Snowman Power Stroke

July 2020 Feature Colin Peterson


This article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue.

This truck isn’t a big one by any means, but it’s an amazing color and boasts some astonishing character. It has a nice history of being used as a work truck, and such trucks tend to be somewhat more on the modest side in regards to build status, but anything built out of a work truck tends to carry extra status.

A lot has indeed been done to this rig as well. This is a 2005 Ford F350 Short Bed Regular Cab with the 6.0L Power Stroke engine. It is owned by Chris Azizian of Hanover, Mass. (about a half hour southeast of Boston), and has seen some quality fun in a few different walks of life. While the mid-2000s Navistar International V8 powerhouses in these trucks are notorious for turbo failures – among other issues – stemming from the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), they do become extremely reliable and powerful torque monsters when properly built up and modified. The 2005 and later models also tend to have fewer issues than their counterparts of earlier model years. I personally know this from experience; I came across more 6.0L trucks on the road than most other diesels while growing up in greater Philadelphia, Pa., and was always quite observant of the operation of diesels of all shapes and sizes.

Background

Makeovers on 6.0L Power Stroke trucks always make great stories because of the problems these engines are known for when bone-stock.

“When I bought the truck it needed a few repairs,” Chris says. He felt the truck deserved better, so he took the 6.0L rig to Precision Diesel Performance, his local diesel performance shop, to get it fixed up.

“I asked the shop to help me build reliability and serviceability into an older truck.” That’s just what they ended up doing! The next thing Chris and Precision Diesel knew after tinkering with it a little, they were making plans to upgrade and modify everything, especially on the inside. It’s quite a common feeling to want to add more to a truck once you dig into it. The project consisted of everything from sandblasting and painting the chassis, rebuilding the engine, and upgrading the fuel system, to piecing together a new cab/bed combination for a rust-free truck to paint.

“My truck is a work truck overkill. I gave them creative freedom and it was pretty fun!” adds Chris.

With all that work now completed, this truck is almost like a brand-new machine once again, but it’s now better than ever before. Chris works as a firefighter for the Hanover Fire Department, but his truck is currently used as his daily driver and for side jobs, and he tries incredibly hard to keep it clean. It’s not the most suited machine for the off-road (as it’s more of a suburban vehicle, given the fact that it’s based in the densely populated Northeastern U.S.), but it still stands out from others on the road. The truck was built to be able to better tow heavy equipment on a regular basis (Chris tows a few different trailers and a small tractor), and during the winter, it’s used as a snow plow truck. Suburban Boston does get a good deal of snow during the cold months, so the plow definitely comes in handy where he lives. Because of its white color and its wintertime purpose, you might even call this truck a single-cab snowman.

Looks & Ride

The largest “looks” item standing out on the truck is definitely the paint scheme, which is Ford Avalanche Grey. While it is labeled as a shade of grey, it definitely looks as white as snow, hence the “Avalanche” name. After all, as snowpack ages or as the sun sets, it does get grayer. The truck was not built for off-roading, but it did have its wheels changed as well as new Michelin H/T tires installed, mainly for looks and as part of rebuilding the vehicle. It uses 2019 model year Lariat Sport 20-inch aluminum wheels that play a big role in giving it a much newer and cleaner look. They make the truck look more aggressive too. It might make sense that newer stock wheels look more aggressive, as manufacturers are expected to build on their style; consumers don’t want to settle for anything less than what they’ve seen in the past. While the suspension upgrades aren’t big on this truck, Precision Diesel did add a Bilstein steering damper as well as shocks of the same brand to improve the ride and increase longevity of the steering components. They also added an easily adjustable BD Diesel Performance track bar for a more correct axle alignment. For extra decoration, strobe lights from Buyers Products sparkle on the cab.

Performance

This engine underwent serious radiator, intercooler and turbo work, too. Components on that side include a Mishimoto radiator with a PSP Degas Bottle reservoir (for coolant overflow), Fragola fittings, as well as an MBRP intercooler pipe, intake elbow, and intercooler pipe kit. A PSP aluminum radiator cap dresses up the radiator nicely. Those components together make him well able to run his large KC Turbo with SoCal Billet oil feed lines. For tuning, the shop added an SCT X4 programmer and an Edge Insight CTS2 monitor.The 6.0L on Chris’s snow-colored beast underwent quite a rebuild and makeover, through and through. To start off, it has PROMAXX Performance cylinder heads. They’re the big answer for the common issues with cracked factory cylinder heads on these engines, as the heads have improved casting strength and thickness in all the crack-prone areas. PSP Diesel valve covers dress up all of that end of the engine. With that, he runs Alliant Power injectors and a FASS Titanium 125 GPH fuel system, completely rejuvenating the engine’s performance and fuel delivery and also offering better protection of the components. A No Limit Fabrication cold air intake along with an ODawgs Diesel intake manifold work to complete the required airflow for the pre-combustion side of the engine.

With his performance setup, Chris’s truck churns out a whopping 491 horsepower and 908 ft-lbs. of torque. The engine also has a BD exhaust brake, so that adds some effect to the performance. All of this intense performance means the transmission is getting a workout; to address that, a Mishimoto transmission cooler was added. A River City Diesel (RCD) oil pan was also bolted to the engine to increase the oil capacity and lower the oil temperature for the same reasons.

Current & Future Use

In the future, the truck will most likely see overall more of the same use. While he doesn’t go off-roading with the truck, Chris does hope to take it on the beach this upcoming summer. He does live fairly close to MassachusettsSouth Shore. That being said, he wants to build onto the truck to make it better suited for his environment.

“I would like to add a cap and bed slides to make it work easier in all weather,” he says. A cap will certainly keep the snow out of the bed and his cargo protected. “When I get my cap on I also plan on doing some camping with this truck as well,” Chris adds. A bed slide would also make getting the cargo in and out of the truck easier.

What were going to be simpler fixes to issues on the truck when he got it ended up becoming this big makeover of a vehicle, as Chris got a bit carried away with Precision Diesel Performance. “As the build progressed, it became obvious that project was going to a new level,” he says. “In the end, it is truly a unique doer that quietly stands out and I have nothing but good things to say about this shop.”

Sources

Alliant Power
800-735-7358
www.dieselforward.com/alliant-power

BD Diesel Performance
800-887-5030
www.bddiesel.com

Bilstein
800-537-1085
www.bilstein.com

Buyers Products
www.buyersproducts.com

Edge Products
888-360-3343
www.edgeproducts.com

FASS
866-769-3747
www.fassride.com

Fragola Performance Systems
866-337-2739
www.fragolaperformancesystems.com

KC Turbos
480-688-7160
www.kcturbos.com

MBRP Inc.
888-636-7223
www.mbrpautomotive.com

Mishimoto
877-466-4744
www.mishimoto.com

ODawgs Diesel
562-441-7991
www.odawgsdiesel.com

Precision Diesel Performance
833-737-6277
www.precisiondieselma.com

PROMAXX Performance Products
800-235-4323
www.promaxxperformance.com

PSP Diesel
713-941-1135
www.pspdiesel.com

RCD Performance
309-822-0600
www.rcdperformance.com

SCT
www.sctflash.com

SoCal Billet Inc.
626-616-8115
www.socalbilletinc.com

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