616 617 Used Diesel Engine Transplant / Major Service Requirements

Don't just install the engine without taking care of a number of potential problems

Whether you are just acquiring an old Mercedes diesel or plan to swap out a tired engine, there are a number of service issues you will have to deal with.  If you choose to ignore them they can jump up and bite you - as well as empty your wallet! Any engine over 18 years old (regardless of mileage) is going to have parts that need replacing. 616 and 617 diesel engines can run for many thousands of miles, but the problems you can experience with them almost always stem from parts made of fiber, carbon, rubber, plastic and even steel. This translates to hoses, seals, gaskets, mounts, brushes, belts, elements and even high wear metal.

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Problem & Solution

Common among these chassis:


If you want a reliable daily driver, I strongly recommend the following action: The list below includes those parts that has a high probability of failing. If you are replacing an engine it is much easier installing most of these parts while the engine is out of the car and on a bench or cart. If your current engine passes my recommended phyiscal exam then consider inspecting and replacing those items in question. If you don't have maintenance records then you will have to error on the side of caution. These all are such common maintenance items that I include installation instructions with most parts when you order them from us. CLICK ON each item to read the complete kit description:

NOTE: You can use this outline as a checklist for repairs you can make on your own 616 or 617 diesel engine even if it is in the car!!!





Tips on removing and replacing a diesel engine:

The engine and transmission should come out together. You will need to remove the radiator but not the A/C condensor. Place a piece of thin plywood on the back side of the condensor to protect it.  You MUST use an engine hoist with an ENGINE TILTER attached. This will allow you to tilt the front of the engine up at a step angle to lift it up and over the front core support. The tilter will make it much easier to install the engine since you can make fine adjustments on how level it is to the cars chassis.

If you are planning to remove the transmission from the engine later, remove the torque converter bolts and lower bellhousing bolts before removing from the car. These bolts are much easier to get to with it in the car. Be sure to drain all fluids thoroughly or you will have coolant and tranmission fluid all over the floor.