Do we even need to give an introduction? If you follow the diesel engine community at all or at least diesel motorsports, you’ve likely heard of Jesse Warren and Warren Diesel Injection (WDI). It’s the kind of name that pops up from time to time and you hear about sporadically in different situations. It could be on the leaderboard of a pulling or drag race competition, when your buddy is describing his wild new truck build, or maybe you’ve just been reading Engine Builder magazine too much.
Yes, builds from WDI have been featured in our Diesel of the Week series multiple times: in 2021 we took a look at Jesse’s 6.0L/6.4L hybrid Powerstroke F-350 he’d been campaigning for over a decade, and just a few months ago, we checked out his newer 6.0L Powerstroke Pro Mod Ford Ranger. Both make around 2,000 horsepower!
Suffice to say, he’s known around the diesel community. Even outside of his own builds, you’ll see Jesse’s name all over our website due to the components from his shop that appear in our other featured builds. Our article on Connor Wagner’s truck featured WDI 331/150 injectors, Travis Keyser’s F-350 has a set of WDI 430/200 7mm injectors, Tyler Hewett’s wild Cummins Mustang boasts WDI 205/30 injectors, Kodie Boden’s wicked Ford Country Squire has WDI 331/58mm injectors, and even our Diesel of the Year winner, Jared Alderson of Kill Devil Diesel, utilized a billet aluminum block, high-pressure oil pump kit, and massive set of injectors equivalent to 800% over, all from WDI for that awesome billet Powerstroke build.
Injectors are Jesse’s bread and butter, and primarily how he’s built out his diesel namesake over the years.
“I’ve always been a gearhead, even when I was a kid,” Warren says. “My dad ran a construction business, so we were into that sort of stuff a little, but mainly we were tinkering on gas engines like Mustangs and some older Ford trucks. We got into competition type stuff, and then diesel performance started becoming a thing in the late 2000s, so one thing led to another.”
Jesse, his family and friends began doing injector work around this same time, mainly on their personal vehicles. That led to helping some friends and others in the community, and naturally they began selling their work once they were getting more and more requests. In 2010, Jesse realized it was time to make a business out of it.
“We had an SCT dealership prior to that where we were doing tuning on gas engines, but we’ve more or less got away from tuning in these later years with the EPA and the murky water there,” he says. “But 2010 is when we officially started WDI and that was when the change started to happen.”
All of WDI’s injectors are remanufactured, flow tested and put through a series of tests to provide high-quality components. With Jesse’s knowledge and years of testing and research, today, WDI offers some of the largest competition fuel injectors on the market for the 6.0L Powerstroke platform, and they’ve since expanded their offerings to cover the 6.4L, 6.7L, and 7.3L Powerstroke, as well as the 6.6L LB7 Duramax.
For some categories, like the 7.3L Powerstroke, WDI outsources its products to other reputable diesel companies. Its 7.3L injectors, for example, come from Full Force Diesel, a shop that Jesse gives high praise to in that category.
“The biggest thing in the beginning was this gap in the market,” he says. “Elite Diesel and RCD were pretty big back then and they still are, but generally hybrid injectors were very overpriced back then. Our prices and availability helped in the early years, but I think it was the mid-2010s when we really started to take off.
“We went to the Diesel Power Challenge in 2015 and brought two of our 6.0L trucks, and even back then I got a ton of flak for it. People were telling me I was bringing a knife to a gunfight, basically. We ended up posting some pretty decent numbers and a lot of those guys came up to me after and apologized. I think that competition in particular gave a lot of credit with the 6.0L.”
A year later, Jesse was invited to the inaugural Ultimate Callout Challenge in 2016 and ended the weekend with the highest finishing Ford Powerstroke truck with a sixth-place finish overall.
“A lot of people were walking away from the 6.0L at that time, and I feel like we kind of showed them the potential of what these diesel engines could do with the proper fueling,” Warren says. “We’ve put a lot of time and money into that world trying to prove its worth and I think we’ve done a good job.”
Of course, anyone in the pulling world will likely recognize his iconic “Shark Bait” truck. For years, he campaigned it at UCC and other diesel events, proving how far the HEUI system could take the Shark in an ocean of common rail competitors.
A combination of dual tractor turbochargers, among the largest HEUI injectors ever designed at the time, and a robust 6.0L engine capable of enduring the stress generated by a remarkable 150 psi of boost, creates striking performance. When Warren accelerates from the starting line, the engine consistently reaches a rapid 4,500 rpm. Upon engaging the throttle aggressively, the engine’s rpm would surge to 6,000 before gradually settling down to 5,000 rpm toward the end of the track. No wonder he was one of the biggest names in diesel pulling at the time.
Just in the last few years, WDI has expanded its product catalog even further to encompass short and long blocks for the 6.0L and 6.4L platform, although Jesse notes that they’ve recently been behind on taking new orders. They do full race builds as well, spec’ing out rods, pistons and each component to the customer’s needs.
Remarkably, WDI has been able to expand its production, product catalog, and services even while being smaller than most large diesel operations. The facility in Guys Mills, PA sits at around 12,000 sq. ft. in total. As for the workforce, Jesse employs 18 full-time employees.
“The market’s pretty tight right now, so it’s hard to find good guys,” he admits. “A lot of our employees have been here for quite some time and they’re all really talented, although we are looking to add one more person to round everything out.”
Despite being so occupied with current endeavors, Jesse is already looking to the future in terms of what his business can offer next.
On the fueling side, WDI might attack the commonrail segment and some of the higher-demand injectors for the early problematic Duramax engines. But, before that happens, Jesse says he’ll be prioritizing getting caught up in inventory currently on the shelves and eliminating long lead times on engines.
“We have staff meetings around here every so often like any place, and we’re always trying to find ways to be more efficient in these regards,” he says. “Once we get on top of everything here, we can start looking at growing in other areas.”
Without a doubt, when that happens, there will be lines waiting to get into Jesse’s product catalog. For 13 years, Jesse and the team at WDI have been putting out stellar fuel system products and compete engines to the diesel community, and that’s why we believe Warren Diesel Injection is worthy of being our 2023 America’s Best Diesel Engine Shop. EB