Turbo OM 617

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3DB
Maybach
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Joined: Thu 15 Oct, 2015 2:46 pm
Model you own: w123
Location: Sydney

Turbo OM 617

Post by 3DB » Sat 19 Dec, 2015 9:34 pm

I thought I’d share some of the research I’ve been doing on adding a turbo to the NA OM 617. A lot of this is probably old news to you and I apologise in advance for that, especially to Anth who has done an awesome DIY job just recently.

Something I haven't mentioned before is that I'll be running it on biodiesel which I currently make and run my ute on. This may go some way to explaining why I would bother trying to build a fast diesel car. I have these two conflicting interests: a past with performance cars and motorbikes and sustainability. 'Cognitive dissonance' I believe it is called.

Anyway, I’ve looked a two potential project vehicles so far:
• 1979 Japanese delivered auto sedan with no SLS and 100,000 km, which was probably a bit too nice for my project; and
• 1977 Australian(?) delivered sedan with a 4-speed manual with no SLS, manual door locks & window and an alleged 200,000 km. It had a lot of rust and an interior that suggested many more km – perhaps 1,200,000 km? I took a video of the blowby and would appreciate comments on that so I can gauge better in the future. Check out the video here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jtkll18d3ckwe ... y.MOV?dl=0

So I covered 2 ends of the spectrum there.

I don’t have the tools or skills to fabricate a custom turbo exhaust manifold, so I’ve made some enquiries through a friend in the US to get factory turbo exhaust and intake manifolds to make life easier. I should be able to have them sent over for under AU$500 (they are a little over $US100 each, but the exchange rate and shipping are what adds up). This has got to be cheaper (probably not better, admittedly) than getting a local custom turbo shop to fabricate, although I admit I haven’t checked that yet.

I’ve also wanted to rebuild an engine as a project for a while, having helped a friend do a Chevy small block V8 once and a few motorbike engines myself, so I investigated that too. I found a running donor engine for $1,000 on Gumtree, which could probably be negotiated down a bit. I also got some prices for most of the major parts you would replace in a rebuild and individually they don’t seem that expensive, but when you add it all up, there isn’t much change out of $2,000 on top of the base engine. So let’s say $3,500 in round figures to rebuild a NA engine and add the turbo mainfolds + another $750 or so for a Holset HY35 turbo.

So I got my mate to enquire about a second hand factory turbo engine over in the US. Here’s what I found:
• One of the later OM617’s, straight out of a car. Originally a 125 horsepower model. Compression currently over 390 on all 5 cylinders = US$1,800.
• The same engine with a rebuild including all rings and bearings, gaskets and seals, checking head surface, inspecting the valves & replacing as needed, test run & compression check = US$2,600.
• Freight to Sydney or Melbourne = US$750.

So all up, I’d be looking at around AU$5,200 including GST for a rebuilt factory turbo engine. For the sake of comparison, a reconditioned Toyota 1HD-T from an 80-series LandCruiser is more than $8,000. Granted, there is an element of gamble in there buying from the US, but it seems like a pretty good deal when compared to rebuilding a local NA engine.

I don’t know if this is really a financially viable option for me unless I could find a good rolling chassis and gearbox, but thought I’d share the findings.

Or I could buy a $1,500 car with rego, add the turbo bits to a worn out engine and gearbox, run until failure, buy another $1,500 car and repeat :laughing6:
3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
1995 Holden Rodeo 2.8 factory turbo diesel ute (daily driver...also on biodiesel)
(@thirddegreeburns on Instagram)

anths
Gelandewagen
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Joined: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 5:55 pm
Model you own: w123
Location: mornington peninsula victoria

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by anths » Sun 20 Dec, 2015 3:22 pm

HY 35 is to much turbo, a suitable turbo will be a T3 which will have no lag and will support 11 psi all day everyday and won't care if you run Veg oil , bio or blended diesel and run with the stock pump simple !
My "Grenade" has run 2 years on straight veg oil before I converted back to diesel ,nothing wrong with sustainability and performance my friends tow their E85 drag cars on waste veg to the track :dance:
Cheers Anthony

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3DB
Maybach
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu 15 Oct, 2015 2:46 pm
Model you own: w123
Location: Sydney

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by 3DB » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 1:10 pm

anths wrote:HY 35 is to much turbo
Thanks for the turbo tip, Anthony. Where's the best place to get a T3/T04E? Plenty of cheap knock-off's on eBay, but risky I imagine? Is a genuine Garrett the go? Sounds like you have a fair bit of experience here.
3DB
1976 W123 300D (weekend warrior on biodiesel)
1995 Holden Rodeo 2.8 factory turbo diesel ute (daily driver...also on biodiesel)
(@thirddegreeburns on Instagram)

timtams
Dernburg Wagon
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun 31 May, 2015 10:37 am
Model you own: w123

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by timtams » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 2:35 pm

Im also doing this conversion as we speak, Ive imported the factory manifold for this as it was $112 delivered from the US and I will see if it needs any other mods once that's bolted up

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Tony From West Oz
OZBENZ moderator
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Joined: Mon 20 Jun, 2005 10:04 pm
Model you own: w202
Location: Bedfordale WA

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by Tony From West Oz » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 7:58 pm

timtams wrote:Im also doing this conversion as we speak, Ive imported the factory manifold for this as it was $112 delivered from the US and I will see if it needs any other mods once that's bolted up
Was that for both manifolds?

Merry Christmas,
Tony
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
'06 Ssanyong Musso Crew Cab 2WD Ute (OM662 diesel and Auto Transmission)

anths
Gelandewagen
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 5:55 pm
Model you own: w123
Location: mornington peninsula victoria

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by anths » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 9:42 pm

A T3 will be plenty with no lag , not a T04e like mine........ Chinese made turbo's have come a long way most will except genuine garret bearings and compressor wheels ect,
The only major issue is the compressor housing ,They are not cast the same as a genuine Garrett turbo making them impossible to convert to carbon seal for draw thru applications which isn't a issue for diesel engine............... bang for buck nothing wrong with Chinese turbos



Cheers Anthony

timtams
Dernburg Wagon
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun 31 May, 2015 10:37 am
Model you own: w123

Re: Turbo OM 617

Post by timtams » Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:06 am

Tony From West Oz wrote:
timtams wrote:Im also doing this conversion as we speak, Ive imported the factory manifold for this as it was $112 delivered from the US and I will see if it needs any other mods once that's bolted up
Was that for both manifolds?

Merry Christmas,
Tony
Hey tony,

Nah I only bought the exhaust for now, in guessing that running an intercooler the factory inlet will need modifications anyway

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