10k: Heavy Fuel: 1962 Ford Econoline Pickup, OM617 Diesel Swap

The formula for restoring or modifying an old American work truck from the 1960s  goes something like this: Step 1 Find Chevy 350 V8, Step 2 Install Chevy 350 V8, Step 4 Profit.   Sometimes you might consider using a large V8 from the original manufacturer of the vehicle, but under no circumstances should your pick a donor engine from the worlds slowest luxury sedan from the 1980s.  Unless you are insane.  Find this  1962 Ford Econoline Pickup with OM617 diesel power here on eBay currently bidding for $5,200 reserve-not-met with 4 days to go, located in Lakeland, FL.

The Ford Econoline was introduced in 1961 as a competitor to Chevy’s
Corvair Greenbrier and Volkswagen’s Type 2 (Van).  Ford’s offering
(based on the Falcon chassis) wasn’t some wacky air-cooled rear engined
setup and instead was configured like a miniature cab-over truck powered by available inline-6 and V8 gasoline engines.  It was not sold from the factory with an oil burner under any secret option list…ever…

But there it is.  An OM617 inline-5 cylinder turbo diesel from a Mercedes 300D shoved amidships into a Ford Econoline pickup.  I can’t fathom the reasons that someone might swap in an engine that is more just as gutless than the original basic 144 cubic inch Falcon inline-6, but there you have it.  This 3.0 liter diesel fueld screamer revs all the way to a 125 horsepower peak at 4240 rpm and 181 ft-lbs of torque at 2400 rpm..which is actually more than the stock inline-6 engines from the 1960s, but considerably less than what you could get with a few modifications to those engines or a Ford V8 engine.