Author Topic: To Swap or not to swap?  (Read 4236 times)

116.025

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To Swap or not to swap?
« on: 16 May 2006, 10:01 AM »
Here's the question before the council today:  To swap or not to swap?  Actually, I think I've already decided to swap, but I'll give you guys the situation and see what you guys think.

Presently my 280SE with just under 417,000 kms on it is presently using a US quart (roughly 950 ml, though I figure you guys already know that  ;)) of oil every 300 kms.  It does spot the driveway, but not enough to justify that kind of consumption.  With work being 60 km (one-way) drive, this means I'm putting oil in it rather frequently.  I was also having A/C issues, which was why I took it in to the mechanic, since I don't have the tools to do much A/C stuff.  I asked them to check on the oil consumption while they had it.  He suggests it is likely the valve guides and/or valve stem seals, and says that would very likely require pulling the head, which means much $ in labor.  And yes, I would consider doing something like this myself, but I was trying to have the car ready for my trip to KY on 5/26.

Turns out, the guy I sold the engine and transmission out of my wrecked 280SEL hasn't done anything with it yet.  The engine out of the 280SEL is in better shape, only using a quart of oil every 1,500-2,000 miles or so.  His brother-in-law will do the engine and transmission swap for ~$300USD.  All I'd have to do would be to figure out how to transfer the car to the location about 400 miles from where I live.  My mechanic told me to jump on the opportunity, and I was thinking it was the way to go anyway.  The purist in me is annoyed the car won't have the original engine in it anymore, but I guess I'll get over it.

Assuming I do this, I've realized I also need to make a list of what else should be replaced while the swap is happening due to it being the easiest time to do so.  Big Richard, if you've got all the part #s together for the firewall grommets (or even some) could you send them my way?  Though that could get interesting for the ones that are RHD specific...

So far on the list:
Motor Mounts
Transmission Mount (or Rear Motor mount, whatever you wish to call it)
Firewall Grommets
Edit: Front Flex Disc

Anything else my fellow W116 scholars can think of? 

Or, on the flipside, any rebuttals to the idea of swapping engines instead of repairing?
« Last Edit: 16 May 2006, 10:08 AM by 116.025 »
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

mineson

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #1 on: 16 May 2006, 02:57 PM »
My oppinion (and dream)  is to go Diesel!

I'm not sure what would fit, but my first choice is the 240D engine because it can have a stick-shift which makes it peppier than a Turbo Diesel.

The conversion is more than a swap, but it has been done.... Once you're on Diesel, you can make your own BioDiesel from old deep-fryer grease.  I've heard as low as $.60 a Gallon!

Even if you go with dino-diesel, you would still double your gas mileage.  If Gas is $3 a gallon and you go from 15 to 30 mi/G, then you would save $2000 after driving 10,000 miles. Since you drive 75 miles per workday, you could save $4000 a year!

Go for it! (or get a 240D  ;))

-Matt

1977 450SEL 4.5L (W116)
1990 350SDL (W123)
Working on Jack Stands in the Driveway

michaeld

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #2 on: 16 May 2006, 06:52 PM »
116.025,
There is nothing wrong with swapping parts in these cars, as they are not collector's classics that fetch tens of thousands of dollars.  Someday I believe our w116 cars will get the respect they genuinely deserve, but I don't see that happening soon.  Swap away! 
Going from one Mercedes engine to another is a baby step in swaps; I'd shudder to the very bone if you were talking about throwing in a Toyota engine ??? (and would forever after think of your car as an abomination >:().

There are some details you don't mention: what year engines are we talking about?  Is one or both from a Euro car?  Are they the same or different sizes?  Are we discussing an M110, an M130, or an M117 - and which would be going in, and which would be coming out? 

