Moving to PR with the w108....sbc? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Moving to PR with the w108....sbc?

Long story short is my wife and I are opening a business in Puerto Rico, I very much want to ship the Benz down there, my biggest problems/ worries would be lack of qualified mechanics, hard parts availability, engine and tranny reliability. Let me be clear I have driven this car for thousands of miles and it has never made me walk once (important cause I hate to walk), but the engine now seems to be making extra valve noise, and the tranny has always shifted late ( never been able to adjust it so I just changed my driving style).
I am considering putting in a 305 or 350 sbc, for future ease of repair/ replacement. I know this may detract from the value of the car, but I plan to drive it forever so that's really not a big issue. The suspension, interior and body are all in great condition, I only really worry about the driveline. I know many of you may think this is a bad idea, you are welcome to tell me. Does anyone think an sbc swap would make my vehicle more reliable and easier to maintain on an island with no Benz mechanics. I think if done properly this would make my car run for many years more with less worry. Next please guide me to some places where I can see someone else's successful sbc swap story, for more info. Thanks and sorry to the purist cause I may cut up my mercedes.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 06:36 AM
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I bought a 1967 250S that was missing the engine because the seller was going to put in a V8 sbc (small block chevy?). He never got there but did manage to mess up lots of things under the hood in his attempts. I also bought a 1968 280S on ebay for $500 for the engine and transmission (and webers!) and did the swap back.

Bottom line for me is I think it would be less work for you to ship the car back to have it repaired than to do the swap in advance.

How is the A/C in your 108? I think that might be an issue in PR.

A better choice might be to have the engine and tranny resolved prior to shipping.

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 08:18 AM
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Mercedes-Benz automobiles survive in many more "remote" parts of the World than Puerto Rico. I believe your fears to be misplaced. Ship the car, enjoy it, and you will find some shop to assist with repairs soon enough.

Last edited by ejboyd5; 04-04-2014 at 08:20 AM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 08:40 AM
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Puerto Rico has numerous qualified Mechanics that can service you Mercedes Benz as is, but if you plan to do the SBC conversion do it in Puerto Rico it will be far cheaper than the states despite them using the dollar. Puerto Rico has many Benz Mechanics.

First off there are Politicians in Puerto Rico and where ever you find politicians you find crooked politicians and where ever you find crooked politicians you find Mercedes, Simply the best car to be in when escapescaping from the people you oppress.

Your concern is quite misplaced. For your own sake I hope your business is solid, since you know so little about the Island. NO I am not Puerto Rican, but been there many many times and spend two summers as a kid working in a small repair shop in San Juan that serviced mainly European cars..

Since you plan to keep car forever. Personally I would do an LS based engine with injection. There is no weight difference to speak of. Actually I think the
LS1/6 speed combo with injection might be lighter than the 250c factory twin carb engine and auto box.

Before I started tweaking the engine for power I was getting 28 mpg of freeway, not sure what I get now as my foot is always planted to the floor and I rarely use 5/6 gear.

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