Diesel Performance A discussion section for performance diesel modifications.

OM601 AWD conversion

Old 01-12-2017, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Default OM601 AWD conversion

Hey, all. First post here for me.

I have a 1997 V 230 TD with an OM601.970. That's a transverse 2.3L turbo diesel, with a 5MT transaxle and FWD.

I've been toying with the idea of swapping out the transaxle for an AWD setup to mate with the 601. As far as I've been able to find out, the 601 was not produced in an AWD configuration, so I have my work cut out for me. I have access to a mechanic in the family, along with tools and a hoist. Other than that, I'm at square one, and I've never attempted a drivetrain swap before.

Here are some planning items that I'm anticipating.
  1. Transaxle compatibilty, ie, bolt pattern, input shaft
  2. Transaxle torque capacity
  3. Transaxle Fit
  4. Driveshaft routing
  5. Driveshaft length
  6. Axle length and fit
  7. ECM problems

I'm sure there's plenty else I haven't thought of. As far as a donor vehicle goes, I'm not sure what would be appropriate, besides looking for something with a transverse engine and similar or more factory torque. I have considered a Celica GT4, only because I know I can get a collision donor nearby for a reasonable price. I'm sure there are other transverse AWD vehicles out there (preferably older, to avoid ECM issues) that might fit the bill.

So I have some questions for the forum.
  1. Is this impossible? Any show-stopper issues before I get out of the gate?
  2. Any major issues I need to add to my list?
  3. Anybody have information or a link to something similar that's been done or tried?
  4. Any recommendations for a donor vehicle drivetrain?
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