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Old 07-16-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
DieselRat
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54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Hello everyone! First time poster but I've been around browsing build threads and such for quite a while. Been working on this old truck on and off for over a year now, finally to the point where I'm rebuilding instead of tearing down.

Im no master fabricator, learning as I go more less. Done a lot of work on vehicles and build some (mostly jeeps) but this is my first complete build.

Plans are: 54 body on the LWB s10 frame. Putting in an OM617 mercedes turbo diesel, mated to a 2wd jeep 5 speed, 4x4 s10 rear. A main goal with the build is to make everything as simple and reliable and mechanical as possible. The engine is all mechanical, only really needs a starter and alternator to start and run. Going with that vibe its going to be bare minimum electronics. Manual steering box etc.

Ill make a few posts over the next couple days or however long it takes to bring everything to current. I have well over 100 pics to share so stay tuned I know you guys love pics.

The story: my dad saw this old truck down the road from our business in southeast PA. Pretty much complete and running. (These pics are scans from FILM! Yea it was that long ago :P )






My dad was going to do a restore on it, worked at it for a while then lost interest and it sat.




Fast forward probably 10 years and he wants it out of the yard. Guess whos the lucky recipient!!!

My daughter making motor noises.



So we drug it home....





You can really see what the weather did to it. Too bad it wasnt all primed and re-patina'd





I have the entire truck, mostly in boxes and bags, all the sheet metal etc.

I toyed with a TON of ideas for months about whether to keep the original running gear, to swap, to sell it, to who knows. After deciding I wanted to drive the tires off this thing, the s10 running gear seemed the best option given my plans.

More to come....
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

For the better part of the rest of the summer and winter, i cut, welded, bent and beat more rusty steel that I cared to get into. Hind sight I should have just bought replacement panels, but being on a tight budget I ended up making most of the pieces myself.

This was by far the worst and most intimidating. No wonder why he left thst fender on it.



Cab corner was holy. I had a panel for this one.








The other crusty side.
















More of the otherside





Not even any good pieces to save to make copies of






Cheerios!


More of that later...
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:54 AM   #3
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Great work on a tight budget. I'm suscribed.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

First off you stole my idea on the Mercedes Turbo Diesel swap. My next truck I build is going to be a 3200 long bed with a diesel swap backed by a 5 speed chevy trans. I can tell you got the idea for the diesel from your previous jeep projects I got the idea from my days when I was in to 1st gen 4runners since its a common swap on them and the old land cruisers. Can't wait to see how the swap comes out!
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Haha it was MY idea first .

Actually a bunch of buddies and me have a jeep club/forum and there was a ton of talk about the OM617 engines for swap on there. It intrigued me so after doing research then falling into this truck, it sounded like a cool idea. I would have much rather gone with a chevy 4 speed trans BUT the cost of the adapter was twice the one for the jeep. So for this time around i went with the AX-15. Later on in my posts ill have some vids of the engine running and all. Stay tuned.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Welcome to the site. Work looks nice.

Shawn
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Welcome from sin city

Good lookin project
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

How do you adapt a Benz motor to an AX15?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

prolly very carefully
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Mercedesdiesel4x4.com

There are a couple companies out there making adapters for them. Its a little costly for what you get, but saves a lot of R&D in making my own. With the jeep setup it uses all the original jeep parts, flywheel, clutch, slave, starter etc. Which is nice because junkyard jeep parts are a dime a dozen.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Back to updates.

After I was able to rebolt the fenders and front clip to the cab, I started to tear into the S10. Found a guy on CL who I talked into driving it to my house for $400.



Wasnt really much I was keeping except the obvious essentials so we went at it with a saw and had it cut down in a couple days. After scrapping everything I ended up with the frame for around $50



Had to make it a convertible first...



Really solid frame for an 89. Surface rust but no rot, nothing bent etc.

Made a cab dolly and contraption I found online to lift the cab with my engine hoist. Worked perfectly.


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Old 07-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Welded up all the holes in the firewall.



Also filled some minor dents so it wouldnt be sooo ugly.




I had already bought the engine over the winter, and it just sat as an oily mess in the corner. Went at it with cleaners and some brushes and brought it back to life.



Took it most of the way apart except for internals and seperating the head/block and did new gaskets on everything.



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Old 07-16-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

More engine pics...
Fuel filter was bolted to part of the PS bracket, it just so happened that a little 45' turn and it bolted right into the 2 holes you see at the top left.


Oh and I chose the blue because its almost the exact color the truck originally was.






Wire wheeled the frame and used some eastwood paint over rust stuff. Came out nice. I have chassis paint for once Im done welding to it and such.


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Old 07-16-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Time to finally spend some money.

New upper and lower control arms (stock)
All new steering links, manual steering box. Drop spindles and new brakes/rotors/soft lines. Hard lines later...









I really wanted to airbag it, but have to settle on static drop for now. Did 2" spindles in the front and 3" block in the rear.



Pulled a4x4 rear from a blazer. New brakes on that of course.


Then set the cab on it...




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Old 07-16-2013, 09:40 PM   #15
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Bolted the front end on to find the right spot for the cab.



Cab on its new mounts. I made my own front mounts and re used the rear shackle mounts.


