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  #1  
Old 12-09-2007, 10:20 AM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,989
Any Interest in Chevy powered kits

I have been seeing lots of posting on Chevy powered benzes. I would like to know how many of the people on this forum are interested in such and would actually pay cash for a chevy powered kit. So take your time and please anser these questions.

1) How many would want me killed for bastardising a Benz.

2) Which models would you like to see kits for. I happen to be a 107 fan in case you havent noticed.

3) Would you be willing to pay say $6000 for a kit including modified sub frame, all engine and trans mounting hardware, modified drive shaft, custom aluminum or brass radiator, AC hoses, PS hoses and exhaust down pipes.

4) I have also considered turn key installations, but with the overall cost of installing a used Chevy engine about the same as a used M120 benz engine, I belive I would be better to focus the high end turn key solution to the MB engine installations only, a C06 vett engine may be an ecception to that rule.

5) How do most Chevy conversions take place. Is it something like, I have a used MB that I really like but it has a blown engine and my dad just wrecked his Caprice. Then the I start the project not realizing what I steped into and either completed it, because I had so much time and money into it and I had to do something, or I abandond it and learned never to do that again.

John Roncallo
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2007, 10:59 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,518
Roncallo,

I have no issue with the morality of it. These benzes are old and not very rare so I don't see the harm in modifying them.

I just don't see it for myself. The engines are the most durable part usually so if a person has one that gets run low on oil or water and destroyed buying and installing a used engine is a pretty decent option since there are still quite a few cars in the yards. This option will begin to close sometime as the cars continue to age.

I don't know how many folks would pony up that kind of money for a chebby swap, but I think you might get a few takers for a v12 kit. The v12 cars are so expensive to operate I imagine one can find some around with body damage and excellent drive trains. The problem is finding a 107 worth swapping an high buck engine into considering the fact that the factory engines are so durable.

I think most folks taking the chebby route think like trucknik, that it is a cheap and simple alternative to fixing it with original parts.

And yes, most swaps begin with dad's caprice being used to get a benz going. Most cross species swaps also probably are never really finished either.

Good luck with your venture if you decide to go ahead with it. It would seem with your extensive documentation you could probably duplicate your v12 swap for someone else. The trick is being able to do it quickly enough to turn a profit on it.

Tom W
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:15 PM
Registered User
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
1) How many would want me killed for bastardising a Benz.
Think of it as "improving" not "basterdising"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
2) Which models would you like to see kits for. I happen to be a 107 fan in case you havent noticed.
I'd be interested in a W203 kit with operational gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
3) Would you be willing to pay say $6000 for a kit including modified sub frame, all engine and trans mounting hardware, modified drive shaft, custom aluminum or brass radiator, AC hoses, PS hoses and exhaust down pipes.
Brass radiator....they still make those?
For $6000 the kit would need to be top-notch and complete.
They sell BMW E36/LSx kits for $6000 so its possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
4) I have also considered turn key installations, but with the overall cost of installing a used Chevy engine about the same as a used M120 benz engine, I belive I would be better to focus the high end turn key solution to the MB engine installations only, a C06 vett engine may be an ecception to that rule.
2004 Z06 = 5.7L LS6....not much diff powerwise than a modded LS1
2006 Z06 = 7.0L LS7....good luck finding a used engine for anywhere near the price of an M120

Building an ironblock 400+ with L92 heads and an L76 intake would be a much cheaper alternative than an aluminum LS7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
5) How do most Chevy conversions take place. Is it something like, I have a used MB that I really like but it has a blown engine and my dad just wrecked his Caprice. Then the I start the project not realizing what I steped into and either completed it, because I had so much time and money into it and I had to do something, or I abandond it and learned never to do that again.
OR someone buys an LSx and looks for a car to stuff it in.
I know if I find a deal on one of these....
Ill start looking for a recipient.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: tacoma washington
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chevy engine swap kit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo View Post
I have been seeing lots of posting on Chevy powered benzes. I would like to know how many of the people on this forum are interested in such and would actually pay cash for a chevy powered kit. So take your time and please anser these questions.

1) How many would want me killed for bastardising a Benz.

2) Which models would you like to see kits for. I happen to be a 107 fan in case you havent noticed.

3) Would you be willing to pay say $6000 for a kit including modified sub frame, all engine and trans mounting hardware, modified drive shaft, custom aluminum or brass radiator, AC hoses, PS hoses and exhaust down pipes.

4) I have also considered turn key installations, but with the overall cost of installing a used Chevy engine about the same as a used M120 benz engine, I belive I would be better to focus the high end turn key solution to the MB engine installations only, a C06 vett engine may be an ecception to that rule.

5) How do most Chevy conversions take place. Is it something like, I have a used MB that I really like but it has a blown engine and my dad just wrecked his Caprice. Then the I start the project not realizing what I steped into and either completed it, because I had so much time and money into it and I had to do something, or I abandond it and learned never to do that again.

