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Thread: 73 CJ OM617 swap

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    73 CJ OM617 swap

    Engine swap time. The original 304 blew up in the mid 80's, the 258 replacement never blew up but it's been workin hard enough to wear ripples in the top of the cylinder walls. Averaging 80psi compression. It's time for a change. Dragged home two OM617 Mercedes 3.0 L diesels. Just started cleaning up the little diesel and the old 6 is out. Planning to use a kit from mercedesdiesel4x4 for the swap. Ill post up some pics as we go, any suggestions or hints are welcome.👍

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    Tuning in
    IM GOING TO FECAL IN YOUR GARDEN

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Step one... Engines
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    Steph two... Four speed with granny low is in the garage to get freshened up.

    Ordered a turbo rebuild kit from mercedes source. Not interested in taking chances with it. Just ordered the adaptor plate from mercedesdiesel4x4 this morning. That's the big ticket stuff and most of the budget taken care of.

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    Turbo kit is installed, worth the cash to get the kit. Flywheel adaptor is mounted to the flywheel and sent out for balancing and resurfacing. Mounting the adaptor required some drilling. The original AMC flywheel bolts needed to be shortened slightly, maybe 1/16" to keep from interfering with the adaptor.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jstouth; 04-22-2015 at 08:47 AM.

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    a learning experience is one of those things that says, you know that thing you just did...don't do that again.

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    subscribed
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    Cool love to put one in a xj

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    Transmission is ready to go in. T18 is in pretty good condition. It's one of those mystery ones that came with a 1 1/16" dia input shaft. Not a big deal, just needed to get the right disc. Swapped in my original Dana 20 T-case but had to change the T-case shift lever mount for the longer one that was with the transmission. Took a little effort to knock out after years of rust and dirt but a little heat helped. Click image for larger version. 

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    The bearing retainer that was on the front of the T18 had been turned down to accommodate a GM throw out bearing. Picked up a new one.

    Made a simple plywood cover to keep crap out of the gear box when fitting it. Click image for larger version. 

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    Made a few simple mods to the bellhousing to make the clutch release bearing grease fitting accessible. Used a 1" hole saw and made a metal cover. It needed to be in the back corner of the bottom of the bellhousing in order to line up with the angle of the fitting. Works sweet and will hopefully function as a drain when the clutch needs a good rinse.
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    Last edited by jstouth; 04-23-2015 at 06:23 PM.

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    The T18 uses a different mount than the T150. Kind of a strip of plate and it bolts to the adaptor between the tranny and T-case. The crossmember I'm using is one I've had in the jeep for years. Kinda set up for multiple positions.
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    Interesting project,
    Keep the updates coming......

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    Interesting indeed...
    Just not sure I see the benefit over the 258 since this OM617 turbo engine is producing less HP/TQ and at best the same HP/TQ as the 258 since this engine came in a few different HP/TQ numbers, for the money and possible fuel economy equals/gains the 4.0L would have been an easier and much cheaper choice to gain more HP/TQ then the 258 or OM617 as I have seen the MPG for this diesel in the original car was avg 20MPG...

    Would Love to hear your success with this and what improvements you will find real world as I have had customers interested in this swap but the numbers just don't add up to actually follow thru...
    1989 Jeep MJ: 4.7L Stroker, 4WD Swap, 97+Conversion, RC Long Arm Upgrade Kit, 35x12.5x18 Mickey Thompson MTZ's, WJ D30, WK SRT8 Rear D44 w/approx. 8" Lift
    1983 Jeep CJ7: SOLD

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    i swapped a 1.9 in my jeep tj and it uses HALF the fuel that the 4.0 used i would assume that this would use more fuel than my swap but it should still be better than the Gasser. also aren't these mostly in-front of autos in the MB ? that would lower the efficiency a bit also.

    either way cool swap, i contemplated using this motor instead of the 1.9 but decided the 1.9 would be plenty with tune, turbo, and nozzles..
    Now i have a JEEP I am getting good at fixing things lol

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    also with my swap i am sure the stock 4.0 has more peak hp then the 1.9tdi but its the torque of the diesel that makes it nice to drive.

