medical profession, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love trucks.   

In his Idaho hometown, Foose is just one of thousands who drives a pickup to work each day. A few years back he invested in a 2008 Ford F-350 6.4L Power Stroke to keep up with his growing hobbies.

“I pull my 25-foot camper and my 18-foot boat at the same time so I’m like a train going down the road,” says Foose. “I wouldn’t want to try pulling all of this with a gasser.”

Spending Awareness

When it comes to being thrifty, Foose doesn’t shy away from saving money. He throws nickels around like manhole covers, which in this up and down economy probably isn’t a bad thing. Always watching and monitoring his miles per gallon as if his life depended on it, the Idaho-native got curious on what he could do to his truck to improve it and cut down on his trips to the pump.   

In town his F-350 averaged right around 12.1 mpg, while on the highway he was getting on average 15.0 mpg. He had some ideas of his own on what he could do to his truck to not only improve the fuel economy, but also the power, but decided to go directly to the professionals to see what they would recommend first.

The thought of making a bunch of phone calls to different places didn’t excite him, so that’s why he went to the one source that could do it all. He decided to contact Diesel Power Products because of the wide variety of products as well as the knowledgeable people that could help him. Plus going to a distributor like Diesel Power Products can end up saving you a lot of money in most cases, which really made Foose happy.

First Step

It seems like the first thing most diesel enthusiasts do when they decide to modify their truck is to replace the stock intake. It’s one of the easiest modifications to make, plus the improvements can be quite dramatic as well. Josh Ullrich at DPP recommended the Cold Air Intake System from S&B Filters. These intake kits are all about improving airflow to your truck's engine. In doing some homework, Foose discovered the S&B 75-5054 flows 23.3 percent better then the OE Induction System, while removing 99.5 percent of the airborne dirt at the Vehicle's Rated Flow. Simply put, better airflow translates into a noticeable increase in power, acceleration and most importantly bragging rights.


It all starts with airflow. The more air that your engine breathes, the more oxygen it receives. More oxygen results in a better combustion. Better combustion translates into more power and better fuel economy. This is why your truck runs better on cool mornings than on hot afternoons as cool air is denser and contains more oxygen. You can feed your engine more oxygen by reducing the restriction of the airflow. The goal of a Performance Intake Kit is to reduce the restriction of the airflow to your vehicle's engine. In layman's terms, make it easier for the engine to breathe. By reducing the restriction of the airflow, your engine will have better throttle response and produce more horsepower and torque. Since your engine will not have to work as hard to produce the required amount of power, the result is better fuel economy.

What Else?

Once Foose was convinced the S&B Stage 2 system with an eight-layer cleanable filter needed to be on his list, the next logical step was to swap out his stock exhaust as well. For this, Ullrich at DPP suggested the Flo~Pro 4-inch Downpipe Back Exhaust. The single outlet downpipe back exhaust kit is available in either aluminum or stainless steel material. 

His online shopping cart still had plenty of room and Foose was curious as to what else DPP would recommend for his Power Stroke. That’s when the thought of adding a tuner came to mind, but not just any tuner. The Black Maxx Tuner from H&S Performance has been an instant hit in the industry for its clean install and amazing performance capabilities.

The Black Maxx race tuner is part of the next generation of diesel down loaders from H&S that offer everything a diesel owner could want, all in one high tech unit. Exclusive to H&S, the Black Maxx offers the flexibility of shift-on-the-fly tuning, as well as giving you the ability to monitor vital engine statistics at a glance. The full color, high resolution screen allows the user to view up to four parameters at one time.

Foose liked the idea that he’d be able to choose from 20 plus engine parameters including boost, transmission temp, intake temp, fuel rail pressure, exhaust gas temps, plus many more. The Black Maxx comes loaded with four power levels (stock, 60, 150 and 225) that can be changed at any time, on the fly.

DPP also recommended the H&S Black Maxx Custom Mount that gives it a look of "factory" style mounting for the tuner. The custom molded ABS plastic pods are designed to mount your Black Maxx in an easy-to-view location, while keeping that clean factory look.


When it comes to knowing, recommending and delivering the best aftermarket products available, Foose couldn’t be happier with what Diesel Power Products recommended. But for all this company could do for him, there is one thing they couldn’t—at least not without him taking his truck to them—and that’s do the install work.

One place that was worth a couple of hours drive from his Idaho home is Moonlight Diesel in Logan, Utah. This is one shop that can do it all, including running some before and after numbers on its dyno to measure the results. Foose set an appointment with Moonlight Diesel owner Terry Thain who is also the head tech. With over 20 years in the diesel market, this is one shop that goes the extra mile to make sure its customers are happy. 

“Terry is a great guy and I can see why his business is so successful,” said Foose. “Moonlight is very customer-friendly and I would go back to them in a heartbeat as well as recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their truck.”

Results Are In

Foose lit up the road all the way home as he pulled out of the northern Utah shop. The boost of power put an instant smile on his face as he experimented with his new Black Maxx tuner on the fly. Plus he had the dyno numbers to back it all up in case any of his buddies were looking for more proof. But based on how his truck now handles, he had all the proof he needed.

The results were huge considering the few upgrades that were done to this bone stock truck. On the dyno run before the install he was sitting at 858.9 ft/lbs of torque and 336 hp. After the install he was pleasantly surprised to be at an improved 1161.1 ft/lbs of torque and 564.4 hp.

“The power is the biggest difference that I’ve noticed,” explained Foose. “I don’t get on it a lot because of fuel prices and I like my tires, but it’s great to have that throttle behind you when you need it.”

Smoking the tires and taking miles off the tread in just seconds is still a great thrill for him, but the one figure he was most curious about was if he was able to improve the fuel economy. Hoping to improve on the 12.1 mpg in town and 15.0 mph highway was his biggest motivation for the install. He kept a close eye on his fuel for the next several months and is happy to report he’s now getting an average in town of 15.6 mpg and an impressive 20.5 mpg on the highway.

“I’m impressed with the miles per gallon that I’m now getting,” said Foose. “Especially in the summer months, I’m extremely happy.”

With this kind of savings at the pump, he knows it won’t take very long before these upgrades pay for themselves. And since he’ll soon be actually saving money, it already has him back on the phone with Ullrich at Diesel Power Products to see what his next project should be.

By The Numbers

Stats from before and after install

Dyno Results:

Before Torque: 858.9 ft/lbs

After Torque: 1161.1 ft/lbs

Before Horsepower: 336.0 hp

After Horsepower: 564.4 hp


Fuel Economy/MPG:

Before Town:   12.1 mpg

After Town:      15.6 mpg


Before Hwy: 15.0 mpg

After Hwy: 20.5 mpg


Performance Runs

Dead Stop: (average three runs)

0-60 mph

Before: 11.31 seconds

After: 7.59 seconds


Rolling Start: (average three runs)

10-60 mph

Before: 10.1 seconds

After: 6.77 seconds


Accelerations: (average three runs)

40-60 mph

Before: 6.1 seconds

After: 4.0 seconds


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