Power Stroke Kings
For years, the Power Stroke name was the underdog in the diesel world. Whether it was at the track, on the dyno or roaming the streets, Blue Ovals always seemed to be a step behind the competition. However, with the advent of common-rail injection and compound turbocharging on the 6.4L Power Stroke in ’08, things began to change. A few short years later, Ford’s 6.7L V8 brought reverse-flow, aluminum cylinder heads, a CGI block and an even higher pressure common-rail fuel system to the table. Since then it’s been off to the races, with the 6.4L and 6.7L mills powering many of the quickest drag racers around, along with hundreds of dyno-melters.
But make no mistake, as the aftermarket embraced the new technology aboard the 6.4L and 6.7L and ran with it, die-hard 7.3L and 6.0L lovers stayed behind, opting instead to perfect their platform of choice. As a result, at the same time the common-rail gurus were gleaning more power out of the 6.4L and 6.7L, the HEUI guys were getting downright extreme. Did you know that a HEUI-fired 6.0L Power Stroke has made more than 1,900 hp at the wheels? It might also be news to you that the second fastest eighth-mile pass achieved by a Power Stroke was made with a 7.3L. Wilder yet, one drag racer scrapped all electronics, converted his 7.3L to mechanical injection and is now the official quarter-mile king of all Power Strokes.
Needless to say, with four different engine designs donning the Power Stroke name there is a big following for each. As such, the highest achievement of each V8 deserves its time in the spotlight. Below, we’re highlighting the quickest eighth-mile and quarter-mile 7.3L, 6.0L, 6.4L and 6.7L in existence, and then we’re listing the most powerful version of each mill according to verifiable chassis dyno numbers. Enjoy!
7.3L: Brian Gray (4.92 at 144 MPH)
Thanks to violent launches, boatloads of nitrous and 100-psi of boost, Brian Gray’s ’96 F-250 is more than the quickest eighth-mile 7.3L in existence, it’s also a regular on the ODSS Pro Mod circuit—the fastest full body vehicle class in diesel drag racing—and second quickest of all Power Strokes. A big single GTX5533R Gen II (88mm) turbo, Gray's Diesel Performance 405/400 hybrid HEUI injectors, dual high-pressure oil pumps, a nitrous system where more than 12 pounds of N2O is consumed per pass and a 7.3L that’s perpetually on the ragged edge of life sum up Brian’s setup. Last June, his 1,700hp Pro Mod Ford went 4.92 at 144.24 mph and he has plans to go 4.60s in the near future.
6.0L: Trey Dunavant (6.01 at 114 MPH)
Trey Dunavant is on the verge of breaking into the 5’s with his 4,300-pound Super Duty. His 6.0L Power Stroke’s long-block was built by Kill Devil Diesel and sports Carrillo rods, a KDD Stage 3 cam and the company’s O-ringed heads. Still HEUI-fired, Trey runs a set of Warren Diesel’s 430cc 7mm hybrid injectors and a dual high-pressure oil pump of his own design. For air, a Forced Inductions T4 flange S476 with a 96mm turbine wheel gets the nod and mounts via a custom front mount kit with forward facing headers. Tuned by Innovative Diesel and pushing power through a 4R100 from Twisted Diesel, Trey hopes to run consistent 5.90’s in 2020 while chasing the ODSS circuit.
6.4L: Rawlings Barnes (4.51 at 156 MPH)
When it comes to the 660-foot sprint, no Power Stroke is quicker than the Pro Mod Super Duty campaigned by Rudy’s Performance Parts and piloted by veteran driver, Rawlings Barnes. The nitrous-fed, work of art 6.4L Power Stroke under the hood is comprised of the best parts available in the aftermarket, its single turbo keeps things simple and there is enough fuel and air on tap to clear 1,200 hp before the nitrous kicks in. No stranger to running 4’s in the eighth-mile, Rawlings was able to get the 3,300-pound F-250 across the line in 4.51 seconds last October at a blazing 156.30 mph. Look for Rawlings and the rest of Rudy’s team to make sub-4.50s a regular occurrence in 2020.
6.7L: Dan Snyder (5.24 at 140 MPH)
Massive compounds, obscene amounts of fuel and a vehicle that weighs less than 2,500 pounds on race day is a pretty good start for a record-setting Power Stroke. Even with a conservative pass, a 5.24 at 140.66 mph made in the summer of 2016, Dan Snyder of Snyder Performance Engineering remains the holder of the quickest 6.7L Power Stroke eighth-mile record. With the rail’s S500 over S400 compound turbo arrangement, a dual pump common-rail system using top-of-the-line components from Exergy Performance, a two-stage Nitrous Express system and all the bugs worked out, a recipe for low 4’s can definitely be found here.
