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Digital Subscriptions > Diesel World > February 2019 > HOMEBUILT HIGHBOY

HOMEBUILT HIGHBOY

A THROWBACK FORD PACKING CUMMINS POWER

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Highboy Fords. The iconic four-wheel-drive F-250s built between ’67 and ’77.5—distinguishable by their elevated ride height, divorced transfer case, and arched spring packs—remain some of the most revered pickup trucks ever assembled. As a fan of late ’70s trucks (Chevys included), Danielle Stewart certainly agreed with that sentiment, and when her husband, Garret, came across a deal on an abandoned restoration project, the two dove headfirst into what would become a six-year journey.

Extensive Body Work

Although her ’76 Highboy would initially be hauled home in pieces, and with a bed full of parts, it had solid potential. With a bit of elbow grease, the frame, axles, front fenders, and interior could all be salvaged. However, having served as a plow truck in a former life, the cab, doors, hood, bedsides, and tailgate would all have to be replaced. Sourcing replacement parts both locally and from clear across the country, Danielle and Garret gradually collected what they needed. And thanks to the tutelage from a good friend and owner of the local auto body shop that would eventually paint the truck (Eureka Collision Center), they were also able to perform their own body work.

Second-Gen Donor

Having developed a fondness for Cummins-powered Rams, the Stewarts both knew which engine would replace the original gas V8. After landing a deal on a quarter-million-mile, two-wheel-drive ’96 Dodge Ram 3500, the P-pumped 5.9L Cummins was pulled, disassembled, and sent to the machine shop. The block was decked and the cylinders were bored 0.020-inch over and stuffed with Mahle replacement pistons. The head was resurfaced, given a valve job, and treated to 110ppi valve springs. It now fastens to the block by way of ARP head studs. With plans to pack more fuel and air into the freshly-rebuilt B-series, the Dodge’s NV4500 transmission was also swapped into the Highboy. Prepping the five- speed to handle the abuses of higher horsepower consisted of a 1 3/8-inch input shaft upgrade and one of South Bend’s proven 3250 Street dual-disc clutches. The second-gen’s pedal assembly, brake master cylinder, and intercooler also made their way onto the Ford.

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Diesel World February 2019, TIMELESS CLASSIC, Fully Restored And Upgraded '76 Cummins High Boy, 2018 F-250 Leveling Kit, And More......