All Dressed Up

A Power Stroke like No Other

April 2014 Feature Michael Deulley

There's always something unique to each diesel on the road. Even if the truck is completely stock there is a certain personality given to it by the owner. Whether it's a “path less traveled” paint job, or a performance shop logo sticker on the back windshield, you'll never see a perfectly identical truck on the road.

For Steven Dixon of Bordentown, N.J., and his 2006 F250 Power Stroke, it’s safe to say you'll probably never see a truck quite as stylish anywhere else in the country. There seem to be three main areas that get modified on a diesel: the interior, the exterior and everyone's personal favorite, under the hood. Dixon's Ford looks more like a finely tailored three-piece suit than a truck. Taking a close look from headlight to tail, even an amateur enthusiast would easily see that this F250 is about as custom as it gets. There's so much customization in fact, that it would be more logical to make a comprehensive guide to the “all new” truck and throw the old owner’s manual out of the window.

Like No Other

Like other owners, Dixon enjoys showing off his incredible Ford to anyone who can appreciate it. Also, not unlike other owners, Dixon found his enthusiasm for coal-rollin diesels early on.

“I hung out with a lot of kids who got really interested in diesels and that was it for me,” says the owner. “From the first time I looked at them, I liked the power and when I saw their towing capabilities I had to get one.”

In August of 2010, Dixon picked up his Ford with intentions of putting a little performance into it, but the final product went far beyond what he originally intended. Dixon, having a little bit of a knack for marketing, took his truck to various shows and started talking to different companies about it. The end result led him to two different companies that saw something in the Power Stroke. Mishimoto Automotive and Diesel Dynasty, two companies that specialize in diesel aftermarket parts, among various other diesel-related items, took an interest in Dixon's truck and offered to do a little promoting of it. A little of their promoting led to one of the most complex and all-encompassing builds that can be found on the road today.

The Outer Beauty

Dixon's build idea for the truck was more like a three-pronged combat strategy.

“I wanted to do an all-around truck,” says Dixon. “I wanted to get new lighting, sound, and performance; just do everything I could to it.”

When Dixon bought the truck, it came in a green and tan two-tone paint scheme. So he had the rest of the truck color-matched green. After the last drop of paint dried, he put on a 4.5-inch Icon lift, and to fill the gap, lugged in 35x12.5x20 Nitto Trail Grapplers, which he wrapped around a set of 20x10 powder coated black Fuel Off-Road Wheels. Next, he installed Pro Comp ladder bars, Bilstein 5100 series shocks, an Icon pan rod bar and a Superlift dual steering stabilizer. The lift already started to give the exterior flair, but wasn't enough to make the exterior really stand out. Dixon decided that the lights should be swapped out, so he installed Recon smoked tail and third brake lights and got Recon smoked mirror lenses. When he got to the headlights, he decided to put in Harley Davidson 8000K HID lights for an added touch. The fog lights were swapped out with 4600K Xenon bulbs, the fog lenses were smoked and replaced the stock cab lights with Recon smoked cab clearance lights. To finish off the rest of the exterior, Dixon installed a Fuel Off-Road studded grille, a tonneau bed cover and a shaved super duty tailgate. With stage one of his build finished, it was on to stage two, which Dixon already had in the works.

What's Inside

The exterior of the Ford looked immaculate, but you know what they say about superficial beauty. There was no stone left unturned when it came to the exterior, so it only made sense to take care of the interior appeal as well. One of the first things installed were Recon super duty blue illuminated door sills. It may seem like a little bit much to add something like an illuminated door sill, but Dixon wanted a truck that had more to appreciate than the average build, so no aspect of the truck could be overlooked. Next, he installed a triple pod with Auto Meter Cobalt series boost, pyro and fuel pressure gauges. Next, Dixon put in an Edge Insight CTS, which helps with the performance of the truck, but as any diesel driver knows, gives the interior extra flair. To add a little more one-of-a-kind appeal, green LED lights were installed in the HVAC vents. Dixon had an idea of lighting the truck up in a special way seldom seen anywhere else and made sure to keep the theme going. The lighting system in the interior was finished off with a Recon LED dome light and blue LED lights, which were placed under an MTX Thunderform subwoofer box to create an under-glow effect. Dixon decided that if everything else was going to get a customized makeover, the seats should as well, so he put on a new set of Coverking neoprene seat covers. Sitting in the truck as it stood was great, but what's the use of all of the interior and exterior beauty if there's no introduction music? Dixon had a quick remedy to change the sound with a Pioneer 3200 DVD head unit, MTX XT573 door speakers, a Kenwood 1800 watt amp and dual TT65 10-inch subwoofers, which he had installed in his Thunderform box. With the interior and exterior attractive enough to win first place at just about any show it went to, it was time to put a little beast in this beauty.

Top Quality Performance

What is all of the beauty of this Ford worth without some muscle behind it? That was Dixon's exact thought and so for the last of his three-pronged attack, he went under the hood for a little power. He began with an aFe Stage 2 cold air intake and supported it with a Banks High Ram intake elbow. The stock turbo was then replaced with a variable-geometry turbo, which began to send massive air to the engine. To ensure that he was going to get premium air-to-fuel ratio, Dixon installed a set of Elite 185cc/70 percent injectors, a Driven Diesel regulated return, which provides regulated fuel pressure capabilities and an AirDog 150 II fuel system. To strengthen the engine, he had the heads ported and polished and put in a set of ARP head studs. Working out and away from the engine block, he installed a stainless steel up pipe, an Elite Diesel Bulletproof Y Pipe, a Mishimoto intercooler and radiator and a XDP coolant filtration system. Later, Innovative Diesel gave a FICM tune and SCT extreme tune. With the exhaust being the only thing left on the checklist, Dixon installed a Diamond Eye 4-inch down pipe, which led to a 5-inch straight pipe and split into dual 6-inch black chrome Flo-Pro exhaust tips.

Dixon was looking for unique style, power and a certain level of prestige that isn't too often seen in the diesel family. Some want a show truck that is merely there to astound and amaze, while others need a down and dirty workhorse to get the job done. Dixon wanted both.

“When I got the truck, I wanted something that looked clean, unique and had a lot of power behind it,” says the proud owner. “ I drive it everyday, but I wanted something a little more customized than I'm used to seeing.”

Out For A Spin

With the performance finally finished, the only thing left to do was enjoy the ride. Dixon takes his F250 to shows all over the country to show off the incredible amount of work that was put in. He has Mishimoto Automotive and Diesel Dynasty to thank for the help, and so he spares no expense when it comes to showing off what the truck is capable of. Since the beginning of the build, Dixon has learned a lot about how unlimited the possibilities are for a diesel driver and frequently tells his story and helps others get into the diesel family. So whether he's got the hood open at a show, or just cruising down the road, you can bet he's representing the diesel industry well.

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