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  #1  
Old 07-22-2018, 08:16 PM
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Feasability?- CDI drivetrain swapped into E320 wagon

Knowing how cool the W211 wagons are, and that they were only equipped with a gas engine for the North American market, would it be feasible to swap an entire drivetrain from an '05 CDI into an '04-'06 E320 wagon (Estate)?
I actually have the CDI donor car (my '05 was involved in a collision the other day-side swipe). Although the wagons are a lot harder to find, they are not that pricey (I have seen nice ones for $3,500-$5,000). Knowing that my CDI is probably repairable, I bought a drive-able parts car (gas) for the body parts (it too has body damage, but in different parts than my CDI) and interior parts (air bags, door panels etc).

My thought was to either (1)- use the parts car to fix my CDI, and sell the running car without the donor parts, or (2)- buy a wagon, install everything needed to make it run with the Diesel engine, AND use the good body and interior parts from the CDI to make the gas E320 sell-able.
Both the gas E and the CDI share the same exterior and interior colors. However, the interior of the gas E is worn and dirty. It would need most everything from the interior of the CDI to make it nice. One wheel on the CDI was damaged in the collision, but the parts E came with fairly NEW tires and custom wheels (photo later). Another thing the gas E will need is the SBC module. I bought the gas E at night, and made the deal before actually driving it (the seller drove the car and met me half way at a friends house to make the deal), so I did not know that the bright red SBC warning was on the instrument cluster until I went to move it from the street to the driveway. My bad. At any rate, the parts I need plus the way cool wheels and tires are well worth what I paid. I also did not have to drive three hours (only 1 1/2) to get it! I was going to catch a ride with my brother (he is working on our friends house) to pick the car up tomorrow, but because of the brake problem, I will have it towed. I don't feel safe driving it 100 miles without brakes.


Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed. I know the engine swap would be a very ambitious task, but would be worth it in the long run.

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Feasability?- CDI drivetrain swapped into E320 wagon-img_9153.jpg  

Last edited by ROLLGUY; 07-22-2018 at 09:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2018, 08:31 PM
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Making a swap between same body and having a complete donor car makes any of this much more viable regardless of brand.

Some issues will be:

If you have emission testing for gas cars, getting an exemption may be difficult. In some states this requires an inspection and a rebuilt title brand.

If the vin lives in the dash / air bag or other computer, it might not like the donor engine computer.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Making a swap between same body and having a complete donor car makes any of this much more viable regardless of brand.

Some issues will be:

If you have emission testing for gas cars, getting an exemption may be difficult. In some states this requires an inspection and a rebuilt title brand.

If the vin lives in the dash / air bag or other computer, it might not like the donor engine computer.
I was wondering abut VIN coded components. I can't imagine that the instrument cluster holds the mileage and other VIN specific info, but it could be possible. I would think that the SAM's are VIN coded, so either way, they would go with the drivetrain. I am sure the ignition switch would have to go with the drivetrain as well.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:17 PM
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Have you found a 211 wagon that isn’t 4matic? They’re rare birds around here.

Sixto
98 E320s sedan and wagon
02 C320 wagon
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2018, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixto View Post
Have you found a 211 wagon that isnít 4matic? Theyíre rare birds around here.

Sixto
98 E320s sedan and wagon
02 C320 wagon
Out of the dozen that I have seen for sale around the country, only about five were NOT 4matic. There is one for sale up north (CA), and it is one of the colors I would accept. I don't want a silver or black car. I just missed a really nice blue one from a place called Euro Code in Rocklin CA. It is on their website. Sold for $4,000 out the door.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2018, 12:35 AM
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Is it really worth the effort? The m112 is an excellent engine. Parting out the CDI could go a long way to funding the wagon purchase.

Keep in mind that the engine must be same model year or newer than the body it's going into. That limits you to 04 and 05 wagons.
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Last edited by tjts1; 07-23-2018 at 01:56 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2018, 07:31 AM
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Do these models have the 722.6 or 722.9 transmission?

You may have a serious uphill climb getting all the electronics to talk to each other.

For sure the engine controller, transmission controller, instrument cluster, and key switch all have to match.

722.6 the transmission controller is outboard of the transmission, and the transmission itself just has sensors and actuators. You will have to re-learn the adaptations but at least a different transmission computer will talk to a 722.6.

722.9 the controller is integrated into the conductor plate and locked to the VIN as stored in the other main modules.

I suspect the second level modules (air bag, SAMs, door controllers, seat controllers, entertainment) will not be as much a problem since they are not coded TRPs in EPC and I've heard of people swapping these modules with no issues without having to do SCN coding (the coding that has to phone home). Regular version coding in Xentry can be done with a cloned laptop and multiplexer since it does not phone home.
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The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2018, 10:40 AM
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W211 E320 all have 722.6
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2018, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Is it really worth the effort? The m112 is an excellent engine. Parting out the CDI could go a long way to funding the wagon purchase.

Keep in mind that the engine must be same model year or newer than the body it's going into. That limits you to 04 and 05 wagons.
Being a Diesel guy, the CDI has much more appeal to me. Yes the wagon is cool, and I even thought I might keep it a gasser for a while until I know for sure the swap can be done. If I find out that the swap can't be done, I will just pull the parts from the gasser and fix the CDI.



If I end up pulling the air bags and controller from the parts car, how much of a job will that be? I do know that both batteries in both cars will need to be disconnected, and then the components can be removed. However, I would need to know (and follow) the exact procedure for installing everything safely. I just don't know what that procedure is.


As far as purchasing a wagon, I have plenty of funds to do so. The insurance company has been very fair in compensating me for my loss. Buying the car back was a bargain as well.
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2018, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bob View Post
Do these models have the 722.6 or 722.9 transmission?

