One Man’s Carnage, Triumph, and Other-Worldly Advancements With the 6.0L Power Stroke

When you can make one of the most hated engines in the diesel world a contender on the biggest stage, it does more than simply stir the pot. It scares the hell out of the competition. Perhaps Jesse Warren thrives on that type of motivation. Or, perhaps he’s just a fan of the underdog in any scenario. But perhaps it’s the simple fact that he loves the 6.0L Power Stroke. We think it’s a combination of each of those. After all, rather than convert his engine of choice to mechanical or common-rail injection, or move on to a different platform altogether, he’s stuck it out with the HEUI system—even in an era where common-rail has taken over at the drag strip and on the dyno. Over the course of the past decade, Warren has taken oil actuated fueling to new heights—heights that up until a few years ago would’ve been thought impossible to reach.

But the road to get here hasn’t been without its obstacles, and Warren has experienced more than his fair share of carnage along the way. Everyone knows you don’t push a 6.0L Power Stroke to a Fifth Place finish at the Ultimate Callout Challenge or campaign a 6.0L in the Super Stock pulling class by luck or chance. Long hours, endless dyno and flow testing, a whole lot of trial and error, and perpetually competing on the ragged edge have been par for the course throughout Warren’s rise to the top of the 6.0L game. In the following pages, we’re highlighting the high marks of what is perhaps the greatest underdog story in all of diesel. From a small-time, one-man operation working out of his garage to opening the doors at Warren Diesel Injection in 2010 to the 16-man army he currently employs, his journey has been a very successful one.

