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 Post subject: The 300D50 Diesel Power Ram 50, a work in progress.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:43 am 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
Well, first some background on the truck.

The truck is a 1989 Dodge Power Ram 50 that was purchased private sale for $100 sometime in 2007, can't remember exact date.

Had a 2.6L 4cyl Mitsubishi gas engine with a leaking head gasket, which ran and could have been salvaged, but peanut butter oil usually means shot/near dead bearings.
As this truck was intended to have a diesel swapped into it, no attempt at resurrection was made.

A donor 240D Mercedes Benz sedan was found at the local pull-a-part yard, and the engine and tranny pulled for somewhere around $175.

The engine was a 4cyl 2.4L Daimler-Benz OM616 NA Diesel, coupled to a manual gearbox.

The engine was started on the ground at my place and ran for a few seconds before being shut down, due to lack of radiator and coolant.
The short duration of the test is significant, in that it allowed me to overlook a fatal issue that will be discussed later.

After the donor engine was found, the Mitsubishi engine was removed, along with it's emissions system junk and all the other nonsense it needed.

An adapter plate was then fabricated out of 1/4" plate steel to adapt the engine to the existing Mitsubishi transmission, and was attached to the engine.
Luckily the stock throw out bearing on the Mitsubishi tranny could be used with the OEM Daimler flywheel and pressure plate, and the whole thing bolted together quite nicely, the only modifications being a cutout in the tranny bellhousing to accept the pasanger side starter configuration of the Benz, a slight chamfer being put on the flywheel so that it did not rub the bellhousing, and a custom brass pilot bushing.

The clutch on the other hand, is a total bastard child one-off.....

It started out as a very baddly worn mitsubishi clutch,and it turned into something quite unique.

First the old clutch pad material was removed from the fingers, and clutch pad material from a John Deer bulldozer steering clutch pack riveted in it's place. The clutch was then chucked in a lathe and turned down to the size of the Benz clutch, or slightly larger, I can't remember and can't find the Benz clutch at the moment...

So needless to say, the clutch surface is nearly twice as thick, and has some very heavy duty pad material, that i HOPE will give some long service life.

Another stroke of luck, is that the stock clutch pedal linkage, when adjusted properly, will still fully disengage the clutch even with the increased thickness.

After the engine was lowered in, the motor mounts were fabricated to fit the Benz engine.

The exhaust system was then installed, which consisted of the quick-n-dirty homemade flange, a copper flashing seeling gasket, a 2" elbow, some 2 1/2" inch exhaust pipe, and a 2 1/2" cherrybomb resonator. This was spliced to the stock exhaust system from in front of the axle back, mostly because of time, funding, and the fact that it can be a pain to get the right bends in the pipe to go over the axle anyways. It will soon be redone with 2 1/2" from the header back, keeping the cherrybomb but replacing the stock exhaust over the axle.

Since the truck is past the cut-off date for emissions, no cat or emissions system are needed.

The stock radiator was reused after a thorough flush, and a new fan spacer was made for the engine fan, so that it didn't hit the radiator.

The thermostat housing was re-taped for the Mitsubishi temp sensor, and and the oil pressure idiot lamp switch was installed, along with a real oil pressure gauge.

The York AC compressor on the Benz was retained as an onboard air source, which is made possible by the fact that the York compressor is lubricated by it's own oil supply, and not by oil circulating in the AC system lines.

Other miscellaneous things such as installing the glowplug indicator and the injector pump control switch were then completed,

As anyone knows, something always has to go wrong.

And it did.

It turns out the fuel control rack on the injector pump was stuck wide-open, dumping the maximum amount of fuel into the engine at all times, causing a near-grenade when the engine was actually started with a sufficient fuel supply, and not just the cup or so in the filter. This was averted with a rag in the intake and my dad pulling the fuel line off, which was no fun ordeal due to the hose clamps.

Anyone who knows anything about a diesel engine can tell you, that the only thing stopping a diesel from grenading is the amount of fuel and air it gets metered. and in this case, there was enough fuel that the engine could have easily got to a high enough rpm, that even with the intake clogged off and fuel cut, it could have started aspirating engine oil and air from the crankcase, which basically means "duck and cover". Thankfully that didn't happen.

Turns out that the few seconds it was running on the ground didn't show the stuck rack, as it didn't have enough fuel or time to reach an appreciable rpm.

