One of the biggest issues facing the diesel industry and performance world in general is getting the next generation involved and interested in going fast. With distractions like video games and social media, less and less children are turning wrenches in the garage and learning important technical skills along the way.
A lot of the guys and gals we’ve talked to got their first taste of the industry from parents or family members, and that seems like a trend that will continue for some time. And luckily there’s other industry members that are putting a focus on getting kids involved at racing events and shows. We recently caught up with Dakota Sargent, owner of Fullhook Performance, to hear about a new diesel engine he built for kids to rev-up at the racetrack.
We first talked to Sargent last year about a separate engine, and at that point his was only about a year-and-a-half into his endeavor with Fullhook Performance. Even in its infancy, he was getting a good number of badass engines built for customers each month. Despite only having a two-man team and small shop space outside of Las Vegas in Indian Springs, NV, he’s only grown his business building 5.9L 12-valves, P-pumped 24 valves, VP44 24 valves, and doing manual transmission work.
In the near future, Sargent has plans to move into a larger shop space connected to Head by Rick (HBR Competition Engines), the Vegas machine shop that currently handles the block, crank and head work for his engines builds. When that happens, Sargent will be one step closer to having Fullhook Performance be his fulltime gig.
In the meantime, he’s keeping hard at work in the shop on new builds.
“One of the big events we go to every year is Norcal Truck Mania,” Sargent said. “I always focus on building my personal trucks for the booth, but this year I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something different. I had this crazy idea of having two identical trailers on weld wheels with two P-pumped 24-valves on top and have one rev-ready for the kids to play around with, so that’s what I did.”
Sargent partnered with close friend Colby Moreno of CDM Fab to share a booth and pull around the engines. The two created an “engine train” of sorts, with both of Sargent’s engines being pulled by Moreno’s compound-turbo Cummins powered 1979 Yanmar tractor.
The project in total took only a few days, remarkably. The green engine was a build that Sargent completed for a customer, but the purple engine was built specifically for Norcal Truck Mania. In only five days, he had the engine and both trailers put together prior to the event.
“Smeding Diesel was a huge help on this because they sponsored us and provided the chargers and stainless-steel manifold for the build, and PureFlow AirDog helped with the lift pump, which was a 5 gal. 220 gph pump. I know I wanted to do compounds, so for that we used a T4 S464 83/1.0 paired up with an S488 96/1.32.”
Sargent already had a P-Pump with Dynamite Diesel Performance internals that he installed to increase power. Manton pushrods and valve springs were also installed.
He also fabbed up an entire electric water pump system with a reservoir so he could flip the water pump on easily. Block off plates and a thermostat elbow were machined so that while kids were revving the engine, Sargent could flip the water pump on and circulate water through it so he didn’t have to worry about it getting too hot.
A custom lever was machined along with an old Hurst shifter so kids could easily rev the engine without getting too close. After the upgrades Sargent installed, the engine makes around 800 horsepower, more than enough to roll some coal and entertain the children (and dads) who care to take a closer look.
“It really was a huge hit and that was the first event that we took it to. There were so many kids that wanted to check it out and it was really special seeing the excitement in their eyes as well as their dads. A lot of times I actually had to intervene because they were really letting it sing, but all in all it was really cool to see.”