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    Hey fellas, yeah I hear ya on the HP / torque numbers and the mileage of an early HO 4.0 will definately be a competitor. I'll give ya a little background on why and for what purpose I chose the O617.

    I'm a diesel guy... I've been working on them for a long time and simply love the feel, sound and simplicity of the older diesels. I've had this jeep since the 80's. It was a factory 304 (nice old vintage engine but a boat anchor for performance). When it gave up an old 258 was transplanted. That has served me well for many years. Now that it's worn out I played around with a couple spares I had in the barn. Yes they're cheap and plentiful as are 4.0's but I really wanted something different. I looked at the VW diesels and priced out a 4BT but the OM617 was cheap to get and completely mechanical. The 258 was around 110 hp with tons of torque and a carburetor. I have a couple extra 258's so a 4.0 stroker was on the table too but it's more engine than this particular jeep needs.

    I don't do any deep mud anymore so I didn't go with a newer V8. I wanted fuel mileage a little better than the 258 was yielding. This old jeep sees mostly light trail duty and trips for camping / events. Other than that I have no good reason for choosing the OM617.

    Ill let ya know how it behaves as I go forward and Ill figure out the mileage once I'm actually driving it. Stay tuned tho, just got the flywheel back from balancing.

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    73 CJ OM617 swap

    Diesel for the win man! Never realized how awesome the low end torque was and the simplicity of the diesels were til I owned my 40. Been looking at adding a turbo and been hearing about using the early 80's Benz 123 turbos...need to read research further...
    Nice build.
    1981 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ42. Diesel FTW!

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    Hey Noey, be sure to research what your engine can handle. Putting a turbo on an old diesel is a great way to gain a little HP but ya need to be careful to calculate what boost you want to achieve and how much pressure your fresh / worn engine can withstand. You'd hate to blow up a nice running old diesel.
    My turbo is freshly rebuilt but completely stock. I'm gonna keep it stock until I get a better feel for the engines health.

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    You can play with these engines and give more fuel and boost to get the numbers up to a 4.0 but have a really lowed and flat tq curve as well. I agree though keep it stock till you get it running then start playing with it

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    And finally continuing on the next step is the oil pan. There is a kit of pieces already cut and bent to speed up the process but I've got a leftover chunk of aluminum checker plate. So that's what the oil pan is being modified with. Thus far it's cut and the fitting is under way..
    .Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jstouth; 05-03-2015 at 07:16 PM.

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    Got the flywheel back from balancing. I had the shop balance it to match the one that came off the diesel based on some alignment marks I made. The AMC flywheel has a bolt pattern that only allows it to mate to the crank in a specific spot as it was part of the engine balancing. I was told the OM617 flywheel is also part of the engine balancing so I used a large ball bearing on a level (mostly) plate to give me an idea where the heavy side was. I repeated it several times and the AMC flywheel was really obvious. The Mercedes flywheel not so Obvious. In the end the Mercedes flywheel was only 3 grams off neutral. The AMC was 35 grams off neutral. The shop brought the new assembly (old flywheel and crankshaft adaptor) down to 3 grams easily and resurfaced it while at it. Looks good.

    I have one of those never documented T18 jeep transmissions that have the 1 1/16" dia 10 spline input shaft. Makes it hard to find the right clutch disc. The outer diameter is 10.5" which makes a lot of applications either too large at 11 and 12 inches or too small at 10". Ended up with an old mustang clutch disc. I'm using my original pressure plate so I don't have to redrill the holes in the flywheel or mess with the release bearing. This old Jeep is a mixed up pile of parts... Why stop now!

    Hoping I'll have some better pics soon of how the pan turned out and as we get around to fitting in the frame.
    Last edited by jstouth; 05-03-2015 at 07:38 PM.

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    Oil pan is done.

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    There are a lot of ribs and fins on the sides of the little diesels upper oil pan. In order to fit the original starter they have to be removed. It's a lot of cutting and grinding but not too difficult. Any way you do it though... Grinding aluminum sucks! Had to mock it up using a spare bell housing and the adaptor plate.

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