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Old 03-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
dukes69
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is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

I am looking at a 78 silverado. The truck has had me confused for a couple days, as i could not figure out what motor is in it. I finally figure it out. it is a 350 diesel. my question is this a rare option? any help on this would be great.

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Old 03-06-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

There are probably a bajillion people who will argue me on this but STAY AWAY. My first job was taking 350 diesels out of cars and putting gas motors in. They are horribly unreliable but I guess if you were just buying it for the novelty factor and didnt have to drive it you would be ok or if the truck is nice just put a 350 gas motor in.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

What he said...ditto!
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

i dont think that the made the olds 350 deisel for very long for a reason...
there was a big thread on here about them a month or so ago.

check it out.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

i went and looked at it again and i think it was coverted over to gas, however it still has the diesel block. Am I going crazy?
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

same block as a gasser.

don't quote me on this, but i think that its just a matter of switching out the intake, and ignition module

i think that it will have a different cam though.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

either way gas or diesel, if it's a 350 that was a diesel stay away...if it's a 6.2l then I say go for it, but it's not so stay away
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:16 AM   #8
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Talking Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

ugh the 350 diesel was not a converted engine it has a thicker heavier block and the main reasons they failed back then was weak head bolts and poor fuel quality and how could it be so bad if its still running and not been swapped to a gasser
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:20 AM   #9
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

my 78 was a 350 diesel WAS
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

I've said it a million times before -- Despite some visual similarities, the 350 Olds is NOT a gasoline engine converted to diesel. You CAN NOT install gasoline heads on the diesel block, they are very different. That said, the 350 diesel does indeed deserve it's bad name, it is the 6.2L that does not deserve the 350's reputation.

If the engine is a gasser, then someone swapped in an Olds gasoline engine to replace it
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

The diesel of this era has to go down in history as one of the biggest American automotive blunders ever.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #12
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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The diesel of this era has to go down in history as one of the biggest American automotive blunders ever.
the 350 diesel yes

the 6.2l diesel no

Last edited by Stitch; 03-07-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:20 PM   #13
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

I had a 6.2 and it was a piece of crap too. I will stick with my Mercedes diesel, cant beat a good old gas 350 for anything you need to do with a truck.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

I had the 350 diesel in my 81 and it used more oil then fuel and after changing all gaskets it took 2 weeks until they leaked again and the performance was more then poor!After 4 weeks it died and the dealer i bought it from gave a 6.2 l j code diesel to me!With that thing installed the truck was a real powerhouse and satisfied me until it crunched up the tranny,alternator,powersteeringpump and 3 starters!
After all that i converted to a 350 gasengine and wrenched 15 years to get it back on the streets!
I would stay away from a 350 diesel unless the rest of the truck is supernice and worth to keep it and convert to any other engine!
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:34 PM   #15
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

i have a custom combiner buddy who has had one as a support vehicle for years. he has purchsed motors out of olds 98s and caddys a couple of times. its a cool old nostalgic ride. they are gutless, but i like them
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:08 PM   #16
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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I had a 6.2 and it was a piece of crap too. I will stick with my Mercedes diesel, cant beat a good old gas 350 for anything you need to do with a truck.
Oh well everyone has an opinion! my 6.2's are getting 19 and 25 mpg all day long i'd like too see your gas 350 deliver that kinda mpg and still tow a trailer running 35's and a lift.I DON'T THINK SO!
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:29 PM   #17
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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I've said it a million times before -- Despite some visual similarities, the 350 Olds is NOT a gasoline engine converted to diesel. You CAN NOT install gasoline heads on the diesel block, they are very different. That said, the 350 diesel does indeed deserve it's bad name, it is the 6.2L that does not deserve the 350's reputation.

If the engine is a gasser, then someone swapped in an Olds gasoline engine to replace it
Exactly. There WERE a lot of bad 5.7s. Once they switched to the DX block in '81, things got better. For the most part, they were ok. I would say there's a 99% chance the original engine in that '78 has been replaced with a DX block (goodwrech engine).

I sold my '81 C1500 with a 5.7 because I never had the money for a new injection pump. I wish I woulda kept it.

As long as you don't tow much or beat the s*** out of it, a 5.7 will be just fine.

I want a diesel car, Found an '81 Lesabre with a 5.7L diesel, I can buy it this spring when the ground dries up. I can already see dual exhaust with glasspacks in it's future
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:31 PM   #18
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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Oh well everyone has an opinion! my 6.2's are getting 19 and 25 mpg all day long i'd like too see your gas 350 deliver that kinda mpg and still tow a trailer running 35's and a lift.I DON'T THINK SO!
12 mpg with a gas 350 and a can not only tow a trailer but I can pull a house off of its foundation. Not too bag mpg for a 12,000 lb truck. Got bigger tires and sit higher than most lifts and can out tow almost anything.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:55 PM   #19
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

but does it get 19 mpg towing...don't think so...that's his point..

and that's alot of truck for a little 350 to be pulling around...let alone anything you put on the bed or hook to the back...I would hate to hear that thing going down the road loaded...ouch

Last edited by Stitch; 03-07-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #20
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

Hope you don't mind a 60-66 guy popping in, but my neighbor has a '78 Silverado with the 5.7L. He bought it brand new and told me within the first three years he owned it, he probably had the engine apart 5 different times. He installed ARP head studs and used a different thickness head gasket and washer set-up (I think) to bolt them down and he said ever since then all he needs to carry on a trip is an extra injection pump. He still runs it to this day getting 23 mpg.

And yes, you can't pull much and it is gutless. But to each his own.

I say go for it and put in the 6.2L!
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:30 PM   #21
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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I say go for it and put in the 6.2L!
this is also my vote
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:56 AM   #22
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

Truck has sounded fine for the past 215,000 miles with a 800 gallohn sprayer on the back. a 350 is plenty, we keep our ups trucks tagged at 20,000lbs and they have a lil 4.3w motor in them. I did see a nasty 6.2 on here that was twin turboed, i forget where but I would like to find it again and see how much of that was one off fabbed. IF anybody in in the central PA area and wants a running 6.2, I have one and it is free to anybody that wants it before I scrap it. I know this isnt a sales thread but you guys would know if somebody wanted it. Hate to throw away a running engine if sombody can use it. And with the 19MPG no I cant get it towing butyou dont have a 27,000GVWR either and i got 20's LOL.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #23
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

I would take it...you wanna find out what shipping would be to a business address at 29150...if it's free, I could probably swing the shipping...and it'll be fine with the mods as long as you're giving it away...so put me first in line for it if you'll put it on a pallet and ship it...thanks

Chuck
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:38 PM   #24
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

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I would take it...you wanna find out what shipping would be to a business address at 29150...if it's free, I could probably swing the shipping...and it'll be fine with the mods as long as you're giving it away...so put me first in line for it if you'll put it on a pallet and ship it...thanks

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:59 PM   #25
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Re: is a 78 chevy with a diesel rare

Does anyone have an underhood pic they could post of a stock 5.7 diesel in a squarebody? I've heard much about them but never actually seen one.
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