You may have a serious uphill climb getting all the electronics to talk to each other.

For sure the engine controller, transmission controller, instrument cluster, and key switch all have to match.

722.6 the transmission controller is outboard of the transmission, and the transmission itself just has sensors and actuators. You will have to re-learn the adaptations but at least a different transmission computer will talk to a 722.6.

722.9 the controller is integrated into the conductor plate and locked to the VIN as stored in the other main modules.

I suspect the second level modules (air bag, SAMs, door controllers, seat controllers, entertainment) will not be as much a problem since they are not coded TRPs in EPC and I've heard of people swapping these modules with no issues without having to do SCN coding (the coding that has to phone home). Regular version coding in Xentry can be done with a cloned laptop and multiplexer since it does not phone home.
I agree. There are electronic components (i.e. instrument cluster, external transmission controller,...) that cannot be accessed unless you have diagnostics computer and access to the factory database - which means a trip to the dealership. My local dealership charges $160/hour and they are not shy about writing up as many hours as they can.

Many of the late model components are designed to not be easily swappable. The reason I was told is to reduce theft of cars for parts sales. I would guess it is also to support the dealerships.....
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2018, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bob View Post
Do these models have the 722.6 or 722.9 transmission?

You may have a serious uphill climb getting all the electronics to talk to each other.

For sure the engine controller, transmission controller, instrument cluster, and key switch all have to match.

722.6 the transmission controller is outboard of the transmission, and the transmission itself just has sensors and actuators. You will have to re-learn the adaptations but at least a different transmission computer will talk to a 722.6.

722.9 the controller is integrated into the conductor plate and locked to the VIN as stored in the other main modules.

I suspect the second level modules (air bag, SAMs, door controllers, seat controllers, entertainment) will not be as much a problem since they are not coded TRPs in EPC and I've heard of people swapping these modules with no issues without having to do SCN coding (the coding that has to phone home). Regular version coding in Xentry can be done with a cloned laptop and multiplexer since it does not phone home.

If I do proceed with this swap, I would definitely keep the trans with the engine. I would also have to purchase an SDS (been wanting to do so for a while).

As far as wiring goes, does the SAM contain all the engine specific circuits?
Will just keeping the SAM and engine wiring together be enough, or will I need to swap the entire wire harness (under the dash) as well?

EDIT: The 722.9 is in the '07 and newer
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2018, 12:03 PM
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My concern would be if the main body wiring harness is compatible with the donor engine harness...........
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2018, 12:25 PM
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A trip into EPC should ferret out if the main body harness has a different pn on a gas vs diesel 211.

Just making sure on the 722.9 vs 722.6 breakpoint, I have lived that myself recently and the 722.9 cannot be touched except by the dealer due to SCN coding.

Rollguy you will absolutely need a cloned SDS computer. It will come with several utilities that will help immensely with the research.
- Star finder - electrical schematics and component locations
- EPC - parts catalog
- WIS - shop manuals

In addition to the Xentry which is the actual computer diagnostics program.

Hint: Star Finder is just a bunch of linked HTML files and doesn't need the internal databases to run, just an old copy of Internet Explorer. Find the folder and copy these files off your SDS computer (which you won't be able to put on a network) and put them on another computer that can see your network. This way you can print the schematics without having to export them as PDFs and putting them on a stick to print on another computer.

You will probably end up like one of those criminal mind shows with your walls papered with notes and schematics trying to line up all the circuits.

Another hint: 11x17 format printers are cheap, (sub $200) I would invest in one. 11x17 printouts of wiring diagrams are so much easier to read than 8-1/2 x 11.
I have an HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 combo printer and scanner, it was under $200 on Amazon.
__________________
The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2018, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Andres View Post
I agree. There are electronic components (i.e. instrument cluster, external transmission controller,...) that cannot be accessed unless you have diagnostics computer and access to the factory database - which means a trip to the dealership. My local dealership charges $160/hour and they are not shy about writing up as many hours as they can.

Are you aware how much an actual Xentry system and annual updates cost?

I'm guessing a smaller dealer will have at least 2 systems and a larger one 4 - 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Andres View Post
Many of the late model components are designed to not be easily swappable. The reason I was told is to reduce theft of cars for parts sales. I would guess it is also to support the dealerships.....
. . Or to lower insurance costs for car owners.

If you think MB is bad, do some searching on the net and U tube for Tesla repair access.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2018, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Are you aware how much an actual Xentry system and annual updates cost?

I'm guessing a smaller dealer will have at least 2 systems and a larger one 4 - 6.



. . Or to lower insurance costs for car owners.

If you think MB is bad, do some searching on the net and U tube for Tesla repair access.
I don't think MB dealerships are particularly bad - from what I have seen in the market most brands are up there these days.

I do not want to pay this much because breakdowns and expensive repairs have become all too common based on my personal experience. Repairs on my '06 and '08 Mercedes have cost over $14k in 15 months. Definitely way too much money combined with lousy reliability to hold on to them. Both are 120-130k miles and I have them serviced regularly. These cars have too many parts -in my experience- that are prone to failure and once they're past a certain age/mileage become too expensive to maintain.

I remember my Mercedes cars from the 70s, 80s and 90s being very reliable with proper maintenance, even with high mileage. So I'm going back to that, focusing on clean W126 and W124 models. I don't mind not driving the latest and greatest. We'll see how I'll do with those. They are likely going to have repair needs too but it won't be failing computers that cause all 4 wheels to lock up or leaking air struts or steering angle sensors or intake manifolds that have non-replaceable plastic parts on them.... and on goes the list.

Mercedes is probably one of the finest new car money can buy but I'm not willing to spend that much money on a car. They just depreciate too quickly. Buying a 10 year old one and have reliable wheels doesn't seem to be an option anymore so I'm trying something else. YMMV

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