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1980 LWB 280GE
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Discussion Starter #1
In the near-ish future I might want to be able to fill a left side saddle tank directly. I seem to remember seeing some G's with fuel fillers on the left rear pannel as opposed to the more common right rear.

Anybody know what vehicles might have that left side filler? I'd like to be able to look up part numbers in the EPC, so a model code or better yet, known VIN would be awesome.

But thanks for any kind of help at all, even just to confirm that I'm not halucinating, or imagining it from seeing G's going the other way in my rear-view mirror.
[:)]

If it comes down to it I know I can do the job by grafting a filler neck stub onto a cut version of the saddle tank I have and then grafting in the body-blister in the rear pannel by again cutting one out of an existing right side pannel....but I'd like to do it with Benz parts if it can be so.

-Dave
 

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96 G300DT
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Hipine - 2/22/2005 12:53 PM

In the near-ish future I might want to be able to fill a left side saddle tank directly. I seem to remember seeing some G's with fuel fillers on the left rear pannel as opposed to the more common right rear.

<snip>
-Dave
Do I detect a two tank WVO diesel system in the making?
 

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300GE Cab, 6.9
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Question about the saddle tanks:

My 280GE has the saddle tanks. It's not available to me right now, so I can't look at it to confirm, but I seem to remember noticing that most of the volume of the saddle tanks is above the filler neck. If that is the case, can't they only be filled to the level of the filler neck before fuel starts to come out of the neck? And if there is some system of pumps/check valves/vents to allow the saddle tanks to be filled above the height of the filler neck, wouldn't that preclude the use of a direct filler to the saddle tanks?

- Spalding
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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Discussion Starter #5
RE: Question about the saddle tanks:

Captain Spalding - 2/22/2005 6:27 PM
...I seem to remember noticing that most of the volume of the saddle tanks is above the filler neck....
Nope. The tanks are below the neck. The right side filler neck I have just goes straight into the tank on that side. All filling is by good old fashioned gravity. That said, you can get a bit more in by parking with the right rear corner uppermost at the pump so the left tank is COMPLETELY full while the right side tank isonly filled to the lower lip of the neck.

So sad your G is not available to you. Nothing serious I hope.

-Dave G.
 

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300GE Cab, 6.9
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RE: Question about the saddle tanks:

Hipine - 2/22/2005 4:01 PM
So sad your G is not available to you. Nothing serious I hope.
My 280GE is out having a new exhaust pipe fitted. It has had a persistent exhaust leak since it came into my hands. The hatchet job that the federalizer installed so many years ago has pissed me off for the last time. I've fussed with it until I was blue in the face. Now starting from scratch from the manifold back.

Not to worry though, I still have my cabriolet to puddle jump in while the LWB is away. However, there are no saddle tanks in the cab.
 

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I'm no guru, but I tried. . .

I've just gone through every G photo I have (I pretty much snag every one I see.) Also checked Jesus' sites for pictures to see if any right-hand-drive Gs have the filler on the left. Couldn't find anything.

If you aren't intent on symmetry, you could weld the side panel filler door setup from the 463 onto the left side of the truck with perhaps a little more lattitude as to placement. You could also consider putting the second neck inside the cargo bay over the rear wheel well. That would give you a straight shot down into the tank.
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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I'd go for the cargo bay if the fuel isn't gasoline. An advantage is that the filler neck will be above the tank and the slosh problem with the stock filler neck will be reduced or eliminated. More fuel volume without it weeping out around or through the cap. Should work with SVO, Biodiesel or diesel. I'm contemplating this type of setup. Dave does your truck already have saddle tanks on the left? I have a small tank on the right below the filler that isn't much of a tank at all. Are the stock saddle tanks available? What volume do they hold?

-Dai
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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Discussion Starter #10
Other options and considerations

Your "small tank on the left" is the saddle tank for that side, I'm pretty confident. From the EPC it looks like these things came in different configurations.
1- plain center tank with a pipe filler
2- saddle tank on filler side like you have Dai
3- saddle tanks on both sides like I have

The saddle tanks are about 3 gallons each, adding a total of about 6 gallons to fuel capacity with two saddle tanks and the connecting pipes (vs the single tank I had). As far as availability, I don't know. Fire up your EPC, turn off the data filtering, and go into the fuel tank area. You'll find the pix and PNs.

I too like the idea of a loadspace floor spare tank. And with the switching valve that Craig sells for the SVO kit, I don't have to worry about having the additional tank plumbed into the main tank at the rear.

