Engine Mercedes OM601

A series of Mercedes OM601 diesel engines for 2.0, 2.2, 2.3 liters was assembled from 1983 to 2000 and was installed both on passenger models, such as W201, W202, and on commercial minibuses. In total, there were three atmospheric modifications of this unit and one with a turbocharger.

The diesel R4-family includes: OM616, OM601, OM604, OM611, OM640, OM646, OM651, OM654, OM668.

The main features of the OM601 engine are hydraulic tappets in the valve drive, an aluminum cylinder head and a high pressure pump with automatic bleeding to remove air.

These motors are more high-speed, they are noisy, higher liter power and economy. At the same time, they require significantly more qualified service. On engines, hydraulic pushers fail due to deteriorating lubrication conditions, accompanied by a characteristic knock of valves.

The camshafts and the 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 delivery is indirect injection through a prechamber. The fuel pump is a mechanical fuel injection unit with mechanical speed control, automatic height compensation and load-sensing idle speed control. Lubrication of in-line multi-section injection pumps of OM601 diesels is carried out by supplying them with oil from the general circuit of the engine lubrication system. Therefore, saving on the quality of engine oil and the timing of its replacement leads to wear not only of the engine, but also of the pump camshaft, pushers and plunger swivel bushings, as well as the gear rack and pump regulator.


Production years 1983-2000
Displacement, cc 1997 (OM 601 D 20)
2197 (OM 601 D 22)
2299 (OM 601 D 23)
2299 (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Fuel system prechamber
Power output, hp 72 – 75 (OM 601 D 20)
73 (OM 601 D 22)
79 – 82 (OM 601 D 23)
98 (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Torque output, Nm 123 – 130 (OM 601 D 20)
130 (OM 601 D 22)
152 – 157 (OM 601 D 23)
230 (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Cylinder block cast iron R4
Block head aluminum 8v
Cylinder bore, mm 87 (OM 601 D 20)
87 (OM 601 D 22)
89 (OM 601 D 23)
89 (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Piston stroke, mm 84 (OM 601 D 20)
92.4 (OM 601 D 22)
92.4 (OM 601 D 23)
92.4 (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Compression ratio 22.0
Features no
Hydraulic lifters yes
Timing drive chain
Phase regulator no
Turbocharging no
yes (OM 601 D 23 LA)
Recommended engine oil 5W-40
Engine oil capacity, liter 6.0
Fuel type diesel
Euro standards EURO 0/1
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (for Mercedes V 230 TD 1997)
— city
— highway
— combined
Engine lifespan, km ~500 000
Weight, kg 175

The engine was installed on:

  • Mercedes C-Class W201 in 1983 – 1993; C-Class W202 in 1993 – 1995;
  • Mercedes E-Class W124 in 1984 – 1995;
  • Mercedes Sprinter W901 in 1995 – 2000;
  • Mercedes TN/T1 VAN in 1988 – 1995;
  • Mercedes V-Class W 638 in 1996 – 1999.

Disadvantages of the OM601 engine

  • These diesel engines are very reliable, provided that high-quality fuel and oil are used.
  • From poor-quality lubrication, pump parts, as well as hydraulic lifters, quickly wear out.
  • Contaminated antifreeze often leads to engine overheating and breakdown of the cylinder head gasket.
  • Weak point in the fuel system – centrifugal clutch of the injection advance angle.
  • The timing chain serves 200 – 250 thousand km, and if it breaks, the block head may crack.

1 thought on “Engine Mercedes OM601”

  1. hola, cuantos grados de retroseso hay que darle a la bomba para la puesta a punto?

    hello, how many degrees of recoil do you have to give the pump for tuning?

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