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View Full Version : What to look for in a 2014 OM651 driveline


Gulf SV
09-17-2018, 04:27 PM
Coming here from the T1N section, where some of the old guard know me well. Looking at a 2014 OM651, 7-speed long, tall cargo unmolested by conversion attempts. 237,000 miles on the odometer. No apparent issues from Carfax.

Without a MB dealer inspection, but a CarSoft scanner in hand, what are the important things I can look for as to the reliability of this configuration to go the distance (another 100,000+ miles).

I've read articles about the critical importance of maintenance, especially to the oil and tranny services as well as BlueTec components. These three seem to be my biggest concern, and I don't want to necessarily be lulled into the high mileage meaning good highway use (seems to best for these rigs) and the excellent body condition. One respected Sprinter tech voice has told me to run away as fast as possible. So, what is the consensus here?

If you would, please include your mileage and how your van is serviced. Thanks so much; I'm headed out to look at it toward the end of this week, 9/19/18.

Bobnoxious
09-17-2018, 04:39 PM
Geared more for T1N but much carries forward.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5174

I would ask for ECU and DPF history log print-outs. Also, and I am not certain, but there should exist a method to determine DPF "Ash" load values? Other members?

Ash cannot be Burned-off via regenerations only soot is burned-off. Ash must be physically removed via flushing. Use only shops specializing in German autos, preferably Sprinters, using appropriate diagnostic scanner with access to Mercedes database.

dnshaf
09-17-2018, 10:22 PM
Hey Gulf SV,

I currently have 630,000 mi on the OM651 drivetrain and I love it. Original tranny. first engine went 545,000 with no engine trouble at all. Only changed it because the turbos, timing chain, fuel pump and fuel injectors were due as well as the egr valve and other components.

The first thing to look for on the 4cyl is the DPF brackets. These fail consistently on the 4cyl. When they do they can cause the DPF to crack and also cause (in my opinion) oil leak on the intake manifold and coolant leaks as well. Maintenance records are a must and only oil thats 229.51 or 229.52 will do. Tranny service every 60-75k with Mercedes fluid. Also location is important, any rust. Western or Southern states are best.

Anyway, make sure those brackets have been upgraded and get under it and look for cracks in the DPF to, mostly at both ends on the flex pipes and where the bracket attachment points are.

Feel free to contact me with any other questions, there are pretty extensive write-ups on the brackets.

Good Luck,

Dan

Gulf SV
09-18-2018, 02:35 AM
Hey Gulf SV,

I currently have 630,000 mi on the OM651 drivetrain and I love it. Original tranny. first engine went 545,000 with no engine trouble at all. Only changed it because the turbos, timing chain, fuel pump and fuel injectors were due as well as the egr valve and other components.

The first thing to look for on the 4cyl is the DPF brackets. These fail consistently on the 4cyl. When they do they can cause the DPF to crack and also cause (in my opinion) oil leak on the intake manifold and coolant leaks as well. Maintenance records are a must and only oil thats 229.51 or 229.52 will do. Tranny service every 60-75k with Mercedes fluid. Also location is important, any rust. Western or Southern states are best.

Anyway, make sure those brackets have been upgraded and get under it and look for cracks in the DPF to, mostly at both ends on the flex pipes and where the bracket attachment points are.

Feel free to contact me with any other questions, there are pretty extensive write-ups on the brackets.

Good Luck,

Dan

Dan, all is greatly appreciated. From what I have read over the weekend, I believe there are two failure points to this driveline. One is the owner who fails to recognize the complexity of the vehicle and a maintenance schedule that varies as to the way in which the van is operated. The other is not either understanding when shade tree mechanic techniques are not appropriate, or not vetting the technician as to their real world understanding of the owner's relationship to how the van is operated. My T1N provided years of trouble free driving not because I had the biggest shade tree but because I knew when the shade tree was too small.

Gulf SV
09-18-2018, 08:13 PM
Hey Dan, your reply convinced me to make the 400 mile trip to look at the van in question. With nearly 240,000 miles, I've got to think it's been well cared for. I've got an appointment with one one of the local MB dealers to have them run diagnostics and a pre-buy inspection. They will check for recalls not completed, and hopefully we'll be able to pull service logs off the ECU. I'll run my own scan prior to the dealer just too have a little more info.

What kind of driving do you do to rack up the mileage? just curious. I'm assuming yours is a 2014, also. Are you loaded pretty Good. Winter driving; any shielding for the radiator in cold weather?

Still need to check threads on the DPF brackets, and the hazards of bio-fuel.

dnshaf
09-19-2018, 06:12 PM
Hey Kevin,

I do a trip all around the country once a month, I transport pets. Typically loaded around 1500 to 2000lbs. Yes it's a 2014 and I drive all year and I basically live in the van when I'm on the road, each trip is anywhere from 9,000mi to 12,000mi and takes about 2 weeks. Yes I drive in all conditions and I do have a bug screen/winter bra, only started using it last year because my EGR was sticking in very cold weather (0 degrees F) which in turn caused the DPF to stop regen. Then when I would get back to CA or AZ it would start working again. EGR, Flap valve and cooler cost around $2,000 and another $1,000-$1,500 to replace. That's when I decided to replace the engine with a factory Reman at 545,000mi. The bra I would only use when it's below 20 degrees f. In North Carolina i would never use it, in the northern states I have been in 35 degrees below zero. I check the Bio fuel content on the truck stop apps, (Pilot, Loves, TA) if you look you'll see they show what the estimated bio content is for each location. I try to not go over 5% and in the summer it can be difficult to find however some stations like QT, Buccees, Raceway,etc. don't go over 5%.
On the DPF look at the bends or flanges in the brackets, that's where they like to break or crack, the top one you can see looking down (near cabin filter housing) I use my phone and video down and around the DPF and brackets to inspect it.

Hope this helps,
Dan

Gulf SV
09-23-2018, 05:21 PM
The search ended quickly. Pre-Purchase Inspection and clean bill of health from a trusted MB dealer. The excitement is growing for this replacement for Bad Dog Racing T1N.

dnshaf
09-24-2018, 06:30 PM
Awesome! looks great!

Dan

Gulf SV
09-24-2018, 07:44 PM
Really drives nice. 24.6 mpg through WVA and VA on the way home.

asimba2
09-25-2018, 02:45 AM
Really drives nice. 24.6 mpg through WVA and VA on the way home.

My 4Runner gets 7 MPG less than my OM651-powered 9-1/2-foot tall van. It's an impressive powertrain for sure.

asimba2
10-02-2018, 07:50 PM
Does anyone know when the 4 cyl DPF brackets were redesigned? My van was built October 20, 2016, which makes me think it should have the redesign. That said, I can't tell by looking at it.