The Making of Samson Worlds First V-12 107 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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The Making of Samson Worlds First V-12 107

It started out as a simple hypothetical question proposed on the internet in early 2006.

It turned into a personal challenge and an internet flame war. I think it was the phrase “lamest of all SL’s” that pissed me off.

Initial thread form another site where question was proposed:

Thread: Engine Swap Questions M120 into 380SL
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#17
03-21-2006, 09:44 PM

Roncallo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxthe1
Sorry but I don't have pictures of someone else's car. The area in question is near the idler arm, that I am sure of. And yes the 5.0 was offered but there was more room engineered into that area for those cars, which yours is not. I'm not trying to B/S you. I am a 10 yr M/B tech. On any given day i can be working on both 107's and V12 cars. Heck, there is a 380 SL in my shop sitting without an engine in it. I know exactly how much room you have. I also mentioned the idea around the shop (mercedes only independant) and everybody chuckled and then agreed, "no way in hhell"

I'm sorry that I'm the only voice of reason here but I am trying to tell you that you have no idea what it will take to put a m120 into a w107. I can promise you it will exceed any notion you have by an enormous percentage. As a rough guess I'd bet you'll have to re-engineer at least 50% if not 75% of the entire car. If it were even remotely feasible don't you think someone would have done it by now? Hell, I've seen V12's stuffed into a C-class but you're talking about a 6 figure price tag on the conversion. Are you really serious about dropping that kind of scratch on one of the lamest of all SL's?


My response
Sorry I dont mean to start a flame war here. But so far you have given me no useful information. If you want to help give me the number in inches or pounds that you feel is going to knock this project out of the realm of practicality. I have also worked on MB for 10 years from 1978 to 1988 so I have never seen an M120 engine except in pictures. I have done some challenging engine swaps including Chevy 350 into a Ferrari 308 GTS and Ford 302 into a Pinto. I have recently seen an article on the web of and M100 6.3 iron block engine installed into a 113 280SL. I'm sure that engine is much heavier than the M120 and the car is smaller than the 107. I am now an Aerospace engineer and quite well accustomed to such challenges. I also have a full machine shop at my house.

Numbers please, "no way in hhell" is not a number

John Roncallo

It became apparent that any real useful information would required the purchase of an SL600 and hands on evaluation.

A 1996 SL600 with 45,000 miles was purchased at an insurance auction. The SL600 engine is run for evaluation using a surrogate radiator. Engine measurements are taken, the situation is carefully evaluated. Conclusion was that the engine was in good shape and would fit. At this point the project is considered a go.
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post #2 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Finding the car

In May of 2006 a tired but totally rust free “Sadie In Red” arrives from CA. Funny thing about this car was that I thought I was purchasing a totally rust free body with 200,000 mils and the rest would be junk. It turns out the car ran great and really only needed the interior restored.
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post #3 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:27 AM
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I admire what you did,not sure how drivable the car is,though
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post #4 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Restoration of the 86 560 SL

Since the car ran so well I was in one of those hesitation modes where, Do I really want to pull out a perfectly good running engine and transmission and make this swap. So while I pondered this I began the restoration of the car.

Starts with a new hood pad, followed by AC box and dash overhaul. then Seat and door panel re-upholstery and color change from Palomino to Black.
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post #5 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulflei View Post
I admire what you did,not sure how drivable the car is,though

You just have to get used to driving around with a giant evil grin on your face all the time.

Remember: It's not just a car. It's an Adventure.
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post #6 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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The MB Fleet

So now I have 2 perfectly good 560SL's and a SL600 V12 donor car. The two 560SL's are on display as stock 560's for the last time at the Sikorsky 2006 Car Show.
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post #7 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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The V12 engine is removed and fitted to a spare sub frame I purchased, so that I wouldn't have to take the 560SL apart until I was ready.
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post #8 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 09:08 AM
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Keep talking.... we're all ears...

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post #9 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 09:22 AM
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Thank you Roncallo for sharing this incredible project !!!


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post #10 of 181 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Years ago I took a struggling 1.6 i4 out of my Mazda Miata and installed a crate Ford 302. That car had it's challenges but I ended up with a very capable machine and was quite happy. This one is surely more intricate. I greatly admire this project and want to thank you for sharing it!

Matt

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