Turbocharging a 1982 GM 4.3 diesel
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Thread: Turbocharging a 1982 GM 4.3 diesel

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    Default Turbocharging a 1982 GM 4.3 diesel

    I have a 4.3 GM diesel that I'm thinking of rebuilding. I'd like to put a turbocharger on it. Has anyone done this. Do the pistons or any internal parts need to be non stock? What advice can anyone give me? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by equipguy View Post
    I have a 4.3 GM diesel that I'm thinking of rebuilding. I'd like to put a turbocharger on it. Has anyone done this. Do the pistons or any internal parts need to be non stock? What advice can anyone give me? Thanks
    The Oldsmobile 4.3L diesel that was installed in many GM products from the early 80's has a bad reputation but it really can be a decent engine if is treated well. The best source of information is the forums at http://www.olds-diesel.com There are plenty of people that are running 4.3L diesels and enjoying them.

    In answer to your question, Oldsmobile diesels were designed to be naturally aspirated and no factory turbo parts were ever made. If you keep the boost pressure to no more then 3-5psi then you might not need any special modifications since most engines can take Low-Pressure-Turbocharging (LPT)

    Your best bet in improving performance is to clean up some of the factory issues that can hinder performance. These engines were designed to be primarily fuel-efficient with performance being a secondary concern. A true non-restrictive dual exhaust that replaces the completely inadequate factory exhaust would go a long ways to better performance.

    Eliminating the EGR can improve performance while technically illegal for on-road use would be acceptable for off-road use. People on the Olds-Diesel list have in the past CNC cut EGR blanking plates for the 5.7L heads. I don't know if 4.3L plates were made or if any are still available but that might be a option.

    In the past, shims or different springs in the injectors to increase opening pressure can make a big difference since the factory 4.3L injectors have fairly low opening pressures compared to the 5.7L.

    In short, turboing the motor is possible, but other performance upgrades might help without having to reinforce the engine to handle High-Pressure Turbocharging (HPT)

    Todd

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    Thanks for your input, I'm having it rebuilt and sleeved. I have a 1985 Olds 98 with one in it and it gets around 30 mpg. I enjoy driving it. If you google (park avenue diesel turbo) you'll find one in Arizona that someone is doing.

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    I have a 4.3 that was rebuilt and had the steel heads installed. I have it bolted to a 700R4 with a transfer case, that I am trying to decide weather I want to sell it or put it in something. Do you think it would have enough power to push a 1500 Dodge pickup?
    Thanks, Lon

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