7.3 Powerstroke Hawaii Highboy

The idea of this truck came about while I was in high school in 2010.  I had just got my license and my parents helped me get a cheap $1,000 truck I could learn to fix.  A Craigslist ad took me to a light green 1971 F100 2wd a that was about a half hour out of town.  Column shift 3 speed, front drum brakes, loose steering and a comfortable cruising speed of 40mph with the wind blowing through the rusted out holes in the roof. I drove the wheels off that truck in high school and I loved it but I wanted more.

After high school, I went to a tech school in Arizona for automotive and diesel with the concept of a truck that was everything my high school truck wasn’t.  Unfortunately I had to leave behind and eventually sell my old 2wd ’71 being a poor college student.  I immediately started searching for a highboy.

I wanted a reliable ’70s highboy with an overdrive transmission which kind of didn’t exist so I figured I’ll just make one.  I graduated after 2 years of tech school in 2013 and worked as mechanic for another year before finding a 1971 F250 4×4 which is the chassis I used for this build.  The body was beat and rusted out in a lot of places so I had plans to find a donor body in the future.  I worked for a few more years and I returned home to Hawaii to be closer to my family and brought the truck with me.  I built the truck here in Hawaii using parts from a few different trucks that locals in the area didn’t want anymore and gave to me for free as long as I hauled it off.  The engine is a 2000 7.3 powerstroke out of a E350 van with a 7.3 Mishimoto intercooler.  I welded the mounts to sit it in the highboy frame.  I stripped the van engine wiring harness to make it stand alone.  The transmission is a ZF6 speed out of a 2wd ’99 F250 I rebuilt myself at home.  It’s running a divorced NP205 transfercase that I twin sticked from a ’76 highboy.  The suspension is a 6 inch lift for 2000 f350 leaf springs front and rear on 37 inch tires.  1979 Front Dana 44HD and a 1996 10.25 sterling rear with 4.10 gears.  I did all the fitment on the old body in preparation for a donor body. That all happened between 2019 and 2021.

During the current year 2022 after finishing the drivetrain. I found a rust free ’72 2wd f250 in Arizona that was the same color as my original ’71 2wd that I had in high school.  I flew up with some tools from Hawaii and road tripped it to the San Diego port to ship it out.

It reached Hawaii and I combined my 7.3 highboy frame with the clean original wintergreen two tone body.  I used a lot of LMC Truck parts and seals to freshen up the interior and created the truck that is everything my high school truck wasn’t.

In the long process of building this truck I went to school and built a career around it.  In a way, I built the truck but the truck also built me.