Date registered: Nov 2002
Vehicle: 1980 LWB 280GE
Location: Bailey, CO, USA
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RE: G engine swap
For the swap from 230G to OM617A (5cyl 3 liter all iron turbodiesel):
At the least you'll need engine support arms and motor mounts from a 300GD. Then you'll need an oil cooler and lines from a 300GD. A radiator from a 280GE works well too (need more cooling than 300GD rad gives). I THINK you can use your existing transmission and bell housing, but not certain, 4x4 rancher would know better as he's seen a 230G up close and I haven't. You'll need a clutch and flywheel for that 300 turbodiesel and since they mainly came with auto boxes from the factory, your best bet is clutch and flywheel from a 300GD (clutch stuff from cars like 240D is way too light duty for G). Make sure the engine you get still has the flywheel from teh auto box as you'll need it to match-balance the flywheel you'll be installing. You'll also need a bunch of parts out of the car that donated the engine. Stuff like the idle adjuster cable, glow timer relay, overpressure shut-down plumbing, tach adapter, and probably more things I'm forgetting right now. The turbocharged motor will also want a larger exhaust than the 230 is fitted with from the factory, so if this hasn't already been opened out to like 2.5" front to rear, you'll want to do that. There are a couple minor mods to the fuel delivery system to eliminate the fuel pump and the in-line filter on the 280GE (fuel injected) but these might not apply to the carbureted 230G.
Can you see a pattern here? In my effort to put a 300 turbodiesel into my 280GE, I'm finding it's really obvious that the right thing to do is to start with a 300GD. If you're not emotionally attached to the particular G you have now, it's probably best to sell it, buy a 300GD, and start the swap to the turbodiesel from there. Just my opinion.