Here at Engine Builder, we’ve seen a lot of impressive engine swaps over the years. And we’ve found that some classic vehicles are given the resto-mod treatment more than others, whether that be to their iconic appeal or reliability. One of those vehicles is the Ford F100 — once known as the ultimate utility vehicle for transporting, hauling, towing, and delivering goods back in the 1950s, the F100 is today more-often-than-not restored for use in a performance setting.
The last F100 we looked at was the 1957 drag truck we saw at Sick Week. Dave Workman of Porky’s Diesel Performance stuffed a 5.9L Cummins under the hood and made nearly 1,300-horsepower on his build. Engine builders are proof that some proverbs simply aren’t true: you can teach an old dog new tricks… if that hypothetical dog is in reality, a classic pickup truck.
Recently, we’ve found a 1955 F100 build that took a different approach. A 6.0L Powerstroke sits under the hood instead of a Cummins, reinforcing the truck’s heritage as a Ford product.
The build was done by Clay Note of Riffraff Diesel. His Eagle Point, OR-based shop focusing entirely on the 6.0L and 7.3L Powerstroke platforms and has gained notoriety in the industry because of it. Years of Powerstroke experience both engineering custom-machined competition parts and problem-solving aftermarket products has led to Clay and the team understanding the platform like the back of their hand. And that’s not more apparent than in their recent build.
Riffraff used the factory block, crankshaft, and rods, paired with de-lipped and fly cut Mahle pistons and a Stage 2 Kill Devil camshaft. The cylinder heads are also factory but received some love from Steel Dust Machine in California, who added new parts and porting. Energy is transferred from the camshaft to the valves via Smith Brothers pushrods, which maintain performance under high boost pressure.
For fueling, Full Force Diesel 205cc 30% over injectors were installed along with a Terminator Engineering T500 high-pressure oil pump and Riffraff’s own lift pump.
For boost, the truck runs a 68mm VGT Stage 3 turbocharger from KC Turbos pulling through a hand-fabbed intake setup built by LYFE Motorsport. The intercooler tubes were also built by LYFE, providing cooling potential and maximum flow. The F100 is the first collaboration between Riffraff Diesel and LYFE Motorsport; after the successful project, Riffraff went on to provide another 6.0L powerplant for LYFE’s interesting diesel-powered R35 GT- R build.
O’Dawgs high flow cast intake manifold helps with distribution to the cylinders. For exhaust, a 4” downpipe that splits into 3” duals from Steed Speed were added which replace the factory manifolds.
The engine is paired with a 5-speed 5R100 transmission built by John Wood Automotive. A few internal upgrades were made to that, so the trans can handle the 700+ horsepower produced by the truck on fuel alone and around 950 horsepower on one shot of nitrous. With nitrous added, this runner is a powerhouse on the track.
While racing is an option, this F100 named “PigPen,” serves its owner more as a daily cruiser. It’s driven to and from work on the regular and looks good doing it. With a classic light-green patina’d exterior and matte gray Forgeline wheels, PigPen is quite the show piece.