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  #1  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:10 AM
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Building Power

Hey guys. I have been looking at buying a 300d or similar for a project car. I build performance light/medium duty trucks for a living, but want something a little different/cheaper as a toy. There are a few '84-'86 300d's for sale around here for $500-$2000. Whats better, the auto or manual? I am more of a manual guy for reliability, but autos are nice for the track (boosted launch, etc). Any issues with either? Availability of upgrades? How much power can you get out of one of these motors (dyno proven)? What has to be done to beef them up? As in do they need o-rings/fire-rings, head studs, stronger rods, pistons, etc.?

I obviously dont know much about these cars/motors, but was thinking of approaching it similarly a í94-í97 12v cummins. Intake/exhaust upgrades, airwerks 200 or 300 series turbo (maybe compounds?), intercooler, fuel pump, head studs, internal injection pump mods (need to learn more about the pump) injectors, maybe water/meth injection, gauges, clutch/trans upgrades, cam, valve springs, and so on. How does this sound for this motor? What about the rest of the car? Where is a good place to find parts? Any other info? Thanks!

I also put one too many m's in my user name (oops!) Any way to fix that??

Mike

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  #2  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:21 AM
ForcedInduction
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Be prepared to spend about $5000 in parts to even touch 300hp. If you want power, a MB definitely isn't the cheap way. No upgrades exist except a single source for the injection pump (in Finland), everything else you will have to make or adapt from something else.

ALL 300D's are automatic. If you want manual you'll have to convert one. Those that are manual from the factory are non-turbo.
The 82-85 300D/CD/TD is good for 140hp before needing a different injection pump and can be pumped up to 300hp with enough money.
The 87 300D/TD is good for 175hp before needing a new IP. They are known to be good to 300hp with bone stock internals and 500hp with custom-made rods.

Last edited by ForcedInduction; 05-17-2009 at 12:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:29 AM
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Ha, nother truck guy! LOL, theres not a whole lot we can do to them without going all out. The Bosch MW-pump on these is crap for performance. The only decent option is to send a euro M-pump to Myna Diesel in Finland. I have sent an e-mail to CDS to inquire if they can do anything.

The Fin's have got the OM617 5cyl over 400hp iirc EDIT: SEE ABOVE POST

Good mods are to get it in perfect running condition stock, then max out what little pump adustments are avalible, add an intercooler and a VVT turbo and go!
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2009, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the replies. When I said cheap, I mean cheaper than buying another $20,000 electronic diesel truck, and putting another $15-20,000 into it. I am up to the challenge of finding more fuel in the MB. I just want to be sure that the motor and trans can be built to hold up. What kind of trans is it? Does it have a lock-up T.C.? Where can the custom rods be found? Are rods the only real weak link? What does it take to blow a head gasket? What is the big difference between the '82-'85, and the '87's you talked about? Thanks again.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2009, 11:13 AM
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Hi Mike,

Welcome from another truck guy...

Here's a short translation from MB into "truck" Diesel:

OM617: 5 cyl, 3l, iron head. Non-crossflow iron head. Legendary reliability but tough to get a lot of power out of due to limitations of flow and fuel. Has an inline M or MW pump.

OM603: 6 cyl 3/3.5l, Aluminum crossflow head. More modern design but watch out for 3.5l engines known to bend rods. Also watch out for early aluminum heads which can crack if overheated. Has an inline M pump with 5.5mm elements. Design is similar to a 12 valve Cummins. Easier to build more power with this one.

OM606 Turbo: '98/'99 E300. Evolutionary design similar to OM603. Has a 24 valve head. Much like a 24 valve Cummins but pump is still inline with 7mm elements and is electronically controlled. Elements are compatible with M pumps. This engine has the most power potential.

As for performance parts, it's pretty much either fab your own or get them from Europe. The engines respond to the same tweaks as the Cummins for the most part but I haven't seen many people changing injectors but rather investing mostly in performance pumps and improved induction/exhaust systems.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2009, 11:19 AM
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Rods

If you get serious with a 603, we have the connecting rods about ready. Not a cheap date, but less than aftermarket Cummins rods.

4340 Steel

Although I think the stock rods will be fine past 300, but 300 is lame
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:51 PM
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Starting to learn a little bit now. So, the 617 is maybe the most solid motor, just harder to get power out of? I just donít want a motor that is going to have known problems before I start playing with it (cracked head, bent rods). I assume the 617 would probably be the least expensive too. What cars have the 617? What type of injectors are used? Is is something that would easily be edm'ed, or honed?

Don, are you on every diesel related forum known to man? LOL! It's cool you're working on rods.

Mike
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2009, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KarTek View Post
OM606 Turbo: '98/'99 E300. Evolutionary design similar to OM603. Has a 24 valve head. Much like a 24 valve Cummins but pump is still inline with 7mm elements and is electronically controlled. Elements are compatible with M pumps. This engine has the most power potential.
It has 6mm elements. Good for around 200hp on a 6 cylinder and 160's in a 5. Myna uses 7mm elements.

The 617 is a strong engine but severely limited by airflow. OM606 engines can make 500hp with a single turbo, maybe even more if you figure out some compounds, but the 617 won't make much more than 350hp without very high boost pressures to push past the 2 valves.

From Antti A. at Myna-
Quote:
Not that much of an experience of highly tuned OM617s that I could say surely something about the horse power/torque numbers. But OM602 can produce at least 450hp and 650Nm. If approximating that OM617 is capable of delivering 85% of that, it would be around 380hp.
For that kind of horsepower the needed boost pressure is quite high as the OM617 head has not very good flow characteristics and stock engine probably can't handle that much of power.
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2009, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don M View Post
If you get serious with a 603, we have the connecting rods about ready. Not a cheap date, but less than aftermarket Cummins rods.

4340 Steel

Although I think the stock rods will be fine past 300, but 300 is lame
I'd be curious about those rods. I think they would fit the OM606 too.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2009, 01:59 PM
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To get Antti A's estimate out of a 617 what needs to be done besides a Myna pump, intercooler, and VNT? Are we talking custom connecting rods, head work (don't know what could really be done with the limited space), stronger fasteners, custom crank, custom cam?

My wants are less ambitious than 380hp but it would be nice to know what needs to be done besides the standard formula.
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2009, 12:13 AM
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Somebody has got to have gotten a little out of hand with one of these 617's and blown a few things up. I'de like to learn from their mistakes! There are several cars around here with 617's for sale for a pretty good price. The newer motors would be nice to make a little more power with, but the cars cost so much more.....

Mike
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  #12  
Old 05-20-2009, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Cummmins View Post
Somebody has got to have gotten a little out of hand with one of these 617's and blown a few things up. I'de like to learn from their mistakes!
I'm working on mine but hopefully I don't blow it up in the process!
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  #13  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:48 AM
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Something no one has mentioned and is likely a big factor when comparing to your experience with Cummins, is that all the engines mentioned here are IDI. This equates to less power across the board.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bajaman View Post
This equates to less power across the board.
Very true, about 15% through pumping and heat conduction losses.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2009, 11:09 AM
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The 603's are the way to go here. Cheap, and will make an easy 300hp with very little effort. Porting, cam, turbo, perhaps some propane...

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