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Unread Yesterday, 11:47 AM   #1
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: dallas, tx
Posts: 4
MB OM617 diesel conversion

Has anyone on this forum put a Mercedes diesel in their XJ? I am an old MB diesel fan and like the simple robust design of the OM617 turbo diesel engine. 30 mpg is pretty easy to achieve in the S class 4k lb sedan.

I have a couple of donor engines and have found this company that offers a kit.

It looks like cutting the upper oil pan would be the worst of it.

My 4.0 is pretty tired and I'm done with the constant EFI problems.

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Unread Yesterday, 12:49 PM   #2
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland - on the European side of the Atlantic
Posts: 5,313
Here across the ocean I've seen quite a few OM617 diesel swaps on XJs and MJs. Usually with a few engine upgrades to give it a bit more oomph

I've seen an OM617 swap on this forum as well, but can't for the life of me remember who it was doing the swap. I'm sure you can find it with google. The swap itself shouldn't be that hard, especially with the adaptors etc. being offered these days.
1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread Yesterday, 03:49 PM   #3
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Purmerend, The Netherlands
Posts: 62
Over here in the Netherlands those engines are banned because of their poor emission factor.
But I do feel your emotion, they were the best.
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Unread Yesterday, 04:11 PM   #4
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: dallas, tx
Posts: 4
I have two '87 XJs that could be candidates for the om617. And, just happen to have a few spare 617s I've been hanging on for the day when my 300SD dies. I don't think that will ever happen so I might as well look into putting them in the XJ.

Cutting the upper oil pan has been mentioned since the 617 is a front sump. I'm not too keen on the idea of whacking and welding that huge hunk of aluminum. The steel lower pan would be easy to cut and weld. One issue may be the fact the oil pickup is a part of the pump. I'm going to have to do a little more research on this.

Also, dealing with the AW4 TCU might be a challenge to get the shift points right.
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