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Old 07-01-2019, 12:19 PM
JamesDean's Avatar
Electrical Engineer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,034
OM617 Worth keeping spare?

Hi Guys,

I'm going to be junking my one 82 300SD (green). The body has seen better days. I have another 300SD (gold) that I'm going to be restoring eventually.

At some point I thought "hey I'll pull the 617 out of the green SD and store it." Now I'm questioning that logic and only thinking I should save important bits like the injection pump and turbo (it was recently rebuilt).

The gold SD has 144k or so. The green has 283K. The motor was allegedly rebuilt a bit before we bought it in 2007.

What do you guys think?

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82 300SD 145k
89 420SEL 210k
89 560SEL 118k
90 300SE 262k RIP 5/25/2010
90 560SEL 154k
91 300D 2.5 Turbo. 241k
93 190E 3.0 235k
93 300E 195k
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:05 PM
DeliveryValve's Avatar
Chairman of my Benz
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central California
Posts: 4,157
It really depends if you have space and not worry about it. If you don't, you probably shouldn't consider it. I have a couple of 617's stored in my garage, haven't touched them for years. They are on Harbor Freight hardwood dolly carts that I can easily move them if I needed to, but they are tucked away that I don't think about them until that day.

1983 123.133 California
- GreaseCar Veg System

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Old 07-01-2019, 06:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 123
I used to find the 617 engines at the pullapart yards every time I went there. Not anymore.
I know a guy who bought up high performance engines when the gas crises hit. Years later he's making a killing selling these engines. It's getting tougher to find a Mercedes diesel in a junk yard.
If down the road you change your mind I'm sure you won't have a problem selling a 617 even with those miles.

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7,515
It is probably easier to get the small , easy to ship parts you are wanting to save than a whole running engine with a somewhat known history.

Save as much as possible from the car or even the whole car as having a parts car is critical when restoring another one. Need a odd screw or bolt? Just walk up to your parts car. Also, finding parts for old stuff is becoming more difficult so take that into consideration.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:22 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 13,054
Or sell it so someone that needs it now.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:56 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,631
I really do not have enough space for whole parts cars. So we are going to be stripping one 123 down pretty far. Pretty much for all parts other than the body shell.

It is extremely sound mechanically. I figure whoever gets this type of car already in the family might use them. . I am already kicking myself for letting some cars go over the years.

Low milage examples with too much rust. It is time to sell off some surplus earlier Mercedes gas engines. I did not originally keep them with selling them in mind. Today I see posters in the early car section looking for good ones. I kept no well worn engines. There would have been little sense in that.

It is like all the perfect interiors and dash pads I let go with some cars. I figured nobody would pay even the shipping. Times have changed. I will be saving the almost perfect black interior out of the 123. I just need a really good black seat bottom cover for the passenger seat.

Someone spilled something on the material or the material had some form of manufacturing defect. I could just retain the factory seat covers and door panels. But the fundamental seats are still totally sound. I have a fair amount of indoor space but it gets consumed or used by things with a higher priority.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 4,042
I'll be keeping as much as possible from the 85SD parts car. Parts will be in boxes stacked in a corner until needed. I'll get ride of them when no longer driving anything with a 617. None are in the yards that I frequent and my friend that owns a yard crushes most cars older than 2005. He says that people driving old cars are cheap and always want to have the price lowered. People driving newer cars want the parts quickly so they can get back on the road. Which group would you cater to if you were him?

I've been through this with other vehicles. 1st gen Datsun Zs used to be plentiful. I remember buying buckets of misc parts for $10 each and was able to save a car because of the deal I got. Now I hit my private stash of parts cars (3) but even there I get forced onto Ebay.
85SD 240K & stopped counting painted, putting bac together. 84SD 180,000. Probably up for sale in the fall 2020 still have it. 85TD beginning to repair to DD status. Waiting on shop to do minor but more than I can do rust.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:25 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 225
If ya got the space, just pull the battery and park it somewhere. Nothin wrong with letting it "grow" in your yard. As long as you don't have a rodent problem, these cars are astonishingly good at sitting for a long while, then being totally ready to roll after a fresh battery. Would likely be problem free if ya put a trickle charger on it, changed the tranny fluid (crap settles out if you store it for many months), then drove it a couple times a year.

These are pretty durable cars, but replacement of large parts like engine, trans, PS box, etc are expensive. I've seen your work and i know you wouldn't settle for using cheap crap parts. Lot of times rebuilt OEM or just salvaged OEM is the best way to go. Remember, a trans costs about $1500-1800 for a rebuilt unit and they're not easy to come by or cheap to ship in. Engines are easier, but if you need a rebuild it's still expensive and even more time consuming. If you ever need one, you'd be able to just drop in a complete long block, with everything attached....
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:11 AM
vstech's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,423
Come to my house...

What ya want?

John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wilmington, NC by the Atlantic ocean
Posts: 2,530
A few years ago I came by a spare OM617 from a forum member. It sits on a stand waiting for me to add a bit too much boost to Mutt's engine. So far not a problem but it's bound to happen.

So yeah - if you have room save it. I might blow up the spare!

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Old 07-03-2019, 12:54 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 37,681
I have one too. It runs fine but is believed to have a partially collapsed piston.
[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 07-03-2019, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,631
Outside storage is usually not appropriate near your house or where visable. I had several cars years ago parked intentionally on the back of a three acre well treed lot. Not Mercedes.

