Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
401 - 420 of 714 Posts

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #403 ·
I woke up much earlier than I wanted to, so I guess I’ll give another quick update.
I did a bit more work last night.

I bought new grade 8 hardware for securing the motor mounts to the subframe brackets. 4 giant bolts, 4 giant nuts, and 8 half inch washers for $3.99. I love Atwood’s hardware section so much.

I climbed into the engine bay (fun) to redo some of my welds, just to be absolutely sure of their security, and to correct for the slight tilt of the engine.
Black Guitar accessory Grey Camouflage Automotive exterior


When the welds were rock solid, I degreased and cleaned the subframe and nearby panels. I gave it a coat of rust encapsulator just to be safe, and to clean up the look a bit.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper Automotive exterior


Another reason for redoing my welds a bit was to correct the tilt of the engine I had. My dad let me know that it’s best to start with a perfectly even drivetrain and THEN work on any tilt that’s required to make the driveshaft work, or to clear any obstructions. It may just stay like this though, since I’m not seeing any reason why the transmission won’t fit in the tunnel like this.
Car Vehicle Hood Automotive battery Motor vehicle
Motor vehicle Gas Automotive exterior Hood Automotive design


An added bonus is that since the front of the engine doesn’t sit higher than the rear now, the hood clears everything without making any contact! But only just barely.
Automotive parking light Vehicle Car Vehicle registration plate Grille
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
·
33,779 Posts
I woke up much earlier than I wanted to, so I guess I’ll give another quick update.
I did a bit more work last night.

I bought new grade 8 hardware for securing the motor mounts to the subframe brackets. 4 giant bolts, 4 giant nuts, and 8 half inch washers for $3.99. I love Atwood’s hardware section so much.

I climbed into the engine bay (fun) to redo some of my welds, just to be absolutely sure of their security, and to correct for the slight tilt of the engine.
View attachment 2733026

When the welds were rock solid, I degreased and cleaned the subframe and nearby panels. I gave it a coat of rust encapsulator just to be safe, and to clean up the look a bit.
View attachment 2733027

Another reason for redoing my welds a bit was to correct the tilt of the engine I had. My dad let me know that it’s best to start with a perfectly even drivetrain and THEN work on any tilt that’s required to make the driveshaft work, or to clear any obstructions. It may just stay like this though, since I’m not seeing any reason why the transmission won’t fit in the tunnel like this.
View attachment 2733028 View attachment 2733029

An added bonus is that since the front of the engine doesn’t sit higher than the rear now, the hood clears everything without making any contact! But only just barely.
View attachment 2733030
Barely counts. Good on ya.
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #405 ·
Barely counts. Good on ya.
This is true. Every mm counts here.

So with the pressure of moving to Germany ramping up, I’m ramping up the work on my car. Last night I had a light evening of work. I did some planning with the transmission, the shifter, the driveshaft, and the clutch.

The clutch pedal will require a bracket to bolt into the wheel well area, obviously. But unfortunately you guys were right that I should run a remote reservoir for the clutch. Sooo, the master cylinder is going back. I made access ports on the drivers side by removing a bunch of useless wiring. Also removed a bunch of computers while I was in there too, and made sure the car still ran the fuel pump circuit when the key was turned.

Here you can see where the shifter will sit. I used the little steering wheel hub to simulate the shift knob, which will be in a great position when I swap out the drivers seat.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Fixture


Here is the final clearance for exhaust. Looks like a mid dump header (biased towards the rear) WILL clear this, and the little cutout I made will allow the tube to run down and under the transmission.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior


Lastly, I was pleasantly surprised to see the driveshaft front half just slips off the rear via a slip yoke. I can just have a driveshaft shop shorten this piece to have it accommodate the new transmission.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Asphalt Personal protective equipment Auto part
 

·
Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
Joined
·
13,568 Posts
This is true. Every mm counts here.

So with the pressure of moving to Germany ramping up, I’m ramping up the work on my car. Last night I had a light evening of work. I did some planning with the transmission, the shifter, the driveshaft, and the clutch.

The clutch pedal will require a bracket to bolt into the wheel well area, obviously. But unfortunately you guys were right that I should run a remote reservoir for the clutch. Sooo, the master cylinder is going back. I made access ports on the drivers side by removing a bunch of useless wiring. Also removed a bunch of computers while I was in there too, and made sure the car still ran the fuel pump circuit when the key was turned.

