If it's what I'm thinking, it's a little esoteric. If I'm wrong, at least I took a stab at it.
A friend of mine is looking at 4BTs for converting a late 60's Dodge pickup. He was debating whether or not to get one out of a running, driving truck or get a rebuild from a bunch of possible suppliers. A 4BT is the 4 cylinder version of a Cummins 6 cylinder 12V out of a Dodge pickup. It's a smaller 4 cylinder diesel that's lighter, better on fuel and torquey.
Maybe that's not it, and we're talking about $.50?
There is a site called 4BT swaps. That's all they do: how to swap this bulletproof engine into anything but the bread trucks they came in. Great for rock crawlers, etc.
I'm interested in a small diesel swap into an early Nova, just for daily service. Too bad the VW diesels didn't mate to a rwd transmission in any of their cars, or it might be easier. 140HP/236 ft./lbs of torque and much lighter than a stove bolt six, the mileage would likely be 30 mpg plus. Certainly no more a polluter than an I6, the power plant would weigh less as well.
Don't think that any of the big 3 were considering diesels during the gas crunch? Then you haven't seen a 1974 Diesel Dart:
As it would happen, I just saw a Jeep CJ last week that had a 4BT Cummins transplanted into it. He pulled into the parking spot next to me at the local Wendy's and from the sound of it, I knew it was a diesel, so I asked him and he popped the hood for me to see. Kind of a sloppy conversion job, but apparently it does what he wants.
I kicked myself later for not getting a couple of pictures of it.
There's a second gen wagon with a regular Duramax with twin snails. Look it up on YouTube. I own a 2007 LBZ duramax that's been chipped, for a 6000lb truck it freaking rips. Couldn't imagine it in a light Chevy II.
Love that idea! I wonder what one of those engines in a crate would set someone back. Better to pull one from a wrecking yard to pirate everything you needed. Also RWD, so that just might be the ticket. RPM is higher, but the power numbers are right with my '96 12V cummins. I think a wagon would be perfect.