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Old 05-16-2002, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 40
Post OM636 diesel engine

This is a merged/created thread, covering the OM636.
The posts bridge many years.

Mercedes-Benz 170D

this is a link to a car just like the one I am inquiring about.

It has the best Mercedes smell I have ever smelled - maybe that increases the value ??

Last edited by whunter; 10-13-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-07-2002, 04:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 194

Just got my new 1952/53? 170 ds HOME.
I did drive the car the other day,had to pull start it.
I am now trying to get it to start on its own.It has 2 batterys?I dont think this is correct ,does anyone know?It is a has an incorrect "alternator" instead of its bosch generator ( which I NEED!)I also need a COOLING pipe coming off the engine block.
it has a om636 engine.I have searched the internet and havent found too much on this model.If anyone has any info as to where to get parts,manuals,and I really need a front bumper !:p
Attached Thumbnails
OM636 diesel engine-mvc-577s.jpg  
'60 190b
'77 300D
'78 240D
'82 300TD
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Old 03-22-2003, 09:54 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: So. Calif.
Posts: 323
If you go back 30some years in SI's, you'll see quite a few regarding to BLOW-BY on OM636, M114 and M108 engines.
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378

I have a really nice set of pistons which I believe are
for an early diesel. I know of a fellow who is looking
to rebuild an OM636 diesel who might need them.
The measurement "87.45" millimeters is stamped on
the tops of them. The previous owner cannot recall
if the pistons were for a 180D or a 190D.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
1967 250SL
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 436
piston id

Definitely not for OM636... Kolbenschmidt catalog states that all OM636 have 75 (nominal)mm pistons. Also offers other two diameters-75.50 and 76.00. All with 5 piston rings!!Engines from 1951 and on.. Unfortunately, unger "87,45" comes up only the compression height of various engines....
Good luck!
Possibly U could cross-reference the numbers of KS piston sets with those of other piston manuf.(Mahle for ex.)
for OM636 75,00mm -90 278 600
75,50mm -90 278 610
76,00mm -90 278 630
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
The 780,000 miles was clocked up as the 170DS was in daily use from the day it was bought new in October 1954 until it was relegated to *reserve* status in December 1980. It still wears the 200,000 and 500,000km badges given by Daimler-Benz.
The present OM636 engine is the second unit, installed in 1971 when the original threw a rod due to overrevving, which was caused by a minute air leak in the ip's vacuum governer.
The transmission has been overhauled once, the front and rear suspension units a few times and the differential has never been taken apart. The two things that have always been a bit of a problem are the central lubrication system and the steering column gearchange. It is not a car that can be driven easily in the frantic traffic conditions that prevail now, with a top speed of 62mph(100kmh), drum brakes and of course the original swing axle rear suspension, causing oversteer at anything over 40mph!
Enough of my rambling.
Have a good week.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:13 PM
Marshall Booth
Posts: n/a
Prechamber failure was MUCH more common in the OM636, 621 and even the early 61x engines in the '50s & 60s. Such failures seem rather infrequent in diesels made after the mid 70s but it CAN happen and can destroy the engine if the prechamber actually does disintegrate as they can do. I've had them fail on 621 engines when a delivery valve failed. Rather common when a vacuum pump with a cracked diaphragm eventually allowed oil to reach the intake manifold. Usually pulling a prechamber is NOT difficult using either the screw typre or slap hammer removal tool (after removing the ring that secures the PC), but there could be conditions that would make it VERY difficult. I'd classify such situations as already being in the "serious engine damage" category and only just short of catastrophy.

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Old 10-15-2003, 04:54 PM
Posts: n/a

Trying to help out a friend w/ medical problems on his boat diesel, an OM 636 four cylinder thats been marinized. After going through the whole starter and fuel system, got it started, and within seconds as the oil system pressurized it started gushing out gray oil out of a tiny orifice at the back of the engine where it has no business coming out. Also started coming up the crankcase breather hose into the air intake obviously getting water into the oil somewhere; cracked block? shaft seal on the water pump? head gasket? Any help would be great. Engine actually ran fine when it caught, not rough or uneven.
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Old 03-15-2004, 04:55 PM
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Location: Houston, TX
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The 170SD was super slow. It had a 40HP OM 636 4 banger with a top speed of 60MPH. It would get 38 MPG though.170SD info
Board Member of MBCA|Houston

81 MB 300SD, 82 MB 300D Turbo (sold), 04 Lincoln Town Car Ultimate

Sooner or later every car falls apart, ours does it later!
-German Narrator in a MB Promotion Film about the then brand new W123.
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 27


I'm trying to fix an old genset so we have better power at the cabin where we live.