Here you can see where the shifter will sit. I used the little steering wheel hub to simulate the shift knob, which will be in a great position when I swap out the drivers seat.
View attachment 2733630

Here is the final clearance for exhaust. Looks like a mid dump header (biased towards the rear) WILL clear this, and the little cutout I made will allow the tube to run down and under the transmission.
View attachment 2733629

Lastly, I was pleasantly surprised to see the driveshaft front half just slips off the rear via a slip yoke. I can just have a driveshaft shop shorten this piece to have it accommodate the new transmission.
View attachment 2733631
I'm not sure if you want to move the shifter back that far. But I see an opportunity to weld a shift handle hard to the yoke coming out of the transmission and have it come up threw the original location. In that case the shifter would slide forward and aft instead of pivot. I'm not sure if that would be cool or not, but it would make putting a shifter gate an easier "Ferrari like" option.

How much do you have to shorten the drive shaft. On my car it was miraculously the perfect length.
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #407 ·
I'm not sure if you want to move the shifter back that far. But I see an opportunity to weld a shift handle hard to the yoke coming out of the transmission and have it come up threw the original location. In that case the shifter would slide forward and aft instead of pivot. I'm not sure if that would be cool or not, but it would make putting a shifter gate an easier "Ferrari like" option.

How much do you have to shorten the drive shaft. On my car it was miraculously the perfect length.
To me, the original shifter is a bit too far forward. I was definitely considering getting a new shift rod that allows me to have it slightly forward from the position I showed, but we’ll see if it’s needed. I’d prefer a new shift rod vs a shifter relocation kit. $$$ savings.

Anyways, tonight was an excellent night. A lot of struggling and getting filthy, but great stuff.

First off, my dad gave me coupons to northern tool, so I got 6 ton jack stands, and lifted the car higher. The transmission couldn’t fit under the car at all before. Now I got to play this game…
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Asphalt
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Bumper Automotive exterior

Yep… I dragged the transmission under the car, manually lifted the front partially onto the trans jack, and then manually jacked the back up, slowly scooting the trans jack more and more underneath. This thing weighs ~150 lbs because it still has its gear oil inside. Quite the test of strength in a ~20 inch high space.

But now the great news… without modification to the transmission tunnel, the transmission jacks all the way up. The only thing hitting is where the shifter will be (more on that in a bit)
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle


Unfortunately to test fit the transmission, I had to cut that plate of metal where the driveshaft halves connect. I’ll clean up the cuts later, and add strength supports back in some form, but for now, here is the alignment of the driveshaft with the output shaft of the transmission. Almost perfect alignment. 😎
Tire Automotive tire Hood Tread Motor vehicle
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Tire Automotive lighting


Now for the shifter location. I drilled a peeking hole through the cabin transmission tunnel to see if I could see exactly where the linkage was. Turns out my guess of where to drill was dead-on. I then measured the distance of the transmission to the adapter plate (3” back from the plate) and then marked a green X where the shifter will sit. Not bad!
Car Motor vehicle Hood Steering part Automotive exterior


And here is the transmission just a couple inches away from the mounting plate and flywheel. SO CLOSE.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Tread Vehicle brake


Now for the failure of the night…
I was THIS CLOSE to having headers that fit.
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Rim Automotive exterior


Don’t feel too bad though. I’d have to modify the motor mounts (not happening). And the other side was a bigger mess. No amount of wiggling could make this one work.
Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior Auto part


So in the end, I’ll probably end up going with the stock Corvette C6 “headers”. They’re a super short mid-dump setup.
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #408 ·
So we’re back onto exhaust yet again. We’ve found zero options that won’t require heavy fabrication and time is running shorter and shorter. So… this is the idea.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Light Bumper Automotive exterior


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Rim Alloy wheel


Automotive tire White Light Motor vehicle Tire

Exhaust installed backwards (wrong sides), dumping forwards and downwards below the V belt. Then, directing the 2.5” diameter pipe down in front of the oil pan, and then direct right angle below the oil pan and subframe. This will reduce the cars clearance by about 1.5-2”, but it has a ton of silver linings (no heat on brake lines or steering, power steering becomes a cinch, tons of room for wiring, no BS with throttle cable or clutch line, etc). To mitigate things smacking my exhaust, I’ll probably add a forward facing plate onto the subframe to deflect air slightly.

