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Old 03-05-2018, 11:23 AM   #1
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
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1983 310 What engine is this? Please Members help!

Hi Folks,
Please help me to identify this engine!
Can not find a number but may be you know what type this is.
It is mounted in my 1983 310 and i just know it is a diesel..

Thanks for any help in advance!!!
Pierre
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
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From what glimpses of the engine I can see past all the plumbing I smacks of the Oldsmobile Diesel with a TurboCharger and hooked to a Turbo Hydamatic 400 Transmission.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:07 PM   #3
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Did not know they put Olds diesels in the motorhomes.

I was thinking it was the Isuzu diesel. I could be wrong though.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:19 PM   #4
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The Isuzu diesel was an option that year. Has 151hp and 289lbft of torque. Great little coach, enjoy.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:26 PM   #5
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My Que's , corner of valve cover , position of oil filler and cap shape , oil pan and starter , front accessories all look like the Olds Diesel .

I didn't think they put them in MH's or with a Turbo charger . But that is what it looks like to me.

This from 30 years in auto repair.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:30 PM   #6
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Mine has a big block 454, so what do I know!!
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinPeddler View Post
The Isuzu diesel was an option that year. Has 151hp and 289lbft of torque. Great little coach, enjoy.
That's not the 6bd1a Isuzu, it's a swap of some sort but not the Isuzu.
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:43 PM   #8
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GM 6.5 turbo diesel?
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #9
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GM 6.5 turbo diesel?
Yep. The 6.2 and 5.7 weren’t turbocharged. Looks like my 6.5 Suburban engine.

The 6.2 was a Detroit Diesel engine. The 5.7 was a 350. Oldsmobile’s were 5.7, so was the Caprice Diesel.

Just had head gaskets on my 6.5 with close to 300,000 miles.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:18 PM   #10
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Did a little research, Airstream used the Isuzu in line six diesel or the 454 gas that year. So it makes sense that there was an engine swap done at some time. It would make sense using the V8 diesel as I'm sure the hardware was similar to the V8 gas. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your help! I find on the outside the 7.4 sign. And it seems it has been swapped to diesel....
Do you think it is the 6.2 or 6.5 detroit gm diesel engine?
May anyone can confirm! I have no sample or knowledge how these looks ....
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 310 View Post
thanks for all your help! I find on the outside the 7.4 sign. And it seems it has been swapped to diesel....
Do you think it is the 6.2 or 6.5 detroit gm diesel engine?
May anyone can confirm! I have no sample or knowledge how these looks ....
6.5.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:33 PM   #13
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It is probably a GM 6.2 Diesel with an after market turbo, maybe a Banks. If so they are very reliable. I ran two of mine 210,000 miles with no problems. One thing you should know about the 6.2 with turbo is what some mechanics think is the rear main seals leaking. However, if you get under the engine, while it is running, with a real bright light you will see the small leaks from under both cylinder heads are the culprit. The heads obviously needed retorquing overtime due to head bolt stretch. Those turbos will produce over 13 PSI boost. I sure liked those engines. Some later year engine had less than reliable injector pumps, but GM refused to correct the problem. Yet. a reliable pump was available. $$$
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:40 AM   #14
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Thumbs up

thats a great information! And it sounds good! Thanks a lot! I will look for the leaks next time running....
Thanks again!
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:13 AM   #15
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Look for the casting number on the engine head
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:58 AM   #16
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thats a great information! And it sounds good! Thanks a lot! I will look for the leaks next time running....
Thanks again!
Next time you’re under there make sure the little mounting bracket is on the starter. Some people just put the big bolts in and forget the bracket.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:16 AM   #17
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Looks like a mishmash of parts. Theres a AC pump from what would be on a 1996 6.5TD. A mechanical Injection pump which can be viewed as good..( no electronic PMD failures that 6.5td are famous for). You have a GM8 turbo from 1996 or later mounted out back. Im curious as to why they didnt eliminate the vacuum pump and wastegate for a turbomaster. I would change headgaskets, disregard cracks in heads. Use ARP headstuds. Check for starter bracket. Check for OPs relay if electronic lift pump there and run it. Google quadstar tuning and leroy diesel
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Old 06-20-2023, 06:04 PM   #18
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1982 31' Airstream310
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This reply is a bit late (2018) but if anyone else researches this question here is the scoop and skinny.

Back in the day (1979-1983) the RV industry was flat on its back due to the severe increase in gasoline prices. The RV's of the day were certified gas guzzlers turning in performance figures in the 6-8 mpg range. There was also a great fear of possibly rationing fuel or that there would be NO fuel available at any price, rendering any self propelled motorhome a a White Elephant parked at a camp ground permanently.

