Diesel of the Week is presented by
The 2022 SEMA Show is in full swing and like every year, there are plenty of manufacturers, dealers, retailers, restorers, builders, race teams and more at the Las Vegas Convention Center in an effort to reveal some of the latest offers. in the special equipment industry. As always, there are also plenty of decked out cars and trucks on the show floor for attendees to drool over. And where there are show vehicles, there are sure to be some impressive engines.
We found Today’s Diesel of the Week last month, but it’s currently at DUB Publishing’s booth #84320 on the SEMA Show floor. Dustin Sterling’s 1972 Chevrolet C10 is sensational; the all-steel truck was almost completely factory restored outside of the panels and downsized ’07 Chevrolet 2500 4WD chassis.
“This really is the truck of my dreams,” says Dustin Sterling. “I’ve wanted to build something like this for years and now it’s finally been put together.”
Dustin is the owner of Sterling Diesel Performance, a shop based in Splendora, TX that does everything from basic repairs and fleet services to performance upgrades and one-of-a-kind custom builds. The new 7,500 sf. the facility maintains 7 to 8 trucks at any given time with another 20 to 40 out on the lot, all supported by 12 employees who Sterling says are almost all family.
While the team works on Dodge, Chevy and Ford vehicles, Duramax engines have become the platform they specialize in. Similarly, each iteration of Sterling’s personal ’06 Chevrolet race truck has given him and the SDP team a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. For the C10, Sterling opted to use the same engine and many of the same component additions as his race truck.
“Texas is probably the biggest 4WD scene out there, so there are a lot of classes we can fit in with a truck like the C10 compared to our race truck, which is very straightforward,” says Sterling. “This is going to be a street/strip truck, so we can do the 5.90 or 6.0 rating while we can still play with it on the street.”
The engine is a 6.6L Duramax engine, revved up to 7.1L. It has a full billet rotating assembly from SoCal Diesel with a Callies Ultra billet crankshaft, Carrillo connecting rods and forged pistons. The 6480 Stage 2 Alternate Firing Order Camshaft is also sourced from SoCal, helping to distribute stresses more evenly across the length of the crankshaft without risking premature failure that often occurs with reciprocating camshafts. 6.6L factory cams used in higher horsepower applications.
The engine also features a billet flexplate, Super Damper harmonic balancer, TIG-welded water pump, Wagler intake system, and the fuel system is all S&S.
For forced air, Sterling opted to add a rather unconventional twin-turbo setup, something not often found in diesel engine builds.
“The original plan with this was to put a fan on it, but we really couldn’t get much information on that when we started construction,” he says. “So I thought, I know a lot of guys in the diesel industry who have gone twin-turbo on their drag cars, so I thought I’d give it a try. We initially thought the two we’re using would be too small for what we’re trying to do, but I’m impressed with how responsive they’ve been so far. The other cool part is that they have a completely unique sound to what most guys are used to hearing.”
Two Garrett GTX 58mm turbos are mounted anywhere on the engine, and each charger produces about 45 lbs. of boost. In its current configuration, the engine makes about 600 horsepower on fuel alone, and Sterling hopes to get closer to 800 by the time construction is complete. Paired with four nitrous kits, this C10 will be a monster on the track!
Diesel of the week is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to feature in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]