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Diesel 1988

10-24-2005, 05:16 PM
looking at a 88 club wagon xlt with diesel, how did the old diesels hold up? would i be better off trying to find a 91 or 93 gas engine instead?

10-25-2005, 08:25 PM
You should have a non-turbo 6.9 liter V8 made by International.
Compared with modern diesels, these are not very fast on acceleration, but they can tow huge loads.

They work extremely reliably, but they tend to wear out around 250,000 miles. Note that more modern light truck diesels and all heavy truck diesels usually last quite a bit longer than this.

When the engine is worn out, the rings lose their seal first and start to lose compression.
Lower compression makes the engine smoke out the tail pipe upon hard acceleration, and there is lots of blow-by gases coming out the crank case vent.
You can see this blow by by removing the oil filler cap and stepping on the throttle firmly, when idling.

If you see smoke or excessive blow-by, don't bother with it.

Also some of these engine blocks had porous castings, check for coolant in the oil.

Finally, if the engine is worn, rebuilds are EXPENSIVE. Allow about $3500 for an engine rebuild,(plus $500-1000 to install) about another $1000 for a new injector pump and rebiult injectors.

Otherwise, these engines are extremely simple and durable, with very few trouble spots. So long as the engine is not worn out, the vehicle is worthwhile.

IMO if you are putting lots of miles on this, the diesel may be worth it. However, if its just for occasional trips, a gas engine may be more suitable, since they are usually cheaper to buy.

10-26-2005, 08:56 AM
thanks for the advice on that, youre a man after my own heart, i like the newer computerized engines myself. My friend just bought a 87 Club Wagon with 351 windsor . with 120k miles, runs good, loud, but good. Id prefer to have a newer one with higher miles say a 93 or 94 with one of the V8 Gas engines

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