Diesel Jeep Commanche Update / Rant

It is still running! OK, I have actually had one hell of a rough time with this swap project. Other people have swapped OM617 Mercedes diesels into these trucks but, I have never seen any others that were 4Wd (IF, In all my internet searching I missed you and your diesel jeep let me know) . No one else seems to realize that adapting these engines to Chevy transmissions is actually pretty easy. I used a S10 t-5 and a 240d flywheel with a garage-built (not machine shop) adapter between the Mercedes 240d bellhousing and the T-5. None of this caused any great problems…. unlike the front sump oil pan that wants to be right where the axle and steering parts are.  This was mostly solved by by lifting the Jeep about 6 inches. Other people with 2wd trucks seem to use rack and pinion steering setups to get around the pan. I used a Dodge 3/4 ton van steering box that steers “backward”, moved the box back about 4 inches and the pitman arm now sticks out forward and just clears the front of the pan. This also just provided just enough room to retain the Merc oil cooler on the side of the radiator and still keep the stock oil lines. One of which already is leaking and making a mess. At least I built it so I can get it out.  This swap still took more time and irritation than any swap I have ever done.  Smallblock in a Vega? Cake. Cummins 6bt in a M715 Sprung under? No problem. Mercedes Om 601 diesel in a GPW… took one week – one week before the big annual trip to Moab. This Commanche took 2 1/2 years of on again off again frustration and I still have a bunch of details to sort out like the non-op tach (6 cylinder tach signal from a 5 cylinder diesel) or the speedometer that quit the other day- apparently, not from the swap, it just decided to not participate anymore.  Still it is enjoyable to drive with the five speed, and IS quite peppy for a old school type diesel. No diesel smoke is visible since I changed the injectors to some from a Om 603 that I was able to get at the local salvage yard. Runs smoother too. Am currently holding out on the boost fuel compensator (alda) adjustment. Fuel mileage is in the low 30s per US gallon so, my goal of a fuel efficient truck is slowly being realized but I probably would not do this particular swap again. I DO still have a 4bt sitting around, wonder what project could I start with that…..?  FC 170? 48 Chevy 3600? 84 CJ-7? Yours Truly, an Incurable Diesel Swapper.


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