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Old 07-22-2015, 06:54 PM
mach0415's Avatar
Diesel Weasel
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lawndale, NC
Posts: 648
1985 300SD repower

Hey all,
I have a 1985 300SD and it has over 400K miles. The OM617 is starting to get tired, but is still fairly reliable. I have had the car for 8 years and have grown attached to it. I am considering rebuilding the engine or finding a lower miles 617 to throw in it, but if I can get better power for the same price it makes sense to go that route. So, is there an engine that will go in a W126 that will throw me back in the seat that can be built for performance as well?
Mark in NC

"Spark plugs?...We don't need no stinking spark plugs!"
1985 300SD "Der Silberne Schlitten" 420,000 mi

Wish these were diesel:
2003 Ford Club Wagon 130,000 mi
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:40 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wilmington, NC by the Atlantic ocean
Posts: 2,428
A couple of options:

1) If you want the experience of rebuilding what you have it's a great project and you'll learn a lot. It can turn into a money pit if you're not careful - parts, machine work, etc, can really add up. I'm not just sucking up but Pelican has treated me right for parts on mine.

2) You might want to check with VSTech and see what he has in a good used engine with lower miles (he's in NC, too). If you check my thread on performance upgrades in this section you'll see that the guys gave me some good stuff to try to make more power. You could apply those ideas to a good used engine. All of these mods will help but none will make HUGE power gains.

3) Understand that the OM617 will never make "throw you in the back seat" kind of power without serious effort and dollars. They can, for sure, make a ton of ft/lbs (or newton/meters, or whatever) but the opening ante is a $1500 injection pump (I'm saving for mine) and a bunch of other European speed parts followed by the dyno time to tune them.

If you want your car to be quick on a budget I'm afraid you're looking at small block Chevy or Ford transplant. I'm NOT recommending this, just that it's probably the way to go fast and quick on a budget.

Guess I'm saying - have realistic goals.

Oh, and you seem to have entered this thread twice......

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