1 Way Diesel Performance grew out of a simple idea – to make diesel trucks go fast. That’s what Chase Wells had in mind when he first got into diesel engine work. Chase and his family used to build classic cars and ship them to Germany back 15 years ago. They used diesel trucks to pull the trailers for the cars, and that’s when Chase had his epiphany.
“I told my dad one day that I was going to get a truck and make that sucker fast,” Wells says. “My mom had a 2001 Dodge that she pulled horse trailers with and it quit running one day. My dad told me if I got the truck running, he’d give it to me. I think I was 14 at the time. I fixed it in 30 minutes.
“From there, I started building injectors and turbos for it. People would try to race me in a Camaro or something and I would just annihilate them. It just took off from there. I did some online classes to get more knowledge and certifications so I could do this full time. It blew up from there and now we’ve got a full-blown business out of it.”
Chase, his wife and his parents run 1 Way Diesel Performance located in Nacogdoches, Texas, along with roughly eight other techs. 1 Way Diesel is made up of two buildings – one for the shop’s show trucks and the high-end builds and the other for transmission work and other engine builds.
“We’re actually working on building a whole new building with a dyno in it,” Wells says. “We’re starting to get some papers and plans drawn out. It’ll be under way here soon.”
The shop started around 2010 doing general repair work and quickly transitioned to performance diesel work, which is the shop’s bread and butter today, but general repair is still in the mix as well. If it was up to Chase, the shop would only work on Cummins engines, as those are his personal favorite, but 1 Way Diesel does Duramax and Powerstroke work also.
With the capabilities to do all these different jobs, 1 Way Diesel does about 50% of its machine work in-house and 50% gets sent out to a local machine shop.
“Today, performance is the main thing,” he says. “We started moving towards the performance industry full blast probably five years ago. We built some drag trucks and got our name out there and got really big in the performance industry. We started getting a ton of work pouring in after that. We still do the drag trucks and drag cars as well as repairs.”
The shop’s performance work over the years led 1 Way Diesel to create its own engine line under the name True Street, which come in a few different options.
“We’ve got an engine line that we build rated to 1,300-1,400 horsepower called the True Street engine,” he says. “It comes as either the 5.9L or 6.7L Cummins. Then we have a True Street Comp engine, which is rated for 1,500-2,000 horsepower.”
While the engine line is taking off, Chase’s favorite engine is a deck-plated 6.7L Cummins in his ‘57 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Mod car, which Chase admits, makes crazy horsepower and is something he wants to add to the engine line in the near future.
“The way it all started was we went to see how much the factory 6.7L pistons and block could take,” Wells says. “We sleeved the block and wanted to see where the end of the road was for those components. We started splitting blocks and melting pistons at like 2,100 horsepower, and that’s impressive.
“That’s not a billet piston, that’s just a factory piston. We wanted this engine to be able to drive on the street. When we broke that, we got something together with a deck plate set up where we can still have water in it and still drive it, but keep the integrity of the block without having to go with a solid block.”
With a goal of creating 2,500-3,000 street-able horsepower, 1 Way Diesel got busy building the ultimate wet block, deck-plated 6.7L Cummins.
“That was our goal,” he says. “On this particular build, we used a custom spec Hamilton cam, Hamilton pistons, pushrods, valve springs, Apex rods, Apex girdle, a Hamilton lightweight crank, our custom, deck-plated block with 14mm main and head studs, and one of our hand-ported heads. We’ve learned that they make more power with a smaller valve. A lot of people would go to the big valve, but we just go up 1mm from the factory size by running a 1.5mm valve instead of a 2mm valve.
“On anything that makes big power, we only run S&S. They’re the best for injectors and pumps. They never have a failure, they’re super clean and super precise. It’s just crazy how far people have come and the injector data you can get from S&S. We’ve got 500% over 6.7L S&S injectors, two 14mm S&S pumps, a Midwest GT55 98mm turbocharger, two 45mm wastegates, and a Steed Speed manifold on it.”
In addition, the 6.7L has a Fluidampr, a Waterman mechanical drive lift pump and a Bosch ECU that S&S set up to run the engine. The engine hooks up to a TH400 transmission. All put together, the ‘57 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Mod weighs 2,700 lbs. with a driver in it.
“This engine is capable of 2,200-2,500 horsepower,” Wells says. It’s got enough air for 2,700 hp, but we’re not going to use all that. It’s a beast. It’s crazy what we’re running in here.
“We took it to the Street Outlaws event last year and won the diesel division with the car. Ryan Milliken of Hardway Performance was actually driving it. I didn’t have my competition license at the time, but I do now, so I’m going to be driving it.”
With this new deck-plated 6.7L Cummins build all figured out, we’re excited to see where 1 Way Diesel Performance goes with it.
Engine Builder magazine’s Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL.