IMO, GM is almost solely responsible for the death of pass-car diesel
engines in the USA. The 350 was in no shape to accept the high forces
and pressures required of a diesel engine -- not in the bottom end,
the top end, the cylinder walls, the lubrication and lube filtering
system, the accessory package. (I suspect that the cooling system was
up to the task, since diesels are very easy on their heat transfer
requirements, but that's the only system that might be. And even that
probably had trouble with combustion gases getting in and rotting the
coolant or passages.)
Run away from this abomition!! You're lucky if it's just hard
starting. It is definitely NOT a heavy duty engine.
Just MHO, of course.
> From: "Paul F Mele" <Paul.Mele@usermail.com>
> Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 21:43:24 -0400
> what's the scoop on a 1980 GMC 3/4 ton SIERRA GRANDE 350 Diesel? My Dad had
> a GM 350 Diesel in his Oldsmobile about that time...seems to me that it was
> very sensitive to fuel contamination, and didn't start reliably.
> Another friend of mine owns the truck. the body and trans (auto) are OK.
> suspension, interior, brakes, etc, all seem serviceable. engine (bottom
> end) is tired.
> I could dedicate a weekend or 2 to fixing it up.
> Is it worth fixing up to use as a utility truck/ garbage hauler/ odd jobs on
> home construction sites for a few years and 4 house construction projects?
> should I get a rebuilt short block and swap the used heads?
> should I get a junkyard or rebuilt long block instead?
> is it feasible to convert to a 350 or other small block gas engine? (is the
> trans compatible?)
> would it make more sense to just buy some other used truck that's running
> for $2500 or so?
> TIA for all of your collective $0.02
> all my detailed car experience is with sports cars and the like. never had
> a truck yet.
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