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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I just got a 1970 280sl that has no running gear. I want to put a diesel in it. Which diesel should I use? I want the engine to be as light as possible, yet have 125 - 200 horsepower i.e turbocharged. Can anybody offer any suggestions? I have a 1980 300sd currently with a solid motor I could steal but it is pretty sluggish. Then again the 300sd is a tank.
 

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Now THAT is something that I might want to try myself, if there were'nt so few of the cars around. Were it me, I would probably look for a correct drivetrain for it. I have thought that a diesel into the later SL's would not be too blasphemous since they are a dime a dozen

Being that it isn't me, and I have not even gotten around to the question at hand, I would recommend a late(r) 80's OM 602 or 603 engine. These are the 2.5 and 3.0 engines, respectively. The only reason for the 2.5 over the 3.0 would be the physical dimensions of the engine and compartment. Transmission fitment would likely play a large role in this conversion, though. They both use the same tranny, but IIRC the tunnel in the 1970 SL is kinda small.

Where are you located? I might know of a couple diesel engines local (to me).
 

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280sl diesel

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a city called Pleasant Hill. I saw that you are in Southern California so maybe our paths with cross someday. I want to go the diesel route over the original route because I am in the diesel business and it would be a great toy and a write-off :) I would be interested in any diesel engines you can find. What about the power I wanted though, 125 - 200 horsepower? Will these motors be able to get me there? I am guessing that a turbo/turbos will be the only way to get there with the older merc diesels.
 

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Yes, either of those motors should do the trick for you, but the OM603 (the company's code for the engine) is a little harder to find. They were imported in the '86 and '87 300SD's and only the '87 300D's. Beware the 3.5 liter 603 due to some serious rod and cylinder issues. The OM602 was used in the '90-'93 300D's as well as the '87 190D. All these are the turbo versions that I am talking about, and have some computer controls to a small degree. I think the OM603 has the most to offer and I believe rates at about 140HP. I forget what the 2.5 rates at in my '93.

There was also the non-turbo OM606 engine the came in the '95 (and later) and was not turbo until '98 but I think that would not offer much reward for the effort, as it is more complicated and the non-turbo had less power than the 603 turbo, but more than the 602 turbo.

Also worth considering might be the dodge sprinter engine, which is a 2.7L mercedes diesel engine, but I really have no experience with that.

This ought to be a very interesting venture, since it sounds as though you have the resources. What kind of diesel business is this?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
280 sl diesel

Thanks for the info on the different engines. I thought about a dodge sprinter engine also but I am unsure of the computer/electronics that would be needed. I will start looking for a good donor OM603 vehicle. I work for a family owned petroleum distributorship as well as own a commercial scale biodiesel production plant that is nearing completion. So the engine would be run on Bio or a bio blend most of the time. I will keep in touch with you about where the project goes. Please let me know if you think of anything else that I should research.

Thanks again,

Pat
 
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