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Old 12-10-2000, 01:18 PM
Richard Wooldridge Richard Wooldridge is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Posts: 576
I have a 1982 300TD, the engine was totally worn out - wouldn't start, no compression, massive blowby, and the local shops quoted around $4K to rebuild, the dealer quoted $6K for a rebuilt, so I put a 1992 Astrovan 4.3L V6 and T700R4 transmission in the car. I'm very pleased with it! It performs MUCH better than with the turbodiesel, and is very quiet and smooth now. It took a bit of detail work to get everything installed, but the V6 is a real good choice, as the motor mount brackets are in just the right place to fit right on the Mercedes engine mounts, and there's adequate clearance for the engine everywhere except the pan, which I had to take 2" off the front of. (Still holds more than the original with the oil cooler and lines) Also, I had to widen the tunnel about 2 1/2 " for transmission clearance at the bottom. This was accomplished by jacking the tunnel apart with an 8 ton jack- the pan folded into a nice Z fold on the passenger's side, and no cutting was necessary - i hammered the fold flat, and it's hardly noticeable. I used a piece of flat stock for the rear transmission mount. I installed the Mercedes crankshaft pickup and cruise control, so all the dash items work as per normal, except for the glow preheat lamp, which has now become the "service engine soon" lamp for the computer. The fuel economy is better than before on the highway, but around town it's a little less. (1750 rpm at 60mph) By careful shopping at the local wrecking yards, I was able to do the entire job for around $900... And that figure includes a new alternator, starter, and fuel pump. I think it's a real viable option for those mechanically inclined folks that are faced with an expensive engine job!
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