Mssg to PSFred...
I don't have any particular allegiance to GM, but I think your commentary and opinions of the chevy small block neglect the facts. The 300D has a main bearing diameter of 2.798". The Chevy 4.3 has a main bearing diameter of 2.45", or roughly .35" smaller, but the shaft is only half as long, and the combustion forces are striking the shaft from two directions 90 degrees apart, so it has much less need of large main bearings. The 300D rod bearings are a very small 2.078" in diameter! The Chevy rod bearings are 2.5" in diameter, almost a full 1/2" larger!! You refer to the skimpy skirt of the chevy piston - have you ever seen one that showed any wear, if the engine was taken care of? I haven't seen any with significant wear! The rings on both engines seem to last about the same. The Chevy has a roller cam, the 300D does not. The Chevy has stronger cam drive gears and chain. I know the 300D is a terrific engine, but it is not without its problems, and I truly believe that the chevy engine, at 1/4 the price out of the box, is a better value. The Mercedes body, on the other hand, is a piece of quality craftsmanship that isn't equalled by anything produced in the USA... Solid, rattlefree, and comfortable. Please understand by my comments that I'm not trying to argue with you, just wish to make some positive comments towards the 4.3L engine. By the way, the 4.3L engine can produce 200hp (net) in the vortec version and 260 ft/lbs of torque, while the 300D turbo engine produces only 120hp (net) and 170 ft/lbs of torque. I know that all you diesel fans out there are going to say that diesel power is "different", but it really isn't. The torque is what moves the car, and 260 ft/lbs of torque moves a car a lot better than 170 ft/lbs, as I can personally verify.
The Chevy small-block was first designed in 1953, but has undergone continuous refinement ever since, resulting in a truly fine piece of engineering currently. The Mercedes 300D didn't make an appearance until 1981, but the basic engine designs are older than the chevy. The fact that it has been around as long as it has is a tribute to it's durability, and the same goes for the chevy. I am well aware that GM has loosed some designs upon the motoring world that were not quite ready for home use - for instance the infamous Vega aluminum engine, the Cadillac 4.5L that was famous for spinning bearings, and most all their diesel attempts. But the 4.3 is an excellent product.
Hope I haven't offended anyone with my ramblings!