Diesel Place banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i have a question about the 5.7 diesel, i know most say these are not very dependable, does any body here have any thoughts good or bad about these engines. thanks for any replies......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,412 Posts
Welcome to the forum!

Hmmm... 5.7. Not known for being very good engines. I have heard that they tend to crack main bearing support webs, but then again the 6.2 has been known to do that as well on occasion. In my opinion the 5.7 was definitely not an example of diesel engine longevity, but I do think that it could be a good engine for fuel economy if you take good care of a rebuild. I don't know for sure, but I think they were not the best engine. Then again, i have never really seen a 'bad' engine. Every engine I've ever worked on (you name it: Ford, Chevy, Honda, Dodge, Briggs & Stratton, Hudson, Lycoming, Polaris, Continental, Jeep, Fuji, Kawasaki, Suzuki, gasoline, diesel... the list goes on) has been a fairly good engine when everthing is set up right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
I never had a 5.7 diesel or know anyone who has had one. I did talk to a guy that had one and he said they are good engines and great MPGs. He did tell me why they got the bad wrap, people hear diesel and think lots of power. This engine was made for fuel economy not screwing around and pulling stumps, mud bogging etc. People would get these little diesels, hot rod them then tell everyone they are junk after they tear them up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
Dan, I have a long history with 5.7's. I worked in a dealership that sold hundreds of them in the late '70's and early '80's. What the guys stated above is true. There are good and bad experiences with them. Overall, I ran them personally for all these years. Sold the last two parts cars and two running daily drivers this last fall. I had reasonable service out of all of them. They produced better than average mileage. Biggest problem was getting the head gaskets to seal. Design flaw, 10 headbolts per side. I used ARP studs, etc. Special machine work, tried everything over the years. With good prep work, I got over a hundred thousand miles between gasket failures. That was my only complaint.

The vehicles were big, heavy, luxury, well-equipped cars. Fun to drive, driveability was better than any gas engine of that era. Smooth, started instantly, good cold driveability. Nothing like an old gas engine with a sticking automatic choke!

I loved driving them, cost effective for sure. The rising cost of diesel fuel and the head gasket failure rate drove me to change. I felt I was "whipping a dead horse" long enough!

Some good cars are still out there and available for a cheap price. If you're serious, there's a web site dedicated to them. Buy one cheap, have fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
I did find a site that had a forum that was all about the 5.7 diesel, do a google search like I did and you should find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I used to have a 1983 Buick LeSabre with a 5.7 diesel. To this day, I still regret trading that LeSabre in for a New Yorker. That Buick was immaculate -- real beautiful car. If I met someone who still had a Buick with a 5.7, I would get on my knees and beg him to sell it to me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
I heard that chevy diesel were a gasser converted to diesel. I found out that the 6.2 wasn't and heard that rumaor came from the 5.7L. I was told the 5.7 wasnt a diesel conversion after I looked inti it, it was designed to be a diesel. This rumor started because they have the same air cleaner and valve covers as the oldsmobile 350 so looking under the hood it looked the same as the olds 350 and is a 350ci.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
That's correct, the 5.7 is a diesel design. Different and heavier block, heads and internal rotating assy. The similarities are the sheet metal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,609 Posts
That's correct, the 5.7 is a diesel design. Different and heavier block, heads and internal rotating assy. The similarities are the sheet metal.
Thanks to Roger Smith, GM engineers were givin the task of seeing how cheaply they could take an Olds gas V8 and convert it over to a Diesel engine. Its pretty apparent Roger didn't give them the budget to get it done right. Converting a gas engine to diesel in and of itself is not a bad thing, VW did that quite sucessfully with their 1.5 & 1.6 diesels prior to the TDI's. Its just VW did the engineering to make it work well.

The olds gas/diesel relationship is a lot deeper than sheetmetal. While the rotating assemblys are different, the diesel blocks are a popular starting point for those who seriously want to hop-up the Olds 350 gas V8. It was/is popular due to its increased strength. I also seem to remember that back in the mid to late 80's, Olds 350's from boneyards were commanding a bit of a premium due to the many peeps bailing on the diesel and installing the olds gas v8 since it was pretty much a direct bolt in affair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
I heard of a guy taking the diesel and making it a gasser and he put it in his ford truck and said it was one tough engine because of the heavy diesel block.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
Correct, the price of gas engine (350 Olds) soared in the late '70's and early '80's. I had salvage yards licking their lips every time I called. I paid as high as $1800 for complete take-outs with all accys. I installed dozens of them. That's why I still have nine of the 5.7 cores sitting in the barn! I've sold several over the years but it has finally died off.

I've been whipping these "dead horses" long enough. Soon, the price of scrap will dictate a barn cleaning. Mondello wants "DX" blocks but only new ones. I sold the last new "DX" Goodwrench block years ago!

I did sell my last four running 5.7 diesel cars this year. In a way, it was sad to see them go. They saved a lot on fuel costs over the last 28 years! I did learn how to "flat rate" a set of head gaskets in about four hours!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Just out of curiosity - I'm not sure if I have a D or DX block in my car (81 Eldo) - my dad had it replaced after a thief trashed it, well before selling it to me.

Now the question comes - if I do rebuild this thing (it's currently running fine), I presume ARP head studs would be the way to go. Fred - would you know the ARP part number for these?

Thanks!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top