Welcome to TDS!
Comparing a Detriot 2cycle to most other diesel engines around that era is like comparing a Porche engine to a Chevy 6 cylinder. Somewhat more complex, and a bit more important that maintenance and adjustments are done correctly.
That being said, I've always liked them. I have had 3 in my fleet. 2 I built new engines for after we had them for years and they were worn out. With some help form a old time Detriot man, we had 380 hp to the ground (alot for a truck those days) 430 at the crank. One was still running strong when I sold the truck. The other died of driver abuse at about 12,000 hours of short haul roll off service.
I personally would buy the truck if it is as clean as you say. Not if you are in Kalifornia or another smog leaning state though....
But I like Detriots, well tuned and cared for they are a hoot. And yes they will pull, you just have to adjust your driving style compared to modern or 4 cycle engines. A 13 speed or 15 speed would be more useful than an 8LL.
If it runs smooth on all 8, doesn't smoke when warm and doesn't leak excessive oil I'd go for it. Maybe find someone who loves detriots in your area to look at it .
The Garbage Truck Mechanic
Mine: 91 F250 Reg Cab 4x4 5spd 7.3IDI 4.10LS 145,000 miles. Banks Sidewinder 92 D60 F axle w 97 brakes and Powerlock. Lift: about 4" over stock 250. 33x12.50x16.5 Pro Comp MTs Magnaflow 12" muffler. Sees dirt everyday. Used to haul hay, wood, feed cows, check fence.
Hers: 96F250 CCSB 7.3 PSD 4x4 5spd 3.55 LS 190,000 miles. Puchased 7/03, Looked for a 5spd CCSB for a year!Dana 60 front axle, at stock F350 height (for now) Energy Poly bushings, Bilsteins, 305/70/16 Pro Comps on 16x10 Weld Outbacks, AFE Pro7,TYMAR 3x3.5x4 downpipe,TYMAR 5" straightpipe, gutted EBV, IH Non EBV pedistal,New Alliant AC Injectors,(stage 1)Cal reg kit, SBC Con O clutch, permenent clutch bushing fix, AC mod with a different twist, AMP Powersteps with custom brackets and wiring(one of 2 OBS trucks with them according to AMP) Line of Fire. Sees dirt everyday.
My Company pickup: 86 F250 6.9 C6 320,000 miles Co trucks 5 89 to 94 IDI's, plus about 50 more diesels.
Diesel Mechanic 34 yrs Maintenece Manager 23 yrs
Last edited by Garbage_Mechanic; 11-02-2010 at 12:18 AM.