I'd love the Subaru diesel model in the US.
The olds diesel made top 10 worst engines ever.
Based upon the 350 cubic-inch Olds gas engine, the diesel debuted for the 1978 model year to much fanfare. The promise of the future, it allowed big car comfort with small car fuel economy. Contrary to popular belief, the engine was completely different than its gasoline brethren, but it did look the same since it needed to go down the same assembly line and fit into vehicles that could be either gas or compression-ignition powered. The block was much sturdier and the crankshaft mains and crankpins were 0.500-inch bigger, measuring 3.00 inches instead of 2.5 inches. The crankcase was heavier and the pistons were fitted with full-floating pins. The block was so good that during that era many drag racers used it to make big power and it was known to stay together.
Then what happened to the Olds Diesel to give it such a poor reputation and the impetus for a class-action law suit? The engine suffered from poor familiarity by the consumer and Olds service personnel along with the lack of a water/fuel seperator and drain in the fuel system. This was compounded by a flood of very poor-quality diesel fuel into the market place shortly after the engine's introduction. Any moisture or dirt that would get into the high-pressure Roosa Master injection pump would cause some of the parts to hang up. This could have occurred for only a second, but that was enough time of an incorrect fuel inject cycle that would allow cylinder pressure to peak and overcome head bolt tension or break down the head gasket. The driver may have only sensed a slight shudder but the damage was already done. The injured head gasket would then let coolant seep into the cylinder and since there is little quench volume in a diesel, the uncompressability of a liquid was a theory very quickly reinforced. Something had to give and it often was a piston, connecting rod or crankshaft but it spelled disaster either way. In addition, both the dealer body and the consumer often used the incorrect oil for the engine, creating further service issues.
The Olds Diesel, when cared for properly, ran for hundreds of thousands of miles, but only in the hands of an experienced diesel operator. Other than that, it makes a great gasoline race engine block.
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