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SDL Question

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I've heard alot of people call the 350SDL "ill-fated." I'm looking at diesels to purchase and i'm wondering if "ill-fated" means "did not sell well" or "destined to break down."

What are the problems with the 350 engine, as compared to that in the 300's of the 1980's?
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1991 300 SE
18,541 Posts
The piston rod (or rods) will bend or break. Before breaking they bend, causing the piston to ‘egg out’ (make oval) the cylinder resulting in mucho grande blow-by, and excessive oil consumption. Some believe the rods were just too weak, others believe there was a design flaw with the turbo oil seal and intake manifold resulting in carbon build-up. At some point a small piece of carbon will break off, get sucked into the combustion chamber, and bend the rod when the piston hits the hard carbon fragment at TDC.

A 350 with a new crate engine would be much less risky – later versions of the engine were designed to avoid the rod-bending problem

The OM 617 was almost perfect – the OM 603 was less perfect with its aluminum head prone to warping but an otherwise excellent engine.
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