Do You Own An Early Model Olds Or Chevy Diesel?

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Yeah, that's one where GM really "sweatted the details". I felt bad for folks stuck with those headblowers. They were usually driving something else most of the time.
 
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I wonder what kind of story they're working on. Maybe something along the lines of 'Between killing the streetcar and the electric car, GM killed the diesel.'
 
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LOL... They have long been sold to junk yards as scrap. The motors were total junk... usually only lasted 3 to 5 years sometimes less. We used to have guys bring them in the automotive machine shop were I work at the time in the early 80s. They almost always had cracks in the blocks and most had cracks in the head(s).
 
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Maybe they should talk to the C&D folks. Didn't they do a cross country with one of these in a recent article, or perhaps a recent re-print.
 

Kestas

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Tosh is right. GM did one heck of a job turning off a whole generation (or two) of car buyers from diesel passenger cars. The few people I knew with these cars enjoyed their 32 mpg with their big sedans, which was unheard of at the time. Those mpg figures were usually only enjoyed by people with econoboxes, such as my 82 Omni. Whatever happened to the class-action suit against GM at the time?
 
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Define muck raking. If they use this garbage to attack "the return of the diesel", then we really have to wonder what the agenda of the press is. Sure GM sucks. Sure those engines sucked (my uncle had one, complete diesel storage tank in the yard).......it died. But that was prehistory.
 
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There might still be some of those around. I knew of two of them, one was driven by a guy who put lots of highway miles on it every day. It ran for many years before he got rid of it. The other one was driven in short trips and it died a very early death. It really seemed to matter how you used those cars. IIRC these were the Olds 350 engines, they also had a 290 (?) right?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by javacontour: Maybe they should talk to the C&D folks. Didn't they do a cross country with one of these in a recent article, or perhaps a recent re-print.
I think that's where I saw the article too. It was in the last few months and it was new article. The bought a few cheap old diesel cars and drove them cross country, IIRC.
 
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A few years ago I saw one swapped into a FJ40 for rock crawling. The owner had it rebuilt before installation and it was an excellent 4x4 engine. It is lighter than many other diesels and fit up to standard GM engine mounts and transmissions. It would chug along all day long in 4lo. He said that the car was given to him for free in good running condition.
 
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My boss had one of the big Olds sedans and it was almost scary to drive in traffic it was so underpowered. I drove it into Chicago one time and told him I'd quit before I ever did it again. He had plenty of trouble with it. The injector pump went out right after the warranty was up, the cam went flat, and he went through lots of batteries to try to get it to start in Illinois winters. When he finally sold it he decided it probably cost him far more to maintain than he ever saved in fuel. I sure can't understand using one of those engines in a rockcrawler. I can't see anything they would do that a normal small block of any brand wouldn't do better and longer. My old neighbor had a good side business going for a while pulling those engines and replacing them with 350 Chevys...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jsharp: My boss had one of the big Olds sedans and it was almost scary to drive in traffic it was so underpowered. I drove it into Chicago one time and told him I'd quit before I ever did it again. He had plenty of trouble with it. The injector pump went out right after the warranty was up, the cam went flat, and he went through lots of batteries to try to get it to start in Illinois winters. When he finally sold it he decided it probably cost him far more to maintain than he ever saved in fuel. I sure can't understand using one of those engines in a rockcrawler. I can't see anything they would do that a normal small block of any brand wouldn't do better and longer. My old neighbor had a good side business going for a while pulling those engines and replacing them with 350 Chevys...
According to the owner it had big-blockesque torque at low RPM and used 1/3 the fuel that his previous 350 chebbie did on the trail. This wasn't a daily driver and I think he had a heavy dose of "dare to be different" going on.
 
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My father in law had the Olds diesel. He said it was on the back of a tow truck more than on all four wheels. He has a knack for buying cars that "no one else has" because he wants to be different. 1994 Mazda 626 (Dreadful car) 2000 Volvo C70 (rattle trap and lots of electrical problems)
 
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In my above post I should have been more specific and not used the word "sucks". GM has indeed made some poor decisions in the past and surely GM Management is extremely week. But the whole company, past and present certainly does not suck. The point of my post was not to lambaste GM, but to take the press to task and more importantly defend the lowly diesel. I am sorry for my poor choice of words and any issues I may have caused.
 
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GM Management accepts your apology, but regretfully cannot confirm nor deny that the whole company presently sucks, as they actually have no idea due to alleged internal (and eternal) weaknesses. In an unrelated story, GM Management has rescinded plans to send any PR Enforcement Units to Washington State.
 
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I drove one I bought new for seven years. No mechanical problems, though the infamous RoosaMaster fuel injection pump tanked on a vacation. I firmly believe people who were on the fringes of the diesel experience (which means they read half a <i>Popular Science</i> article extolling the wonderful Olds V8 diesel designed for the great unwashed masses...) and who knew absolutely nothing about diesel engines expected absolutely too much out of these motors and used, or allowed to be used, nothing but common gasoline engine motor oils of the time. The owner's manual clearly cautioned that the use of fleet motor oils rated "SE/CD" or above was a must. Mine only saw the latest available 15W-40s and 3 mo./3,000 mile oil and filter changes the entire time I owned it. I also installed an extra large fuel filter/water seperator early on. What GM provided as the OEM fuel filter was pathetic.
 
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My father, who always warned about buying anything in its first model year, bought a 1978 Oldsmobile diesel. He babied it, but at about 120K suffered blown head gaskets. By this point, it was around 1984. GM had a program where you could get an updated, factory new diesel for a fairly reasonable price, installed. He did this, and then had few problems thereafter. However, he died in 1990 and left me the car. I drove it about 10K miles, and it needed a new exhaust system. For some reason, GM routed an oil line close to the exhaust header, and to change the exhaust, this line had to be removed, and then put back in after the new exhaust system was installed. Well, Mr. Goodwrench cross threaded the oil line, and it pumped out almost all of the oil on the road on the ride home. While all at first seemed to be OK, it threw a rod bearing after that, and now my father drives that car in heaven. My father had some real battles with that car. He always had fuel gelling problems in winter. I remember him building charcoal fires under the fuel tank more than once.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by kschachn: IIRC these were the Olds 350 engines, they also had a 290 (?) right?
260 cid V6 actually. Saw a couple Olds Ciera FWD diesels back in the 80's. Ford Escort diesels, Dodge pickups with Mitsu diesels, International Scouts with Nissan diesels, Chevettes with little itty bitty Isuzu diesels...
 
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A co-worker of my Mom's had the first Olds 98 diesel in Arkansas. They were the type who liked to brag about **** like that, so they got what they deserved. I seem to recall that thing was a lemon! A friend of mine's dad had one of those 1/2 ton Chevies that came from the factory with a diesel. It had been replaced with a regular Olds engine though!
 
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I worked at an Olds dealer in 1984, we had a Ciera demo with a 4.3 V-6 diesel that ran well and had good power. They were far from perfect but a lot of them were sold to the wrong people for the wrong reasons, i.e. old people who wanted good mpg and no tune-ups and just putted around town, the same folks who aren't real picky about maintenance. The Olds diesel required frequent oil AND coolant changes. Many of the head gasket failures could be traced to not changing the coolant enough or at all. Our customers who put on a crapload of miles and did proper maintenance didn't have as many problems.
 
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