Everyone gets into the performance world differently, and while most dive headfirst into it, Chris Miles fell into it by chance. He moved to Iowa in 2005 and started working at the railroad for a few years, but one too many layoffs pushed him to find a new job.
Miles owned a 6.0L Powerstroke at the time and was buying parts for it through a friend who owned a local shop in Omaha, NE. At the time, upgrading his truck was only a hobby, yet he was still offered a job. Miles was sure that working at a diesel shop would not be his next career move, but he was persuaded to accept the offer after some time.
He’s now worked for that shop, named Hart’s Diesel Parts and Performance, as a technician for a few years, and has continued to hone his craft. The shop works on pretty much everything, but focuses heavily on the Powerstroke platform, providing a variety of services including drivetrain and suspension modification, performance bolt-on installation, and complete engine repair and overhauls.
With the extra practice he’s gotten at the shop, he’s had more time to upgrade and modify his own ’03 F-350 XLT Crew Cab Long Box to his specifications. While the project has progressed faster recently, the plan to build a quick truck started over 10 years ago when he first bought it.
“I was working at a different job back then and a co-worker told me he was seeing diesel trucks whooping Corvette’s on the drag strip,” Miles says. “Well, we pulled up YouTube because I didn’t believe him and since then, I’ve wanted to do something like that. Hopefully sometime soon.”
Miles is now to the point where his build is nearly finished. His hope is to be ready by July so that he can enter the Nebraska Diesel Show. This will be his first experience in the diesel racing scene.
“It’s a 6.0L, so naturally it’s had blown head gaskets for the past couple years, but I was still driving it and having fun with it,” he says. “After a while I decided to just rip it all out and start over performance wise. That’s when I put on the compounds and went for it with the rest of the engine.”
Miles says that for him, the polished compound turbo setup is the big-ticket item of the build. He worked with SoCal Billet to get a S300/400 T4/T6 Comp kit that comprises of a high-pressure Borg Warner SXE 366/73 .91 T4 in the valley and an atmospheric Borg Warner S480 T6 1.32AR.
Despite having machining equipment in-house, Miles opted to buy a long block rather than build it. When determining his cost for the long block build, paying another machine shop was only slightly more expensive. The long block itself comes from Warren Diesel and includes coated Mahle pistons, a polished crank, Callies forged rods, a PSP Stage 2 cam, ported and o-ringed heads, and ARP 625 head studs.
As for Miles’ additions, he added an Odawgs S3R ported intake that solves some of the stock 6.0L’s air restrictions, which tend to limit power. Warren Diesel high-flow stand pipes were also added to increase flow to the oil rail and help maintain peak pressure without blowing the injection pressure regulator. These work in conjunction with an internally ported River City Diesel Thumper II HPOP.
The engine also features a custom fuel setup. A diesel sump, 6.7L lift pump, Baldwin water separator and a Cat fuel filter all work with Holder’s Diesel premium 225/75 injectors to provide enough fuel for the engine. For the most part, the build is finished and Miles has begun breaking it in.
“I’ve got 130 miles on it so far and I have a huge smile on my face,” he says. “People told me the injectors were going to be too small, but I haven’t had problems yet.”
Miles hasn’t had the engine dyno’d yet to know his power output exactly, but has estimated with other peers that it should sit around 750 horsepower. His future plans for the truck include adding a nitrous setup to increase horsepower even more!