- Our Story
Back in the summer of 2012 I decided it was time to build a hot rod. Having had Chevys and Fords in high school I naturally gravitated towards the more common domestic hot rods: Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs, Novas, etc. However, the family had an old 1977 Mercedes 300D, originally purchased for a veggie oil conversion that we had no real use for anymore.
With the family having four cars and two drivers the house would quickly start looking like a parking lot if I were to pick up another project car so I started doing research to see what I could do with the Mercedes. That led me to Black Smoke Racing. Being relatively new to diesels and in disbelief that a little 3 liter diesel motor could behave as radical as their car, the decision was quickly made to start testing the waters with the 606 in my w123.
For those that have grown up around these cars this may not seem like much of a challenge but I was finding it a tall order to find meaningful information to plan my build. There were a couple of key forums online but it was often hard to discern truth from exaggeration. It was also common place for novice questions to be met with a lot of sarcasm. This does not make the people in the forums are bad, it’s just hard to understand the learning curve if you are on the outside.
The other issue I faced was finding the engine and transmission. It was the summer of 2012 when I had a national salvage yard search done for an om606. At that time the wrecking yard network searched only reported 3 in the country. I bought the closest one which was a couple hours away in San Antonio and immediately got online to purchase a Powertrain Technologies control unit for the transmission.
Fast forward to 2017 with the build on the downward slope I have learned quite a bit. Most of which came from the vendors I have purchased goods or services from. I have been very fortunate by selecting the best of breed suppliers in Dieselmeken, F-Tune and Auto Verdi; all of which have helped to shape my understanding of how these engines should be put together.
Along the journey I have been logging what I have learned on Facebook and YouTube. Not everything has been successful but I am hoping that there is value in the content for someone. The sites have a modest following and generate a fair amount of comments and questions. It was out of the community that BenzForce came to be. The US market wants to build these cars but is hurting for the domestic expertise and performance aftermarket parts that our European counterparts have and we are working hard to balance things out.