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88 Chevy Diesel - Good or Converted "Junk"?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by beverlylawncare, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. beverlylawncare

    beverlylawncare Member
    Messages: 78

    I was looking at a 1988 C3500 to use as a back-up salt truck. Mileage is good, but it has a diesel engine. I recall someone telling me a few years back that Chevy converted a gas engine into a diesel, and had an enormous amount of problems with them. If anyone could shed some light on this, as to whether this 88 would be in that era, etc. I would greatly appreciate it! The truck is appealing because its cheap - Like $2,000 or cheaper. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    the old 350 diesel was a gas converted to diesel and actually I think by the end they made em a tad bit better but Chevy gained the rep from then on that thier diesels were converted gassers and complete junk. I think there are people that think the new duramax is converted :confused:

    the 6.2's and 6.5 are good reliable motors that were made from the start as a diesel. The electronic 6.5 has some problems with some of the electrical gizmos in the earlier years but the motors themselvs are dependable. Not powerhouses compared to the cumins of that era but still good motors IMO
  3. GPB

    GPB Member
    Messages: 55

    If its an 88 it should have the 6.2 liter in it. Like stated above, Its a dependable motor, just not alot of power. Chevy used a gas converted motor in the late 70's and early 80's and you want to avoid these trucks. These were really underpowered and quite unreliable. I think most of these have long since been retired. I havent seen one in years.
  4. VictoryRedK1500

    VictoryRedK1500 Member
    Messages: 47

    Like the other guys have said above, this truck will have a 6.2 L diesel in it. It is not a gas engine converted over to a diesel. This engine was actually designed by Detriot Diesel, Inc. My dad had one in his old '86 K20 company truck. It was reliable, but it was a dog. This truck should make you a good backup providing it is in good working order.
  5. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Those old Gas block diesels were built on a Oldsmoble 350 and were only on 1/2 ton 4x2s ,I believe they were available in 78-79.I would bet there are not any left running today.
  6. beverlylawncare

    beverlylawncare Member
    Messages: 78

    Thanks a lot for all the knowledge! I have decided to just keep looking, my wife won't let me turn loose of any of the funds right now..... I'm sure most of you know how THAT goes.... :nono:
  7. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    My buddy's dad had a 1981 Chevy Scottsdale 4x4 with the 6.2 diesel. It was a great truck but it sounded like an old washing machine when it was running.:D
  8. staley52

    staley52 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 98

    the 350 diesel is no a converted gas engine the only parts that a the same are water pump and valve covers and thats not for sure
    the block is thicker, different stroke crank different heads and it is actually a good engine when slightly improved with head studs instead of bolts as long as you dont try to run it like a cummins
  9. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Staley you are absolutly right about that .Gosh its been so long since I`ve seen one of those that I forgot that the engine is based on an Olds design and not actually an Olds gas block.Just a point of interest I remember back in the early eighties racers used to take these engines and convert them to Gas ,they made a good solid basis for a race engine.
  10. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    yup.....a 414 I believe.....

    I would say that since they were based off a gasser they are converts but its basicly a definition thing, they still started life as a gas motor on the drawing board but you are corect they didnt take a 350 gas motor yank the spark plugs and put some glow plugs in its place and tell you to run off #2 instead ;)