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Mercedes diesel swap into 55 Chevy PU?
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I have a 55 Chevy short box pick up that I was going to make a street rod out of several years ago, 454 big block, turbo 400 tranny, Nova front stub, Ford 9" rear, etc.

With fuel prices gone crazy, I'm thinking about making something a little more fuel friendly, and was wondering how a MB turbo diesel would work in it (I plan to run bio-diesel). I know it won't be as much fun with the diesel as it would have been with the big block, but at least I could afford to drive it!

Anyone know of any similar swaps? I'm sure there will be a lot of fabrication required to do such a swap, which is no problem, I'm just wondering if a MB turbo diesel would have enough power for the pick-up. I don't plan on hauling much in it, mostly just want a nice looking daily driver that can keep up with traffic and get decent mileage. Would a 5 cyl turbo diesel from a mid 80's 300d work or should I look for a better (larger) engine? Are there any mods that can be done to the Mercedes engine that can boost the HP?

Any input, suggestions, or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Jeff
1995 F250 4x4 Powerstroke
2000 TDI Beetle
1982 300D project
 
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: May 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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you should look at the weight of the truck and compare it to a mercedes. If its significantly more, you should put in a manual transmission. The manual transmission has a lot more power and the 300d has a lot of ppower but the automatic transmission robs some of that power. I would also use a turbo.
You will also need to wire up the glow plugs differently which isnt hard. And you will need to put in a switch for the vacuum to shut of the engine.
 
Location: oakland ca | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm not sure what either of them weighs, but i would assume that the weights are pretty similar. I would prefer a manual tranny, but they seem to be pretty hard to find, every car I have looked at has been an automatic. I defiantly plan on using an engine with a turbo.

What will I have to do with the glow plugs? Not sure how they are normally wired, so I don't know what I would need to change. Also not sure about the vacuum to shut off the engine. Is the fuel normally shut off with a vacuum actuated solenoid?


Jeff
1995 F250 4x4 Powerstroke
2000 TDI Beetle
1982 300D project
 
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: May 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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yeah the engien shut off works with vacuum though the key housing, so you would need to hook up a switch that alows the vacuum to go through to shut it off and turn the switch to start it.
as far as the glow plugs it would be too complictaed to hook up the glow plug relay and all the wiring. I would run wires to a relay like a ford starter relay which is a very common part to find. Its the older type of ford relay that bolts on the fender and the switch would be a push on off type.

you can by a manual transmision kit through mercedessource.com

you willl have to modify other parts too like the driveline. that will have to taken to a driveline specialist shop.
ans you would need to fabricate some engine mounts and a bracket for the back of the transmission .
its very doable on an older car.
 
Location: oakland ca | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You could either wire up a GP relay or do them as a manual switch. Either way isn't that complicated. The relay burnt out on my car and I just use a push button for manual glowing and actually prefer it to the auto system. In cold weather I can just hold the button longer instead of switching the key on and off several times.

For the ignition switch, just use and MB type with the vac controls already in it. No big deal.

All these things are just the normal little things you have to do when transplanting an engine so it would be no different if you were putting in an engine from any other make.

One other thing you could look at is a 350 Chev Diesel. These engines had problems originally when they came out due to some sub standard components but those issues are well understood and sorted now so the problems are gone.

This may be a better choice for your application and you would have plenty of torque and retain a nice V8 Sound as well as being easier to transplant.
 
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Using a Ford relay for the glow plugs sounds like a good idea. Fabbing motor mounts and driveline are no problem, been there, done that.

Do you have to use the vacuum shut off or could you use a electric solenoid (is there a lever on the injector pump that shuts the fuel off)?

Haven't really though about a Chevy diesel, had a 87 Suburban with a diesel and hated it, not to mention that it trashed 2 trannys due to vibration. What would be a good year for a Chevy diesel motor? Any idea what kind of mileage one might get?


Jeff
1995 F250 4x4 Powerstroke
2000 TDI Beetle
1982 300D project
 
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: May 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Yes I can see it now, a Mercedes key on a Chevy keychain that will confuse anybody. Not to mention pulling into Mercedes dealership for parts. Does seem using a Mercedes ignition for the vacuum shutoff would be handy. Has anyone done a morphed drive shaft, flexplate to attach to Mercedes transmission going to universal joint to rear end? Seems like it would be doable if balanced.


90 F350 7.3 IDI
95 Chevy PU 4x4 wrecked
86 300SDL sold
83 240D Euro sold
81 VW Rabbit sold
 
Location: Sierra Blanca, Tx USA | Registered: November 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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most 300ds use vacuum for shutoff. none use elctricity. the mid 70s had a wire that pushed it off.
you could use the vacuum switch off part but it would need to be pushed in while on. you could use a mercedes key unit but it wouldnt bolt upt to your steering column.

the drive shaft would have to be rebuilt for it to work.possibly from a mercedes shaft and chevy. only a driveline specailist would know how to do it right. it would probably be most trickey part.

also the transmission shifts off vacuum, and the vacuum pump on the engine provides vacuum for the brake booster, assuming though you would not be adding a brake booster you are ok. but the transmssion might not shift right. you might need to add a brake booster.
buty if you have manul transmssion it would get rid all of the vacuum problems. except shutting it off.
 
Location: oakland ca | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The 617's are cheap to buy too. They are heavy also. I get 35 miles per Imperial gallon(4.54 liters) at 55mph. The later 617's had the oil filter behind the injection pump and higher mounted steering pump which gives much more room for an install.

A 3.42 rear end ratio is ideal. You should get a turbo engine. The NA engine is just adequate for power, like the car it came from. Some 617's have to have the flywheel drilled to achieve a proper balance, so always mark it if removed. I have some info on adapting the 617 with 240 flywheel to a manual tranny.

