OM642 V6 Mercedes Diesel Engine Conversion

SSF556

SE Expedition Society
OK...so I may have access to an OM642 V6 Mercedes Diesel engine out of a 2007 WK (if price is acceptable). For those folks that have attempted a conversion like this in the past several questions...

1) Should I also get the electronics, wiring harness, mcm, ignition as well?

2) Because of the electronics involved is this a crazy stupid idea?

3) What should be the vehicle?...I am leaning towards a JK but it may be better in a JKU. Wild hair would be a G500/550 or G320. The G320 came with the OM642 (in Europe) so it fits. I have seen some G320s for sale on the internet but again it would an expensive initial purchase plus the conversion.

4) Again is this a crazy stupid idea....

Again throw out some ideas....
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I'm just about to turn the key on my OM606 JKUR.
We made the engine entirely mechanical using the injection pump from the earlier OM603, because computer stuff for these engines is very hard.
The odd person in Europe has figured out how to delete the immobilizer, but as yet the info doesn't appear to be public.

My mechanic has an OM648, and an OM612 lying around, and I've done about a million hours of research into them, and the OM642.

I would absolutely get all the wiring you can, and try to run it with that.

Discussions come up on http://www.superturbodiesel.com/std/ every month or so about a standalone for the Computer controlled V6 diesel Mercs, and they usually go nowhere pretty fast. It would seem you can get something from Bosch that would drive it, for something like $8k.

What transmission are you thinking?

I personally am happy to have a 6 speed stick so I don't have to worry about another computer-controlled element in the loop.

-Dan
 

SSF556

SE Expedition Society
I'm just about to turn the key on my OM606 JKUR.
We made the engine entirely mechanical using the injection pump from the earlier OM603, because computer stuff for these engines is very hard.
The odd person in Europe has figured out how to delete the immobilizer, but as yet the info doesn't appear to be public.

My mechanic has an OM648, and an OM612 lying around, and I've done about a million hours of research into them, and the OM642.

I would absolutely get all the wiring you can, and try to run it with that.

Discussions come up on http://www.superturbodiesel.com/std/ every month or so about a standalone for the Computer controlled V6 diesel Mercs, and they usually go nowhere pretty fast. It would seem you can get something from Bosch that would drive it, for something like $8k.

What transmission are you thinking?

I personally am happy to have a 6 speed stick so I don't have to worry about another computer-controlled element in the loop.

-Dan
Thanks Dan...ideally it would be a manual gearbox, but the Mercedes auto that is in the JK and WK seems to be pretty bullet proof.

Yes the electronic side is going to be the issue. I believe the engine is a great engine and makes sense..it is just all the electronics that are needed to make it run properly. Not sure even the complete wiring harness would make it plug and play.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
I know from discussions on the sprinter forum - the requirements for the electrical system to function is pretty long - the main "ecu" has to also see the correct "screem" module (ignition key security) and possibly a body control computer (?) which I think handles the door locks / remote keys. Since the ECU also talks with the other components (transmission, wheel sensors, DPF etc.) they would also need to be implemented correctly or an error will be indicated - or - the engine will switch to "limp" mode.
 

McBride

Adventurer
Maybe check in with the guys over at ClubGwagen. They do a lot of engine swaps. Pointedthree forum is another great resource.
 

Jason911

Adventurer
If you do get the crd - double check the function of the swirl motor. They were prone to failure, and very costly to replace, although a $1.89 resistor from Radio Shack would fix it, or a tune from GDE.com would as well. Also check and maybe replace the crank position sensor, also prone to random failure. Beyond that, the engine is very durable. I kinda wish I still had my '08 GC CRD.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
Legally, no. It is illegal to install an older engine into a newer vehicle.

That said, if you were to procure this engine, GET AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Ideally, I'd say get the complete donor vehicle if you can. Full gauges, throttle pedal, wiring connector, everything. With engine swaps, its the little crap that nails you. Being able to go out to the donor car, finding the part you need, painting it, and bolting it on vs. ordering it, etc saves so much in the end. Then when you are done, take the spares you want and junk the rest.