The rack was unstuck after flushing the pump with kerosene and gasoline, and some manual movement of the rack.

But alas, the injector pump had other issues, and was still dumping way too much fuel into the engine, on the order of being a better bug fogger than a semi going up a hill.

the truck was drivable around the yard, but had no nut and stalled quite easily under load. it also took forever to start when cold.

After re-timing the pump to the engine, adjusting every linkage, etc, all to no avail, it was decided to halt the project and search for another engine.

The reasons for not rebuilding the injector pump, or getting a replacement, were purely cost. Seeing as a rebuild of the pump cannot be completed without specialized equipment and training, and the kit is available only to dealerships or Bosch service centers, that option was not feasible. A rebuilt pump was on the order of around $1000 or so, with a new one being even more expensive. Seeing as the truck was only worth, to me, around $200 it was pointless. It is also quite rare to find a OM616 diesel in a junkyard, as they can go for over 350K miles and still run like new, they are one of the most reliable and dependable engines out there as long as they are properly maintained.

So the truck sat, the roof getting popped in by 5 feet of snow over the winter. I honestly can't remember how long it took to swap the engine.

So, now that you have some background, and probably want to fall asleep, we can get to the current status.

A late 70's(1978 to be exact) 300D Mercedes Benz sedan with a 3.0L inline 5 OM617 and an automatic tranny was found at the local junkyard sometime when there was snow on the ground, aka between late fall 2007 and early spring of 2008,
The car had been in a side-impact crash iirc, but had an intact engine. My cousin and I pulled the engine and tranny, in the snow, on dirt, in less than 4 hours. We had the yard crew hoist it out and onto my cousins trailer, and then piled on the radiator, oil cooler, AC evaporator/condenser, electrical harness, instrument cluster, and the cruise system actuator. There's some other stuff I'm probably forgetting, but if it had to do with the engine or tranny, it got pulled.

The engine then sat in the corner of the barn behind my mom's convertible over the winter of 08 into this year (old farm house in what now is residential zoning, so it's still a barn, but not used as one)

The truck was pulled into our shop sometime around the middle of may, and sat until I got out of college for the semester.

The 3.0L was moved to the shop sometime early this month, can't remember when.

The actual engine is an OM617 3 liter inline 5 Daimler-Benz diesel, with fully mechanical injection, meaning there is no need for any electrical system on the engine, except sensors, the alternator, and the starter.

Idle is 700RPM with redline at 5400RPM

The torque curve is below, the engine is the 617.

Image

om617 – natural aspirated(what i have)
om617a – turbo (what i want, but can't have for various reasons...)
KWatts = 1.341 horsepower
N-m = .738 ft-lbs

So that puts me at roughly 87hp@4500rpm with 130 ft-lbs torque@2400rpm

The OM617 was started for the first time sometime around the 14th of this month. It had a hissy-fit initially, but eventually came to life after putting 36V on the starter(it's beefy enough it didn't care), 12V on the glowplugs(stock voltage for the plugs, bad juju if it's much over that), and a simultaneous shot of ether and MPL lube sprayed in the intake.(gotta keep those rings lubed when using ether)

The ether and increased starter voltage were only needed once, after that it started quite nicely on 12V and glow.
Purrs like a kitten, roars like a lion, and sounds SO nice with no exhaust on it :twisted:

I plan to run dual battery, with a switchover relay so i can select 24V starting as needed. A block heater is also installed on this engine, and will be used during the winter, along with a vehicle mounted top-off type battery charger, so i never have to be worried about dead/frozen batteries or an engine that refuses to start due to a 25 degree block.

After the engine was verified to be running, and running properly(no 3 second start job, it ran for about 5 minutes with looped back radiator lines),plans were made and a friend helped me pull the 2.4 liter Benz from the truck that weekend. The adapter plate, flywheel/clutch/pressure plate, AC compressor, and alternator were removed from the engine, as well as the temperature sensor. The dummy oil pressure switch was left on for now.

The automatic tranny was split off the 3L, and the flex plate and torque converter removed.
The flywheel from the 2.4L was then bolted on loosely(about 5 ft/lbs), and the dimensions measured to create the new pilot bushing, the old one having been about an inch too short....
The throttle linkage was then removed, and is soaking in kerosene currently to loosen it up, followed by removal of the AC compressor bracket, the AC compressor from the bracket(it has a siezed electric clutch otherwise it would have stayed on the bracket), and the Benz alternator.