Next up, throttle cable stuff. I’m not super familiar with this stuff, so I was mostly “playing it by ear”. I cut down an ICT billet throttle cable holder to fit under the hood (it was about 5” taller than this). The cable actuated the throttle body easily and smoothly. I will likely reuse the OEM accelerator pedal too.
Motor vehicle Hood Car Automotive design Vehicle


there’s been other work but it’s not really noteworthy. I’m rushing home to dinner. My dad and I will be here again tomorrow, and I know we’ll get some excellent work done.
 

·
Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
Joined
·
13,568 Posts
So we’re back onto exhaust yet again. We’ve found zero options that won’t require heavy fabrication and time is running shorter and shorter. So… this is the idea.

View attachment 2735084

View attachment 2735085

View attachment 2735086
Exhaust installed backwards (wrong sides), dumping forwards and downwards below the V belt. Then, directing the 2.5” diameter pipe down in front of the oil pan, and then direct right angle below the oil pan and subframe. This will reduce the cars clearance by about 1.5-2”, but it has a ton of silver linings (no heat on brake lines or steering, power steering becomes a cinch, tons of room for wiring, no BS with throttle cable or clutch line, etc). To mitigate things smacking my exhaust, I’ll probably add a forward facing plate onto the subframe to deflect air slightly.

Next up, throttle cable stuff. I’m not super familiar with this stuff, so I was mostly “playing it by ear”. I cut down an ICT billet throttle cable holder to fit under the hood (it was about 5” taller than this). The cable actuated the throttle body easily and smoothly. I will likely reuse the OEM accelerator pedal too.
View attachment 2735090

there’s been other work but it’s not really noteworthy. I’m rushing home to dinner. My dad and I will be here again tomorrow, and I know we’ll get some excellent work done.
That is the way the exhaust was installed when dropping a 302 Ford V8 into a Pinto.
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #410 · (Edited)
That is the way the exhaust was installed when dropping a 302 Ford V8 into a Pinto.
Thankfully, we've since found a way around having the exhaust route under the car. This ate up our entire Sunday of work, but I think it'll be worth it.

Here's another idea I played with:
Car Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design
Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive air manifold Car Automotive design

This wasn't an option in the end due to the position relative to the spark plug wires.

Here is the final answer:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system

TWO sets of these headers. Having the passenger side mounted backwards on the driver's side works great. Then, a second passenger side one for... the passenger side! Facing backwards and dumping downwards like a normal car.

The driver's side will do an immediate 180 turn upwards, go back towards the back, and then straight downwards beside the transmission. This will allow both pipes to meet up, and for the car to have a true dual exhaust.
We will remove the outlined tubing, and then route the exhaust along the outside edge of the engine bay:
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior



I cut open a space for the transmission shifter. I need to clean up the area heavily (jagged metal everywhere and the parking brake line needs a relocation), but this should do for an opening up-top. We got the pressure plate, pilot bearing, and clutch disc on the back of the engine, but it turns out we only had 3 of the 9 pressure plate bolts. So the transmission won't be mounted up until at least this weekend. It's a 2 man job
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Car Automotive exterior Hood



Lastly, I did the steering coupler. This job SUCKED, but it's done now. And it's hilarious how much a tiny amount of play on the old coupler translated to garbage steering. I was so confused on how hard it was to maintain driving a straight line when we drove this car back originally. I've since learned the difficulty of maintaining such a complicated steering system.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Nut Automotive wheel system
Household hardware Gas Jewellery Auto part Circle


Oh and I forgot to include a picture. I got my AC/heater mockup unit for checking fitment. Currently I only plan to install heating components, since it's easy, and AC wont be needed in Germany so much. Small dog for scale.
Dog Comfort Carnivore Grey Flooring
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #411 ·
So I ran into a couple of snags last night.
For one, part of my evening at the shop was spent helping a trucker load my M117 into his truck, and getting it shipped out. On top of that, I’m almost certain I have food poisoning (hence why I’m up at 2:30 AM CST)

Anyways, my dad happened to be in the area so he stopped to drop off some stuff. We plotted out the clutch pedal and accelerator pedal. Long story short, I removed some extra electronic junk that won’t be used (cruise control and it’s wiring) and I cut down the brake pedal to make the clutch pedal a more snug and centered fit. I also had to accept defeat on the OEM accelerator pedal and linkage not working (not enough travel), AND an extra accelerator pedal I got for basically free won’t work. I’m going the easy route and changing over to drive-by-wire for the throttle body and pedal. It’ll require extra work up front, but I’m losing my mind trying to route the accelerator cable correctly, and it’ll be cheaper and easier to maintain long-term.
Before: Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Automotive fuel system Bumper

