Where did your truck come from? Many of the folks we talk to usually have an interesting story to tell when it comes to the origins of their diesel machine. Maybe it’s an old Chevy that’s been in the family for generations or perhaps it was a rare junkyard find. Justin Courts of Modern Diesel Legion may be one of the only people who can say that he found his race truck underwater.
Now it might be somewhat of a stretch to say he found it underwater, but not entirely. Before Courts got his 2006 F-250 King Ranch the truck belonged to a single owner, but it was stolen in 2017 during the destructive hurricane Harvey that ravaged much of Texas. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches of rain and in some cases, as much as 60 inches.
In the chaos, the stolen truck was left to the elements, where it was soon flooded. Later, Courts bought the truck from the insurance company who had taken it. He only paid $4,500, but the truck had no wheels or tires, the brakes were seized up, the motor and transmission had water in them, and much of the frame was missing.
“We got it running after a while, but I drove it for about six months and then had a head gasket failure,” he said.
After another year of head gaskets failures and other problems, the truck was again stolen, this time from him. Courts eventually got it back, sans a stereo system and some batteries. But directly after getting back his F-250 that he’d already invested a decent amount of money into, the motor failed. A mishap with one of the lifters meant that Courts would most likely be replacing the block, and at this point, he decided he might as well just start building up the engine to produce some power.
For the project, Courts decided on utilizing a Dynamic Diesel Stage 2 engine rebuild kit.
“It consists of a River City Diesel Stage 2 Camshaft and all the new bearings with it, main, rod, cam, and pistons. We had the motor bored .020 over make sure that the cylinders were true and round. The pistons were fly cut .075 and de-lipped and the top of the pistons are ceramic coated for heat. It also has a set of Callies rods.”
The engine stills has factory heads but Courts went with all Inconel valves both in the intake and exhaust. The heads, an ODAWGS SR3 intake, and BD manifolds were all sent to South Houston Engine to get port matched for extra flow.
“We had the machine shop get the block main studded,” Courts said. “So, we had to line hone it because whenever you have extra clamping force on the bottom of the block, it warps the main holes so the bearings won’t seat properly and you’ll have access wear there.”
For the fuel and air, Courts is running a set of Warren Diesel Injection 330/150% hybrid Injectors and a single Bullseye Power S369 68mm charger with a .91 exhaust housing on it.
With the current upgrades, Courts estimates that the truck is making somewhere near 850-900 horsepower. He raced professional motocross when he was younger, and now Courts is moving up to the diesel racing scene.
“I want to go all over the U.S. and race this thing, whether it’s in the 7.70 index or if we build up to 5.90 or pro-street. The sky’s the limit but right now I’m just trying to get my feet wet. I also have to give a big thanks to Oliver at ODAWGS for all the custom piping work and Brian at Bullseye Power Turbo Chargers for building my turbo.”