In the rover world, one simply gets a british truck, cuts everything after the B-pillar off, doors, roof, front windshield, and brings the rest in. GREAT way to get everything you need and since it isn't a full vehicle, its just parts.
 

comptiger5000

Adventurer
If you've got the entire donor vehicle, it shouldn't be too bad to make the electronics work. As LR Max said, you'll likely keep finding more bits and pieces that need to be swapped over.
 

Sabre

Overlanding Nurse
I dunno...not to poo poo someone's ideas, but my experience with two Sprinters tells me to avoid all the MB electronica at all costs. They're SO finicky, over-engineered to the point of being super-efficient yet super-fragile. One of mine would hardly run and it took weeks to figure out that the ECM was misbehaving because a TAIL LIGHT filament was shorted. Yeah, they say that you could get a Sprinter engine in Europe without all the computer stuff, but go try to find one. If such a beast even does exist, what would it cost to get hold of one?

I'd go with an old OM617 turbo any day of the week. Robust, all iron, no aluminum, minimal electrics and a "dumb" engine. No brains, no headache.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
I just looked to see if there was an industrial engine version of this engine. Couldn't find anything.

If there was, often times there are installation manuals. Helps with designing coolant packages, wiring harness interface, etc.
 

SSF556

SE Expedition Society
I just looked to see if there was an industrial engine version of this engine. Couldn't find anything.

If there was, often times there are installation manuals. Helps with designing coolant packages, wiring harness interface, etc.
This article indicates that Continental Motors has used the OM642 as an aircraft engine designation CD300....so the engine can run without all the automotive electronics. Article mentions that testing has begun using the engine.

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2014/July/30/Continental-310-hp-diesel-makes-first-flight


 
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SSF556

SE Expedition Society
Also this is the same engine Mercedes broke the long distance world record...100,000 miles @ an average speed of 139mph.

 

LR Max

Local Oaf
This article indicates that Continental Motors has used the OM642 as an aircraft engine designation CD300....so the engine can run without all the automotive electronics. Article mentions that testing has begun using the engine.

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2014/July/30/Continental-310-hp-diesel-makes-first-flight


True. However it looks like they made their own computer, wiring harness, etc. These are all pains in the rear and I'm sure Mercedes gave them all of the required voltages, etc to make it work.

You could look at doing something like megasquirt, run in "fuel only" mode. But you'd need to rig up a EGT and trick the computer into thinking its a O2 sensor. However it still won't help you with the fly by wire throttle and interfacing the new sensors with your current gauge cluster. It would be completely stand alone and would probably freak out your current ECUs. Make the glow plugs manual. Oh and then you'd need to tune it. Which is fine until you have a super cold day and you haven't fully tested the cold-start features.

I think retaining the stock Mercedes electronics and wiring is going to be the easiest, cheapest, quickest route.

If you are purely looking for power, go get your diesel tuned. They do it all the time with the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Seems like ~$500 gets you more power, more mileage, and better throttle response. Also can be wrapped up in an afternoon while you sit in the waiting room, playing on your smart phone. Really, that would be easier and wouldn't put your rig down for 6~10 months.
 

comptiger5000

Adventurer
Hmm... Megasquirt for diesels. Now that's a thought. Not sure if anything like that exists though.

As far as that Continental variant of the engine, they most likely kept it electronic using their own aircraft-grade ECU (referred to as a FADEC).
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
As far as that Continental variant of the engine, they most likely kept it electronic using their own aircraft-grade ECU (referred to as a FADEC).
Indeed. If you look at the video, at 0:54, it shows a close up of the common rail system.

Common rail needs a computer to work.

This would definitely be an awesome conversion. However its gonna be a lot of work and complicated. To deny that up front would be a setup for failure.
 
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