I see you are in the USA; make sure there are no smog or registration issues that would make you rue the day you ever thought of an engine swap.  In California, it is generally better not to tell the DMV that you are doing an engine swap, as they will force you to re-register the car into some nebulous category.    But if you don't tell your DMV, you would be under the same smog category as it had previously been under; even if the engine is older and "smoggier."

As for mineson's suggestion to go diesel, I understand where he's coming from.  But I also understand that you have an opportunity to have a gas engine that you know and trust swapped in for you for $300.  I'd say go for the bird in the hand and do the swap. my friend.

116.025

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #3 on: 17 May 2006, 05:31 AM »
Mineson, BioDiesel and saving money on fuel are why I bought the '71 220D back in March, even though the M110 is yielding 18-21 MPG...I found out last night it (the 220D)needs a wrist pin...so no more driving it at any speed until I can get parts, pull the engine and do at least a partial bottom end rebuild...something I hoped the car wouldn't need for a long while when I bought it, but that's life, I guess...

Looks like ive got some papers to sift thru and some writing to do, I'll have to respond after work today. Can you tell me if your car has the automatic climate control or the manual version. This is the only difference in the firewall. besides the openings for the steering shaft and brake booster in left and right hand drive cars.

Manual Climate control, thankfully  ::)  Having lived with the automatic climate control on Mom's 116 and the 123 wagon in the family, I had no interest in the ACC if I could avoid it.

Micheald, I would not even toy (no pun intended) with the idea of a Toyota engine in my 116.  If there was such a thing as automotive blasphemy, that would be it. Plus, I'd lose my "rice-free" status! :shudder:  Though I believe you are correct, right now it's not too big a deal for a 116 to have different numbers and such, just becuase they aren't collector's cars yet, like you said.  But to answer your question, yes, both are from Euro cars, and both are 110.985s.  They might even be within a few engines of each other, since MT engines seem to be rather rare, but I don't know if I'll get to find out, since some idiot scraped the digits after 110.985 off of the engine from the 280SEL I wrecked (the engine going in).  As far as smog goes, NC just phased out emissions inspections on pre-'96 cars this year for the counties that had them, and the county I live in didn't have them, anyway, so no worries there, as long as I can get them to believe there wasn't a catalytic converter on the car from the factory (and being Euro, there wasn't) which means they should pass it without delay.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2006, 09:38 AM by 116.025 »
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

Des

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2006, 05:46 AM »
Looks like im going to have to get my transmission cooler line custom manufactured, i cant seem to get any responce out of styria for his second hand one. And this is the only thing im waiting for before i reinstall my engine, I can wait, no longer.

[/quote]


I have found Styria to be always helpful and professional with his emails and dealings, he is sometimes a few days behind in his emails, im sure he has a life other than the m100 community.
I know he has several restro parts projects on the go for the 6.9 owners so I would advise be patient and I'm he will be able to help you.

Des
1977 W123 230 
1977 W116 280S *new*
1980 W123 250
VW Beetle "Oval Window"
VW Golf Mk1
Volvo 240GL
Volvo 740GLE

oscar

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #5 on: 17 May 2006, 07:43 AM »
  im sure he has a life other than the m100 community.
How dare he!

116.025, you could always restamp the engine number??

Besides that, I had a similar problem re using oil and a few threads came out of it. Ended up being valve seals.Here was the latest, a few jobs done but AU$1450 it cost all up with about $AU800 for 12hours to do the valve seals job alone.  Fiddly job on 8 cylinders including labour but more importantly, did not involve removing the heads.  I'd imagine a six would be even cheaper.

Keep in mind too the other issues like worn rings that could be part of the prob.  What's your compression like? But $300 for engine and tranny swap, that seems cheap. 

I'd say find out what you can about your motor whilst it's still in your car (eg, compression) then do the swap.  Whilst the original's out you can, like you mention, do the valve seals yourself.  If it ends up being a dud with lots of probs, at least you'll have fun pulling it apart.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

116.025

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #6 on: 17 May 2006, 08:27 AM »
Hmm, re-stamping the engine number is an interesting idea.