We took a 300D ignition switch apart, it's a mechanical 3-way pneumatic valve. We are using an SMC manual valve temporarily until we locate a 3-way 12VDC solenoid valve for engine shut-off. Phil
http://s284.photobucket.com/albums/ll24/Phillyburger/Ranger/
 
Location: Ontario | Registered: May 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What did a 617 come in? I'm just getting in to Mercedes cars, had a Unimog for a while, but never paid attention to the cars.


Jeff
1995 F250 4x4 Powerstroke
2000 TDI Beetle
1982 300D project
 
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: May 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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the 300d came in the 76-85 but i would use an 81-85 with a turbo
 
Location: oakland ca | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lot's of diesels use a solenoid for shut down. I have built up two generators and put solenoid shutdowns on em, I usually put install a murphy switch so they will not stay running if there is no oil pressure.
I also use key switches with the old style visual glow plug heater, the kind where you can see a wire getting red hot so you know when the glow plugs are hot, works well and is low tech.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Junkman ---

Did you ever swap in a 617 engine into something?


daw (also known as daw_two on some forums)

1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2000 diesel Dodge Dakota Cummins Big Grin
1984 Mercedes 300D
1981 Mercedes 300D
 
Location: Memphis, TN (kind of) | Registered: January 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Charles B:
Yes I can see it now, a Mercedes key on a Chevy keychain that will confuse anybody. Not to mention pulling into Mercedes dealership for car parts. Does seem using a Mercedes ignition for the vacuum shutoff would be handy. Has anyone done a morphed drive shaft, flexplate to attach to Mercedes transmission going to universal joint to rear end? Seems like it would be doable if balanced.

My friend and I tried to pushed this mechanical morphing into the limit, we did it successfully but messed up with some parts and end up losing a lot of bucks for it...... yet it was a success..Smile

This message has been edited. Last edited by: AR,
 
Registered: March 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The 300 D won't have the power for pickup service, though with gearing you could slug around...
I suggest stick to GM, find a detroit 6V53 2 stroke screamer, and your transmission might just bolt up- or go with the newer chev/ford-ih/cummins.
The more vintage 6V53 would be way cool- and if you like to turn heads, or out noize harleys, that's your baby- And they love raw used oil.
Keep Having Fun!

SUB
 
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada | Registered: September 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Junk man I drive a 58 gmc 100 with a 240 d 616 in it every day . It mounts up easy , and there's a kit ( you can make it yourself ) it's a disc with 3 holes going to the Mercedes tranny 4 that u bolt a yoke to, you use your stock driveshaft, I cut around the engine leaving rad with top n bottom mounts from the car and the tranny mount crossmember. As far as linkages I went cable for fuel and a rod thru the firewall to shut it down, if you leave me an email I'll send pics . Don't let people scare ya or over complicate it . It took 2 weekends . And I love it .
 
Location: providence ri to portland or | Registered: June 02, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh and the car was 4400 lbs the truck is 3900 lbs I went with a k 5 blazer rear with 308 gears it cruzez at 70 no problem , you will want to put a switch in the dash to get first gear to work Mercedes has a button on the flor , It's no race truck but it's really good on fuel , I do miss peeling tires , it won't do that anymore . I'm a blacksmith I load my truck heavy , hills are slow yes but I'm not in a hurry I think it performs like a 6 cyl , you'll need the gear it hated the 411.s !
 
Location: providence ri to portland or | Registered: June 02, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In a pinch (in relatively warm weather) you do not have to even use the glow plug system to get the engine started. Just crank steady with no fuel, to heat up the cylinders then press pedal one time.
Repeat one or two times and it should start. I had to do this when my glow system kept blowing the
fuse because a glow plug had carbon buidlup to the point of where it touched the carbon was touching
head and glowplug. It took me some time to figure it out. I have about a million miles between the three that I have owned. I would suggest at least the five cylinder over the four. It is a major
power difference. The turbo will almost double the horsepower. It takes awhile to get used to
the four cylinder because when you take of you floor it and dont let off untill it is in top gear.
With the five cyl you have much more leeway.
 
Registered: June 08, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by 1958 gmc om 616:
Junk man I drive a 58 gmc 100 with a 240 d 616 in it every day . It mounts up easy , and there's a kit ( you can make it yourself ) it's a disc with 3 holes going to the Mercedes tranny 4 that u bolt a yoke to, you use your stock driveshaft, I cut around the engine leaving rad with top n bottom mounts from the car and the tranny mount crossmember. As far as linkages I went cable for fuel and a rod thru the firewall to shut it down, if you leave me an email I'll send pics . Don't let people scare ya or over complicate it . It took 2 weekends . And I love it .


New to the forum and am starting a project using a 93GMC stepside as the recipient for the Mercedes om617 engine. Kinda want to design something like the Dodge "little red wagon" stepside theme with stacks thru steps, etc. Do you have pics and source for converting mercedes auto trans to my gm driveshaft? I am planning on using the mercedes auto trans instead of converting to the 4le60 gm automatic. Any additional thoughts are appreciated especially when it comes to making a proper ignition system to start and shut down the engine. Can use a shut down button or similar on the dash instead of changing out original ignition? Think I will use solenoid to manually activate glow plugs, and delete the egr. I have no air breather or tubes for valve cover vent hole. Any breather kits you've seen online or suggest? Any other constructive comments appreciated! Thanks, Randy
 
Registered: September 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw a buy at the diesel pump in a '53 Ford. It had a Mercedes emblem on the grill. On the tailgate, I saw what looked like the same TURBODIESEL emblem as my 300SD. Sure enough, he had the 3.0 out of a Mercedes 300SD. Surprisingly, he said the mileage wasn't that great, maybe high teens or low 20's.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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