Turning a W115 into a Muscle Car! - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 06:12 PM
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Date registered: May 2012
Vehicle: 1989 560sl, 1973 220, 2009 ml350
Location: texas
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with 6 years as a mechanic i'm good on what parts do what jobs and how, but as a mechanic in texas i never really got to find out how durable some parts of the mercedes design really are. had a '80 300SD for about 6 years and fell in love with how easy everything was to service on it, but the '73 220 gas engine has quite an alien carb that is very much dead, and a number of other parts which i can't get or can't get info on, and so the cheap option for me is the heart transplant (as much as it shames me as a purist) in order to get this baby rolling again.
money, yeah already figuring a 6k finish (2k for interior [got a friend who's done it for 40+ years] 2k for paint and body, and 2k for the powertrain) but prepping a budget of 10k because i've started a resto project or two before and learned the rule of resto's "plan your finish cost, now add two thirds and you might get it done for about that much" but in order to be sure of this budget i just want to be sure wether that diff and axles will have a snowball's chance of surviving this monster, and the front suspension not collapsing would also be a plus.

so the questions with the most important answers for me at this stage of planning is the diff's hp rating (if it really is the same part as in the bigger models then that's great) and what heavier model would have front springs that would bolt up?

don't want to spend 10k just to lower it off the lift (got shop space and lift secured already) and the front suspension sits on the ground while the back axles are twisted into pretzels lol. i want it to sit like a happy healthy 220 is supposed to sit, pretty and well postured, not slouching and mangled like it may try to end up if my fears are justified.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 06:53 PM
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Well...

If youve already blasphemed in the engine bay you might as well blaspheme in the rear end as well.

I had a 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S for a while and it had a real simple rear suspension. It was a solid axle with four links and a panhard bar. It had the TRD suspension on it. I drove this car and I also drove a Miata. I drove both cars. Hard. Never in the course of my driving did I really feel a particular disadvantage because of the solid axle. Likewise, never with the miata did I feel a particular advantage in the independent suspension. Granted, mathematically the camber rejection curves on a Miata are way better than they are on a Corolla (because on the Miata they actually exist), but the point Im trying to make is if you do a proper 4 link rear solid axle, you shouldnt be able to tell the difference.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 07:17 PM
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i get what you're saying, and i haven't blasphemed YET, but it has already been decided and i figure this car fits the category of clean title salvage, meaning original was out the window years ago so free-for-all on making it run again. i just want to know if the mercedes diff will handle this new job or do i need to try finding a diff from one of the larger models as the suspension arrangement is not something i want to mess with, mercedes knew what they were doing, on the engine i don't know what they were doing lol.

also any idea where i might find out about airbags for the suspension? i know a spring shop about an hour from my work, but it'd be real guess work as to what i'd need, adjustable airbags would make that far less expensive as i'd simply adjust when it finally sits back on terra firma
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 05:46 AM
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Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
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Look up a guy on the forum named Gwunta - he's an Aussie who put a Chevy engine into a 108 and it looks AWESOME. My Dad put a Ford 302 into a 108 eons ago and the car runs strong still. All he did was change engine mounts and he grafted the two driveshafts together, leaving the rear end stock.

One headache will be the routing of the exhaust pipes, but if you're handy with a welder, it shouldn't be too tough.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 01:27 PM
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Id just do the engine and gbox leave the rest of the factory drive train untill it fails
Mercedes stuff is pretty rugged

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 07:50 PM
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i don't doubt that merced makes severely rugged stuff, but if they made this car originally withh 60hp, i can't shake the feeling that 400 hp (base engine offered at the shop i work at) will make pretzels out of those axle shafts. will it really handle that without failing immediately? (i persist in this question as i sometimes have a lead foot, and don't like the idea of being without my car [any of my cars] for any extended amount of time)

on a related note, i have found a 73 450sl parts car that i'd be far more comfortable taking the diff from to handle this job. so i may soon have most of a 450sl worth of parts for sale. maybe.

now to suspension, airbags or 450sl springs to support the extra 200-300 ish pounds? recomended makers of airbags? no intention to make it bounce, just maintain proper posture, and ride quality is a bonus.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 10:57 PM
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so i looked at the diff under the 220 today and compaired it to my 560sl's dif, case appears the same (different service plate, but bolt pattern looks the same) and the axles look about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thicker! i guess i'll trust it to take the abuse, but then the question on gear ratios, anyone know that off hand for the auto trans? also for the '73 450sl auto trans diff?

another thing i realised today as a chevy engine was getting prepped for shipping with its orange paint, what would be an appropriate color to paint the engine as it is going into a benz? 30 minutes of browsing google images i found one merc engine with paint, a '35 that was mars red, too close to chevy red for my plans (don't want it immediately identifiable as a gm product wedged into this fine german car, experienced gearheads will know it, but i want it to take a moment to catch on.) so anyone seen a mercedes painted engine? meaning painted by mercedes, i think i remember some machine grey washing off of my old '80 300sd's valve cover, but that was a decade ago, and i was owner #14 or so. (colors i know to be popular on chevys, thus i want to avoid, orange, red, black, blue [dark sky blue], and a green from the days of I6's)

and finally, looks, i'm thinking silver for the paintjob and light grey interior, nice formal look that won't show dirt or scratches as readily. but i'm also thinking a race stripe or something to break it up. likely to omit the body line trim pieces, but thinking if i do that it may look pretty cool if i matte black the chrome that isn't the bumpers, just that little chrome to make its shine so much more special (not to mention hide the scratches/scuff marks on the rest of the trim.)
basically what would you do looks wise on a vigorously modded 4dr 220? extra note, missing hub caps so assume stock 14 steels with fresh black paint and chromed lugs, wheels won't fit my budget for a while yet unless i get the 450, then expect 15 steels, i think.

thanks soo much for the advice and sharing of knowledge, really glad i found this place, looking like i'll have a german/american frankenmonster maybe sometime early next year. grubeguy i found the pics/vids about gwunta's car, epic win! no twin turbos for me lol, but that is a sweet ride! and joeSEC you got me to investigate the diffs further, thanks for the many hours you have likely saved me, if you're in east texas sometime i feel i owe you a beer for that and doubting your obviously superior knowledge on these old birds.

one last note, not sure about any final updates but in searching for engine paint colors i found a project webpage for a similar build called mercules, pretty sweet looking ride/project, worth a look
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 10:59 PM
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is this the kind of forum where making a new thread for this would be frowned upon? kinda figure at this point i'm going for something just different enough from the OP that it really is a different discussion... but have seen many forums before were repeat convo's acquired admin attention, even when only vaguely related.

anyhow on the car topic, my coworker says there are companies that sell header kits with bits of bent pipe to be assembled by the customer, going to try to find these and will post findings here.

off i go to the depths of the internet, wish me luck.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 06:59 AM
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There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. It's YOUR car, money and time. I do think this is the wrong forum for this topic though. This "Vintage" thread is more for the people who are trying to preserve the integrity of their cars.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 10:13 PM
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i will take a look for a custom/hotrod board, however as this board is for the coverage of models/chassis not having their own board and the chassis that is to be the basis of this project is among those covered here it falls into a grey area pending the presence of a custom/hotrod board.

i blame my first job for making me a rules lawyer, corporations seem to do that to bottom end employees... seriously though i'll take a look for a more proper board and will post a link here to the new thread if i find such a board, haven't looked around here that much yet, simply started talking here as the long dead thread was already on the topic i was seeking info on.
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