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  #16  
Old 05-19-2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
...More modern-looking than the older cars, more power yet better fuel economy, more creature comforts.
Add to that better suspension and better sound buffering.
I love a 617 because I'm a mechanical simpleton. And I love the looks.
If I were looking for a reliable, more comfortable car with money as no object, I'd probably be picking up a 300D turbo in great shape.

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  #17  
Old 05-19-2009, 06:20 PM
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I take what Jeremy says about belt replacement with a grain of salt because he has a 2-piece shroud that comes off without removing the fan. Color me green

An alternative to an 87 300D with the 603 is a 90-93 300D 2.5 with the 602 = 603 less one cylinder. Not known for cracking heads but the head is aluminum. Better known for breaking chains but not as common as 603 head cracking. Later 300Ds give you more features/options like passenger side airbag, ASD, more speakers, more wood, etc., and about a 5 mpg bump in fuel economy.

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  #18  
Old 05-19-2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
You'll need to define "reliable".

Many of them go 300K without a problem.

However, if yours happens to crack a cylinder head or fracture a timing chain cover, you're not going to agree with the "reliable" statement regarding them.

It's a statistical issue and we don't have the statistics.

Personally, I believe, statistically, that the 617 is going to offer better durability. But, I had one with a cracked cylinder head. Go figure.
Yea--me too--I suspect. Seems rare though. When someone reaches that point, ever priced a good-Not #14- replacement for the 603. Now the 617, Any junkyard $75.00 average. There is NO cheaper diesel bang for buck in USA than the 617 benz, That's why I cannot figure why there are not multiple outfits supplying tranz adaptors-other than the right flywheel sourcing dilema.
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  #19  
Old 05-20-2009, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sixto View Post
I take what Jeremy says about belt replacement with a grain of salt because he has a 2-piece shroud that comes off without removing the fan. Color me green

An alternative to an 87 300D with the 603 is a 90-93 300D 2.5 with the 602 = 603 less one cylinder. Not known for cracking heads but the head is aluminum. Better known for breaking chains but not as common as 603 head cracking. Later 300Ds give you more features/options like passenger side airbag, ASD, more speakers, more wood, etc., and about a 5 mpg bump in fuel economy.

Sixto
87 300D
haha

removing the belt isnt possible without removing the fan
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2009, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Oracle12345 View Post
haha

removing the belt isnt possible without removing the fan
It is possible. Easier with the fan removed, yes, especially if you have the special tools (factory or homemade) to remove the fan. If you don't have the special tools, the fan is harder to remove, so it's a trade-off. Kinda like changing glowplugs with the IM on versus off.

As Sixto says, my 603 has a later-model 2-piece shroud that can be removed with the fan in place. Then it's easy to thread the belt around the fan blades and off. it comes down to (a) the exact makeup of your car, (b) the tools you have available, and (c) what you're used to doing.

Where were we?
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2009, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by babymog View Post
Changing the serpentine belt on a 603 is a 15minute job including cleaning up, try that on a 617, ... adjusting the valves is a non-existant job on the 603, ...

I think that the 603 is an excellent engine and if not abused, very reliable. I believe that I've read about two timing-cover failures here since I joined years ago, vacuum-pump failures of 61x and 60x engines are about the same, IP failures about the same, seldom see a bottom-end failure or oil-consumption issue either.

Get a good one and maintain it reasonably well.
If I was racing the clock I could probably get the belts swapped on a 617 in about 15 minutes.....I've done it so many times at this point that I'd probably be able to come close to that.

As for the W124, its easy to do the serpentine belt....I left the fan on....I did remove the shroud. Took me about 20-30 minutes, but it was my first time and I was being careful.


However, the point of this thread was to determine which engine is better, and obviously that would be the OM617. If I was in an off road vehicle (such as a unimog) crossing the desert, I'd want nothing else under the hood than a 617 or 616.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
... If I was in an off road vehicle (such as a unimog) crossing the desert, I'd want nothing else under the hood than a 617 or 616.
Huh? What is wrong with a Unimog's stock OM352? It is probably the only engine MORE reliable than a 617.
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2009, 04:16 AM
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Is the original question to determine whether the 603 is more reliable than the 617 or whether the 603 is reliable enough for what alfa 75 has in mind?

I'm curious about "the numerous problems 603 owners encounter, even when they are well maintained." The 603 bottom end is as bulletproof as a 617's. I have to think head cracks are the result of poor maintenance or an inattentive driver. If the repair includes a later head casting, the head shouldn't crack again. Fuel system components are very similar though not interchangeable. The 603 has electronic idle control but who's had a problem with that? I'd say the biggest issues folks have with the 603 are won't start/poor performance caused by either a clogged oxidation catalyst (get a straight pipe) or a stuck open IP return line check valve (replace the check valve). Oops, and Jeremy's lazy #2 fuel delivery

[edit] I'd say the weak point is the belt tensioner that wears out with catastrophic effect. The 103/104 tensioner can wear out as well but all that leads to is a slipping belt. One thing I read about is forgetting to transfer the thick washer from the old tenioner arm to the replacement. The result is a tensioner pulley out of plane causing the belt to go off track... and wrap around the fan... and cause the engine to overheat.

[edit] And the original vacuum pump. So there's more to go wrong with a 603 for sure but there are reasonable preventive measures to give you years of reliable service.

Given the number of French cars in alfa 75's fleet, it seems odd to question the reliability of any MB

Sixto
87 300D

Last edited by sixto; 05-20-2009 at 04:23 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:16 PM
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I keep hearing about a #14 head...I have a 603 in a 86 SDL...how would I check to see if I have this "faulty" head?
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  #25  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putty View Post
I keep hearing about a #14 head...I have a 603 in a 86 SDL...how would I check to see if I have this "faulty" head?
Most likely you will never have an issue with it as long as you never let it overheat.... Keep that cooling system in top shape!
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'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 132k - dad's (OC-132,500)
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Smith View Post
Huh? What is wrong with a Unimog's stock OM352? It is probably the only engine MORE reliable than a 617.
Yeah I'd trust that engine too.
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 85k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 15k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 132k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 60k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #27  
Old 05-20-2009, 06:05 PM
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Ive got over 200k miles on a 14 head and no issues
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  #28  
Old 05-20-2009, 09:54 PM
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288k on 603 #14, zero major mtc. last 40k on frybrid 2 tank wvo kit.

603 more expensive, you wont find parts at a junkyard anywhere near as easily as 617
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  #29  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oracle12345 View Post
haha

removing the belt isnt possible without removing the fan
Jeez, wish I'd known that.

My wife drove our 87 300TD for 13 years, and I never had to remove the fan or fan shroud when I swapped out the serpentine belt.....

Jim
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
Jeez, wish I'd known that.

My wife drove our 87 300TD for 13 years, and I never had to remove the fan or fan shroud when I swapped out the serpentine belt.....

Jim
unless it a chassis issue on the sdl you dont get the belt off without first removing the fan. I was in the engine compartment today and remvoing the fan is the only way it will come off. just checked the disc and the belt job has different step for each chassis that has 60x motor in it

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Last edited by Oracle12345; 05-20-2009 at 10:31 PM.
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