Olds diesel performance



Royal Smart Person
Feb 25, 2011
Medina Ohio
We all know the Olds 350 diesel was a major dud. Poor reliability and zero power. So I got to thinking, is it not possible to build a high horsepower Olds diesel? I'm not referring to using a diesel block for a gas build ( I got one of those ) but keeping it an actual diesel. All of the reliability issues were solved ( at least somewhat ) in the later years of its use so what prevents anybody from building a high performance Olds diesel?

P.S. I'm not planning on building one myself but was just curious.


Older Than My 1980 Malibus
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
New Mexico
I have often toyed with the idea of a 6.2 Chevy diesel with an overdrive manual transmission. Have not been crazy enough to try it yet.


Jul 17, 2018
Probably just because they were so rare and no one knows about them. Although I thought someone is building one on the forum here as we speak.
  • Agree
Reactions: fleming442


G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2010
Anglemont, BC
I think anything is possible on a diesel with more compression or boost and a large supply of fuel. The latter is probably the tricky part on these.

I hope someone here is doing it, sounds like something I'd try lol
  • Like
Reactions: fleming442
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Oct 14, 2008
The only Olds diesel that has chance at living with any boost is the 4.3 V6, the extra head bolt per cylinder definitely helps. A few of the FWD guys have done it successfully. If anything their version with aluminum heads is more handicapped then the all cast iron RWD version. There is complete motors on Ebay, someone needs to dare to be different. It is too bad diesels floundered for so many years because of the Olds Diesel, at least Navistar copied the 4 head studs per cylinder 30 years later and added a turbo on the 6L and 6.4L terrible Ford truck diesels. Now new diesels with DEF and all the emissions systems are unreliable junk. See Olds was way before their time, making unreliable diesels 40 years too soon.
  • Haha
Reactions: 565bbchevy


Royal Smart Person
Jul 17, 2007
Had a discussion with a friend about this recently as he is all about the Diesel and really misses his old Grand Prix Gbody. My understanding is that the heads would not allow much more boost as when new they were known for shearing head bolts and blowing head gaskets. If you add boost, reconfigure fuel and timing and I figure you may have just pulled the pin on the grenade.

however in other news.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV5E11nZ0-A
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