OM617 diesel swap


cbr600rx7

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I have been kicking this idea around in my head for a few months now. I had basicly settled on a 2.3 to 2.5 Lima swap but the diesel still looks attractive.
Probaly being a diesel mechanic explains my love for IDI oil burners.

Goal:
So what's the goal I need all this you ask? Well to the short response is a 30 MPG small pick up that can still pull a small 5x10 utility trailer and get out of its own way. This is definitely a tall order to fill so here's the game plan.

How are we going to reach our goal:
Reducing weight, overdrive transmission, manual trans vs automatic, better gearing, allowing the motor to breath with out restrictions, basic tuning to maximize our combination.

Power:
As for power the tired ford 2.3 Lima was only rated at 100hp/133tq at the fly wheel. Even if we swapped a newer 2.5 Lima long block in the factory rating is still only 117hp/149tq at the crank. I feel confident a well maintained OM617 with the basic mods and pump tuning can put those kind of numbers to the ground with no issues. Meaning if we can get a realistic 115/165tq to the wheels with the OM617 we would have far out performed the factory motor considering the power loss from the drivetrain to the wheels. For those that don't know a lot about the OM617 they are rated at 125hp/180tq at the crank. Generally it's not hard to get them to put down 110-130hp and 180-200 tq to the ground with the basic mods and pump tuning however they are pump limited. To make any thing over 140 horses at the wheels requires extensive pump modification, intercooler, and a better turbo. For our project if we do decide to go this route we would keep it simple and aim for over all drivability with the help of a boost and EGT gauge to fine tune her.

Weight:
The ranger has a small weight advantage tiping the scales at about 3000-3100lbs compared to the 300D at roughly 3400-3500lbs. This is a good steep in the right direction since the 300D typically gets high into the high 20s for MPG to start with.

Transmission/clutch:
For the transmission we will be using a ford 5 speed. Using the 5MOD-R2 gives us almost the exact same gearing as the MB automatic from first to forth gear but of course has the huge advantage over the MB auto since the ford transmission has over drive. R2 transmission out of a 2WD 4.2 F150 is a important part since the shift lever sits back more on the newer body style trucks. This sits the shift tower closer to the rangers factory shift hole. It also shares the SBF bell housing unlike other newer body style fords that run the 4.6 or 5.4 mod style bellhousing. Since the 4.2 does use the SBC housing we can use aftermarket adapters for a clean install. We will be using a stock 4.2 duralast clutch since they are cheap and have a life time warranty. I don't expect any issues with a stock 4.2 clutch behind a OM617.

Rear and gear:
Currently the ranger has a stock 7.5 ford rear end with 3.55 gears. However this will eventually be swapped out to a stronger explorer 8.8 LSD disk brake rear end with 3.73 gears. This gearing was selected to give use better performance in first to forth gear but still allow us to lower our cruising RPMs slightly in 5th. Our finial drive ratio in 5th gear with this combo is 2.98 slightly lower then the 300D factory 3.08 Final drive with a 3.08 rear end of course. Since the rangers tires are roughly 1.5 inches taller this combination lowers are cruising RPM at 70 mph by roughly 250 rpms. This is only a about 7% reduction from what MB originally intended the OM617 to cruise at in top gear.

Tires:
For tires we don't plan on running any thing special. Probaly the stock 15 inch rims with around a 26 inch stock tire on all 4 corners.

Motor:
For the OM617 her self nothing special is planed. We will be using the stock MB PS pump and using it to power the ford steering and hydra boost brake assists. EGR delete, timing, boost, and injection pump will be adjusted as needed for best economy/performance ratio. And the exhaust will be a 2.25 inch turbo back into a free flowing muffler and exit in the stock location.

Cooling:
Cooling will depend on space once we get every thing in there but I am hoping we can massage the fire wall and slide the engine back enough to run a radiator in the stock location. No AC on this rig and really don't need it.

Fuel:
For the fuel system we will be using the stock fuel tank with a draw tube and electric fuel pump removed. The plan is to use the stock OM617 lift pump with the factory MB fuel filter housing.

