Mercedes Benz Classics: Owners Operation, Service, and Repair Workshop Manuals

Mercedes OM601 Diesel Engine Manual

The Mercedes Benz 2.0 2.3 Liter OM601 Diesel Engines 1983 to 2001


Download: Mercedes Benz OM601 Engine Motor Manuals

Mercedes OM601 Engine ManualMercedes OM601 Diesel Engine Manual
Download: 37.3mb, 397 pages, .pdf
Applications: W124, W201, W202

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The Mercedes-Benz OM601 engine is a 4 cylinder diesel automobile engine that was manufactured by Mercedes-Benz.

Three variants of the engine were built, a

  • 2.0 L; 120.6 in3 (1,977 cc)
  • 2.2 L; 134.1 in3 (2,197 cc) version built for the US market
  • 2.3 L; 140.3 in3(2,299 cc) for commercial vehicles

The first two were rated by the manufacturer for 72 bhp (54 kW) at 4200 RPM and 96 lb.ft (130 Nm) of torque at 2800 RPM; the increase in displacement reduced emissions in order to meet US automobile emissions requirements. The commercial vehicle version had 78 bhp (58 kW) in standard variants, the turbocharged version (OM601.970) in the V230 TD and Vito 110D had 96 bhp (72 kW).

The OM601 was built with an aluminum head on an iron block. The camshafts and fuel injection pump are driven by a duplex chain from the crankshaft. A separate single row chain drives the oil pump from the crankshaft. Fuel supply is indirect injection via a pre-chamber arrangement.

The OM-601's injection pump is a mechanical fuel injection unit with a 5,150 RPM (+ or - 50 RPM) mechanical governor, automatic altitude compensation, and a 'load sensing' automatic idle speed control. The pump is lubricated by a connection to the engine oil circulation.

Use of the block heater was recommended in climates where it drops below 10 °F (−12 °C) for long periods.

Mercedes Benz OM601 Engine Workshop Manuals

The 2.0 liter non-USA unit was on sale for nearly a year longer than the 2.2 liter USA emissions compliant version. This very slight increase in displacement, likely the reason for the delayed release, reduced emissions out of the tail pipe in order to meet the US Federal EPA requirements, and (according to the factory) with no horsepower or performance difference.

California versions were sold with an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation device to control NOx emissions). Although not known for causing as many problems (nor as serious of problems) as the 'trap oxidizer,' the EGR still has a history of causing drive-ability and overall operational performance issues when it is not functioning to spec. The trap oxidizer was another common emission control device first seen on California Mercedes-Benz Diesel cars and, later, on Federal Emissions Diesels.

In very few respects the OM-601 Diesel engine is similar to the legendary reliable and long lasting 'million mile' OM-61X series Diesels of the 1970s and '80s. The similarity ends there. The 60x series ushered in the use of an aluminum head on and iron block for Mercedes, unlike the venerable 61x series born in the early sixties. The prechamber design was a revolutionary break through for it's time and remained in use from 1983 to 1999 when replaced by the current CDI rail injected design.

OM-601s can be just as reliable as the old OM-61X family for hundreds of thousands of miles if properly maintained (OM-602s and OM-603s have their own inherent issues due to their design variations on the OM-601). As with most Diesels, when compared with a gasoline engine in the same operating conditions: i.e. short trips in the city with lots of cold starts, a Diesel needs less maintenance. The majority of the maintenance procedures are very simple for the average do-it-yourselfer to perform.

Version Application Survey OM601 Diesel Engines

In the Mercedes-Benz W201 chassis 190D 2.0L (Euro) and 2.2L (USA), the OM-601 returned good fuel economy numbers for its time: around 30+ MPG city and 45+ highway with the automatic. According to the EPA numbers seen with the 5-speed, the 190D 2.2L returned 36 MPG and 55 MPG city and highway, respectively. Both versions were putting up very impressive fuel economy numbers, even by 'MODERN' standards!! Speaking from experience, an OM-601 automatic W201 chassis from 1984 will (in good running condition) return NO LESS than 30MPG in the city driving far more briskly than the traffic around!!!

The engine was also used in the 208D 308D and 408D Mercedes-Benz T1 and later the Phase 1 308D Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes OM601 Engine Service Repair Manual

Mercedes-Benz OM601 naturally aspirated diesel engine