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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright Fellas, need some input and guidance. I have long researched building a pulling truck. Brother in law runs a Chevy Square body so I am not totally new to the sport. Have been watching the local pulls for years and ready to snap the trigger on my own truck build. There is a bone stock appearing '97 F350 regular cab 4x4 for $3200 on craigslist. Lets assume the build will be a 460 carburated and C6 with upgraded internals and torrington bearings. Screw all the computers, lets get it to basics. Fuel, air, spark, and power to the ground.

Here is the Buckeye Power Production class rules that I must follow. I know this info helps because I have read where you guys ask for it to give build/drivetrain advice.

6500 Limited Street Gas 4x4
1. Street Legal, must have valid license plates, proof of insurance.
2. No gutting of the truck, all interior must be in place, lights must work.
3. Factory glass and working windows only, no plastic or Lexan type windows.
4. Must have rear bumper or roll pan
5. Sled stops recommended
6. No electric hydraulic steering is permitted. Power steering must run off of a factory style belt driven pump.
7. Maximum of 2 operational batteries allowed and only 2 batteries allowed under the hood in stock locations.
Engine, Ignition, and Fuel
1. Engine must match make of truck and be in stock location
2. 496 cubic inch limit will be enforced
3. OEM cast iron heads and block unless factory equipped.
4. No raised runner type heads, ports must be in the stock location. No grinding of the rocker arm valley or casting numbers
5. Aluminum intakes permitted; no sheet metal or tunnel ram style intakes.
6. Single 4150 carb, Holley or Edelbrock, etc., must have choke tower. No aftermarket big two barrels. No dominator or single butterfly style carbs (SV1, Predator etc.). There will be no modifying or altering of carb body. Fuel injection must be O.E.M. for that year of vehicle, no aftermarket fuel injection of any kind.
7. Maximum 2” carb spacer
8. Must have all belts, alternator, stock style water pump (no electric motors). Electric fans are allowed.
9. No vacuum pumps or dry sumps
10. No turbo’s, super chargers, injectables (nitrous oxide, methanol etc.) or fuel injection unless factory equipped for that truck.
11. Headers permitted, must be in the frame with mufflers that exit behind back of cab
12. Must run stock style distributor and ignition, rev limiters permitted, NO external multi spark ignition boxes allowed. (example 6AL box)
13. Pump GAS or race gas only. No alcohol, nitromethane, E85 or other ethanol blends.
14. Fuel tanks must be in the stock location or in the bed. Fuel cells permitted.
Chassis and Driveline
1. OEM chassis 1 ton or less. Frame must match make of truck body. No tube chassis.
2. 1 ton or less driveline, must have U joint shields covering all U joints. The only exception to this would be the front driveshaft on transfer case output yoke if it is shielded by the cross member. Shields must be 6” long, 1/4“ thick if made of steel, 3/8” thick if made of aluminum.
3. No aftermarket 3 speed trannies allowed.
4. Must have 4 wheel brakes
5. Automatic transmission blankets or blow proof bell housings are required.
6. 33” x 13.50 max dot tire, no dual tires. Absolutely no tire modifications allowed, this includes grinding, sharpening, siping etc.
7. Traction bars permitted
8. No front 4 link suspensions or coil over shocks unless factory equipped. If retaining a factory coil spring set up you must use the factory coil spring and shock type. No AFCO or drag race type coil shocks permitted.
9. Must have OEM style rear suspension, leaf springs must have shackles.
10. Suspension blocks permitted, must be easily removable.
11. Must have Reese style hitch with hitch pin not exceeding forward of rear spring hanger. No T style hitches. No twist clevises, must be able to accept sled hook with a 3”x 3 ¾” opening. Hitch to be mounted no higher than the top of the frame rail. Hook point no further forward than back of tailgate.
12. Max hitch height of 22”
13. NO hanging weight permitted. This includes weight bars or snow plows. ALL ballast must be located in the bed. Absolutely no loaded front frame rails, core supports, battery boxes etc. No weights allowed in the cab. Any hidden ballast found will result in total loss of points for the season and a 3 pull suspension.

2nd class I would also like to be able to run in:

6500 Cheater Street 4x4 (2016-2019 season rules)
Truck and Chassis
1. OEM 1 ton or less chassis required. No tube frames allowed. Must have working wheel brakes
2. Working rear OEM type steel leaf springs with shackle required. No trailer springs
3. Suspension blocks permitted, must be easily removable
4. Traction bars permitted
5. Frame bracing permitted. Rear frame braces may not attach directly to the rear end in anyway.
6. Hanging weight is allowed. Must not exceed 195” from the center of the rear axle.
7. Fuel tank may be mounted in bed or on weight bar
8. Must have complete factory bed floor and inner bed structure. Tailgate not required
9. Must have complete factory sheet metal, dash and windows. Fiberglass hoods are allowed. No fiberglass beds, front clips or doors.
10. Reese style or T hitches allowed. Pivot point to be no higher than the top of the frame rail. No part of the hitch can be any farther forward than 20” behind the centerline of the rear axle. Flat clevis may be used but must be welded solid. 3” x 3 ¾” hole required.
11. Hook point to be no less than 42” from centerline of rear axle. 24” hitch height
1. 1 ton or less driveline required.
2. Cut 3rd gears also referred to trick 3rd gears are allowed. No Profab 3 speed kits or equivalent. Aftermarket transfer cases allowed, no drop boxes or reversers.
3. Must have SFI approved bellhousing and flywheel. Automatic trucks must have an SFI approved flex plate and transmission blanket.
4. Must have U joint shields covering all U joints. The only exception to this would be the front driveshaft on transfer case output yoke if it is shielded by the cross member. Shields must be 6” long, 1/4 thick if made of steel, 3/8” thick if made of aluminum.
5. 33” DOT approved tires max. 13.50 max tire width. No cutting, grinding siping or alterations. No Duals
Engine, Ignition and Fuel
1. 514 cubic inch limit will be enforced
2. Conventional cast iron heads and blocks only. Cast intake manifolds only, no sheet metal or tunnel rams.
3. Rear of engine block May be no farther forward than 15” from center of front axle.
4. Single 4150 flange carb with venturis only. No big 2 barrel carbs. No Dominators, SV1, Predator or other single butterfly type carburetors. No fuel injection unless factory equipped for your year of truck, and must be O.E.M., no aftermarket fuel injection
5. Racing gas only. No alcohol or nitromethane. No pressurized fuels.
6. No forced inductions. This means no turbo’s, superchargers, blowers, Nitrous Oxide or methanol/water injection.
7. No dry sumps or external oil pumps.
8. Fenderwell headers permitted. Mufflers NOT required but are permittable.
1. Must have working kill switch
2. Must have working back up or neutral light
3. Must have fire extinguisher mounted in cab of truck
4. Helmet and fire jacket recommended
5. No dirt slingers!!!

