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Reference Desk: 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel Rear Axle

Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page. Topics:  Oldsmobile Delta 88

Reference Desk: 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel Rear Axle

Bill Crittenden
February 21, 2015

Charles writes:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am trying to find out which rear axle was used in a 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with a 350 cid diesel motor. It seems that there are at least three options - 7.5ā€, 8.5ā€, and 8.75ā€ - and if your library specifies the axle for the diesel model Iā€™d be delighted.


My response:

Hello Charles!

Unfortunately, my own factory references only cover the 1983 Delta 88 so far, and my full-size Buick/Olds/Pontiac Haynes book doesn't cover anything more than basic parts replacement, but I did a little digging on the internet and I found that RockAuto sells rings and pinions in three ratios, all for 8.5" ring gear differentials at https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1214255,parttype,10438,a,www.google.com%2BSearch%2Bfor%2B1979%2BOLDSMOBILE%2BDELTA%2B88%2B5.7L%2B350cid%2BV8%2BDIESEL,ck[ID],0,ck[idlist],0,ck[viewcurrency],USD,ck[PHP_SESSION_ID],41ktq6i27cfjd5i0k2v8g7d4h7

It's not the same reliability as having a shop manual, but it's a decent start.

Here's a ton of information on Oldsmobile axles that might come in handy for your project, including how to determine size and ratio and read the codes stamped on them: http://www.442.com/oldsfaq/ofdif.htm

As an added bonus, this is just a great and technically detailed story on a 1978 diesel Delta 88 that I found while searching for the axle information: http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1978-oldsmobile-delta-88-diesel-in-defense-of-the-olds-350-diesel-v8/

Sorry I couldn't be of greater assistance, but I'll add this to the site so perhaps someone will come across the question on Google and answer it. And when you do find out for sure what it's got, please let me know and I'll add it to The Crittenden Automotive Library for others to be able to find.

So if anyone knows more about the rear axles used in the diesel Delta 88, please email admin@carsandracingstuff.com so I can pass it along!

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