Reader’s Rig: One Cool 7.3 Power-Stroke-Swapped 1972 F-250

Some time ago, Cody Fordhl decided that his 1972 F-250 needed a little more punch under the hood than the factory-installed gasoline-fed mill delivered. So, like any true diesel enthusiast, he knew how to fix that problem. he had the fantastic idea to swap in a monstrous 7.3 Power Stroke Turbo Diesel out of a ’97 model truck. The building of his creation took a lot of time, but the time and money paid off with a one-of-a-kind 1972 F-250.

Cody’s 7.3 Power Stroke is a perfect example of swapping a newer style engine into a vintage vehicle. This truck is 40 years old on the outside but runs like it’s brand new and gets 16 to 18 mpg on the highway.

The engine bay is a work of art with the orange powder coating contrasting with the green and white two-tone paint job. The Power Stroke and ZF5 transmission look right at home in the old truck. Cody says, “The Power Stroke fits in this truck better than the engine that originally came out of it, and it’s a lot easier to work on .”

The massive 7.3 Power Stroke fits like a glove in the engine bay. The intercooler piping contrasts very well with the color on the truck, and all of the wiring is tucked away to make for one clean install.

Cody custom-built the fuel system and added a billet wheel in the turbocharger, which connects to a 4-inch exhaust to let everyone hear the beautiful sound of the mighty 7.3. The Power Stroke is running strong with a JeliBuilt Performance Hyrda tuner and can achieve 16 to 18 mpg on the highway, whether it is towing or not. “The engine runs pretty well. I recently drove about 12 hours, which should be around 1,600 miles from northern California,” says Cody.


The High Boy conversion really goes well with this truck, giving it a fantastic stance while still remaining a modest upgrade to keep the truck looking original. It might look factory on the outside, but it is far from stock.

This 1972 F-250 High Boy conversion is rocking factory 16-inch wheels with 35-inch tires matched with a 4-inch lift. That combination makes for an aggressive but conservative look. Much like the body, the interior is untouched, but Cody plans on running Dakota Digital gauges and a Vintage Air A/C system in the future. Not having A/C is no fun, trust us.


The interior is straight from 1972, with almost nothing being touched. Cody plans to swap in Dakota Digital gauges along with a Vintage Air A/C system. We don’t blame Cody for not messing with the interior, look at it. It’s absolute perfection.

Cody’s truck shows that all of the time, money, and sheer effort were well worth it. It’s not every day you see a ’72 Ranger with a 7.3 Power Stroke stuffed under the hood buzzing 1,600 miles to go to truck shows across the states. So, in summary, Cody turned his Average Joe Ford into a power player one-off diesel-powered truck that he built from the ground up.

Do you want to see more Reader’s Rigs? So do we. This is a new column will be putting together and we need your help. If you would like to share yours, we want to hear about it — we can never get enough. If you want to see more trucks built by you the readers, send a few pictures of your rig showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].

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About the author

Chase Havins

If you ask his friends about him, they will say he's a speed freak. If you ask him about it, he will tell you that it's just a little more fun when you live at wide open throttle.
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