A Cummins Dentside That’s Built to Party
When you work in the automotive industry, it can take a lot to be impressed. After all, you’re surrounded by vehicles day in and day out, so you see A LOT of them up close and personal. Hunter Clark of Sturgis, Michigan, knows this feeling all too well. As the owner of HC Auto Works, an automotive detailing service, Hunter makes vehicles of all types look their best every day. So when he decided to build a truck for himself, he knew that it had to be unique, and it had to be perfect.
To that end, that also meant that the truck would have to be a bucket list ride for him since he’d be going all the way with the build, no expense being spared. It didn’t take long for Hunter to choose the perfect candidate: a 1979 Ford F-250 crew cab. Hunter then set out on a four year journey to build one of the baddest dentside F-250s around, and as you can see by the photos: mission accomplished.
Pretty much any generation F-250 is formidable in its stock form, but the dentsides are somehow still the ones we tend to see the most of on-road and off, hauling everything from dirt bikes to horse trailers like it ain’t no thang. So, it’s no surprise that you’re likely to find any one of Ford’s bulletproof engines under the hood, from a 302 Windsor or Cleveland to a 460 385-series. But, that’s not how Hunter wanted to roll. He was looking for a lot more power, and massive amounts of torque, which is what diesel power is all about! A ‘97 12-valve 5.9L Cummins was just the ticket, and after being built up by Legendary Diesel Performance (including 62m and 75mm turbos) was dropped into the engine bay using C&S swap mounts and mated to a matching built ‘97 47RH automatic transmission.
To send power to the front wheels, a divorced NP205 transfer case was bolted up, with an ‘05 F-250 Dana 60 axle attached to the chassis via a 3-link suspension. The same ‘05 F-250 also donated its 10.25-inch rear end and is located by a triangulated 4-link. Both ends are suspended by air springs and damped by Fox shocks for a fully adjustable ride, and allow plenty of room for the 375/40R24 Nitto Trail Grappler tires, which surround 24×14 Fuel FF75 forged wheels.
The rest of the exterior received just as much love, with the whole body getting debadged, a roll pan welded on, and the fuel door shaved off before Ford White Platinum paint was perfectly applied by Austin Runge. A total of 20 Assault rock lights illuminate the undercarriage.
One of the most important aspects of the truck for Hunter was the interior, since that’s where he would be spending the most quality time. He found a couple sets of ‘96 F-250 40/20/40 seats, then covered them with fresh Katzkin leather, as well as the door panels and headliner. The rest of the cab was then fitted with a B&M ratchet shifter, hidden switches, a reverse camera setup, and a Pioneer touchscreen head unit.
Since finishing the truck, Hunter has taken it to tons of events, from LST to Daytona Truck Meet, and even the Indy 4×4 Jamboree. He says that he’s proud that the F-250 turned out exactly the way he wanted it, which he attributed to taking his time and having a clear vision of how the truck should be built.
From what we hear, the truck may be for sale soon, so if you’ve got a decent chunk of change to spare you could try your luck and look him up!
1979 Ford F-250
Chassis & Suspension
- Front 3-link
- Rear triangulated 4-link
- Front and rear air suspension
- Fox reservoir shocks
- 2005 F-250 Dana 60 front axle
- 2005 F-250 10.25” rear axle
- 3.55 axle ratios front and rear
- Drilled and slotted brake rotors
- Fuel cell
Wheels & Tires
- 24×14 Fuel FF75 forged wheels
- 375/40R24 Nitto Trail Grappler tires
Engine & Drivetrain
- Work by Legendary Diesel Performance
- Built 5.9L 12-Valve Cummins
- 5×0.016 injectors
- 4k governor spring
- Mack rack plug
- 60-lb. HD valve springs
- Killer Dowel Pin kit
- Competition delivery valves
- Diesel Power Source compound turbo system, 62mm and 75mm
- Built 47RH transmission
- Full billet internals
- Manual valve body
- Suncoast torque converter
- PPE trans pan
- 205 divorced transfer case
Body & Paint
- Work by Austin Runge
- Debadged body
- Shaved fuel door
- Welded rear roll pan
- Assault rock lights
- Painted Ford UG White Platinum
Interior & Stereo
- 1996 F-250 front and rear seats
- Katzkin black leather upholstery
- Leather wrapped panels and headliner
- AutoMeter gauges
- Hidden switches
- B&M ratchet shifter
- Pioneer touchscreen head unit
- JL Audio speakers
- Reverse camera