Flying Sparks Brings New Life to 7.3L

The Flying Sparks couple of Aaron and Emily are taking their 1997 F-250 Power Stroke to the next level with the Banks Intercooler UpgradeTurbine UpgradeMonster Exhaust, and Ram-Air Differential Cover

“Aaron loves those OBD body styles,” explains Emily in a phone interview. “He’s always wanted one since he was young and they trucks were new. He had his heart set on an extended cab short bed 4×4.” The couple had been on the hunt for one for years before discovering a good specimen about two hours away from their Texas home. “When you do find them, they’re really expensive,” she continues. The paint was rough on this one and the owner admitted that he was chasing various gremlins. “The transmission grinds because the syncros are out. It grinds going into every gear. But these little things helped us negotiate the price down. The owner gave us a spare transmission which we’ll be installing soon.” Another bonus is that the truck already had a straight-axle swap which Aaron would have done anyway. 

A daily driver for the former owner, the 27-year-old truck has just over 250,000 miles on the odometer. “I’m not worried about the mileage,” she says with a purposeful Texan drawl. “With these diesels, a couple hundred thousand miles and they’re just getting broken in,” jokes Emily. 

“Thanks to the Ram-Air Intake, we hear the turbo so much more now, which we love. The exhaust note is perfect. The growl is mean-sounding but not too loud. And the fact that it’s got an intercooler is a game changer. This isn’t some show truck. Yes, we’re going to get the paint pretty, but the truck is going to get worked. It’ll be pulling heavy stuff. We’ll be towing a big cabin cruiser boat and a 40-foot fifth-wheel trailer. We got rid of the 35″ bit fat sidewall mud tires and bolted on new 19.5” wheels with great road tires. I think the truck would struggle without the Banks intercooler, piping, and upgraded turbo.

“We’ve been really happy with the parts. They all installed really well. The instructions were easy to follow. We loved the template that came with the kit to cut the core support to allow for the huge boost tubes to come through. Each part was really thought through well, from the Monster Exhaust to the upgraded Turbine Housing.”

While he was working on the truck’s front, Emily was working on the rear, replacing the differential cover with the Banks Ram-Air Diff Cover. And it was a good thing that they decided to change it out when they did. The oil that oozed out had the consistency of cake batter.

“We started our channel in 2015,” Emily explains of their Flying Sparks Garage success. “The goal was to show ourselves in the shop working together, learning as we go. We’re hoping to inspire other couples to get out in the garage and dare to do big jobs and to build stuff they’re proud of that they want to make memories in together.”