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1983 DIY 500 SE 117.963..5-liter V8, 1994 DIY E420 5-liter M119.960..V8, '09 CLK550 5.5-liter M273
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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Apologies for my poor spelling of your handle ha ha. These old eyes will be needing some new glasses before too long.

I hear ya on the omission of a manual gearbox in Mercedes V8 powered cars especially. I would have loved to experience the performance benefits of having a M119 V8 engine delivering its power through a manual 5-speed gearbox, but the only manual gearboxes seen in the W124 family came stock with four and six-cylinder engines, but not the V8 W124.

Regarding the M273 engine, I spent a bit of time learning all I could about them when I found myself in the market for a replacement 5.5-liter V8 to go in a water-damaged auction 2009 CLK550 I acquired recently. One thing I found surprising about the M273 motor is that it was manufactured in probably one of the shortest production runs in Mercedes history, running from 2006 to 2009, of which only the late 2008 and 2009 engines are free of all design and materials defects.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_M273_engine

Here are a couple of pictures showing the final stages of installing the 5 liter V8 engine into my W124 E420, in replacement of the worn out 4.2 liter M119 engine that was retired.
 

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98 c280, 02 clk430
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Not alot of room in there. is there decent access from the bottom to get to the exhaust bolts etc?

Nice to see the pics, thanks.

What is that engine in the front with the 8 exhaust ports on the side of it?
 

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1983 DIY 500 SE 117.963..5-liter V8, 1994 DIY E420 5-liter M119.960..V8, '09 CLK550 5.5-liter M273
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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
The two engines are M119 V8s, one being the 4.2 liter version that was being replaced, and the other of course the 5-liter junkyard find, that was originally installed in a 1991 SL500. The two engines are pretty much identical in external physical size, so there was adequate space for the transplanted engine, with the only unexpected complication being the need to re-position the engine mounts on the car's frame with some careful welding.

For access to the underside of the engine, there is a mechanic's pit a few feet ahead of where the engine hoist is rigged up, so as soon as the engine was dropped in as a single unit with the transmission, engine mounts and all other connections requiring access to the vehicle underside, were completed. The intake manifold and fuel distributor assembly from the old engine were transferred to the incoming motor, but other than that aspect, this was a direct swap, with only the engine mount relocation presenting a challenge.

Generally speaking, these local mechanics are skilled and resourceful, despite very few of them having so much as a high school education. I have seen them swap in entire Nissan drive trains, from the engine to the transmission, into old Range Rovers, which are then pressed into service as tow-trucks for smaller vehicles. A few years back I acquired a 1976 Caterpillar D7G bulldozer whose transmission parts were furnished in several gunny sacks. To my utter amazement, that bulldozer transmission, with its dozens of complicated sub-assemblies, was put back in working order by a couple of guys sitting on the ground, and that dozer has not let me down once after several hundred hours of taxing work digging fish ponds down by the swamp forest. Oops there I go digressing again.

https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/threads/subsistence-bulldozer-pond-excavation-in-africa.66035/

Suffice to say, I have always admired the skill of mechanics here, especially bearing in mind that their professional fees amount to just a tiny fraction of the bill that would be presented for comparable work done by overall-clad automotive technicians in the USA or Europe. But for this fact, there is no way I would have been able to assemble my modest stable of V8 powered Mercedes cars described in my Benzworld signature entry.
 

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98 c280, 02 clk430
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I am not too far off those guys, just less time on the tools. I need shoes up here though, the ice and snow make barefoot a very short term thing. Nice collection by the way.

Ghana looks pretty nice by the way. Has it escaped the chaos that is running amuck in parts of africa?
 

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1983 DIY 500 SE 117.963..5-liter V8, 1994 DIY E420 5-liter M119.960..V8, '09 CLK550 5.5-liter M273
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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Thus far Ghana has escaped the brunt of West Africa's endemic turmoil. That may change in time, however, as the Chinese are invading much of the continent to strip mine for precious metals, among other exploitative ventures, even as global warming inexorably inches the Sahara Desert southward, forcing armed migratory cattle herders deeper into occupied farmland of the continent's agricultural bread-basket, with inevitable consequences.

I'll stick around as long as I can, but when the last rats scurry down the ropes from the sinking ship, I'll be among them, hopefully.
 

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Sounds like history repeating itself yet again. Let's hope things stay tranquil. The people I have met here from west africa have been quite personable and seem to be quite decent.
Carpe diem.
 

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Well to my great relief, the M119 5-liter V8 engine fired right up, once it was hooked up in its new home under the hood of my W124 E420.

When the oil sump was removed, bits of the plastic timing chain guides were found, confirming that as expected, the timing chain guides and rails are shot and will need replacing right away. For that reason the motor was not run for more than a couple of minutes, which was just long enough to ascertain that all the wiring was hooked up properly, and that the beast roared when the gas pedal was depressed ever so briefly.

Tomorrow, the new timing chain, and all the new chain guides that I had installed in the outgoing 4.2 liter V8 motor, shortly before its cylinder head gave way, will be removed from the 4.2 engine, and swapped into the "new" 5-liter engine.

I can now confirm with absolute certainty that the conventional wisdom expressed by members of the 500E Board, suggesting that a 1991 vintage 5-liter M119 engine would not run in a 1994 W124, due to electronic module incompatibilities, has now been proven to be a totally false premise. The only incompatibility these mechanics found was with respect to the engine mounts, and a couple of the ancillaries that are powered off the serpentine belt.

For anyone else contemplating the creation of a poor man's E500, I can now testify that this engine transplant is feasible, and will only require modification of the engine mounts if an earlier 5-liter M119 engine is used, in comparison to the car's date of manufacture.

Specifically, to retrofit a direct bolt-in 5-liter V8 M119 engine into a 1994 Mercedes E420, the serial number to scout for in the junkyard should start with M119 97
 

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Hi Glideslope l am from Australia l will be doing exactly what you have to your e420 to my 1994 e320 l found a 1990 sl500 donor car but l would like to know how hard it was to fit the engine in your car to the mounts did you had to cut and weld the engine mounts please if you have picture l would love to see them l need your help
 

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86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Hi Glideslope l am from Australia l will be doing exactly what you have to your e420 to my 1994 e320 l found a 1990 sl500 donor car but l would like to know how hard it was to fit the engine in your car to the mounts did you had to cut and weld the engine mounts please if you have picture l would love to see them l need your help
This is a major, major undertaking. Mount locations, cross member, tunnel and more will require extensive work. Use Google search for a thread "going for it". Read it, seriously.

Jayare

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
 

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This is a major, major undertaking. Mount locations, cross member, tunnel and more will require extensive work. Use Google search for a thread "going for it". Read it, seriously.

Jayare
Agree 110%: ^^^

Swapping a 119.960 (CIS-E injection) into a vehicle that originally came with a 119.97x (LH-SFI injection) is POSSIBLE, as proved within this thread. But you wouldn't want to attempt this unless you absolutely had NO way of obtaining a 119.97x engine.

In the USA, it does not make sense, as .97x engines are relatively cheap and easily available. However, I understand why this might be the only option in other countries if M119's of any vintage are extremely rare or difficult to obtain at reasonable cost.

The ideal donor for a 124.034 to upgrade to a 5.0L is a 129.067 with 119.972 engine (1993-95 USA model years), this is nearly 100% plug+play.

🧩
 
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