I still have feet thst will be welded to the back of the front mounts and rest on top of the frame.


Just another shot.



I welded a piece of 1x2 across the front frame rails to make a support for the fenders/inner fenders. Then cut down the original rad frame to fit around the steering box. Typical S10 swap stuff.



Test fitting the engine.






Eye balled it, measured it, leveled it and finally just plunged in and made motor mounts. Keeping the factor stule MB mounts which should keep engine vibration etc to a minimum. The even nicer part is they basically just need to flat areas to bolt down to, so by adding some more flat pieces I can later shim it if I somehow goofed up the levelnes of everything.

Heres what I ended up with mount wise.




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Old 07-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

The column I had from my donor was tilt and had the apparently common problem of being sloppy and I wasnt about to buy special tools and tear it out to tighten 4 bolts. Went to the junkyard and found a no tilt column WITH a key and yanked that along with a sector shaft from a full size chevy truck.

Dont have pics of it right now but I cut the top off the brake pedal assembly and welded a piece of rectangle steel across with 2 bolt holes in it. Bolted the column through the original mount holes and added supports that held it to the dash as well. Heres how it sits.





Cut the shaft in half and sleeved it and welded it back together. Hopefully it works well once I get it on the ground with weight on it.




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Old 07-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #17
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

This is an awesome build! keep it up!
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #18
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

The single biggest problem with putting the OM617 in anything is the oil pickup sump is at the front of the engine and its got a large section of the oil pan that wants to hit steering links, front diffs, control arms whatever. So after getting it set in place I turned the wheels til it hit each way and made a mark where I needed clearance. Then cut and welded.






Baically just cut the rounded part out, put in a flat piece across the gap, then made side plugs then glued it all together. I dont have a finished pic, I didnt go crazy smoothing it all out, but aside from one pinhole leak, its all good. Pans coming off shortly to do more more work.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by propanemudtruck View Post
This is an awesome build! keep it up!

Thanks man I appreciate it!
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:16 AM   #20
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

DieselRat, Welcome from PA too. Everything looks great. Looks like you are rolling right along.


Shannon
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:27 AM   #21
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselRat View Post
Mercedesdiesel4x4.com

There are a couple companies out there making adapters for them. Its a little costly for what you get, but saves a lot of R&D in making my own. With the jeep setup it uses all the original jeep parts, flywheel, clutch, slave, starter etc. Which is nice because junkyard jeep parts are a dime a dozen.
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Interesting, I bought and Advance Adapters kit to attach an AX5 to a Chevrolet engine one time. But I never heard of anyone putting a Benz diesel in a Jeep. I guess somebody must be doing it! Thanks for the pics.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:52 PM   #22
DieselRat
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by xpickup View Post
DieselRat, Welcome from PA too. Everything looks great. Looks like you are rolling right along.


Shannon
Thanks Shannon, Browsed a couple of your builds, you do killer work!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrina/10 View Post
Interesting, I bought and Advance Adapters kit to attach an AX5 to a Chevrolet engine one time. But I never heard of anyone putting a Benz diesel in a Jeep. I guess somebody must be doing it! Thanks for the pics.
Same company makes them for the AX-5 as well, but IMO unless you have a jeep or something thats already a 2.5L with an AX-5 the 15 is a much better 'truck' trans. I'm actually surprised advanced adapters hasnt picked up on OM617 adapters yet..
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

So another issue I ran into with engine fitment and placement was where the radiator was going to go. After I cut down the original rad support I had around a 20X21 aluminum rad in mind. Well after setting the engine in again and putting the front grill support on and all. Theres no way. SO another buddy of mine happened to have the original MB radiator from a car he scrapped so I got that in hopes it might fit.

Well turns out it fits in FRONT of the original rad support like it was meant to be there!



of course I need to do some trimming to allow better air flow, but I couldnt have been happier with that. I can now use stock MB radiator hoses as well.

with the grill on



So I made some tabs along the bottom, and a couple places to bolt it to on the top and its rock solid with plenty of gaps around it so there wont be any contact.

Heres my bottom tabs



another shot from the inside.



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Old 07-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #24
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

So now the plan is, to extend the lines to the stock oil cooler and mount that in the air gap above the radiator, measuring it out looks like it will fit perfect, and give it more of a finished look instead of random gaps at the top.

That about brings me to current on the build. Last night I spend way too long cutting and modifying this front skirt to fit around all the stuff on the front end. I think it turned out pretty good and snug.



and I also cleaned up my transmission and painted it yesterday. Got my adapter earlier this week, all I need is to buy a clutch and I can lay the engine in there and make a new crossmember.



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Old 07-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #25
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Re: 54 GMC, S10 swap, OM617 diesel

And lastly here is a short clip of starting the engine a couple weeks back.

Basically it needs a hot wire and ground to the glow plug relay box. Then another wire that would be hooked to a switched 12v that turns the relay on and off via the key or in my case its going to be a push button hidden somewhere (since it wont easily start without glowing first, sort of a reverse kill switch)

Other than that, a lead to the starter and an engine ground and were making a lot of noise and going no where slow.


obviously has no exhaust, and I had no water in it, I just wanted to verify it would start and idle before I went any further. All seems well there.
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