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eastsideTim PowerDork
8/23/20 9:32 a.m.

Sounds to me like it’s a matter of calculating the time and cost of reassembling it and what it is worth intact, versus the time and effort to part it out, and what it is worth in pieces...

wae UltraDork
8/23/20 10:00 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Dollar-wise, it is definitely worth more as a part-out but if someone showed up with a flatbed and a not-very-large stack of hundos, they probably wouldn't have to talk that hard.

Space-wise, I'd like to have the room in the shop, but it's been there so long we've gotten used to working around it

Time-wise, I do have other things that I wouldn't mind working on instead of this, but once Cincinnati Bell gets around to installing FiOptics at Toiletbird Industries, it'll be much easier to work-from-home there which would give me a little more time.

Ego-wise, I really don't want to admit that this God-forsaken thing has beaten me. laugh


wae UltraDork
8/23/20 9:42 p.m.

The crank is out of the block and, other than the one rod journal, it doesn't look too bad:

The bearings, however, kind of tell another story:

I forgot to take pictures of them, but the rod bearings weren't so great-looking either.  You can see where the oil got a bit coked up, too.  The bit that is sitting on the top in the next picture was crammed down in the notch there.  And that main bearing doesn't look so great, either:

I think that the #2 rod bearing was merely the first one to fail but the rest wouldn't have been far behind.

eastsideTim PowerDork
8/24/20 6:47 a.m.

So now the block is going to need to be disassembled the rest of the way and cleaned, too?  

wae UltraDork
8/24/20 7:14 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

To be fair that was always part of the plan.  If the block/crank was worth salvaging, it was going to need cylinder and line hones and a dip in the tank anyway.  There is some very minor scuffing in cylinder #2 that I'm pretty confident would hone out.  What I find really odd are the diagonal striations on the upper portion of main #2 there.  Is that indicative of contamination or was the crank not installed properly back in Stuttgart?


TurnerX19 SuperDork
8/24/20 10:45 a.m.

That pic of #2 main has no bearing shell in place. Those are just dirt marks of no concern. What does the crank side of the bearing shell look like?

wae UltraDork
8/24/20 11:28 a.m.

It takes a little zooming in, but they number from the left of the picture to the right, so the top half of the #2 main bearing is showing some excessive wear.  The bottom shells looked very similar, but I didn't have a chance to lay them all out and get good pictures yet.


stylngle2003 Reader
8/26/20 9:13 a.m.

at this point, with all the coolant drained, you could probably be just fine to do a thorough flush and fill with whatever generic coolant you prefer, rather than splurging on chanel #5-esque MB junk.  Though the MB probably smells better...

wae UltraDork
8/29/20 9:39 p.m.

This past week kept me too busy to get the parts to the machine shop, but I did spend some time doing some shopping to try to price this out.  To do a mostly full job, and taking a guess at what the machinist would charge, I think it's going to be about $5k.  That's the gasket kits, motor mounts, swirl motor, oil pump, timing chain, bearings, seals, EGR, rings, non-reusable bolts, fluids, and gasket goop.  That also includes buying back a handful of parts that I previously sold off which is about $1,200.  So, more like $3,800 net.

I'm not entirely sure what I could sell it for once it's in running condition again, but I might be able to command a slightly higher price given that the time-bomb has been defused and reset.  After I pay off the remainder of the note and recover the cost of the parts, I might have about $3,000 in my pocket if I'm lucky.  About $1,000 of the parts total is "just in case" stuff like replacing the timing chain, guides, oil pump, and new rings.  Ordinarily, it seems kind of crazy to me putting those parts back into a motor that's been torn apart but balancing that against the cost and the fact that those parts aren't really that bad makes me wonder.

I found a tuner who claims to be able to disable the AdBlue, swirl motor, DPF, and EGR.  That would drop my cost by a few hundred bucks since those systems wouldn't need to be refreshed/replaced.  Having that motor without those functions might not be such a problem any more.  Much like the secrets of the fire swamp, a new chain and guides would eliminate that worry for a long while, the lack of DPF would mean I could run a real oil that actually lubricated the engine, the removal of the swirl motor would mean I wouldn't need the swirl motor, taking the EGR out would keep the soot out of the crankcase, and disabling the SCR system means that I wouldn't have to worry about the hyper-expensive AdBlue heater malfunction that they all eventually wind up having.  I could live quite nicely for years.  The only remaining issue would be the R.O.U.S.es that constitute the air suspension, but compared to what I'm going through now it hardly seems worth worrying about.

The other two options would be:  Start with the parts I've already removed and start selling parts off as quickly as possible and then have the shell carted away;  Or try to sell it outright as "runs great, needs engine".  Restarting the part-out effort would definitely result in some decent return over time, but it may take a while since they're somewhat uncommon.  I have absolutely no idea what this thing would be worth as it sits, but if someone came in and offered me $8k for it, I wouldn't be able to arrange the tow truck quick enough!