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Today, Jesse Warren is best known as the avid drag racer, dyno king, and truck puller that owns Warren Diesel Injection in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania. Although his company is known for an array of 6.0L components at the present time, when he opened up shop in 2010 it was to build injectors. The first set of injectors Warren ever pieced together, and what kick-started everything, went into his own truck in the 2009 timeframe. They were 175cc units fitted with stock nozzles, and his company still offers them today. After that, Warren went a little bigger, experimented with larger nozzles, and a short time later started building injectors for customers.
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Today, Jesse Warren is best known as the avid drag racer, dyno king, and truck puller that owns Warren Diesel Injection in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania. Although his company is known for an array of 6.0L components at the present time, when he opened up shop in 2010 it was to build injectors. The first set of injectors Warren ever pieced together, and what kick-started everything, went into his own truck in the 2009 timeframe. They were 175cc units fitted with stock nozzles, and his company still offers them today. After that, Warren went a little bigger, experimented with larger nozzles, and a short time later started building injectors for customers.
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Luckily, tuning was never an issue once Warren began dabbling with 6.0L injectors. He was already comfortable with SCT tuning software on the gas engine side of things and simply applied many of the tricks he knew in that world to the diesel side when the time came. In short, on top of being one of the premier 6.0L injector builders in the diesel industry, Warren is also a household name for tuning them. Both PCM and FICM calibrating are one of his many specialties.
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Saying the engines Jesse Warren brings with him to compete at U.C.C. are extreme is an understatement. Beneath the factory-based, bright blue intake manifold and behind the massive set of front-mounted compound turbos on his U.C.C. 2017 setup, sat arguably one of the most exotic 6.0L Power Strokes ever assembled. A filled and O-ringed block, Wagler billet rods, 13:1 forged Mahle pistons, O-ringed and CNC-ported heads, ARP Custom Age 625+ head studs torqued to 300 ft-lbs, and a valvetrain made up of a custom-grind, high-lift camshaft from Colt, solid lifters, and forged-steel adjustable rockers from Jesel sum up the hard-parts used.
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No stranger whatsoever to truck pulling, Warren started running a Holset HX82 from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo as his atmosphere charger as early as U.C.C. 2016. In combining the 4.4-inch inducer Wimer windmill with an S480 for U.C.C. 2017—along with mammoth-sized hybrid injectors and dual high-pressure oil pumps—data logs showed that 145 psi of boost was the norm.
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With 5R110 breakage limiting the amount of power he was able to apply to the drag strip, Warren eventually made the switch to a Firepunk 48RE. Once that happened, broken input and intermediate shafts were no longer a major concern. To make the 48RE work, an adapter plate and a converter were supplied by Sun Coast. The 1-3 shifts are handled via manual valvebody, with overdrive being electronic.
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After the 48RE swap, Warren had no more problems breaking into the 9’s in the quarter-mile—not even for a 6,500-pound crew cab. At U.C.C. 2018 he set a new personal best of 9.56 at 146.97 mph. Now, three years later, it remains one of the quickest (and fastest) passes a 6.0L Power Stroke has made anywhere, and at any time.
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Despite a fairly soft launch on the 9.56-second pass, where Warren’s Ford cut a 1.578-second 60-foot, it was a smooth race nonetheless and a lot of power was applied on the big end. Between the eighth-mile mark and the stripe, Warren picked up nearly 30 mph and broke into the 9.50s (his 6.23 eighth-mile E.T. put him on a 9.70 to 9.80 trajectory).
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With significant roots in truck pulling, it stands to reason that Warren’s efforts in the dirt always landed him in the thick of things at U.C.C. Despite the fact that he was trying—per U.C.C. rules—to make the same 9-second drag truck and 1,900hp dyno king excel with the sled in tow, Warren never finished outside of mid-pack, and even took fifth place at the inaugural event in 2016.
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To scratch his sled-pulling itch, Warren built the Amarillo yellow, cut-tire’d beast known as Shark Bait for a dedicated puller. Despite the fact that the ’05 Super Duty sports a steel body, factory reinforced frame, and is powered by a 6.0L, Warren has made it a mission to go head-to-head with all the tilt-body, component trucks in this elite class. When he isn’t trekking Shark Bait west to play with the usual suspects of Super Stock in Indiana and Ohio, Warren mixes it up in his local Run What Ya Brung class under the Full Pull Productions umbrella.
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Similar to the way his U.C.C. engines have been assembled, the 6.0L in Shark Bait also makes use of a filled block, billet Wagler rods attached to 13:1 compression forged Mahle pistons, and a valvetrain incorporating a high-lift Colt cam, solid lifters, and Jesel forged-steel adjustable rockers. Both the block and thoroughly ported heads feature Warren’s triple O-ring treatment (two in the block, one in the heads), but the injectors under the valve cover are even bigger in this application: 1,000cc hybrids. The dual high-pressure oil pump arrangement consists of a T500 from Terminator Engineering and a stock displacement HPOP as the secondary.
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In case you were wondering, the atmosphere charger in Shark Bait’s two-stage compound arrangement is just as big as it looks. How about a 5.4-inch inducer? Sourced from Wimer, this is a charger that’s typically reserved for a 680 ci Pro Stock tractor—but it works surprisingly well in this setup. The high-pressure turbo is also a Wimer piece, which is based on a Holset HX82 and packs a 4.6-inch inducer. Together, the combination produces 150 psi of boost.
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The largest 6.0L injector Warren has built to date is shown disassembled here on the right, and eight of them sit in the worked-over heads of Shark Bait. Still of the hybrid variety (where the factory intensifier piston is retained), the injector features a 10.5mm diameter plunger, uses a dual-feed design with four supply valves flowing fuel into the plunger, a custom two-piece body, all new fuel plates, and is fitted with a massive 6 x 0.026-inch EDM’d nozzle. It flows an incredible 1,000 cc’s of fuel with enough injection control pressure (ICP) and injector duration in the equation. The most crucial part of running these injectors is that they see tremendous ICP (high pressure oil). Like 6,200 to 6,300 psi of ICP or they won’t function properly. In comparison, stock 6.0L injectors see 3,600 psi…