After: Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Automotive design


Next up, this one is baffling me, so any help will be much appreciated. The rear wheels WONT turn, even though the parking brake is fully disengaged and the car is suspended. There’s no spacing conflict and the OEM wheels also won’t turn. I dug into the parking brake mechanism but I can’t seem to get it to behave.
Lastly about the parking brake, I’m likely going to splice in a classic parking lever from pick n pull, and remove the parking brake pedal. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
·
33,779 Posts
Next up, this one is baffling me, so any help will be much appreciated. The rear wheels WONT turn, even though the parking brake is fully disengaged and the car is suspended. There’s no spacing conflict and the OEM wheels also won’t turn. I dug into the parking brake mechanism but I can’t seem to get it to behave.
Lastly about the parking brake, I’m likely going to splice in a classic parking lever from pick n pull, and remove the parking brake pedal. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Wheel bolts too long?
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #415 ·
I dont know but if you take the wheels off will the rotors spin?
Nope. The rotors won’t spin alone either. That’s why I’m looking into the parking brake. Is there some kind of thing that locks the rear wheels if the car is turned off? I know some modern cars will do that even without the parking brake engaged, but I have my doubts about a 1986 having that.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor, Vintage Moderator
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro 300sel5spd R+C107galore
Joined
·
24,665 Posts
Nope. The rotors won’t spin alone either. That’s why I’m looking into the parking brake. Is there some kind of thing that locks the rear wheels if the car is turned off? I know some modern cars will do that even without the parking brake engaged, but I have my doubts about a 1986 having that.
Nope. There’s a limited slip diff on the 560sl. So maybe one of the wheels is still on with lug bolts that are too long?

Doesn’t make sense for the parking brake to be hung up if the car has been stored indoors with the parking brake off. Bolts should only thread into the rear hubs about 4 turns believe it or not. Seems nuts to me (no pun intended).
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #417 ·
Nope. There’s a limited slip diff on the 560sl. So maybe one of the wheels is still on with lug bolts that are too long?

Doesn’t make sense for the parking brake to be hung up if the car has been stored indoors with the parking brake off. Bolts should only thread into the rear hubs about 4 turns believe it or not. Seems nuts to me (no pun intended).
When I’m feeling better, I’ll go check that. 4 turns of a lug bolt seems way too short to me too. But Mercedes in their infinite wisdom must know what they’re doing.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I used an impact gun to tighten the original lug bolts on. I’ll do some more digging when I’m there.
 

·
Registered
'72 450SL, 107.044-12-000422
Joined
·
552 Posts
You’re smarter than I am for sure so I only ask because this is something I might overlook:

Is the trans mounted and in gear? Looks like your clutch pedal not installed yet.

Nice “small dog” btw - funny how the little stinkers sense when the camera comes out and pose for it. Mine did the same thing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
1986 560SL LS swap project, 1981 300D (non-turbo), 2005 S55 AMG, and an old Lexus SUV
Joined
·
253 Posts
Discussion Starter · #419 ·
You’re smarter than I am for sure so I only ask because this is something I might overlook:

Is the trans mounted and in gear? Looks like your clutch pedal not installed yet.

Nice “small dog” btw - funny how the little stinkers sense when the camera comes out and pose for it. Mine did the same thing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The transmission isn’t attached yet. The clutch disc and pressure plate are mounted (and they look cool) but we’re still yet to stab the transmission on. I’m now sick and was preoccupied with selling off my cars to prep for Germany.

My dad did tell me how he was able to test car’s driving without clutch pedals. You put the car in gear with it off, fire it up, and “you better be ready to go” (his words)

But yeah they’re a couple of little goofs. King Charles spaniels (definitely a mix). My fiancé got them for free when she was living alone. They’ve been pretty damn good, and they’re not yappy. Coming from growing up with a basenji, they took some getting used to.

here’s the other one. This was the least “goblin” looking picture I had of him.
Dog Comfort Liver Working animal Dog breed
 

·
Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
Joined
·
13,568 Posts
When I’m feeling better, I’ll go check that. 4 turns of a lug bolt seems way too short to me too. But Mercedes in their infinite wisdom must know what they’re doing.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I used an impact gun to tighten the original lug bolts on. I’ll do some more digging when I’m there.
I don't know about 4 turns but I do know they end up flush with the inside of the hubs, ~ 10mm depth, which is standard nut thickness for a 12mm nut.
 
401 - 420 of 714 Posts
Top