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Old 04-06-2002, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 14
300D to 240D engine transplant??

I just registered for this board and I'm a kid in a candy shop! What a find. Unfortunately right after I posted this message on the general board I discovered a separate diesel board.
Apologies to those who see this post twice.
My first question: I have an '82 240D with a very tired engine, even though it has only 195K on it. Oil consumption is about a quart per 200 miles. I've only owned it for a couple years, so previous owners may not have followed good diesel maintenance practices. Anyway, locally, I have come across a rusty '81 300D, naturally aspirated, with an engine in excellent condition I can pick up for $400. Since both vehicles use the 123 chassis, I'm wondering if can I replace the 4 cylinder with the 5 cylinder relatively easily as an alternative to overhauling the 4 cylinder? Does anyone know of problems I'd encounter? Many thanks to responders.
Mike F.
82 240D, 82 300SD

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Old 04-07-2002, 03:59 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
First, welcome aboard!

Second, from what I've heard, a 300 engine's a bolt-to-bolt swap from a 240. You could look for a guy with the handle "Ridge" on this board; he's spoken about having done this, so he's mor elikely to have specific pointers.

Hope that helps some...good luck!
2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
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Old 04-07-2002, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
The 300D will just drop in on the engine mounts.

you will need to keep the wiring for the glowplugs from the 300, you need the extra wire. I think the GP relay is the same, but you might want to snag that, too.

You will also need the complete driveshaft from the 300 -- the front section is shorter as more engine sticks out the back behind the engine mounts (more sticks out the front, too!). Don't just pull the front piece, take the entire shaft -- driveline vibration is the pits. You will also need to locate the transmission support back a bit to match the new location of the tranny mount.

You will also need the fan shroud -- the one for the 240 will be much too long.

Otherwise a very straight-forward installation. Keep a lookout for things that look different and snag out what you need from the 300.

Good luck!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 04-07-2002, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Western Mass.
Posts: 324
I believe the front coils springs are different and may possibly need to be changed?

03 C240 4matic wagon
95 300E 234,000
7 prior 240;s 5 still going
81 300sd gone
65 230sl gone
49 Studebaker Champion
90BMW convert.167,000
60 Dodge D-100
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Old 04-07-2002, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,281
It is very likely that new stronger springs would need to be installed.... MB has an amazing number of springs and height adjusting cushions to get these cars level , so changing from four to five cylinders will surely require a big adjustment...
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Old 04-08-2002, 07:29 PM
Scott N.
Posts: n/a
What about non-turbo to turbo?

I've got a similar situation, there is a 300D non-turbo being offered and a turbo 300D being parted out. Could I swap the manifolds and injectors, or are the engines different internally?

I'm still wanting a 300TD turbo, but I might settle for a 300D. The wagons are rare as hen's teeth in Denver.

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Old 04-08-2002, 08:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150

The heads are interchangable, and maybe the crank, but the block for the turbo is different, as are the oil pump, pistons, etc. May and may not have the same cam.

As far as the engine swap goes, do the whole thing -- complete engine and associated vacuum/pressure controls, manifolds, air cleaner, etc, out and in. You will need the vacuum modulator setup for the tranny, too -- it is different than the non-turbo.

The engine will drop right in -- GP the same, etc (unless you have an old series glowplug setup). Nice way to "graduate" to a turbo.
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
Yes, you can put a turbo into a non-turbo. The turbo engine is stronger (crank, rods, etc.) and the fuel system is different (injection pump, injector nozzles, etc.) so you need the entire turbo engine. Then, you will want everything connected to the turbo engine to convert the non-turbo chassis to the turbo engine (radiator/overflow tank/hoses/etc., oil cooler, glow plugs/ relay/ timer/etc., AC/heater system esp. if the non-turbo had the York AC compressor you may need longer AC lines & convert to 134 gas if you don't have R12, if the non-turbo has the servo controlled AC system you'll need the AC control system from the turbo esp. if it does not have the servo AC system, the turbo trans because the non-turbo trans is not as strong - 80 hp for non-turbo engine vs. 120 hp for turbo engine, exhaust header pipe and perhaps more of the turbo exhaust system, battery mounting bracket, turbo starter, brackets and other mounting hardware, etc., etc.). I've probably left some stuff off, but you should get the idea - you'll need all the turbo stuff to do the conversion. The turbo engine is a bit heavier (the turbo itself, bigger crank/rods, and trans) so the front suspension springs may also be needed (but I have info showing the front springs are all the same).

Good Luck!
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1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
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Last edited by tcane; 04-08-2002 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 04-08-2002, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,281
Any idea about putting a 1981 turbo 5 cyl into a 1976 Dodge pickup truck ? Greg

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