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  #1  
Old 08-22-2008, 08:37 AM
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Default Mercedes OM617

Has anyone else played with the Mercedes OM617 I-5 3.0l turbo diesel engines?

In 2005, I swapped one from a '78 300SD into a '88 Jeep Comanche. Very strait forward swap. I-5 engine fit very well into the engine bay since it was designed to accept the 4.0l I-6 gas motor. Power output was good for vehicle weight and economy numbers were in the high 20's. I was in a rush to get it on the road, so it didn't turn out aesthetically like I would have preferred, but it was the first go at it, and I have now learned what to/not to do.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now working on a conversion for my wife. Repowering a '91 Wrangler with the same motor. But having transfer case selection issues. Making a 2wd Wrangler is out of the question! I won't consider separating the motor from it's matching auto tranny, either, as it is virtually bulletproof. So that puts me trying not only find a divorced transfer case, but also dealing with the short drive line. Current plans are to stretch the jeep, and/or simply move the rear axle back. I can move it back 10" simply by using Dodge Dakota rear leaf packs. We shall see how it goes! Here's the new victim:

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  #2  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:34 AM
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That Jeep project sounds like you have your hands full!

Marine's Sig:Mike

2001.5 2500 4x4 QC. GDP Walbro 392 pump, Adrenaline/Pulse, HTB2 62/13 SS, DDP 95 HP Injectors, HTT Pulse Manifold, BMK-11 Bypass, Amsoil throughout. NRA Member and Instructor.
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2008, 10:29 AM
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Without a doubt, hands definitely full. I've been doing a lot of reading up on past attempts to mate the mercedes motor to other transmissions. You never really seem to find any truly useful information. You would think that with these motors being the most dependable, bulletproof diesel motors ever made, the motors lasting long after the chassis, that there would be a lot more of these motors in other applications. Well, I take that back, you would think they would be in more automotive repower applications.

I've put them in boats, trucks, gas cars, and in front of pumps. I love these things.
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  #4  
Old 08-23-2008, 08:32 PM
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VWdieseljunkie,
Nice job on the Jeep conversion. I've put a '76 617 in a Ranger. Hope the attached link works. Phil
Phillyburger - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2008, 08:25 AM
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Awesome job on the ranger, Phill!

I'm so very glad to see that someone else has done a similar project so that I can see how certain obstacles were overcome. If it weren't for that front sump, everything would be so much easier!! I've even thought about trying to make a dry sump, but never felt real comfortable with a design.

How did the little ranger drive? Did you get to drive it for a while before swapping the rear differential? I kept the 4.10 rear in my jeep, but stepped up to a 31" tire to compensate. It kept the odo off by 1/10th of a mile. I like what you did with the drive shaft. Gonna have to give that a try myself.

Are you still driving this truck?
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2008, 08:30 PM
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Thanks, I added descriptions too,with the pictures on photo bucket, to help anybody attempting this for the first time, although my computer skills are lacking. I have had the truck on the road for about a month. Driving with the 4:10 rear end was just unacceptable, the one I have in it now is just right. Truck might be a little heavy in the front, the new heavy duty springs just hold it where it should be, and thats all. I did drive the truck before the swap, about 3 miles. What intrigues me is the sound of that engine and so I love driving it. It's a sweet ride, nice for country roads. I have a problem with the power steering, when stopped or at very slow speeds, the steering box moans, especially if the rpm is very low, when turning. I can feel it in the wheel, although it turns fine, with little effort. We think the MB pump is just not compatible with the Ford box, maybe underdriven, so I'm going to start work on mounting a Ford pump in the high position. Any ideas vw diesel? Phil
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:08 AM
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I have always used the mercedes pump, and silver soldered the steel lines to whatever fittings were needed. I used a ford mustang rack and pinion for the comanche, the power steering was excellent with no problems. Are you using the mercedes pump or the ford pump? If the ford pump, it may be a rpm issue that you might correct with pulley size change.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:08 PM
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I'm using the MB pump, the original 1976 version that mounts low on the drivers side. I also silver soldered JIC ends on the pressure hoses. I believe your right, the more I think about it, that's probably all it is, just a speed problem. If the engine is revved up, the noise goes away. Have you ever set the valves on one of these engines? Phil
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2008, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Phill View Post
Have you ever set the valves on one of these engines? Phil
It's not too tough of a job, after you have done it the first time. The most important thing is the wrenches and feeler guages. If you don't want to buy the wrenches, you can make your own, by bending up a pair of normal wrenches, just make sure they are long handled. Get a "Robert Bentley" manual if you can find one, they are far far better than chilton's or haynes manuals, but you will need the warm/cold gap specs reguardless. Look at the cam lobes while you are in there, look for any metal shavings sitting on top of the head in the little "dips" in the casting. Look for old oil buildup. Peek down the timing chain and just get comfortable with what all is in there and where and all.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2008, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I'm hoping to do a cam timing check at the same time. I have the little haze in the air around the tailpipe and I'm trying to figure out what's causing it. Compression warm is 300 on all and the injectors pop-test perfectly. I've worked around diesel engines all my life and never found one I like as much as this one. When we started it up on the floor, with no muffler it was still quiet and purred like a kitten. These have got to be the best buy out there for a quiet running diesel. Of course I do like the VW 1.6. Phil

Last edited by Phill; 08-29-2008 at 04:18 PM..
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