Yeah, I've been practically guaranteed by a guy that lives 15 mins from the house and who used to train the mechanics at the MB dealership in Raleigh, that it's the valve seals.  He's even offered to lend tools and supervision for me to replace the valve seals.  If the 220D didn't need my attention as well, I'd probably take him up on that rather than doing the swap.  But even then, maybe not, because the synchronizer on the tranny that's in there now is about gone, which is annoying.  I'm not fond of *CRUNCH* when shifting 1st-2nd at 2000RPMs, and the synchro on the other tranny is in better shape.

And I probably would get into taking the other apart, but to wind up with both engines I'd have to buy one(since I gave him the engine/tranny and some $ for the car I have now), which I don't think I want to do (well, I want to, but I'm trying to save up for a house and such).  You know, I haven't checked compression on that engine, would be interesting to see.  I suspect it's ok, it pulls strong, esp. since it isn't burdended with a catalytic converter.  And I think you're right about the 6 not needing the head pulled for the valve seals, but my mechanic was thinking valve guides as well.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2006, 08:37 AM by 116.025 »
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

s class

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #7 on: 17 May 2006, 08:45 AM »
With regard to the oil consumption of your existing M110, I had similar symptoms on my 280SE euro.  It appeared that valve stem seals and maybe valve guides were the heart of my problems (excessive oil consumption, especially in city driving).  However, when the motor was opened there was daylight visible between the bores and the pistons when they were at bottom dead centre.  The block was only JUST salveageble with a maximum size overbore.  Given the mileage of your engine I believe that valve seals/guides are only part of your problem.  I don't want to sound negative, but in my family we have had a number of M110's and the bores just don't last the kind of mileage you are talking. 

There is another old saying here that I live by - "don't open a mercedes engine unless you are prepared for a complete overhaul"

By all means, replace your valve stem seals, but realise that this will only be a part, or interim solution.

Swapping to a better engine is attractive at that price.  HOWEVER, I would avoid an engine with a defaced number at all costs.  It will BITE you later on.  Here in South Africa any tampering with engine numbers, including restamping, is illegal.  I absolutely avoid cars where the engine number shows signs of tampering because it will cause heartache and hassles that are just not worth it. 

While on the topic, if you do get involved in rebuilding either of the M110's you are considering, be very careful of the engine number.  As you know it is located on an "extension" of the block face.  Overhaul of the engine may require skimming of the block face which could lead to erasure of the engine number.  Just make sure your machine shop is aware of this pitfall and that they don't damage the number.

If you have the crisp folding stuff, rebuilding your M110 is the way to go.  Just do it properly with genuine internals and you will be rewarded with great performance. 

Ryan in South Africa

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

Denis

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #8 on: 17 May 2006, 10:13 AM »
Dear 116.025

Sorry to hear about your classic 220D (I am not kidding, it IS a classic) having a bad GUDGEON pin !

Wrist pin is an incorrect American word  ::)

Cheers my friend

Denis

the obnoxious frenchman

s class

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2006, 12:48 AM »
Check out some pics of my M110 rebuild I just uploaded into the gallery if you're interested.

Thanks Denis - you're not the only obnoxious person obviously - I had no idea what a wrist pin was until you clarified for us  ;)

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

116.025

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Re: To Swap or not to swap?
« Reply #10 on: 18 May 2006, 04:50 AM »
Sorry to hear about your classic 220D (I am not kidding, it IS a classic) having a bad GUDGEON pin !

Wrist pin is an incorrect American word  ::)

Yeah, I was sorry when I heard it, too.  I was hoping when it started making noise that a valve adjustment would take care of it...but no luck there.  Well, then, it is good to know the correct term for future reference.

Thanks, S Class, I'll check them out when I get some more free time.
« Last Edit: 18 May 2006, 04:52 AM by 116.025 »
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box