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GM’s Diesel Engine History

Tuesday, October 30th 2012. | Review

The following is an overview of the diesel engines produced by GM over the years:

5.7 Liter Oldsmobile Diesel V8

The 5.7 liter V8 was produced by Oldsmobile due to the gas crisis that arose in the 70s. Produced in 1978, this indirect injection, naturally aspirated V8 produced 125 horsepower and 225 foot pounds of torque. This engine found its way into other divisions of GM including Chevrolet who used this engine in their trucks. Unfortunately it proved to be unreliable and problematic and even though many of its problems were addressed, it was taken out of production in 1985.

6.2 Liter General Motors Diesel V8

Created by Detroit Diesel, a division of GM, this engine was produced in 1982 to meet the needs of truck buyers at that time who wanted fuel efficiency more than power. The indirect injection 6.2 liter V8 engine produced a modest 143 horsepower and 257 foot pounds of torque. However, the engine was fairly reliable, but wasn’t without its faults, and was suitable for people who did not want the highly powerful yet fuel hungry V8s being offered by GM’s competitors.

6.5 Liter General Motors Diesel V8

This was yet another indirect injection engine by GM (also a Detroit Diesel) and was produced in 1992. It replaced the 6.2 Liter V8 in 1993. Available in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged form, this engine had more grunt than the previous diesel engines offered by GM, it had 215 horsepower and 440 foot pound of torque; output depended on the version of engine although the figures mentioned are the most anyone got out of these engines. However, the 6.5 liter engine still did not offer nearly as much power as the engines offered by Ford or Dodge, GM’s main rivals. Production of this engine ceased in 2000, however GM still uses this engine in its military vehicles.

6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel V8

Introduced in 2001, the Duramax diesel V8 replaced the 6.5 Liter diesel engine. This turbocharged V8 bought GM ahead of its competitors on the diesel engine front. A highly powerful engine, the Duramax V8 is still being used by GM in its vehicles such as the Chevy Silverado HD’s, although there have been several versions of this engine that emerged over the years. The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado received the LML version Duramax engine that produces an impressive 397 horsepower and mind-blowing 765 foot pounds of torque. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Duramax diesel V8 is the best diesel engine used by GM so far and is, in fact, one of the best diesel engines out there among the diesel engines offered by American truck manufacturers. For a more detailed outline on variations of the Duramax click here.

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