For all those 404 owners who are planning to recondition their motor, 10 minutes with a hack saw as shown by the photos, will save you a whole heap of time and particuarly if you do not have a lot of room to remove the cabin from the chasis. I removed both manifolds to make it easier to extract the motor. Once this was done within half a hour the motor was out. I bored out the block and sleeved the motor as the bores were too oval just to put pistons and rings in. Many thanks to Michael Smith from unipaser for all his help. The hardest part of the whole job was reconnection the PTO to the winch. We are 1600ks from home on the rebuilt engine. It is good to look underneath and not see any oil on the engine block or sump. Used half a litre of oil since home.
P.S. I would post attachments but they are my computer not on the net
I think that I have managed to upload pics of the rebuild as a matter of interest I have bolted a section across the top of the cut section and intend to weld it back together with 1600ks of dirt tracks there has been no movement in this section.
A couple of times a year we will get questions from a new owner asking about the procedure to cut the front for engine removal. We have to explain that we have never found any official documentation from Mercedes on this, and DO NOT recommend this procedure except in extremely rare situations. (404 LF8 in location with no ability to pull the entire body.)
I cannot see any time savings unless the customer does not plan to properly paint/weld/box the front after the hack. Engine removal on these trucks is not that difficult via the standard procedure of removing the cab, and is not a common thing to be done.
The biggest issue.....Resale value. We will rarely even consider a truck that has been cut like this. If Billy Bob couldn't figure out how to remove the cab (maybe a 2-3 hour job if never done before) I would have to question the level of mechanical work that he did with the rest of the work on the truck after cutting the front to pull the engine.
The idea that this is becoming "standard" is a bit scary. It is NOT standard and you would have a hard time convincing anyone that has actually worked on a 404 that it is an "upgrade."