My "Sunday driver" is a 1986 190e 2.3 8v automatic with AMG body kit (pics after I detail it next). Everything is stock from the dealership. I haven't even replaced the stereo. It has been family owned and only has 104k miles on it. The body and chassis are in good condition. However, it does need some work. I don't have a garage and don't have the time to work on it myself. I'm looking for a good mechanic in the North Jersey area (New Jersey) who can help me care for it. Arpi at Euro Tech was great, but his shop went out of business and I can't seem to get a hold of him. It needs a brake job, new rear struts, engine tune up, engine cooling system repair, and door lock repair. The engine runs hot while in traffic or sitting for long durations while idling. The engine temp is fine at speed. A/C doesn't blow cold, so it would be nice to fix that too. Little items like vacuum locks and power antenna don't work.
For my first post, I pose a question to all of you:
Should I keep my 190e stock or attempt to drop in an improved engine and manual trans?
I would love to convert to manual and get more power out of it by adding a 2.3 16v or 2.5 16v with a power adder (turbo or supercharger). I would have a shop do the work, so I'm researching cost and who is best to do it. I'm planning a budget for the work and would like as much input as possible. Or is all of that too much trouble and should keep it stock? I do appreciate any input and thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.
This is a great car and fun to drive. I'd hate to trade it in for some lame government deal on any other late model car.