An alternator adapter was fabricated, the good AC compressor was put on the AC bracket, and the AC bracket and Mitsubishi alternator were installed.
Image
Image
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Somewhere between all that, the idle control knob was installed in the dash, alongside the start knob left from the previous engine.
Image

The instrument panel was also modified, cleaned, and reinstalled.
Image
Care to take a guess what was changed?

The pilot bushing was fabricated, and tapped into place in the crank, and the flywheel bolts torqued down to 35Nm then 90 degrees angle of rotation. The starter was then installed.
Image
Image

An adapter bushing for the Mitsubishi temp sensor was made from the old Benz temp sensor, and was installed.
Image

The pressure plate would have been torqued on yesterday, but i'm awaiting some replacement bolts.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

More pictures will be added once I have them uploaded to my site and resized. You can click-through any image to get to the gallery and view the medium-size or original photos, as well as some other misc ones i have there.

Here is a short vid of the engine running, if youtube messed it up too bad, i can host the original .avi file.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgRQYZ4wpjg

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Last edited by 300D50 on Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:05 am 
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Posts: 7789
Location: MA
Well, I think you have thoroughly impressed me. Everything about this is awesome. I would love to see more pictures of the truck, the engine-trans adapter plate, and everything else.

Damn, you are making me look bad. :D


-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:42 am 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
All i can get are photo's of the plate mounted to the engine. I didn't think to take any shots of it before or after I painted it (had some surface rust from setting 2 years) , and since it's already mounted and the flywheel installed and torqued down, I doubt It'll be removed anytime soon.

It's just a piece of 1/4" plate steel that was drilled to mount in place of the existing Benz spacer plate/bellhousing adapter, with holes around the edges for the Mitsubishi transmission bellhousing.

If i have time I'll snap some shots of the 2 factory Benz plates I have, ones for an auto and ones for a manual.

As for the truck, it's stuffed in the shop right now, and there's about a foot of squeeze room along the drivers side, and the passenger side is inaccessible. So not many options for camera shots, unless you want an aerial view :P
I do have a few engine-bay shots, and one of the drivers side badges.

If you click through on the first 2 photos, and select full size, you can kinda see some of the modification that was needed to the tranny bellhousing to accept the passenger side starter configuration. it consisted of a few minutes with the plasma cutter, and should soon have a surround to protect from rocks and such.(it's been on the never-ending toodo list since last year...:roll:)

You can also see the exhaust setup for the old 2.4L diesel, have yet to remove it.

Image
Image
Image

Here are some other pics of the clutch and pressure plate, and a few of the fan spacer.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
As always, all images are thumbnails linked to my photo gallery, where you can see larger sizes or the originals(2816x2112 resolution)

Still waiting on the pressure plate bolts, so not much has changed.

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:07 pm 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
Hurrah! Back from Seattle, 6 new 8mm grade 12.9 bolts for the pressure plate, and hopefully everything works this time. Turns out the torque spec that I was using previously was off, since 8mm grade 12.9 has a max torque rating of 29 ft lb, and i was trying to torque to 40-something....

So it's off to the workshop for me, hopefully everything works out.

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:01 pm 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
Hurray for triple posting!

Pressure plate is on, bolts torqued to 25ft·lb.

Cut off the old exhaust flange.

Now it's on to figuring out how to fit the thing in the engine compartment.....

Image

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Posts: 7789
Location: MA
This project is bizarre for sure, yet I love it. Everytime I see diesel parts, they look like they were designed sometime in the 14th century. They always look old and heavy, no matter part it is. :lol:

Keep up the good work, I want to see this pulling stumps out before snow falls.

-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:55 am 
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HAZA! THE ENGINE IS IN THE BAY!

Finally found some time when my dad and I were both free, and willing, so the engine went in yesterday.

Had to cut the brace piece the hood latch bolts onto to get enough clearance to fit the motor in, and even then there wasn't much wiggle room, about a 1/2" between AC clutch and body, likewise for power steering pulley.

As it sits, there's 1/4" between the valve cover and the firewall.

