Parts and service for MB SK platform

pcericm

New member
I had a few questions with regards to supporting an older MB platform here in the US. I have a lead on an MB 2644 6x6 (very low miles firetruck) that has an OM442 LA motor/Allison transmission and plan on potentially using this as a chassis for my RTW vehicle since we can't have nice cabovers (aka MAN/new MBs) here. For those who are running NG/SK platforms, have you been able to leverage the Mercedes dealership network for parts at all? Or have you needed to rely on a second hand resale of parts given the age from online/European service shops? Any favorites/go-to vendors for such parts? This vehicle will live here in the US and I'll be teething the platform here in North America before heading to SA and then overseas, so I am somewhat expecting issues to come up along the way. I am also oddly worried about more basic things like being able to get a windshield in the event it ends up cracking (which I expect here, unfortunately).

Given that the OM442 LA is a fairly simple motor, is it safe to assume that a competent diesel mechanic is going to be able to work on it without too much trouble (assuming I obtain any parts required for such service)? I am decently competent on wrenching on smaller motors, but unsure about commercial diesel's (pretty sure I can pick it up fairly quickly). From all the research I have done thus far, it looks like it's a pretty service friendly design, but without any experience with one - hard to tell :)

And for anyone running OM42X engine platforms here, any tips/lessons learned/things to look out for when running one of these beasts?

Thanks in advance!
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Ok, so here is my 2 cents living with our 1988 1120AF in the USA.

1. Make sure you have access to the EPC so you can look up your own part numbers
2. Be prepared to have to pay for shipping from Europe, I get parts from a few different places. Both the German and UK eBays, WoxParts in Latvia and carparts-pros in Germany. Also, look in the US eBay. I have found parts there, but I think our OM366LA is ever so slightly more common in the USA.
3. @DiploStrat is correct about diesel repair shops. It took me a while to find one willing to look at our truck, and they did only because Covid had killed their business. The concern is not being able to get parts and clogging up the bay. I showed them that I already had the parts on order and I had the EPC and workshop manual for our truck. It made the difference and the mechanic had no problems working on our engine.
4. Be ready to do a bit of mechanics yourself, if you can, you will save yourself some frustration when something happens on the road. Compared to modern trucks these are pretty basic machines.

Now about Mercedes and trucks in the USA. It seems Mercedes is broken up into 3 divisions in the USA. Passenger vehicles, Sprinters and trucks. Trucks though are Freightliner and Western Star among others. This is all still a work in progress but I am trying to work through these layers. See, I spoke a Mercedes passenger vehicle parts person who was very good (she was used to the old gray market days and how to find those parts). She was actually able to lookup my VIN and get my windshield (yup, I need one) part number. Problem was she was not allowed to order the "truck" part. I would need to call a parts person at a Freightliner dealership to order the part. Well, I did call but that parts person was unable to find our VIN. A bit frustrating as I am pretty sure it is the same parts system with likely a different set of filters depending on division. So, with any luck I will be able work out how to get the truck parts person to find our vin. Plan is to ask both of them nicely to see if the passenger car parts person can give up the secret on how she found our VIN to the truck parts person. If I can get the Freightliner guy to find our VIN I will share his contact info with the group.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hi Pcericm.

From what I've learned on here parts for most older Euro trucks are hard to get in the US. However, they are fairly easily found in the rest of the world. There's plenty of SK's and a few NG's still running around locally to me here in Oz, and the main dealer will still get most parts, and most major citys have a Merc wrecker. I get on well with mine in Adelaide!

As for the OM 441/442 engines. yes, they are very simple. Each cylinder head is a single unit, so you an easily carry a single head gasket and rocker gasket or two. Fuel lines are all standard stuff, and fuel filters should be easily matched. Order and carry a few spares. Touch wood we've had little drama's with ours during build. It was slow to start if left for more than a few days, but a local Merc guru told me to replace the leak off lines that link each injector. He said 'be sure to replace it all, as f there's a pin prick hole in one then the fuel will run back'. I did and he was right. We are about to find out how reliable ours really is when we drive from Adelaide to Broken Hill, then across to Perth and up to Broome next month!!

We need to see a pic of the truck you have found. Sounds great!
 
Last edited:

Joe917

Explorer
For the USA Rob Pickering at Terry Lee Enterprises is THE guy, parts and Mercedes trained mechanic. In Canada Hans Mross in BC. Pacific Power Group has the EPC and can order parts. Oil and Fuel filters can be ordered on Amazon. Add a fuel pre filter water separator if the truck does not have one.
Forget about Mercedes dealerships in Canada and the USA.
Get glass insurance and let the insurance company worry about it!
 

Joe917

Explorer
In South America , if we had an issue we were always told " no we don't have the parts for your truck". After sweet talking and begging , a mechanic would look at it and say " oh we have that, that's the same engine as the truck over there!" They just weren't interested in anything out of the ordinary. Getting past the gate keeper is the hardest part.
 

pcericm

New member
Thank you guys so much for the responses and the information. Good to know that an element of keeping a vehicle like this running in different parts of the world is sweet talking and begging :)
 

Forum statistics

Threads
177,422
Messages
2,771,275
Members
211,977
Latest member
Mojack1995
Top