In seven months we've put a little more than 17,000 miles on our 3.0L diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's been a road test unlike any that Diesel Power magazine has ever done because we've been modifying the Jeep every step of the way as we learn about the new V-6 diesel engine. Of course we know some of you will be shocked to even read that a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee is available. That's because the 3.0L Jeep is only sold in 45 states. Sorry California, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont-your emissions laws don't permit this amazing Jeep on your dealers' lots. However, according to Chrysler, the diesel Grand Cherokee will be available in all 50 states by 2010. In the meantime, allow us to give you a taste of what is possible right now. The Fourth Diesel OptionWe debuted our diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee in "Diesel Jeep Buildup" (Feb. '08), and then took it on the road in "Baja 1000 Road Trip" (Mar. '08). For those of you not familiar with our project, we took an '08 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 16 miles on the odometer and had Diversified Creations in Brighton, Michigan, bolt on a 4-inch Superlift suspension lift; an ARB Bull Bar front bumper; a Warn winch; and a full complement of 4xGuard front, rear, and belly skidplates. We then drove the Jeep to Colorado where 4XGuard bolted on a set of Side Guard HC rocker guards. When we got back to Los Angeles, we installed a set of new 285/70R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires mounted on 17x8 Hutchinson Rock Monster DOT-legal beadlock wheels. We've been off-roading the Jeep ever since. The 3.0L (183 ci) Mercedes diesel engine in the Grand Cherokee is an all-aluminum 72-degree V-6 engine with molded-in cast-iron cylinder liners. It features a Bosch common-rail injection system with piezo injectors, a Bosch CP3 injection pump, and a Garrett variable geometry turbo. The 474-pound engine generates 215 hp at 4,200 rpm and 376 lb-ft at 1,800 rpm. In Germany, this engine is known as the OM642. We haven't removed any emissions equipment or added any performance parts yet, but we think this could easily be a 300hp engine with some bolt-ons. The 3.0L (183 ci) Mercedes diesel engine in the Grand Cherokee is an all-aluminum 72-degre We spent the winter testing out our Jeep's off-road capabilities at the Baja 1000 and at the Moab Easter Jeep Safari. The Superlift 4-inch suspension lift works well, but the added weight of the ARB front bumper and Warn winch proved too much for the lower factory shock mounts. After 10,000 miles of pounding, the passenger-side mount failed and allowed the shock body to contact one of the front axle halfshafts. Luckily, our coworkers at Jp magazine had enough tools in their M715 pickups to fix our Jeep and get us back on the road. We spent the winter testing out our Jeep's off-road capabilities at the Baja 1000 and at t The permanent fix for our Jeep's suspension came from Off Road Unlimited (ORU) in Burbank, California. We had ORU install a new set of Bilstein front shocks, front springs from a Jeep Commander, and a pair of Bilstein 7100 series remote reservoir shocks in the rear. The permanent fix for our Jeep's suspension came from Off Road Unlimited (ORU) in Burbank, In order to raise the ride height of these Jeeps, Superlift moves the lower control arms (A) down and replaces the steering knuckles (B) with a new taller version. The stock shocks and coil springs are retained (C), but new upper mounts are bolted in to fill the gap (D). In order to raise the ride height of these Jeeps, Superlift moves the lower control arms ( This is the factory lower shock mount that clamps around the shock body and straddles the front halfshafts. Since we've added so much weight to the front end and bottomed out the suspension every time we went off-road, it was only a matter of time before the shocks slipped through the clamps. This is the factory lower shock mount that clamps around the shock body and straddles the Bilstein offers a new replacement shock (PN BE5-D721-H0) for Jeep Grand Cherokees that is tuned for more suspension control, and features an additional 3/8-inch suspension droop travel. The shocks are a direct replacement for the factory units and can be custom-ordered with extra grooves (A) machined into the bodies ($10 each) for adjusting