The front frame member needs to get notched out the so that the oil pan and possibly crank pulley can clear, and after that new engine mounts need to be fabbed.

Before:
Image

After:
Image

Image

What fun shall happen next......

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Congrats on getting the engine in! Is it running yet? :D

-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Location: Central NY
It's not running in the truck yet, still got some radiator mounting issues to deal with.

Also have a bumper mock-up i did last night to get measurements for the mounts.

Image


Gotta love that winch bumper....

I also bought a turbo and manifold set for the beast, will be coming in sometime next week if all goes well.


Image

Image

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:34 am 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
Been a slow week or so, but progress has been made.

Radiator is now in it's final resting place, bumper mounts are finished, and bumper is on!

The OEM Benz radiator actualy fit after some work, so the subaru radiator was returned for a refund.
Amazingly, the hood and grill still fit.
Image

You can see how the front part of the body had to get trimmed to allow for the radiator, as well as the relocation of the hood latch.
Image

The piece of plate steel will be trimmed down for less obstruction of the radiator core, and will have brackets added to bolt onto the old radiator mounting holes for added structural stability.
Image

Image

Passenger side of bumper, showing the lower radiator mounting plate.
Image

There is about a half inch of clearance between the fan blade and the radiator core.
Image

View of the passenger side bumper bracket, the second set of mounting holes has yet to be drilled and gussets have yet to be welded in.
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The overhang... not sure if I'll keep it or shrink it.
Image

The mounting clips for the radiator top section were misplaced, so a new set is being ordered.
There's also plenty of clearance behind the grill for the oil cooler that will be replacing the stock unit.
Image

One of the 2 payloader batteries that will be under the hood.
Image

I still have to get the radiator pluming finished before I can start it, I'll be replacing the hose section that goes to the bottom outlet with a run of either stainless or copper tubing because i don't have a suitably long length of hose with the correct bends in it, and prefer not to have to do a cut-n-clamp job with smaller ones.

That's probably todays project.....

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:35 am 
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Location: MA
That thing is going to be a beast. Diesel's are quite intriguing. Turbocharging it will be sick.

Keep up the great work!
-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:36 am 
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Location: Central NY
Got the length of copper pipe and the 45 elbows to plumb the radiator, that gets tackled Monday or Tuesday, then it's officially time to mess with brakes.

Truck moves under it's own power, pulled it out of the shop onto the cement pad 2 weeks ago and let it run for 5-6 minutes with looped back radiator lines, then proceeded to further adulterate the bottom section of the old rad support area, so that the fan would clear. The cutaway section will be replaced with a welded in sheetmetal brace later n.

I also started cleaning the turbo manifold set, no small chore given the 20+ years of diesel soot in the intake from the EGR system. Block-off plates are on the todo list for sure....

No new pics as of yet.

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:35 pm 
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Posts: 3733
Location: Central NY
This past Saturday the radiator plumbing was finished, no pics of it though.

Wire-tied the rad in place with some 14 gauge wire while I wait on the mounting clips, filled it with coolant, and by goodness, it runs!

Drove it round the yard a bit, clutch cable needs to be replaced or readjusted, since the clutch won't fully disengage, there's also a "rattle" noise when I leave it in neutral, it was happening before the original engine was removed. I'm hoping it's an easy fix or me being paranoid.

Pictures will be put in once they are uploaded.

Image
Image
Image

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Last edited by 300D50 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:22 pm 
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Posts: 7789
Location: MA
Bad ass! There is some real progress being made in here this week. You guys are making me feel like a big loser! :lol:

We are definitely going to need some pics or video of it pulling, dragging, or ripping something. Keep up the great work!

-Jeremy

_________________
Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Location: Central NY
Your not a looser J, you've just got that pesky thing called a life to deal with. :lol:

As for pulling something, that'll have to wait until the brakes are done. No fun having a pedal that goes to the floor.

It roves around at idle just fine in 4-low 1st gear, up hill, down hill, flat. Can't seem to stall it out.

It's living outside now, so that means it'll finally get washed.(rain rain, clean my truck!) :roll:

_________________
Walt
06 RX-8 Shinka
91 3000GT VR4
01 Tibb
Some people never have anything except ideas. Go do it.
Emissions & fuel economy haven't exactly been areas of strength for past rotary power plants, but absolutely no one with a soul has ever cared.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 am
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