Plenty of things to think about.  I sure would like to have the room back in the shop, though....

tremm Reader
8/30/20 12:21 p.m.

Start with the parts I've already removed and start selling parts off as quickly as possible and then have the shell carted away;  Or try to sell it outright as "runs great, needs engine".  

How confident are you that it will run again?

Azryael Reader
8/30/20 1:08 p.m.

The X164 is a nice looking chassis... throw a 12V in it and call it a day! But, I would only do this if I truly loved the vehicle, and wanted to keep it around, and wasn't concerned about making my money back on resale value.

I've never really had the opportunity to own any of MBs diesel V-motors, but from what I keep seeing, they are a far departure from their tried and true inline motors, which I have plenty of experience with.

We Germans over engineer and introduce ridiculous amounts of complexity to accomplish the simplest tasks; I find this to be the case in things I personally design and have to consciously tell myself I'm overcomplicating things and there is a more simple, yet still effective solution.

wae UltraDork
8/30/20 4:23 p.m.

I have little doubt that if the crank can be machined, I can reassemble everything and have it running again.  There's really no mystery to it and it's nothing that a good cleaning and some new bearings won't fix.  It's just going to require an injection of dollars.

As much as I joke about doing some sort of engine swap, the idea does not really enthuse me.  It seems like a lot of work to generate something that would wind up being basically a compromise.  My effort would be better spent making my Excursion ride like a Mercedes than making the Mercedes drive like the Excursion.

eastsideTim PowerDork
8/30/20 4:34 p.m.
wae said:.  My effort would be better spent making my Excursion ride like a Mercedes than making the Mercedes drive like the Excursion.

ooh, time for air ride and suspension seats on the Excursion

FKUA New Reader
9/14/20 7:04 a.m.

Hey guys!

Wae, that was exactly what i was trying to tell you to look for!

My Merc's problem is exactly the same as yours. Same engine, same knock. thats why i sugested to inspect this.

Found the same metal on the Oil Pan as you did

when I finaly reached the crankshaft the problem was obvious

After removing the crankshaft..

Damaged on the same bearing surface as yours.

and the bronze that was there..

That bearing surface was 0.5mm under the limit and the connecting rod was the same, so...

I've found a guy that fills the damaged surface and turns it back to STD but to guaranty the alignment he has to turn the crank's bearing supports to -0.25mm.

I've heard that procedure could be done but never knew anyone that actually did it.

He slowly filled layer after layer letting the metal cool down in between and alternating spots to even out the heat. This took 4 days, so he did a bit today, a bit tomorrow and so on...

After filling he gave  nitridization treatment to release tensions and turned and honed back to STD.

Here i've spent ONLY 180€!!!!!!!!!! plus a used connecting rod for 100€ (measured and within tolerance 67.600/67.614mm)

Now i will delet FAP (170€ for the downpipe), Swirl valves and EGR electronicaly and reprogram (150€)(my Merc doesn't have ADBlue) . 

My Friend and friends father were the "angels" that let me work on their shop and although i have some knowledge (I'm an Aircraft Mechanic) there is always some tricks i don't know.

Now its the tricky part. Buying all the bolts and gaskets and assembly everything


Hope all is going good with yours. 

If you need anything let me know (I'm from Portugal)

wae UltraDork
9/14/20 9:54 a.m.

In reply to FKUA :

I had to do a double-take to make sure that I wasn't looking at my own pictures there!!  There's another guy here in town who also had basically that same problem with one, so apparently this is just how these stupid things roll.  Having to have all that work done to the crank to get it back to a usable condition doesn't really thrill me much. 

Since I opened it up and started pricing things out, I really don't think that I want to cough up five grand to make der Scheißewagen run again.  I was sort of waiting to hear back from the tuner on eBay about my options there, but no response at all so probably not someone I want to be dealing with anyway.  After I put that money in to it, there's still the chance that I screw something up in the assembly process and have to spend more money to re-do it.  There's all the time I'll need to spend to put it all back together.  And once it's done, I'd probably just sell it rather than keep it.  So I'd have to make a relatively large upfront cash investment that might require an additional injection of money, I'd take a whole bunch of time to do the work, and then go through the effort of selling a vehicle with a relatively small market, and after all of that I might walk away with about $8k.

Alternatively, I can go back to parting it out and get to my $8k number much faster and with slightly less effort and with a bit more upside potential.  And I might be able to get it to the point where the chassis can be carted away so that I get my space back because it is really really really annoying to have to work around.

Hoondavan HalfDork
9/14/20 11:01 a.m.