7.3L: Matt Kubik (7.60 at 192 MPH)
You’ve seen Matt Kubik’s “Demented” Mustang on Driving Line before, but it’s still the quarter-mile king of all Power Strokes, having made a best pass to date of 7.60 at 192.19 mph. But unlike everyone else on this list, Matt’s done it with tractor technology—i.e. mechanical injection. Rather than campaign his ’98 Mustang with a HEUI-injected 7.3L, he converted to an eight plunger P-pump in the valley, 8.3L Cummins injectors, bypassed the oil rails in the heads and—among about a thousand other things—even ditched the cast-iron block for Hypermax Engineering’s CGI version. With a 4.1-inch Hypermax tractor turbo out front and a Garrett GTX5533R behind it, the car sees 150-psi of boost and sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
6.0L: Matt Kubik (9.36 at 153 MPH)
Don’t act so surprised to find Matt Kubik at the top of the 6.0L Power Stroke quarter-mile heap, too…he’s been a competitive drag racer for quite a while. Before he took on the Mustang project above, he was busy tearing through the 1320 in a two-wheel drive Ford Ranger that ran 9’s. In October of 2015 he squeezed a 9.36 at 153 mph out of the little truck on spray—a number that, so far, has gone unbeaten by any other 6.0L owner. The 1,150rwhp combination consisted of huge hybrid injectors (Warren Diesel’s 500/400’s), RCD Performance’s Thumper II high-pressure oil pump, Truck Source Diesel tuning, a BTS 4R100 automatic and an S591/S471 BorgWarner compound turbo arrangement that produced 80-psi of boost. At 4,650 pounds, it might’ve been the heaviest Ranger on record, but it definitely got with the program.
6.4L: Sam Gabel (8.99 at 154 MPH)
Ultimate Callout Challenge competitor Sam Gabel has been doing more than pushing the limits of the 6.4L Power Stroke platform on the chassis dyno. In 2019 he set the new quarter-mile high mark for the last Navistar-built Power Stroke at 8.991 at 154.49 mph. His Super Duty isn’t exactly a lightweight, either. At the truck’s 5,000-pound race weight, that trap speed equates to 1,300rwhp. Sam didn’t make the record-setting pass at U.C.C., but rather a month and a half later at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. You can watch the video of the pass right here.
6.7L: Dan Snyder (8.43 at 170.39 mph)
Surprise, surprise, the lightest 6.7L Power Stroke-propelled vehicle in existence (that we know of) is also the quickest quarter-miler. However, this doesn’t make its 8.43-second pass at 170.39 mph any less impressive. Dan Snyder and the SPE rail put up these numbers nearly four years ago, when the one-of-a-kind dragster was just getting broke in. Trust us, there is enough potential in the engine residing in this rail to send it through the traps at more than 200 mph (and maybe even 6’s). We believe its conservative 8-second passes were just the tip of the iceberg.
7.3L: Dan Kropinak (1,253 hp / 2,269 lb-ft)
For most horsepower and torque laid down on the chassis dyno by a 7.3L Power Stroke, Dan Kropinak’s 1,253 ponies and 2,269 lb-ft leads the pack. Big hybrid HEUI injectors from Unlimited Diesel Performance flow 455cc’s of fuel through 400-percent larger nozzles, a compound system made up of a BorgWarner S488 SX-E and an S467.7 FMW and three stages of nitrous make it one of the rowdiest oil-fired 7.3L’s you’ll come across. To survive all the boost, nitrous and torque it sees, the 7.3L benefits from a crankcase girdle, Hypermax forged-steel rods and valve relieved pistons. Dan also ensures the engine lives by performing all tuning himself (he runs SDK Performance up in the Great White North). Backing up his dyno numbers, Dan has sent the 6,460-pound Super Duty through the quarter-mile in 10.35 seconds and 134 mph with 50-percent of his nitrous pulled out of the equation.
6.0L: Jesse Warren (1,910 hp / 2,209 lb-ft)
Last year, Jesse Warren of Warren Diesel Injection brought an even more capable 6.0L freak of an engine to the Ultimate Callout Challenge than he previously had—and he didn’t disappoint. The HEUI-injected 6.0L in his Super Duty laid down an insane 1,910 hp and 2,209 lb-ft of torque on the rollers with the aid of nitrous. Stepping up his injector and turbo game for the occasion, Jesse’s 6.0L was reportedly running a 760cc injectors. For air, a Holset HX82 with a 4.7-inch inducer compressor wheel (120mm!) served as the atmosphere turbocharger while a 3.6-inch version brought the compound setup to life. The numbers were forced through a tough, Crower clutched 48RE Chrysler with all the fixins’.
6.4L: Aaron Rudolf (1,987 hp / 3,005 lb-ft)
This record, the highest recorded rear wheel horsepower and torque of any Power Stroke engine, has stood for nearly four years now. The numbers were made at the inaugural Ultimate Callout Challenge in 2016 by Aaron Rudolf. As the mastermind behind Rudy’s Performance Parts and a longtime 6.4L die-hard, Aaron has stuck with the 6.4L platform for more than a decade now. To pull off the near-2,000rwhp feat, a competition-caliber engine was assembled at his shop, treated to triple turbos, fed plenty of fuel and sprayed with more than 500hp worth of nitrous.
6.7L: Dan Snyder (1,819 hp / 2,948 lb-ft)
If you haven’t realized it yet, Dan Snyder is a major player in the Power Stroke game and embracing the 6.7L engine whole heartedly has definitely paid off for him. This time, it’s not Dan’s rail but rather the truck he campaigned at UCC 2017 and 2018: a ’10 model year Super Duty with a 6.7L under the hood. Stroked to 7.0 liters of displacement, treated to big Exergy Performance fueling (300-percent plus over injectors and stroker pumps) and saddled with three S400 turbochargers, the big cube Power Stroke helped the Ford lay down an incredible 1,819rwhp and 2,948 lb-ft on fuel.
For a look at the most powerful Power Stroke to ever grace the engine dyno, check out this P-pumped 7.3L monstrosity!