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Old 12-05-2009, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Swapping 617 to turbo via M110 and another 617

Hi All,

I live in Portugal.

Classic cars here are very, very costly and the cost of imporation is prohibitive to say the least.

Before I moved here I bought a 300SD from California, 240K Miles. It was my intention to import it, however the rules allowing the import of a thirty year old car without duty changed Ė it will cost me approximately 12,000 USD to register the car here so thatís out of the question. I still have the car.

Whilst here, I bought a 300D OM617. Low kms Ė 120K Ė and it runs so sweetly. Itís a RHD ex South African car.

Iíve just seen an absolute mint-ball 280SE, LHD, locally registered for almost the right money Ė 190k Kms on the clock.

How much trouble am I asking for if I swap 280 engine into the 300SD, then put the 300D engine into the 280 car along with the turbo from the SD, finally putting the recently normally aspirated engine from the SD into the D?

Iím sure Iíve read that the turbo means a change in oil cooler, and one other important thing that I canít remember! Is the RHD a problem?

Can anyone give me any advice, please?

Did that make sense?


Best wishes,


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Old 12-05-2009, 06:57 PM
aaa aaa is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,075
A pic of your rhd setup would be nice. The steering stuff might be sitting where the turbo usually is. Oh, and everybody here is going to say no to turboing a nonturbo engine, they were toughened up in ways other than just the oil cooler.

Btw, I hope you remember that these engines have different mounting arms... where are you going to get the proper ones for whatever car they end up in... that's the biggest issue imo.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Victoria Australia - down under!!
Posts: 4,023
The transmission oil lines to the radiator on the turbo d are larger than the normal d, The fittings on the transmission are slightly larger on the turbo. If you have self leveling suspension on any of the cars it will make it harder. You could always put the 280 badges and redgo plates on the SD and hope no one notices it. Playing musical chairs with engines and transmissions is never a good idea. Especially when you swap diesel & petrol motors over, does the SE have the glow plug supply wiring in its loom & how are you going to wire in the ignition on the petrol motor when it goes in the diesel body? Will the SD exhaust fit the SE body? The turbo d has a different injector pump to the straight d. Sorry to be so negative! I once fitted an izuzu turbo diesel to replace a petrol motor in a nissan 1 tonner. Weeks of problem solving.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:42 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,772
if you start with complete vehicles and swap everything related including radiator, speedo, and diff it should be fairly straight forward. I belive I have heard of turb 617s in rhd cars so it must fit.
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4

Thanks for the input.

It's around 05.45 here, and I've just woken up and made a coffee - I think it's also time I smelled it!

None of the cars are broken, etc.

Thanks again for the sound advice.



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