Back in 2013 we gathered up all the 7.3-liter Fords we could manage for a friendly little dyno day showdown on the rollers. When the black smoke finally cleared from our batch of Excursions, F-250s and F-350s, we finally had some results to compare. Third out of our six test vehicles came this model year 2000, firetruck red F-350 of Paul Christensen. Two years have passed since we pulled some baseline numbers on our in-ground Dynojet chassis dyno, and Paul has been turning wrenches on his (no longer mild) daily driver.
For having over a quarter million miles on the clock Paul’s ride laid down a respectable run, pulling a max numbers of 274 hp, and a healthy 466 lb-ft of torque. In the last few years Paul has ramped up the performance of his 7.3 by addressing all the facets considered when building a diesel rig to stand above the rest.
Starting with lubrication and fuel delivery Paul fitted an Adrenaline High Pressure Oil Pump, necessary to feed adequate oil pressure and volume to his upgraded injectors. Paul stated the Adrenaline unit was the “[best] bang for your buck.” To accommodate the new direction of his build Paul needed a new fuel delivery system. Stage 3 hybrid 250cc 200-percent Full Force nozzle injectors spray the diesel into this direct injected 7.3-liter platform. These injectors are tunable through ECU programming to allow driving styles from mild to wild.
The 2000 F-350 was adorned with a custom regulated fuel return system built by Snyder Performance. This system delivers fuel to all four corners of this American power plant rather than the stock two points of delivery. Half-inch fuel line from the tank, and steel braid 3/8-inch line is connected via AN fittings to the heads. Giving some direction to this custom fuel system is a Fuel Lab pump rated up to 1,000 hp.
Electronics for this heavily modded engine came courtesy of a TS chip with custom tunes from Snyder Performance Engineering. Paul has the ability to switch between 6 separate tune settings ranging from towing, to economy, hot street, full race and more. The stock level tune alone leaves the truck with 480 hp at Paul’s disposal.
With the upraged fuel and cold air delivery systems came a complimentary 4 1/2-inch exhaust exiting through a custom bed stack. The turbo is perched atop a fully TIG welded stainless steel pedestal from Irate Diesel. This pedestal implements the 6.0-liter style ball and socket style joints rather and traditional flanges. This new downpipe means a reduced chance of exhaust leaks, and a raspy new exhaust note.
A new Borg Warner S366 turbo with a billet wheel force feeds this Ford with over 50 pounds of boost. This turbo will flow 1,100 CFM and is suitable for street, towing, or performance uses. Paul says his application is right on the edge of this turbo’s capacity to flow, and intends to upgrade to the Borg Warner S400 in the future.
Beefing up the backbone of the engine becomes a necessity when asking for more power, boost, loads, etc. To ensure nothing splits at the seams the cylinder heads are now affixed to the block with ARP studs. Internally the 7.3 now has Snyder Performance chromoly pushrods. Future plans for strength and performance related mods include connecting rods, and a custom ground camshaft.
To ensure all the new found horsepower and torque makes it to the wheels and the road, Paul rebuilt his stock LSD with Ford’s upgraded clutches effectively creating a locking diff. The transmission has been completely built up by Jason of J and L Transmission, lacking only upgraded intermediate and output shafts.
Pauls F-350 has come a long way since its roll on the dyno, he now estimates it to be around 600 hp and over 1,000 lb-ft of torque. Despite the extensive ECU tuning, bigger injectors, fuel and oil pumps Paul still achieves 20 mpg and is able to tow toys to the desert, and the river. Overall Paul has struck a good compromise between drivebility and performance, we would like to hear how his future plans for the truck pan out!