C280 Engine Swap...Is it worth it? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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C280 Engine Swap...Is it worth it?

I was thinking about swapping the engine of my 1995 C280 with a 1998 C43 engine from a local junkyard. The engine is around 3,500 and I don't really know how much it'd cost for labor. Can someone please tell me if it's worth it? I want my C280 to be faster, but will it be SIGNIFICANTLY faster if I ONLY have the C43 engine, and no AMG parts (brakes etc.) Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 04:30 PM
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I'm sure you realize the swap you are considering is WAY more complex than taking out one engine and dropping in the other. I don't think the transmission in your 2.8l is compatible with the bigger motor, so that will have to be changed, which implies the driveshaft will have to be altered, which means the differential may have to be strengthened. All that assumes the engine compartment will not have to be physically modified, motor mounts not will have to be relocated, the transmission tunnel will not need modification, the electrical harness will not have to be altered, that the exhaust system would not have to be modified. The list is endless.

If the swap was a drop-in, then you would have a very fast C-class without the suspension or brakes to cope with the power of the engine.

The answer to your question is YES, it would be significantly faster. So would a Cooper with a bi-turbo V-12, but you don't want to try that swap either. You would be much better off and spend a lot less money to sell your C280 and buy a C43. The $3500 for the junked motor is just the tip of the iceberg, assuming it doesn't need significant repair.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the answer, I obviously don't know much about cars at all. But I want to learn, and my question is if I were to get a C36/C43 would it be worth it, or is there another type of mercedes that is not extremely expensive that is also very fast, because from what I've read most C36/C43 are under 10 grand. Thanks!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:01 PM
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When I was campaigning race cars, one thing I heard a lot was "Speed costs money, boy. How fast do you want to go?" A very fast not extremely expensive Mercedes doesn't exist.

The C43 and C36 are reasonably fast, but they aren't neck-snapping, scare the neighbors fast. With only 4.3 and 3.6 liters of displacement, you just can't get all that much horsepower. My SL500 (R129) is faster and probably handles as well. Any AMG-built car is going to be the fastest version of the chassis it is made from, but some are faster than others. A C63 or CLK63 are rocket sleds, but you aren't going to find one for ten grand. An E55 is plenty quick, but you got to pay.

If you can find a well-maintained C36 or C43 for under ten grand, it will be a sight quicker than your 280 and will turn and stop better too. If you want to move up to the bigs, you got to bring a bigger wallet.

Good luck.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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haha thanks! i'm only 17 so a legitimate job would be a good start i suppose
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:51 PM
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This would be a complete waste of money. Your C280 isn't even worth the price of the engine and you would severely depreciate the car further by dropping in a non factory engine/trans. Save your money and get a real AMG if that is what you want. Late 90's C43 are not exactly expensive cars. They can be had on the cheap.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mr.xpowerseller View Post
This would be a complete waste of money. Your C280 isn't even worth the price of the engine and you would severely depreciate the car further by dropping in a non factory engine/trans. Save your money and get a real AMG if that is what you want. Late 90's C43 are not exactly expensive cars. They can be had on the cheap.
I'm a car noob sorry. I am going to save for the C43 but I can't seem to find any in my area. I checked craigslist and newspapers and stuff.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:59 PM
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Start searching out of your area. Look in major markets. You can always ship it or go get it and drive it back. No need to limit yourself to just your home area. If I did that, I'd have junk. I've went as far as buying cars from a different country and shipping them in via the ocean.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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I would most likely need to save up more money then, I'm only 17 and I don't have a fulltime job so I'm using my life savings, which is hardly 10 grand. The C43 has just always been a dream car for me.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 08:12 PM
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Sounds like you need a job and a good one. If your dream car is a C43, then you are easy to please. My realistic dream car is a Maybach 57s, which is only $389,000. My unrealistic dream car is a Bugatti Veyron pur sang, which can be had for the low price of $1,600,000.
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