Being a diesel enthusiast is something you're born with. Something that runs in the veins. For David Venereo of Miami, Fla., this statement is as clear as clean glass, and shown in his incredible 2006 Ford 6.0L F250 FX4. What started as a clandestine operation to slowly mod out his father's former truck, turned into a massive build that would exceed expectations and reinvent what it meant to have a tricked-out daily driver. If there's one point to take away from this story, it's that the desire for diesel performance is something insatiable and can't be stopped until every possible mod has been done.
Venereo's dad originally purchased the 6.0L Power Stroke in 2009 from a friend. Only looking for a daily driver, his father had no intention of putting any performance into the truck. With the 6.0L engine platform begin robust, even when completely stock, the F250 could easily serve as a reliable and comfortable driver. Venereo, however, had plans for the truck and like every other diesel-loving person, those plans involved insane and formidable performance.
At only 15 years of age, money was hard to come by, and wanting to keep his plans a secret, being unassuming and quiet about his build plans was essential. The first thing to go into the Ford was an SCT 4 tuner, S&B filters and a new intake. A few years later, in 2011, Venereo secretly installed a water meth and AirDog fuel pump, which discretely enhanced the F250's power.
“I didn't want my dad to know what I was up to, so when I put the water meth kit and fuel pump on, I hid it well enough so he wouldn't notice anything,” Venereo said.
In the dark and concealing hours of the night, the son had another passion that he would frequently attend—truck racing. With the first true taste of the Ford's potential on the race track, the desire for more power inevitably increased. As he started to make a name for himself as a fierce and fearless racer, he wanted to make a name for the truck. Within months of his last installs, Venereo put in a Garret Powermax equipped with a Bullseye Batmowheel. As the power began to increase, the stresses on the 6.0L engine were proving to be too much.
“Not long after the turbo went in, the STC fitting blew out, so with its replacement I decided to install new studs and reseal the motor,” said Venereo.
While he was studding and sealing the engine, Venereo knew he had plans for more power in the future, so he also included a new set of MPD 190/100 injectors. For a while, money became difficult to rally together for the increasing list of build mods he wanted to install, so with the truck back on the road, Venereo bided his time and worked various odd jobs to save money for the future power of the Ford. Within a couple months, the urge to add more power became too strong and the Garret VGT would be replaced with a MPD S366/74.91. Another helpful boost to the F250's power would come in the form of the Banks Technicooler. The mods were starting to add up and Venereo's father no longer enjoyed the Ford's drivability, which was just the opportunity that Venereo was looking for. When he finally purchased the truck from his father, every possibility designed for the 6.0L became open to Venereo and it wouldn't take long for him to seize each opportunity as it presented itself.
One opportunity came to him as more of a necessity. While towing a friend’s 21-foot boat, he was goaded to race the encumbered Ford. To his dismay and unaddressed worries, the overdrive clutches were completely burned out. With the overdrive destroyed, the transmission was immediately removed and sent to A&D Towing shop in Miami where Venereo worked full-time. While the transmission was in repair, with the help of his colleague Jose Rodriguez, the AirDog pump was swapped out for an A1000 supplied by Irate Diesel of Amity, Ore. When the new pump was installed, it was back to work finishing up the transmission rebuild. With everything said and done, the transmission had a complete makeover. Now equipped with a SunCoast triple disk converter, Iron Pac 3 rebuild kit, billet input and intermediate shafts, flex plate and low/reverse hub, the heavily re-modified transmission would stand up to virtually anything that could be thrown at it.
Back To Business
With that out of the way, taking another look at the engine would be necessary to ensuring the longevity of all of the hard work that Venereo put into the Ford so far. First on the list was the installation of a Steed Speed exhaust manifold. After that, CED T-4 up-pipes were put in, an MBRP 4-inch turbo back exhaust made its way on and the stock coolant filter was replaced with a Sinister kit. To further keep the engine cool, he put in dual 18-inch electric fans and gained regulated control of his fuel pressure by installing a driven diesel regulated return. The new turbo demanded more air, so the next modification to take precedence was a CFM Plus Large Mouth intake elbow kit and to finally wrap up the work under the hood, a Turbosmart blow-off valve was installed. To monitor all of his newfound power, an Edge CTS Insight was set up and tuned up.
When Venereo started to work on the F250, it began with small, secretive installs, which turned into a full-blown rebuild, but Venereo wasn't finished yet. To make the Ford his own, there were several more installs that would have to happen first.
The Ford was powerful, but it didn't show all of Venereo's hard work. To get it looking the way he wanted, he drove over to X-treme Performance in Miami and had a 6-inch BDS suspension lift installed in the front, with a 4-inch BDS lift in the rear. Dual Fox 2.0 shocks and steering stabilizers were put on next, along with a set of One Up off road rear traction bars. The new lift demanded better wheels, so Venereo put on a set of American Force Rebel SS8 22x12 wrapped with Nitto 325/50 R22 tires. Recon Smoked rear, tail and third-brake lights were put on to finish the exterior flare.
With the outside of the Ford as good-looking as under the hood, the last thing to address was the sound. After some research, the stock stereo was replaced with a Pioneer 4500BT In-Dash stereo. To increase the output, Venereo installed Infinity Kappa 2 Component front speakers, Infinity Kappa Coaxial rear speakers and a Kappa 5 amp. Two 12-inch Pioneer Shallow Mount speakers, placed in a custom box were housed behind the rear seat and with an ear-splitting sound check, the new system was up to Venereo's standards.
The completely rebuilt Ford 6.0L 250 is not only a daily driver, but a towing workhorse, night time racer and a 16 mpg fuel saver—not to mention a mobile boom box. What began as a secret build on a truck owned by his father turned into a radical rebuild, turning a stock Ford into a custom classic. And whether he's on the race strip, or towing on the highway, this formidable Ford can do it all, with thanks due to a childhood passion for diesel being realized one mod at a time.
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