the ride height. The Bilstein shocks also feature a solid shoulder for the lower mount to clamp to (B). Bilstein offers a new replacement shock (PN BE5-D721-H0) for Jeep Grand Cherokees that is The front suspension on our particular diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee was on the soft side when it left the factory. The computer-selected front springs were rated at 473 lb-in on the driver side and 433 lb-in on the passenger side. When we upgraded to the Bilstein shocks, we also swapped over to a set of Jeep Commander coil springs that are rated at 601 lb-in (Jeep PN 52124207AA) in order to support our winch bumper. The front suspension on our particular diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee was on the soft side whe The rear suspension was also upgraded with new 2-inch Bilstein 7100-series reservoir shocks. We had to trim the upper shock mount with a Sawzall so that the reservoir fitting wouldn't touch the body, but the results were a huge improvement in the rear suspension's control. Before the install, the Jeep would wallow over expansion joints in the highway. Now it settles back into position after every bump. The rear suspension was also upgraded with new 2-inch Bilstein 7100-series reservoir shock Unfortunately, our Jeep got sidelined in March when we were rear-ended by a GMC Yukon. No one was hurt, but the Yukon's entire front end was destroyed, the airbags were deployed, and it had to be towed away. By comparison, our Jeep suffered minor damage to the rear hatch, bumper cover, and 4XGuard Rear Guard HC, but we were able to drive away. Without the Rear Guard HC, we're certain the damage would have been significantly worse. Unfortunately, our Jeep got sidelined in March when we were rear-ended by a GMC Yukon. No We had the Jeep fixed at KC Customs in Santa Rosa, California. The owner, Bryan Kinney (left), has painted numerous magazine cover trucks over the years, and had his own F-350 featured on the cover of our July '07 issue. We had the Jeep fixed at KC Customs in Santa Rosa, California. The owner, Bryan Kinney (le As soon as we got the Jeep back from the body shop we decided to change over to a set of 285/70R17 Nitto Dura Grappler tires mounted on the factory wheels for a better on-road ride. In order to use the factory wheels, we had to order a set of aluminum wheel spacers from Spidertrax (PN WHS-010). With the new tires in place, we headed over to Yimi Sport's four-wheel chassis dyno in Santa Clarita, California, to get some power numbers. As soon as we got the Jeep back from the body shop we decided to change over to a set of 2 In order to make comparisons, we had Pete Trasborg from Jp magazine meet us with his stock silver '08 diesel Grand Cherokee so we could see if the lift and tires on our Jeep had any effect on the engine's power. In order to make comparisons, we had Pete Trasborg from Jp magazine meet us with his stock On Yimi Sport's dyno, the two Jeeps made comparable horsepower and torque numbers. Notice how the torque peak for both engines is at a relatively high 2,700 rpm, and how the horsepower curves are more like plateaus. The power numbers seem a little high considering the 3.0L diesel is rated at 215 hp and 376 lb-ft at the crankshaft. Our guess is that the 3.0L in the Jeep actually makes the same amount of power that it does in the Mercedes E320 sedan (224 hp, 398 lb-ft), it's just that Daimler won't allow Jeep to publish the same specifications. On Yimi Sport's dyno, the two Jeeps made comparable horsepower and torque numbers. Notice While at Yimi Sport we decided it was time to ditch the 3.0L's engine cover so we could show people the engine. Now you can finally see the choked air intake (A) and Bosch CP3 injection pump (B). While at Yimi Sport we decided it was time to ditch the 3.0L's engine cover so we could sh SOURCES 4XGuard www.4xguard.com KC Customs N/A www.kccustoms.com ARB 2-06/-264-1669 www.arbusa.com Nitto BFGoodrich 1 Parkway S. P.O. Box 19001 Greenville SC 29602-9001 865-458-5000 Off Road Unlimited www.offroadunlimited.com Bilstein 14102 Stowe Dr. Poway CA 92064 858-386-5900 www.bilstein.com Spidertrax N/A www.spidertrax.com Diversified Creations www.diversifiedcreations.com Superlift superlift.com Hutchinson Warn 5-03/-722-1200 www.warn.com Jeep 800-925-5337 www.jeep.com Yimi Sport 661-251-3966 www.yimisport.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!