It's an old thermoking with an MB OM636 with a rod sticking through the block...

Our biz has been pretty slow this spring, so I can't afford a new genset. I'm looking for a bargain on a used OM636, or a 220D engine, which I believe has the same hole-pattern in the block for the flywheel housing.

I was offered a free 220D with good engine and bad tranny, but it was 3 hrs away and I didn't have a trailer to haul it...and it's since been towed away.

Anyone with a cheap 636 or a cheap or free 220D ?

I'm near Medford Oregon.

thanks very much
WANT to BUY: 3.0L diesel engine.

My other diesel is a....

1962 Cat D9-19A, 2,000 cu-in TD
1961 Cat 966B, D333 TD, powershift
1985 Mack MS300P 8.8L TDI, intercooled, crane-truck
1991 F350 4x4 5spd 7.3 IDI NA
1988 Dodge D50 4x4 5spd 2.4 Mitsu TD
1961 Lister-Petter 14hp/6kw Marine Corp genset weekly charging 5400 lbs of forklift batt for the off-grid homestead.
1965 Perkins 4-108 Fire/water Pump
1960 Deutz 20hp/8kw genset

Last edited by whunter; 10-05-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:11 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,793
You have a choice of 200D, 220D (OM615) or 240D (OM616). I'm sure you'd know if it was an OHC OM601 or if it had more cylinders. Maybe an older OM621 or a flathead OM636?

Where is the engine number on a 616?

95 S420
87 300SDL
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:29 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
I can see how the *headless bolts* would have been a big help, as it is, I had to use a (leather)strap wrench to pull the waterpump housing every which way to align the a/c bracket, pump housing and the bolt holes in the block. Only then could the bolts be threaded cleanly into the block AND the a/c bracket tightened down without binding anywhere.
I have done OM636(a breeze, pump at eye level on front of head), BMW big 6, Volvo 240 and Opel CIH(Manta A) waterpumps, but this is one job that I hope I do not have to repeat in this lifetime! Back and left arm is still sore from the contortions.
Have a good weekend.
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
My dad's 170DS was the only car we had for a long time, so it is the earliest memory of a Benz for me. We still have the still works...................OM636 engine has to be the toughest piece of mechanical engineering ever.
Have a good week
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Old 09-26-2004, 03:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
Audi 5 cylinder diesel was a nasty piece of work

The Audi 5 cylinder diesel from the 1980s may have been related to the GM 350 diesel :p
My friend was a VAG exec and his company car at that time was a 100CD diesel. It had all the GM engine's problems, there were so many modifications that even the VAG techs could not keep up. The car had three replacement engines in about 6 years of service and eventually wound up in a junkyard, cannibalized for body and trim pieces. Then VAG turbocharged the thing, it was a disaaster here and only a handful of demo units were ever brought over here, all usually overheating on a customer's test drive
Mercedes diesels have some very *heavy duty* features, like the *6 bolt* head fastening pattern over each cylinder bore and substantial main/rod bearing sizes plus a fully machined and hardened forged crankshaft. There probably are many more, but AFAIK, the OM636,621,615,616,617 series of engines are milion mile engines with ease.
I have heard that the OM601 is just as good on longevity, but have no first hand experience with it or the OM602,603 as the trend was away from diesel passenger cars and only a handful were sold on Malaysia. The new CDIs seem to be gaining ground, but are very expensive here, the C270CDI costing about US$100,000
Just my two cents.
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
At one time I worked on commercial fishing boats and saw these engines put to service as generators on 75' vessels. Beauty of the MB 4-cyl diesel is that it was very quiet in operation, unlike the Perkins diesel that made so much racket it would shake the entire boat.

I think the 1.8 litre is actually a very well mannered, highly efficient and practically portable little engine that has probably seen service in all sorts of functions like pumping water, powering winches and operating light heavy equipment
Do not want to hijack this thread, but are you refering to the ohv OM636 diesel or the ohc OM621?
IIRC, the 621 was just a ohc head on the 636 bottom end, with 3 bearing crank and all until it was redesigned as the OM615.
Have a good week.

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