They were vandalized extensively. The same kids destroyed the dashes of five brand new cement trucks not that far away. The owner of the trucks made a major error. He told the police he was going to sue their parents for the damage. My guess is since they had not entered service yet they may have been uninsured.

He just was not thinking. As a general rule restitution is frowned on where perhaps it should not be. So even if the police knew who those kids were. No action against them would occur. On my cars it was destruction by intent. I could understand some parts being liberated. Just not what they did.

Now it gets nasty. I have a 114 coupe that was set up and used for short track racing in Germany. With the manual transmission behind the engine it was quite a bit different than the normal ones with an automatic.

I had it in storage in a building I am replacing. The concrete floor gave way and the nose dropped into the basement. I wanted to save the engine and manual transmission at least. The 130 engines where balanced individually externally with the flywheel back then I suspect. So dragging it back up and out over the broken concrete was not the best ideal.

I doubt that if a m130 engine did not come from the factory with a manual transmission. You cannot put a manual transmission behind a m130 that had a flexplate. Not certain but a strong suspicion.

Anyways after the car was recovered with no damage underneath. Yet panel damage I decided unfortunately to part it out at some point. The building had 20 inch I beams So I just used three chain falls to lift it and work it back out. Propping it up on timbers and moving the chain falls back several times did it.

It was quite a sight with that thing swinging back and forth in the air. To move it back I angled the chain hoists. So when lifted it off the support cribbing it not only moved to the point the chain falls where. . It initially swung well past that point and back.

A car does not weigh that much still we had no local cranes heavy enough to horizontally reach in through the roll up door and lift it unfortunately. If nothing else my collection of chain hoists and lifting chains was increased.

That partial floor collapse also created problems in removing other heavy equipment from the building. You have to look for the upside in any situation. It could have been a much more expensive car that was stored in there.

All is not lost though as I also have a nice lower milage 114 coupe as well. So even thought the engine and automatic transmission are fine. I can drop the m130 engine and manual transmission in it if I decide. Plus any other modifications of a mechanical or suspension nature it I find. .

The danaged car also has a power steering box of a different design than the ones I have see on other 114 cars over the years. Initially I assumed this might be normal on the 114s sold in Germany. Still I am not yet certain.. The only history I have is the car was used on a race track in Germany. I also wonder if that m130 engine has had some internal modifications although I have never heard of any ever done to them. Still there are car people in Germany as well.

Anyone ever remember seeing a really much smaller power steering box on a 114? There is a chance that I attributed too much to it having a standard transmission. It is a 1972 and perhaps I should run the vin number through the classic center.

This car was not set up by the factory I believe as it has had too many miles. It has at least the second interior. That is also well worn. A factory sponsored car also is very unlikely to land up in private hands. I see no evidence of a roll cage either. Mechanically it is still very good. I have worked on enough 114s to know.

I also have decided to paint and sell if possible a 1977 300d to a fan of Ann Murray the recording artist if possible. She originally came from this area. When she was finished with it she left it with someone local is my best guess.

I picked it up years ago from a local car collector that was thinning his collection. At the time neither of us suspected it had been her car. I did a quick check and she still has a large active fan club even if she has retired. I am hoping that one of them wants something like this. I have thought about posting it on her fan club site. It can drive anywhere.

She still comes here every summer . So I will try to ask her about it. The last time I saw her has been quite some time ago. She was dragging Glen Campbell to her cottage. He was trying to act like he was not with her at the time in the store. So it was funny. She was driving a 107 Mercedes type that time.

Odd to me at least. Elvis actually had a cottage near hers for some time as well somebody mentioned to me. I did not think that was his style. Yet there have been an assortment of major stars that have quietly owned cottages at Fox Harbor Nova Scotia.

There is a privately owned airstrip there. It can take a smaller jet I have also heard. Fox harbor is a small enclave pretty well off the beaten path and expensive. We live only about thirty five miles away but never have ventured into it.

Last edited by barry12345; 07-03-2019 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:31 PM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
Posts: 6,465
Post Parts Saving

If you're the typ who actually fixes things then a spare engine with as much ancillary parts as possible is priceless .

it's always the little niggly bits that are hardest to find when you need them, leaving them attached to the engine, tranny or whatever means you'll have the correct part, bracket or whatever along with the correct hardware right there when you need it.....

This only works if you have the storage space of course .

I used to have twnty or thirty old vintage engines, over the decades I stripped them of generators, carbys, manifolds and lots of unobtanium small parts .

Once in a while I'd overhaul some 50 year old engine I cut out of a wreck or rustbucket.....

Ignorance is the mother of suspicion and fear is the father

I did then what I knew how to do ~ now that I know better I do better
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:06 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 665
Unless its rusty enough to be unsafe why not sell the whole car to someone if it still runs ok? If its too rusty then keep anything good enough to use on your other one until you decide to get rid of that one too.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:57 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7,515
Originally Posted by vwnate1 View Post
If you're the typ who actually fixes things then a spare engine with as much ancillary parts as possible is priceless .

it's always the little niggly bits that are hardest to find when you need them,
Yep, the bolts are just as critical as the part that is being bolted on and sometimes the most difficult item to source. 95% of automotive bolts are custom made for the application with that number ever increasing.

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