My favorite diesel bogie has always been a magical "1000 mile range", and I don't think a loadspace tank has to be more than about 6" deep to get me there at 18 MPG and my current tank....One of these days.

But I think you're right, Dai, an added tank is probably the best way to go since it gets me other value added things in addition to the starting tank.

Got a line on a nice '79 TD with 130k original miles. Motor still in the car, I can run it, have any anciaries I want, etc etc. Not least of all, with motor in car, I get thw vehicle VIN so I can look up any motor parts I eventually need with the EPC. Looks like this is really going to happen.

-Dave
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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978 Posts
Dave, the stock '79 TD is a non-turbo. Has it been swapped out or is a NA 617 the direction you are going. I sent you an email of some mods done to the NA 617 that make it interesting. The standard motor in the G is 88 hp and it would make you nuts with the big hills you drive. Makes me nuts and I'm nearly at sea level! A turbo is in my truck's future. Steve Smith's Turbo G runs great on SVO as does the TD turbo that Craig had. When I drove Steve's he had some extra virgin olive oil in there, best smelling exhaust I've ever experianced! Craig now runs SVO in a Defender TDI 90++. Rovers North is running a story about it in thier newsletter.

-Dai
 

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1986 300GD
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Hey fellas. I also have both saddle tanks and have been toying with the idea of running SVO/WVO. I currently run Biodiesel with great success. I have noticed a bit of rust in my pre-filter which I attribute to the BioD stripping the deposits leftover from the DinoD! (I hope!) When and if I decide to go Veg-oil I would definitely run a new separate tank. That way you can always have both options. There's a filter/heater combo made by Davco that seems really cool. I'm hopefully going to meet with Steve and Craig soon to discuss options. I hear that Steve's truck is great with the turbo and taller gears. 3:90, I think? I eventually will go this route as I'm a little unimpressed with 88hp! I'm curious what kind of mileage Dai gets, because I'm having a hard time breaking 20mpg. I thought it would be better. I know Dai's is a SWB, but the weight difference isn't that huge, right?
Anyway, here's a pic of that new filter system.
 

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Mercedes Benz 300 GD Wolf, LR Range Rover HSE TD6
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Captain Spalding's search confirmed, the RHD Gs have the filler on the RH-side as well. If ordering a new filler tube for the LH-side saddle tank, you might want to consider the long, protruding tube option (shown on attached image). It makes it easy to pour fuel in from a jerry-can.
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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Discussion Starter #15
Pardon my abreviations

by 300TD I only meant the engine was 3 liter turbodiesel. The car is a 300SD of 1979 vintage. The engine is a 617.950.

This brings on a question.

Do the normally aspirated engines in the 300GDs have a smooth bottomed (on the outside) oil pan like the 617.950 motor, or are their oil pans covered with that waffle pattern and extra strengthening ribs to the trans mounting bolts like the ones fitted to the 617.951 motor?

This is the only differnce between the two motors that seems it might be significant to the G. Right now I think the whole situation surrounding this .950 motor I have access to means I'll buy it regardless. But if MB fit the ribbed pan to the motors in the G I'd try to get ahold of one to use.

Indications are good on this motor though. It hadn't been started in 3-4 months but all we did was put a battery in, let the glow plugs cycle once, and it fired right up and ran smoothly. Ambient temps were about 45 degrees though, so I'll go back in the morning and try it when it's more like 20 degrees out.

I've known Craig a long time from my D90 days. When I get to doing the SVO stuff he'll provide the parts. That'll probably have to wait though since I only have a total of $2200 budgeted to do this swap and I want to try and do as many things as I can with regard to getting a good clean install of the motor for now. I'll do the second tank and SVO stuff some time later, hopefully this summer.