I'm interested in seeing how this turns out, for sure.  Every time I think about buying a used MB one of this type of threads brings me back down to earth.  It blows my mind that engines are viewed as replacement parts.  I understand why, but it's just crap...especially on a diesel. 

Driven5 UltraDork
9/14/20 1:17 p.m.
wae said:

There's another guy here in town who also had basically that same problem with one...

Sounds like a business opportunity...$5k in parts + $5k in labor and you'll still be 1/2 the price of what they're getting quoted from anybody else.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/14/20 1:21 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

...and 2/3 or more the value of the SUV once it’s fixed.

FKUA New Reader
9/17/20 5:15 a.m.

In reply to wae :

The problem, i believe, has to do with the fact that bearing being the one in the middle and so the furthest away from oil pressure running thru cranckshaft.

Having FAP your oil doesn't last much and gets mixed with diesel (i've been noticing an increase on oil level) becoming less and less efficient.

If you delete FAP and regularly change your oil it will not happen again.

I think you can get it back running for far less money than you think (I'm spending arround 1.2K).

This is an awesome engine with lots of torque, but it has to much useless stuff on it in order to fulfill emissions limit.

If you need anything just send me a message.

if you want you can send me your crankshaft or if you get a cheap flight you can come to Portugal and i will take you to the machine shop (less than the 2k on a new crank).

If you are scared of screwing things up just "think twice, work once" this is not rocket science although this engine runs like one.


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/17/20 6:06 a.m.

Now I really want wae to fly to Portugal with the crank to get it fixed. For no other reason than it would be THE epic fix story. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/17/20 6:18 a.m.

I have had cranks and welded that have held up to thousands of hours of work.not uncommon with heavy equipment to repair that way. 

wae UltraDork
9/17/20 7:58 a.m.

I have no doubt that I would be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  I'll admit to a degree of timidity back when this whole thing went south on me due to the fact that it was some exotic and expensive bit of Germanicism, but now that I've got the block hanging upside down on my engine stand that trepidation is gone.  Honestly, the concept of jumping on a flight across the Atlantic with a crankshaft as my carry-on luggage makes me grin from ear to ear, although I'm sure that I'd be able to find a machine shop somewhat closer to home that would be able to do the work.  Like the Professor said, building up a journal to turn it back down isn't completely uncommon, it just doesn't make sense to do $150 worth of work on a crankshaft you can replace for $100.

No, my issue with it is mostly financial.  Part of the hole that I need to spend my way out of is because I sold some parts already leaving me with some things to re-buy.  That's about $1,800 worth of the $5k in cash I'd need to pony up.  There's also a bit of money tied up in "while I'm in there" parts like replacing the timing chain and guides and putting in a new oil pump.  I could take those out of the equation, of course, but it seems like a mistake to not do the chain and guides when the motor is sitting right in front of me, considering that it's a known weak point.  The oil pump is probably not as big of a deal to reuse, though.  And I could leave the swirl valve out since it wasn't working before anyway.  It seems a little insane to put a known bad part back on when changing that part requires removing the turbocharger, though.

Another stumbling block is just being able to get decent parts.  The MB parts appear to be available for the most part, but things like main bearings are apparently NLA.  Head gaskets are $85 each versus a Victor Reinz from Rock Auto at $36.  Is the VR gasket any good or am I just doing busy work by not using the MB parts?  FCP Euro has some parts available as does Pellican, but so far I haven't found anybody that would work as a single supplier.  The closest I found is some outfit called "idparts.com" who appear to have several rebuild kits that I can stack on top of each other to get the rings, gaskets, bearings, and seals.  But again, never heard of them and they don't really call out who makes the parts they sell so am I getting junk or parts that are going to work?  It seems like if I were in the UK or something, I might have more options.

You know, you people are just enablers.  Every time I talk to you guys it makes me want to get it running again.  But every time I see the thing taking up all that space in the shop, I want to break out the sawzall and start cutting....

Okay.  Fine.  FKUA, tell me more about what your parts list looks like for getting the thing put back together.  Gasket kits, bearings, all that jazz.  Maybe I need to branch out and try to find some non-US suppliers and try to convince them to ship internationally...  I've got a couple decent machine shops here in town and surely one of them can take care of the work needed on the crank. 

So far, the gasket/rebuild kits that I've found available are:




TurnerX19 SuperDork
9/17/20 8:32 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Look closely at your old head gaskets. There is a fair chance you will find a Victor/Reinz logo on them. Good stuff.

wae UltraDork
9/17/20 8:35 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Reinz does sound vaguely German, so I was pretty hopeful about those!  I've used their gaskets on other things before and never had a problem and when I was holding them in my hands, it seemed like quality stuff.

TurnerX19 SuperDork
9/17/20 10:25 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Victor was USA, and Reinz German. They joined up a long time ago. I am not sure who bought who.

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