If you’ve been following our content for a little while, you’ve probably seen the name Jared Alderson pop up a few times, and for good reason. Jared has built his diesel shop, Kill Devil Diesel in Poplar Branch, NC, into an elite performance diesel engine shop capable of creating custom engines and components alike.
Not only that, but we’ve gotten to talk to Jared about his background in Monster Jam, his thoughts on hiring and retaining good talent, the development of Kill Devil Diesel’s new ICON Powerstroke cylinder heads, and Kill Devil Diesel (KDD) took home our 2019 America’s Best Engine Shop in the diesel category that year.
“We’re an engine and machine shop,” Alderson says. “We’re not a repair shop, so we never really see the truck. We do a lot of engines, cylinder heads, cam kits, pistons, and other parts and pieces that we make here in-house. We’re involved with the ‘big three’ – Powerstroke, Duramax and Cummins. The 6.0L and 6.4L Powerstroke stuff is what keeps us busiest, and a little bit with the 6.7L and 7.3L.
“We try to offer as much USA made and as much house-branded products as we can in order to have as much control over what’s going out the door. We do all the final machine work here in-house and assemble everything here as well.”
It’s always good to catch up with Jared and what’s new at KDD, so when we saw that the shop had recently built this turbocharged 6.4L Powerstroke engine for a customer, we felt compelled to share it.
The build started with KDD’s long block, which includes a CNC blueprinted and machined, fully balanced rotating assembly, ARP head studs, Mahle bearings, KDD’s new o-ringed heads, new valve springs, new Ford rocker arms, a new billet cam, lifters, and KDD’s exclusive 6.4L steel piston rotating assembly, which includes custom CP-Carrillo connecting rods.
That long block then gets topped with S&S 60% over injectors, Rudy’s 75mm compound turbo drop-ins, an upgraded K16 pump, BD Diesel exhaust manifolds and up-pipes, an ODawg’s Diesel S3r high-flow intake manifold, a Fluidampr SFI-approved balancer, KDD’s billet SFI-approved flexplate, and KDD’s black anodized billet valve covers.
This particular customer also opted to add a stout Twisted Diesel Level 3 transmission. The whole build comes with a no-BS 3-year unlimited mile warranty. However, Alderson says there are some clear caveats.
“With proper tuning, care/maintenance, responsible driving, it’s been a popular combo for us,” Alderson says. “There’s a difference between using an engine to its full rated capacity in a controlled responsible manor (monitoring cooling temps, EGT’s etc.) versus ringing donuts on the rev limiter at 2am with a case of Natty light in the passenger seat, then expecting the engine shop to cover the abuse.
“There’s a difference between consciously working an engine hard, which it’s been built for, for example making a 1,000 hp dyno pull or a track pass, etc. versus towing 30,000 lbs. up an 8% grade for 30 min on a 1,000 hp tune, then complaining when the engine failed because it overheated as a result of surpassing the cooling system’s capability. You can ruin even the best parts with abuse. Most people who invest $20,000-$30,000 in an engine have a lot of incentive to take care of their investment.”
All said and done, this 6.4L Powerstroke build is capable of 1,000+ horsepower!