Hauling over a thousand pounds of horse calls for a lot of horsepower, and that’s something Faith Brown has firsthand experience with. After struggling for a while with her gas 1995 Chevy truck, she finally came to the decision that her current accommodations couldn’t handle the weight she needed to haul. A lot of her friends, all diesel enthusiasts, started recommending that Faith convert to the other side. They exerted a strong pull to get her looking into the 7.3L Power Stroke.
“I always told myself, if I ever had a Power Stroke it would have to be an old body style,” Faith explains. “Well, my wish came true!”
Faith put pen to paper and irrevocably entered the world of diesels when she officially bought her first diesel truck, a 1997 Ford F250 Power Stroke, from her boyfriend.
“I was really hesitant, though, because I was always raised a Chevy girl!” Faith says. But it didn’t take long for this Elverson, Pa., girl to realize that for her, this was exactly what she was looking for the whole time.
“I absolutely love this truck,” she gushes. With the brawn to haul her horse and the reliability to be a daily driver, Faith quickly discovered the many ways her F250 made life that much easier. With that awakening, of course, came the trickling ideas for modifications to coax out even more power and increased performance. Most of all, she wanted a good, dependable vehicle and that bolt of power for hauling.
The F250 was originally set up as a pulling truck, and Faith wanted to use it to haul her boyfriend’s pulling truck to local events while still using it as her go-to vehicle for just about anything else.
So she flicked up her sleeves, tied her hair back, and went to work.
Being an old body style, her truck’s construction was high-quality but parts were still subject to the laws of time, and she had a few plans forming that would make her truck even more reliable and with higher horsepower capabilities.
A cold air intake is one of those modifications that’s not terribly expensive but would help lead her to a top-notch performance intake system. By bringing down the air temperature that’s pulled into the engine’s combustion chamber as well as increasing airflow, a cold air intake was installed with the hope of reaching both of Faith’s goals behind her mod work.
She also fine-tuned her engine with a custom tune to chase after that “power under the curve.” This has the potential benefits of better fuel economy (when coupled, of course, with good driving habits), which would really come in handy as she uses the truck for errands and work transport. Faith also installed a six-position TS chip, not only with an aim to increase torque, but to steady the shift points for smoother transitions from gear to gear.
Faith also liked the looks of single stacks, so she went from a 3-inch downpipe exhaust to a 5-inch single stack and got a 20 percent tint on her windows all the way around, with a five percent eyebrow (or windshield strip). This tint offers a stark contrast against the vibrant red paint job for an unforgettably striking truck, as well as more privacy and tempered sun glare during especially bright times of the day.
Faith also did some engine work with a 66mm Turbonetics Charger, and with the increased turbo, Faith was able to track down and install some stage 4 Swamp injectors. These big guys came with a bigger price tag, but for the long-lasting quality and the performance gains, her truck was really ready to heat up. Towing with these big injectors is definitely partly work, mostly fun. She also built the bottom end with custom-cut pistons and fully balanced the crankshaft.
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With the mods stacking up, Faith made sure to prep for the increased power by installing a billet input shaft to support the overall build while bringing power into the transmission. The transmission work also led to a fully custom-built transmission.
Faith says, “I picked these modifications because I wanted a reliable truck and something with a lot of horsepower!”
Did she get the results she wanted?
“Yes!” she cries. “These modifications have helped so much!”
With 300,000 miles on the motor, Faith says it’s “still running like a beast! I absolutely love this truck!”
While the age-old debate and hot blood between Chevys and Fords just goes to show that both sides have good, strong points, she has to admit that because of her 7.3L, “I have been converted to a Ford girl!”
As for future modification plans, Faith is keeping it simple, yet exciting. Now that she’s reaching the performance she was originally after, Faith is turning an eye toward designing the look she wants on the outside. A new grille, taillights, paint job, and lift will all be tackled shortly. As with any diesel enthusiast constantly chasing new mods, Faith jokes, “The list never ends!”
Her boyfriend, a big-time puller with his F350 Power Stroke, has been a constant source of encouragement and support, lending a hand with all the modifications she dreamed up and planned out.
“We have tons of fun working on trucks together!” Faith confides. “It's great that we both have the same interest in diesel trucks.”
When reflecting on her time in the diesel industry, Faith points out that not all is sunshine and roses. People can be very judgmental. Her advice on how to deal with this?
“Never let people bring you down with the things you do to your truck,” she says. “So what if you want pink on your truck? As long as you love it, that's all that matters!”
As you can tell by reading this, these are more than just words for Faith—she really means it. Her love for her build is evident the minute you talk with her, and with the way things are going, we can be sure that her truck will always be running like a beast.
Photography by Anthony Panzino of Eireann Photography
Swamp’s Diesel Performance