When Richard "Mad Dog" Madsen of Springdale, Utah, purchased his '95 Ford F-350 Crew Cab 4x4 pickup brand-new, he didn't know that in less than 10 years he would become famous as one of the quickest diesel-truck drag racers on the planet. He achieved this status by running this same Ford 4x4 with a 5.9L 12-valve Cummins diesel under the hood. Not only is the F-350 fast, Richard uses it as a daily driver, too, sometimes even venturing off the highway.
Before we get to the Cummins, let's talk about what Richard did to the truck to make it so competent. The front Dana 60 was built by Wide Open Performance with 3.54 Precision gears and a custom-built four-pinion limited slip. The Sterling 10-1/4-inch rearend was built by Wide Open Performance as well, with 3.54 Precision gears and a Detroit Locker. Moving up the driveshafts, we come to the stock 1356 Borg Warner transfer case. Richard hasn't touched the transfer case, and it's held up well to the massive amounts of torque and horsepower put through it. Those of you who own Fords with the 1356 BW transfer case have nothing to worry about here: the 1356 is beefy. In front of the transfer case |is an ATS Diesel custom-built Ford E4OD automatic with ATS's superb TripleLok torque converter and deep Mag Hytec tranny pan. The trans controller is by Baumann Electronics. Richard admits he's had transmission problems in the past, but since installing the ATS torque converter and E4OD, performance has improved, and the problems have completely disappeared.
The only suspension improvement made to the big Ford was the installation of Bilstein shock absorbers to dampen the stock spring pack's oscillations. A 3-inch body lift was installed, not to raise the truck and make room for the 37x13.50R20LT Toyo Open-Country M/Ts on 20x10-inch Helo Maxx8 wheels, but for room to clear the large turbos under the hood.
Inside the truck, a rollcage by Factory Tubular completely protects occupants while being unobtrusive. Spa gauges keep the driver apprised of what's going on under the hood. Other than these modifications, the interior was left pretty much the way it came out of the factory.
Richard liked the stock 7.3L Power Stroke V-8 diesel, but decided to make the switch to the 12-valve Cummins to be different. The upgrade potential of the Cummins was also a good incentive. Currently, the Cummins produces 1,000 hp and 1,700 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. And those numbers are dyno numbers. So, how does this Cummins achieve these results?
The 12-valve 5.9L was built by Piers Diesel Research, and there isn't anything that Piers doesn't know about Cummins performance. Twin turbos by Turbo Auto Diesel produce 136 pounds of boost, and a custom Hypermax intercooler was installed. Injectors by Jeff Prince and Industrial Injection and a Bosch P7100 race pump supply fuel to the Cummins. Edge Products supplied the box that controls everything. A custom 5-inch exhaust system was built, which ends at two 2-1/2-inch stacks behind the cab. Richard's best 1/2-mile time so far is 10.59 seconds at 130 mph, with 0-60 reached in only 3.1 seconds. We rode with Richard out to the photo shoot. This F-350 is one wild ride on the street. Surprisingly, the Cummins was extremely tractable during slow off-road going. The Ford worked great, whether we were going fast or slow.
As he's achieved fame by going fast and blowing the doors off the tuner cars at the strip, Richard has found that traveling around the country can cost a fortune, especially in these days of $2.20-plus per gallon of diesel. His sister, Melanie Alexandrine Madsen, Attorney at Law, was his first sponsor, soon followed by ATS Diesel, Edge Products, Piers Diesel Research, Turbo Auto Diesel Company, and Wide Open Performance. The products these sponsors have supplied are topnotch and make it possible for Richard to not only attend drags around the country, but to do so well once he's there. As for the name Mad Dog, we imagine it comes from many things, not the least of which is that 1,000 hp and 1,700 lb-ft of torque the F-350 produces.