The only 'answer' was to go diesel but there were no manufactures with any diesel options readily available in the 8-15,000lb GVW range. The kicker was that the EPA would not permit a vehicle to be placed in highway use unless it could pass either a total package EPA drive cycle Certification OR, for vehicles over 8501 GVW, an engine certified by the engine manufacture on a EPA approved test bed run cycle.

There were only two manufacturers that had an engine that would even FIT into these chassis, Deutz and Isuzu and the public was not ready for diesel power due to the expense, the noise, and performance issues current at the time.

Deutz Corporation made a bold move in 1978 and took two of their industrial engines off the shelf and certified them to EPA standards, the FL5912 100HP AND THE BF6L913 AT 160HP, a turbo charged variant.

I worked as a field engineer for the company for 5 years from 1979 to 1985 and was involved in both the engineering and the application of these engines into chassis that were rated at the magical number of 8501GVW and above. We worked with bread companies, linen delivery companies, ground freight delivery, Fed Ex, ARA, Leggs, RV manufactures, Grumman Olson, Utilimaster, Union City Body, and and many more. Our goal was to use these two engines to prove their worth in the light/medium duty truck chassis market. Their efficiency could double the fuel economy and quadruple the engine life for the operator.

One of those markets was the RV industry which had many applications in the 8501-26,001GVW range. We also had an newly designed V-8 air cooled engine rated at 160-325 HP that would fit into the GM large format V-8 envelope. We had demonstrator RV's running with this prototype engine and were working with the US Army and had two demonstrator vehicles for their evaluation that eventually became the HUMVEE.

In the repower marketplace the only other entry was Isuzu, their primary business being the marking of the Isuzu NPR truck thru their dealership network. It was decided that they would enter the repower market and chose Airstream as one of their targets. Unfortunately they did NOT have an EPA certified engine for delivery to the manufacturer so they put this package together with the understanding (rules promulgated by EPA) that the engine used would be under an EPA waiver thus allowing Isuzu to use the commercial marketplace to evaluate their product. There was one requirement however and that was that any engine placed in the marketplace under this evaluation wavier HAD to be removed from the vehicle and destroyed or shipped back to the country of origin after one year of evaulation. This requirement was never followed up by Isuzu and i do not know how many 310 copies were produced by Airstream.

A repower package on a new chassis (such as the Airstream 310) was essentially a grafting of a diesel engine into a Commercial Stripped Chassis which is an incomplete truck chassis with engine, drive line, and steering and brake mechanism all completed by the OEM, in this case Chevrolet, and their P-30 Motorhome chassis offering to the industry.

The standard length GM CSC arrived at the Airstream facilities and was brought to the shop and the frame was extended (I believe by some 36") and a new rear air bag suspension installed and the GM 350 V-8 gas engine removed and the Isuzu 6 cyl. diesel installed. This work was initially performed by Isuzu field engineers (my counterparts) and the first units were a bit of a cobble job.

Today, if there are any of these vehicles around Isuzu will have nothing to do with supporting them. (I currently have one in the shop for a repower BACK to the original GM 350 block) Isuzu does NOT recognize the engine OR the serial number (it has one on the right forward side of the engine) as there appears to be some liability associated with this package.

The package was a good effort at trying to combat the extinction of the motor home due to low sales because of the fuel crisis but the execution was not a good one, primarily because of the high cost of an Airstream 310 coupled with the expensive diesel engine AND a failure of Isuzu to take into consideration the fact that the chassis as delivered by GM was set up for a gasoline engine whose operating speed was in the 3000-4000 rpm and the rear axle was such that it could not accommodate the low speed/high torque of the diesel engine (2200rpm max). This caused the Airstream 310 to be inordinately slow on the highway causing the engine to be operated at its maximum governed speed and out of its 'sweet spot' for developing its fuel economy as well as being excessively noisy.

The solution to this problem of course was to have Airstream to order the CSC with the proper rear axle ratio OR to swap out the delivered rear end with the properly selected gear ration. At the time, this ring and pinion replacement was a $1250 out of pocket expense from the local Chevy dealer plus the labor to set the gear up of which Airstream at the time did not have the capability. Airstream had, like most CSC buyers, locked in on a chassis standard that suited their current market offering, that being the gasoline powered GM Motorhome chassis and the diesel repower experiment did not provide them yet with the confidence to restate their specification for GM. So, they built the 310 Isuzu with what ever chassis was parked out on the back pasture and no one, not Isuzu, Airstream, or the customer, got any beneficial use out of the inherent economy of that diesel engine.

Had the unit that is in my shop right now been serviceable with Isuzu parts my recommendation would have been to repair the engine and swap out the ring and pinion for a lower numerical ratio set but the engine was obsolete and nothing could be done with it.

The only reason that the Airstream company built the 310 with an Isuzu and not a Deutz was the fact that we would not submit to the repower engineering unless the rear axle was swapped out and the marketing group could not see their way to the extra expense.

I think we all missed out on something back in the day.

Darrow...for the Prosecution
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