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Registered
1987 300D
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What are some good (hopefully cheap) performance upgrades for my 300D? I love the car, but I would also love some more power, particularly some acceleration.
 

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Registered
W124 400E, W126 500SE
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971 Posts
There's not much you can do without killing it, have the injectors checked, setup and adjust the injection pump, put in new filters and drive it like you stole it. It will come to life but don't expect anything more than "feels better" :)

Some people adjust the injection pump to give more fuel, but that kills the engine and you carn burn through the piston (but to be honest it DOES have more power after that)
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
Unless you're really serious about it, I'd just make sure you're getting all the performance possible from your stock engine, which was considered to be the quickest/fastest passenger car diesel of its day. Check your 0-60 mph specs, which should be in the 10 -11 sec range. If not, there are a few adjustments you can make to get back there.

The OM603 is capable of producing up to somewhere around 450hp, but that requires lots of mods that ain't cheap, but the nice thing is, the basic longblock* is very robust and doesn't require many upgrades.

The "cheapest" thing you could do is turn up the full load screw, which gives you a nice boost in power. This mod absolutely should be accompanied by the addition of a pyrometer to monitor your exhaust gas temperatures (EGT), as well as an intercooler to help keep those EGTs lower. Those additions aren't really cheap, so in reality the short answer is no, there are no cheap solutions to increasing power in an '87 300D that I would recommend. I'm not aware of anyone "holing" a piston or otherwise killing their engines with this level of modding, but the risk of some sort of heat related failure is still out there.




*Except the original #14 cylinder head, but that's another story
 

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Registered
1987 300D
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I 0-60 tested my car and it took 19 seconds!
There is an exhaust leak just before the exhaust gets to the turbo, could this be causing the lack of power?
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
Yeah, its sounds like you're not receiving fuel enrichment along with boost from the turbo. Check out this thread, then directly connect a line from the intake manifold to the ALDA. That should ensure that you are receiving a boost signal that will deliver extra fuel with boost. You may need to remove whichever nipple is attached to the manifold and ensure that it's not clogged up with soot.
 

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1995 Mercedes Benz E320
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121 Posts
Ouch. 19 sec is pretty rough. Once you get the engine/exhaust in good condition, I would suggest accessing the ECU and upping the turbo boost for more power but not so much to blow the engine.
 

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W210
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13,885 Posts
Just bring it up to factory specs by making sure all maintenance in completely up to date. That will be money best spent.
 
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