Oil/lube
For oil cooling I would like to use the OEM MB oil cooler and lines but we will have to see if that's possible. Also we will need to figure out if the oil filter will need to be relocated or if it can stay in the OEM location.

So what do you guys think. I know this is a 4 cylinder diesel section but it seems like the best spot to post about diesel even if this one has a extra cylinder.
 


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fte

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My .02 I have been down the OM617 road before and believe there is many other diesel choices out there that better. TDI, Kubota, Mitsubishi, just to name a few. The latter Benz motors are better as well. I moved to the Kubota and have never looked back, the 2.2 4cyl will out perform the OM617 on every level and get 40+ mpg in a 2wd Ranger. The TDI does the same, although with a computer but tuning is a plus.
 

RonD

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Yes, I agree :)

But in another thread cbr600rx7 has said he is a diesel mechanic and knows the OM617 pretty well so that tips the balance in favor of that choice.
Better MPG and good power would be the goal, not best MPG, or you wouldn't even consider a pickup truck platform, lol.
 

cbr600rx7

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Here is the link to the other thread so every one is on the same page.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171442


The OM617 seems to offer a good balance between affordability, fuel economy, power, durability, and refinement. They are smooth compared to a lot of IDI diesels. cost wise I figure $1000 for a rusted out 300D, $400 for a used 2WD R2 transmission, $425 for the adaptor plate kit, and of course add up the other misc items that tend to add up so fast.

4BT is heavy, vibrates your teeth out, has a narrow power band, and your not finding a running 4BT for under $3000. Add a better turbo then the H1C, intercooler, and a transmission upgrade and your going to be $5000 into it fast.

4D55 is also a great motor. However they are rare in the states. Fuel economy is good however the 85 horsepower and 135 torque is not exactly great. It would still need a transmission swap as well since I don't think the R1 transmission will bolt up. They are also very limited on power even with mods.

2.2 Perkins is extreamly fuel efficient and known to last forever. However at 60 horsepower and 90 torque it is underpowered. You can probaly just swap the older ranger 4 speed in and call it a day.

1.9 TDI is also a great diesel however this is probaly the most complicated of this list. While it is very compact, provides great MPGs, has a good torque curve, and does every thing right the down side is cost and wiring. If cost and time wasn't a factor this would probably be the best swap for a ranger.

Others: of course the list of diesel options goes on and on. For fuel economy a lot of small tractor and generator engines are great for fuel economy. However they lack refinement IMOP.
 

Ram Man 02

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Im all in favor of more diesel swaps especially in little trucks. I think its a great idea and I wish you the best of luck! If you like the Mercedes diesels and they offer you what you want then it sounds like a great choice.

The TDI and Kubota have caught my attention in the past but I dumped my old truck in favor of a 2011 that doesn't require any attention. sometimes I wish I had kept the beater and gone forward with a diesel swap for the better mileage and torque.

Ill be watching your progress!!
 

cbr600rx7

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Personally the TDI 1.9 VW is probaly the best way to go for the ranger. However it's a very complicated swap and requires extensive wiring and fabrication. It's also one of the more expensive swaps.

The OM617 basicly only needs one wire to run, doesn't need a intercooler in stock form, and is adjustable with out the need of computer or running software.
 

Ram Man 02

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You are correct. That all played into my decision as well. I wanted to find a way to make it work but in the end the newer truck won. As you make progress be sure to post pictures!
 

cbr600rx7

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It's something we are still planing. Thanks to the internet I have found a few guys who have done the swap and we are still going to move forward with it once the weather warms up a bit.
 

Bretsk2500

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I am curious... which Kubota engine? AFAIK, they top out at 85 hp....

My friend had a TD Isuzu pup back when we were in HS (class of '92)... my god that truck was quick... and got ridiculous mileage for the time...
 

Ram Man 02

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The Kubota engine referenced is a V2203DI. They come in both turbo and non turboed depending on where it came from. so for any kind of useable power a turbo must be added and the pump probably needs to be tweaked as well.
 


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