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A pair of tractor turbos, some of the biggest HEUI injectors ever invented, and a 6.0L engine that can withstand the strain that comes with 150-psi of boost make for an impressive display in the dirt. When Warren leaves the starting line, the engine is typically spinning 4,500 rpm. After whacking the throttle, engine speed zings to 6,000 rpm, and then slowly drags down to 5,000 rpm before the truck spins out. According to the Racepak data logger, the fastest ground speed Shark Bait has achieved to date is 31 mph.
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When it’s time to put his latest creation(s) to the test, Warren loads up his 6.0L’s and heads to Chaos Fabrication. The Washington, Pennsylvania machine shop possesses a Land & Sea engine dyno that’s rated for 6,000hp. If Warren’s engines can survive the torcher testing that goes on here, he knows they’ll have no problem living in competition.
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As a single turbo, Pro Stock truck, Shark Bait placed a very strong third at the 2018 Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam in North Carolina—a field where some of the strongest 3.6 trucks in the country showed up to compete. There, Warren ended up just one foot outside of First Place.
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When you’re pushing an engine further than anyone else ever has, you’re bound to encounter some failures along the way. The issue in this case was a dropped valve seat in cylinder number 6 while in the middle of engine dyno testing for U.C.C. 2018. Prior to the failure, the engine belted out 1,870 hp on fuel, along with 136 psi of boost. “We’ve also had issues where we’ve broken a rocker arm,” Warren told us. “And exhaust rocker arm breakage breaks everything. It’s catastrophic.”
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Here you can see the piston damage incurred when the valve seat vacated the head (also notice the completely filled water jackets and dual O-ring grooves). Despite these types of setbacks, which might demoralize the faint of heart, Warren has never wavered from his commitment to keep pushing the 6.0L platform forward. A couple months after this failure, a new engine would send Warren and his Super Duty through the quarter-mile in the aforementioned 9.56 seconds, and at nearly 147 mph.
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More recently, Warren has toasted three blocks. The crack shown here runs through the center of each bore and spans the length of the entire bank. With each failure occurring in the Shark Bait puller—again, an engine saddled with a massive 5.4-inch Pro Stock turbo and a 4.6-inch Holset HX82, the largest hybrid injectors Warren has ever designed, and that sees 6,000 rpm—it’s an indication that the limit of the factory cast-iron crankcase has finally been reached.
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Why do you think Warren offers a billet inner low-pressure oil pump gear for the 6.0L? He found out years ago that the factory one would explode under big power and especially extreme rpm. This billet piece is Nickel Boron coated and guaranteed to never break. And yes, in case you were wondering, all of Warren’s U.C.C. and pulling engines use this LPOP gear.
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Due to its ability to virtually eliminate the 6.0L’s head gasket issues, Warren O-rings the cylinder heads on every 6.0L he assembles, including all customer builds. The USA-made stainless steel wires that sit in these respective grooves apply extra pressure to all layers of the MLS head gaskets (and off-the-shelf OEM gaskets at that). This provides superior combustion sealing, even under immense boost.
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On competition engines such as those campaigned at U.C.C. or in the dirt, Warren machines three receiver grooves for O-rings—two in the block and one in the head—for each cylinder. In conjunction with ARP Custom Age 625+ head studs (torqued to the aforementioned 300 ft-lbs), this is the primary reason why Warren is able to keep head gaskets alive at 150-psi of boost.
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Until Warren’s billet 6.0L block program gets up and running, his plan to get around splitting blocks is to sleeve the 6.4L block down to a 6.0L bore size. By essentially doubling up the cylinder walls, he hopes to keep the crankcase reliable enough to permit further gains in horsepower to be realized. Once the block issues are solved, the sky will be the limit, so look for even more radical injector and turbo technology on Warren’s engines in the years to come.
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Based on everything he and his crew have learned over the years, Warren offers complete, drop-in long-blocks, from stock to race-ready. From the oil pan rails to the valve covers, customers can order their 6.0L with Kill Devil Diesel cast-iron or aluminum heads, their choice of Stage 1-4 cam (followed by a choice of stock compression, de-lipped, or fly-cut pistons), stock, Callies’ forged, or billet Wagler rods, and ARP 425 or Custom Age 625+ head studs. It’s worth noting that all of Warren’s engines are torque-plate honed and come with O-ringed cylinder heads, too.
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After speaking with Warren about his plans for this racing season, he told us that he will once again enter the Ultimate Callout Challenge, but that he would likely only hook to the sled and run on the dyno. The reason he plans to forego the drag strip? We think he plans to enter Shark Bait—not the white crew cab that’s made the call since 2016. With a gear change, a different tire combo, and 160-mph potential, he might even go after Derek Rose’s 2,503hp and 3,782 lb-ft dyno record set in 2019. On the truck pulling circuit, Warren mentioned that he wanted to hit the Super Stock class harder in 2021.
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When we asked Warren if he ever expected that the 6.0L Power Stroke platform could be taken this far, he told us unequivocally ‘no.’ “At first I never thought we’d be able to compete at this level. But we kept solving issues here and there and kept testing with bigger injectors. And then we figured out FICM tuning and got the mechanical IPR’s figured out, and now we’re hoping for 2,600 to 2,700 hp out of the Shark Bait engine in the next month or so.”

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SOURCES

ARP
800.826.3045
arp-bolts.com

Colt Cams
604.856.3571
coltcams.com

Firepunk Diesel
614.733.3744
shop.firepunk.com

Mahle Motorsport
us.mahle.com

Sun Coast
800.868.0053
suncoastdiesel.com

Wagler Competition Products
812.636.0391
waglercompetition.com

Warren Diesel Injection
866.276.2511
warrendiesel.com

Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo
724.376.2904
wimerfuelinjection.com

 

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