sourcing a manual transmission from a 240 and performing a manual conversion on a 617 or 616 motor is an easy and extremely well documented swap on the various MB forums.
For example, if the work of making this engine choice a manual, and the lack of a bolted together 617/616 and 4-speed ready for you to pick is a deterrent, then an alternate engine swap for this vehicle is not for you. Even with an ideal drivetrain, every single part of getting it into a chassis it wasn't designed for will be a custom experiment. You might pull and install the motor 20 times at a minimum. That can't be a pain in the a$$ for you, it has to be fun if you want to finish building something.
I would have suggested a 4.0 and 5-speed out of a Jeep, but again, getting that bolted in will be a lot of custom work.
I agree with the sentiment in the above post. It seems to me that you are more excited by the idea of driving the conversion, than the process of actually building it. If thats the case, selling the project seems a great idea to me. Projects of this type get completed when the process is the part someone enjoy, more than the end product.
This is the reason guys build custom cars and then sell them, they love the journey, not the destination.
People are telling you to hold onto it because you will regret it later. I say sell it and stop worrying about it. Yeah you may regret it, but you may regret sitting on a "might be if only" huge project for 20 years as well. Plus the cost of keeping it around, and the bother or worrying about it.
Everyone stalls on projects and sells them at one point or another, so no shame in that. I say move on and forget about it. There will always be a later, and the later always comes with the experience of the prior. I have sold numerous projects, and completed numerous others. I always say, "well I wish Id kept that 1965 buick and did such and such", or "I wish Id kept that 1982 grey market 300D and did such and such", but im lying to myself every time.
People forget the motivations of the actual time of sale, and for my project selling times, I made the right move, moved on, and returned later with more money, more experience, and more drive to get it done.
Actually, I do enjoy this type of stuff. I'm excited to fabricate whatever is necessary to make the parts and pieces fit, then put it all together. I look forward to addressing the steering should the motor get in the way, as I've already planned out a couple of ideas, so doing the work isn't an issue. I enjoyed pulling the car apart from the inside and finding old newspaper clippings and the like. I've sanded down the body panels I've brought home to bare metal and keep them covered and dry, so they're ready for a coat of primer when I start putting it all back together. I've even restored all the interior wood pieces, with a shiny coat of urethane that would rival the finish of the W100 600 trim!
The joy of doing the work is there, and I have a vision of the finished product (cosmetically speaking anyway), but it's what goes under the hood that's stopping me.
But now that I think about it, perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way; I wanted to clean up the undercarriage (inspect for rust/damage, repaint) and get the drivetrain in and do the cosmetic stuff after the fact. Perhaps it would be best if I simply fixed the body up first, made it look nice, and THEN worried about what goes in. After all, there's no actual reason for me NOT to do the body work and cleaning up of the car.
The biggest barrier I keep facing is figuring out what in the hell I want to propel this thing with!! And admittedly, it's stopped me from doing ANY work on the vehicle itself. I realize now it shouldn't, and that not having the drivetrain I want isn't preventing me for turning that shell back into a gorgeous car. So I have to thank you JBG3, you've given me a new sense of direction!
WRT to the 4.0/5-speed from a Jeep, I drove that daily for 3 years, and it is the most LETHARGIC 4.0 I've ever driven; I love my Jeep, it was my first car, and I've no intention of getting rid of it. But the combination feels good for crawling over things, not so much cruising on the highway or back roads.
Let's leave the kid alone...we keep bothering him...he won't get the project started...let alone finished!
No, no, I needed some poking and prodding to get going!
All that being said, with the exception of the driver's side window missing, all the other windows are intact but clouded up. What's the best method to clean them up? Or would sourcing new glass all together be a better choice?
With that in mind, the rubber seals for the the rear glass and the windshield are cracked to hell and beyond (they don't seem to leak, as I sprayed the car down to get off any dirt, but I'd rather replace them anyway), so what's my best bet for sourcing these? I've not checked with the classic center yet, but I may shoot Tom Hanson and email to see what he can do for me.
The next thing I'd like to get sorted is the damage in the rear. Here's the photo so no backtracking needs to be done:
I've got some panels to redo that bit of the trunk floor that has rusted through (everything else in the trunk is fine), but what's my best bet for the rest? That portion of the body is bent up, so it prevents the trunk from closing (likely how the water got in there from the start).