An update on the car situation:
Since the car isn't totally mine at the time (still in the parents name, and I don't have it over with me in Seattle) it looks like this will happen:
My dad wants to get a rebuilt 3.8 liter from Adsit or another engine rebuilder. Sure, it'll cost $5000 plus, but it will give the car a new lease on life. And yes, it'll come with the double chains...which our old engine had, being an '85.
I did call Aurora Auto Wrecking, and they had some 3.8s, as well as 4.2s and 5.6s. They did say a 4.2 liter swap would be less messy than a 5.6 swap, but also said that in their experience that a 4.2 liter was a "junky engine" that smoked & burned a lot of oil after 150,000 miles. That made me less enthused about putting a 4.2 liter in there, because in all fairness, the 3.8 was quite troublefree with regular maintenance until the chain broke.
Our indie mechanic was of the opinion that "If you're going to do the heads, why not just buy a rebuilt or used engine and drop it in there?" He said that the heads would be pretty labor-intensive and be around $2000 for parts and labor. That's almost a used engine right there....
Besides, we like the car enough that putting a rebuilt in seems like a good proposition. A 450SLC would be nice; my uncle has a lovely red '73, but it only has a 3-speed automatic and the 380's automatic overdrive is nice. Maybe in the future.
And when I get an MB that is truly my own, after college, it'll most likely have an M103 engine. With the head gasket/top end work already done, to boot. V8s are great, but kind of costly to fix.
Anyway, can anyone recommend any other decent engine builders that advertise in the Star (which I don't have a copy of) or otherwise? I have heard some good things about Adsit on the board, and also know of Metric Motors in LA. Other ideas?
Thanks a lot,