After having major problems on season 2014, we decided to make big changes for upcoming season.
Biggest problem was the engine, so that needed the biggest changes. OM606 could not keep up with the competitors, so it had to be replaced for 2015 season. We did consider many options between engine manufacturers and models. MB engine has got a big role in history of Black Smoke Racing so we couldn’t let it go. Even though Teemu really wanted to continue developing the super stroker OM606 (and believe me, he will), we decided to open a new chapter and go for electronic diesel injection.
Mercedes-Benz transformed from mechanical injection to CDI (Common rail diesel injection) during year 1997. Even though CDI systems have been used since late 1990, it still is todays choice for most engine manufacturers. There are big benefits of using this technology over mechanical injection. Maybe the biggest improvement is the adjustability of the injection timing and volume. Injectors are electronically controlled, so those are fully adjustable from the ECU software. Injection pressure is also 10 times higher. Our chosen CDI system uses 1600bar as injection pressure, difference is big when compared to mechanical injections 170bar. Higher injection pressure means that we can inject the same amount of fuel in fraction of the injection time. That means high efficiency and that creates high power.
We decided to stay on 6 cylinder engine, so we selected OM648 to start with. This engine is pretty similar than the old OM606, so mounting the engine won’t be an issue. This engine is widely used in MB lineup so it was pretty easy to find a slightly crashed car for engine donor. We found 2003 MB w211 320cdi that suited our plans perfectly.
One of the biggest change is the amount of electronics that this CDI system needs. CDI system could be done with aftermarket ECU and electronics, but because there is limited knowledge on those systems we decided to stay with MB original ECU. This means that we will use original ECU with custom software and stripped wiring harness. The only way we could ever get it going was to get a whole car with this engine and remove it with mandatory electronics.
We knew when we started to remove the electronics, that we need more than ECU to get it running. We didn’t know how much more, and that information was pretty hard to find. Eventually we got it running with temporary wiring that still included: ECU, ignition switch, steering lock, gearbox control unit and front body control unit(SAM1). These are all necessary to get the immobilisation system to allow engine to start. Hopefully we can still get some of those stripped, after we get custom software to the ECU.
One of the key points of this engine swap has been done now. Next we will focus on strengthening the engine block, so it could keep up with boosted power. Stay tuned! -Jesse