News News by Brand Nissan News

Nissan Skylines With Mercedes Diesel Swaps Are a Thing and They Make All the Smoke

If I had a nickel for every time I saw a Mercedes diesel Skyline, I'd have two nickels. Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice.
Nissan Skylines emit clouds of soot form their Mercedes diesel engines
@marcuslfoto on Instagram (left), Kanpeki Style on Facebook (right),

As long as your Nissan Skyline has six cylinders and a turbo, its spirit remains unchanged. That even goes for when you change out for a different flavor of horsepower. Such as diesel, which might be why multiple Skyline owners have swapped their cars to Mercedes diesel engines, of all things.

I first learned of these diesel Skylines when one popped up on Instagram, showing a video of creeping into a Norwegian car meet in a self-explanatory cloud of soot. A panning shot under the hood revealed a Mercedes OM606, the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six used in 1990s E-, S-, and G 300 Benzes. Today, it’s a reasonably popular swap due to the engine’s ubiquity and performance potential. You can find them in everything from Ford F-350s to a Jeep and even an escaped Grumman LLV mail truck. And of course, Nissans too.

Multiple of them, I should say, because while looking for info on the car above I found other examples. One’s a clip of an OM606-powered R33 (also in Norway), while another R32 popped up on Engine Swap Depot.

Listed on eBay UK in 2021, the latter was a GTS-T with GT-R bodywork, and a Godzilla-sourced rear axle too. That’s because it was built for somewhere between 500 and 600 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, which apparently a Mercedes C270 CDI transmission was good to hold. Fat Hoosier slicks on the rear make clear that it’s a drag car, though its cut-out fenders suggest it may have also been used for drift. (The brown car was cut up similarly, but it has more of its original frame.)

I dunno if three cars are enough to be called a trend, but it’s a heck of a swap for three people to come up with independently. And as much of a stickler as I can be about swapping in wrong engines to cars (K-swaps are ew), an OM606 in a Skyline makes all the sense in the world. If you have a good Skyline shell and some neglected diesels just lying around, the solution is obvious. The only thing these cars need now is a half-decent tune to get rid of that soot. You’ve come too far to cheap out like that.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com