Tranny Options for a '73 4.5 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Tranny Options for a '73 4.5

Sometime, sooner or later, the engine and tranny in my '73 4.5 is going to be put into an engineless '71 300SEL. I've thought about using a Dodge hemi and tranny as well, for the following reasons: the hemi offers more power, the 4.5 has rather poor gas milage and finally because the 4.5 revs high at highway speeds. I'm also not a huge fan of the three speed automatic I have currently.

That said though, keeping a 300SEL mostly stock is important to me, so I'd like to examine Mercedes transmission options, or even something out of a non-Benz car. I'm not adverse to cutting into the transmission tunnel, or splicing drive shafts.

Anyone have any insight or thoughts on the matter?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Grubeguy View Post
Sometime, sooner or later, the engine and tranny in my '73 4.5 is going to be put into an engineless '71 300SEL. I've thought about using a Dodge hemi and tranny as well, for the following reasons: the hemi offers more power, the 4.5 has rather poor gas milage and finally because the 4.5 revs high at highway speeds. I'm also not a huge fan of the three speed automatic I have currently.

That said though, keeping a 300SEL mostly stock is important to me, so I'd like to examine Mercedes transmission options, or even something out of a non-Benz car. I'm not adverse to cutting into the transmission tunnel, or splicing drive shafts.

Anyone have any insight or thoughts on the matter?
Just curious, I have a couple questions as I'm considering buying a 280 SE 4.5 (as opposed to buying a 560 SEC instead but I can't decide yet).

how powerful is the 4.5 engine?
How fast will the car go without shaking like crazy?
What is the average engine RPM when you are driving, say, 80 MPH?
what kind of gas mileage do you get?

regardless of which one i buy (280 SE 4.5 or 560 SEC) i will be buying it in the SF bay area in CA and driving it all the way back to St. Louis, MO. i just need to consider how reliable the car would be and how fast i could drive on the way back without the car engine overheating, etc, etc. with a 560 SEC I could easily do 140 MPH the whole way back but i'm not so sure about the 280 SE 4.5.

sorry to hijack your thread!!!!!
Thanks!!!!!
Henry
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 07:57 AM
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The LS1 package has been a very popular combination for swaps for years and the performance options seem to be endless 300 HP seems to be the lower end with 500 HP not all that difficult. The engine is relatively short in height and it doesnt weigh a ton. There are a number of V6 options as well. That car was from 1973, it was a pretty slick car back then.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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The 4.5 is powerful enough, but not hot rod-ish. I'm not so worried about power as I am gas milage and RPM's. The top speed I've had my 4.5 to was 115 (for a short period while passing), from San Diego to Denver. I've got good balance on all 4 wheels and the alignment is good, so no shaking whatsoever. However, I got 10-11 mpg on the trip (that stated though, I think I've got a fuel enrichment issue yet to be resolved). I'm told that 15-17 mpg on the highway is typical.

Without a tachometer, I'm not sure what the rps's were, but at highway speeds, the engine was really racing.

As for an LS1 package, that DOES sound good. What might an engine, tranny and all add-ons (alternator, AC condensor, etc) cost?

And does anyone know if the stock rear end would take 300 hp?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 05:18 AM
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Transmission options... none really, the 4 speed from late model V8 cars bolts right up but the top gear is the same 1-1 ratio and the 5speed from a merc M119 V8 is a almost perfect bolt up but is electronic and will need a $1200 controller and alot of tinkering to run the transmission. I have heard of acouple of people trying to install 6speed manuals, but never actually found one that was completed other then from a tuning house costing $10k+ and unwilling/unable to sell adapter plates etc.

The 4.5 is designed to rev fairly high at speed so it will run at speed for aslong as you would need. At 60mph its 2500rpm, on the speedo it will show close to 3k but on all 4cars i have worked on with M116-117 engines its been off. Double the speed and it will still purr.

The stock rear end i have no idea about, i play in W107 cars

Last edited by bluefang; 02-07-2009 at 05:21 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Damn. When I was in my early 20's, I had a V8 Camaro, and at highway speeds, the engine barely jogged...

My dad mated a Porsche tranny to a Land Rover small block V8 and used an outfit called Kennedy Engineering. They sell adapter plates and the like. Wonder what kind of domestic tranny options I've got. If you could mate up any kind of transmission to a 4.5, what would you go for?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 04:30 PM
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a Getrag 6 speed manual from BMW V8s seems to be what most people try to install but so far i have never heard anyone be successful, and the M119 is not a direct bolt up so none of the conversions for that will work either
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