-Dave
 

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RE: Pardon my abreviations

Dave, sorry; 300TD is the designation for a 123 chassis station wagon and they didn't see a turbo motor until '81. We have and '83 300TD turbo with 330,000 miles on the chassis and it is fantastic. When you said TD I heard 'wagon'.
The GD's have a waffle pattern. However I would not bother trying to source one. The turbo motor pan you are using should have an alloy sump with a stamped steel pan below the pickup. It is two piece with a gasket and a better setup. It holds a quart or so more oil than the G stock one piece sump and is cheap to repair or replace if damaged. We smacked a road hazzard in the dark with PK's sump. I had the new pan in the car the next day. I think the later Turbo sumps are reinforced with the waffle thing and are two piece. After taking my stock G sump off with the motor in the truck I will welcome the Turbo sump setup. This is my opinion others may dissagree. I expected to find some special windage baffles around the pickup for extreme angles in there. Nothing special except a milled area in the casting for the pickup to seat into. I will be happy to help you source a later sump with the ribbing if it is a problem to come up with one there. There are a phenomenal number of the 617 motors out there.
130,000 miles is nothing for one of these motors. The 300TD I sold to buy my G had that on it when I bought it. Sold it at 300,000 and is still going strong. If they start up from dead cold and settle into an even idle you have a good one. It is good you have a donor car because you need the glow circuit relay box and other components. Heat shields etc.. I plan on using the stock turbo motor air cleaner on mine. Craig has very kind things to say about you.

-Dai
 

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A bit of topic, but I'm defineatly going to make my self an ex-military G like that one day! Just looks SOO good!
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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Discussion Starter #18
RE: Pardon my abreviations

My fault, not yours on the TD confusion. I have to be careful around REAL MB people. [:)]

I went by and started the engine this morning. It was about 15 degrees out, and before sunrise here in Golden at about 5400 ft. One glow cycle and it started right up. Idle took maybe 2 minutes to smooth out fully, but that's not bad considering it was just sitting there. There's some light white haze at cold start, but my old LR used to do a LOT worse than that, and it was running clear after driving about a block. I can't actually "drive" this one because the trans is NG. But anyway, I'm going ahead buying this motor.

I think I have the best of all worlds here. Mark is keeping the car, but he says I can have anything and everything associated with the motor including all belt-run accessories, block heater wiring, tach trigger box, all the wiring junction blocks, glow circuitry and relay...any anything else we're forgetting. He said if I think of anything else I want, to just let him know and come by and take it.

And as for the oil pan, I think I'm again getting the best of all worlds again. The engine is a 79 (617.950) and pre-EGR, which I like. The later 617.951 motors came with the beefed up oil pan, but they all had EGR (not a big problem to rip it out, I know). Well, I mentioned to Mark this morning that I was trying to find out if the 300GD's came with a strengthened oil pan on their normally aspirated motors, and if they did I was going to try and swap mine over to the strengthened pan from the 617.951 motor. To that he says, "Oh, I've got pans like that on scrap motors, you can have one." So I'll get the nice simple '79 motor with the beefier (but still 2-piece Al+steel) oil pan from the '81+ motors.

I'm really reading the signs that this was meant to be. I just know I'm going to get this motor in and go, "Why did I wait so long?!?!" The answer is of course I was chicken when too many things were unknown to me. Getting to look at and drive Brian T's conversion, and talk to Dennis about parts really sealed the deal.

One more cool thing for us geek types. Mark still had the MB "introduction manual" from when they first brought the 617.950 engine to the USA in the 300SD in '78. He said at that time MB would send out these "here's what's coming, and how it's different from what you've seen" manuals to the techs prior to introduction of a new model. It's really interesting to read. They tell all the little things that are different, and why it was necessary to change them. Those were the golden years, man. He loaned me that manual as well as the 617.95- engine manual to keep as long as I need them.

It's going to be fun to document this swap.

-Dave
 

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Fantastic Dave. It sounds like you are dialed in for the conversion. I think the naturally aspirated 617 five cylinder was introduced in around '74 and there was a lot of R+D involved in turbocharging it to make it live. The turbo motors have internal oil spray cooling for the bottom of the pistons and other important details that make it take the heat. Very clever and carefully detailed engineering. You have a very healthy motor for it to start and run that way over a mile up at 15 degrees! Redline diesel fuel catalyst is great stuff and will provide lubrication for that well running injection system. Keep us posted with the progress. Best of luck,

-Dai
 

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RE: Pardon my abreviations

Been on that track but unfortunately without the turbo....

Remember to take all the vacum lines from the diesel and the ignition switch with the vacum valve.
You can use your old cylinder and key... remember to take the glow plug indicator vire and bulb as it fits right into the G dash...

...Nobody runs veggie oil here but when fuel price were higer just after 1980 I heard of a 16 ton Scania truck operated by a fish processing factory that was run on cod liver oil....

The method of popping up diesels here is to give it all the air it can take at resonable intake manifold temp and mount an exhaust temp meter and keep a close look at exhaust manifold temp....
 
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