Any tidbits of info, similar setups, would be helpful. I will consider all recommendations and use them as I can budget into the build. I would rather have to much information to consider then go in blind and just break nonstop. Thanks in advance and I greatly appreciate the info.

319 Posts
Recommendations from experience:
Similar rules here
Max weight, my 79 F350 weighs only 5500, so I have a box in bumper for more weight
Weight as forwadr as possible, I built bumper out of 5/8 plate and removed fuel tank from rear and put fuel cell in bed
Factory iron block and heads (C9, D0ve heads, max porting, big valves)
1000cfm 4150 Holley type carb
I know your cube limit but mine is a 521 with 628hp
Very stiff rear suspension (mine is 8 or so leafs out back and 4 up front)
The D60 and 10.25 axles should be fine
Hitch height max you can get (mine is homemade)
Tire max size and aggressive, depending on local dirt (although most guys run Swamper sts, which aren't really aggressive)
On mine, all street legal
I know some of this is common knowledge, but maybe it will help

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
@Ionco . . Thanks for the help and shared knowledge. I greatly appreciate it.

You touched on several things I was already thinking in my head. One was the trucks current weight, I can't seem to find a solid number of where the stock truck weight is but brother in law in discussion on Monday felt it should be around 5400-5700 stock. Gives me some room to hit the 6500 limit and get as much weight forward as possible.

Fuel cell is my plan also, 5 gal size. From the pic, this truck has the dual tanks, so I know I won't be needing all that capacity.

Spring set up. . Thanks for your pack numbers. Did you have custom packs made or did they come from a 450 super duty? I was walking the pits Friday night and a popular theory is to clamp the packs solid, just a series of ubolts to clamp them down and prevent as much axle wrap as possible.

The D60/10.25 should be good. I am going to toss in upgraded ujoints at first. Probably CTM or OX. If a shaft goes, I'll upgrade to chromemoly there then. CTM/Ox will most likely survive, but stock shafts and ears become the weak point. Rear axle tubes in the 10.25 have been known to roll or bend/flex. I know this from the offroad world where I play in the mud and rocks. I'll toss some gusset welds to the center section/tube area while welding in the ladder bars.

Lockers. . Do you run a Detroit or spools? This truck is going to be a trailer queen in my opinion, why not a spool since they are half the price of a Detroit locker. I'll also use mile marker extreme hubs up front or drive pucks. I spied one guy on the track using those for fail proof hub. Sucks then cause you can't unlock them easily to make turning easier.

Hitch . . T bar set up or Reese style hitch bolted to the frame? Pros or cons to either? I spotted all kinds of hitch style n theory's at the track. I haven't made up my mind which I like. My mechanical engineering brain was throwing all kinds of thoughts at them and where the weight was being distributed into the frame n suspension. Curious to hear your puller experience on this.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thoughts continued:

Super Swamper STS tires are very popular here in our Ohio Dirt. I would say 75% of the trucks run them. Others are a mud terrain type tread but not much lug left to them. I may go an entirely different route with a Mickey MTZ diamond block pattern.

Tracking on the engine setup. In discussion with the inlaws, I think I am going to setup at 496 CI. This allows me to pull in two classes. I'll be down on cubes in the upper class but make up for it in gearing? It's a theory anyways. I am watching CL for a set of DOVE heads so they can be sent out for some good port work. I have read the Head thread countless times and know which heads are decent and which are junk.

Thanks again for your insights!

319 Posts
Lockers: F350 front D60 Detroit, rear 70hd welded, thought I was gonna run street and got a good deal on eBay on Detroit
F250 front D60 spool, rear 10.25 welded, cause I have hydro assist. Can't steer very well without it
F250 rear 10.25 diff welded to tubes for rolling. Over 10 years no problem with 39.5 Boggers and a heavy foot
Leaf springs: rear- just added odd and end leafs for ride height and stiffness. Front- stock 4" springs, you want some flex for traction
+ traction bars for wheel hop
Tires are Pitbulls, which are aggressive, you need to match track and hp level
Original Reese style hitch bolted to frame with custom slide in receiver hitch
Upgraded to all 1350 u-joints in driveshafts for strength
Real heavy bumper up front for weight
Has worked so far, I think trans is weak point, we will see
For weight, if you have truck stop or recycling center nearby, they should have scales
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