John Roncallo
John, You can probable guess my opinion of the swap. First of all, There our cars and we will do what we want, no matter what "purists" think. So the awnser to #1-Who gives a "rats***" what anyone thinks. Awnser #2- The styling and shure numbers of available 107's would be an ideal platform. (although I've read several post for swaps into othe models and they love them) Awnser #3-I think 6 grand would be to steep. Modifing and fabricating the sub frame and tranny mount would be the best kit. The problem arises with the steering. Do you leave Mercede stock "rear steering" or update to rack and pinion mounted on the front of the reworked sub frame? (like mine is), Leaving rear steer would limit you on engines/oil pan configurations. Yes a new drive shaft would be good also. I dont beleive theres any reason to change the radiator. AC and PS and radiator hoses would be a nice addition. And last, accelerator linkage. Awnser #4-Turn key's are for guy's with "Cash" no time or knowlege and in that respect....You build what the guy wants and is willing to pay for. Awnser#5-If you have loved cars and always wanted something differant....You build it. I can still remeber the day my dad and finished the small block into my 1972 Vega. I thru him the keys and he took off so fast he just about tore off the exhaust system. (they were very low to the ground and there was alittle rise in our driveway) When he came back..... To see the smile on his face...as they...."Priceless". In closing....Anyone interested in this swap....GO FOR IT! Expecially if someone of Johns talent was doing all the hard work for you. Thanks and later Dave
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:55 PM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,989
Yes the V-12 in a 107, is a fairly simple solution for me right now, although it is untested, I expect that to change within the next year. There are really a few issues that put the M120 or M119 in a different catagory than the Chevy swap, even though in the end the cost of doing so is about the same. In the end the difference in price is only the cost of the used engines. Chevy ~$1000 to ~$10,000, M119 ~$2500, M120 ~$4000.

Benifits of the Chevy

1) Inexpensive to maintain.
2) For the US there is an extensive general knowledge of how to maintain.
3) The ultimate performance solution, much more bang for the buck with plenty of aftermarket support. 1000HP+ is a can do.
4) Just think as a DIY you could stomp a $2M Bugatti for under about $80K. A stock Viper could be stomped for under about $10K.

Benifits of the Benz engine

1) Maintain value, and in the case of the 107, I belive an increase above the original.
2) Maintain staus, It will still be acceptable to show up at the country club with an M120 107.
3) The M120 is fast as hell, quiet as a mouse and Smooooooooooooooooooth.

The point is, I belive the MB purists, that would really be willing to sink money into it would want the turn key solution and that solution would include a fully restored car not just an engine swap. So that brings the cost up to about a 60K to 75K solution.

Now, I know I'm talking to a group here that would say yes we want an MB M120 kit but I'm willing to bet that that would amout to maybe 3 people at most purchasing one if it were to exist. Well for you 3 the 107 kit will be comming but really only as a buy product of what I'm doing.

Now a Chevy kit on the otherhand. There apear to be Chevy or Ford powered 107's all over the place. Each one using a unique approach. All of these people went threw great difficulty and time getting these installed. Some are really crude installations just lobed in and some are very well thought out installations. I threw out a figure of $6000 which was based on what I have spent to date esentially physically getting my M120 engine fitted. I can assume that it would have cost that much wether it was MB Chevy or Ford swap.

You might say well how can I make profit at 6K if it cost me 6K. Well that 6K included a front end overhaul ~1K in parts and whole lot of mistakes and do overs I am hoping the 6K may be trimmed alot. On the downside I would have to use outside fabrication sources as I could never sell my own welding and machine work. If you were here and saw it in person you would know what I mean. Right now the craftsmanship is suitable but does not look like MB made it, that has to change. While fabrication will add cost I do belive it will be alot cheaper than all the unrelated restorative work and mistakes I made. So I'm thinking right arround the $6K range for any engine conversion kit MB or Chevy. Compared to the years work I have done to get my engine in that is a good deal, especially when you consider that it cost me 6K anyway.

What I am not sure of, is does the average engine swapper realise it is going to cost him $6K plus many many hours. Or does he go in blind thinking about $300.00 and a couple of months worth of fabricating and welding. If people know what they are getting into then they will be willing to buy a kit. But most of the time I feel alot of engine swappers just jump into the pit with a blind fold. Would the availability of a kit encourage more swaps or scare people off.

Also $6K is the price of the phisical swap material only. The entire project cost about $29K including $3K in tools used to do the job and $20K in doner cars and $6K in materials to perform the transplant. I did also sell about $4.5K in parts from the doner car. Bringing the total cost of this adventure to about $24.5K. To make it run the only things I need to purchase are radiator, expansion tank, hydraulic reservoir, and possibly a pair of meggasquirt ECUs. The wiring and getting it started will just take time. Then the car will need paint, wheels, chrome trim. So in the end this car will cost me about $40K and a bunch of hours to build. To make it a worthwhile venture, a car like this must sell for $60K+. I belive it may be possible in todays car market to get $60K for a fully restored 107 with an M120 but not a hope in hell with a Chevy.

However the real money may just be in the Chevy kits. Lots of them.

John Roncallo
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2007, 03:24 PM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
Think of it as "improving" not "basterdising"


I'd be interested in a W203 kit with operational gauges
Forgive me for being a bit nieve, I havent worked on MB's except for the 107 for 20 years. What is a 203, and what do you mean by operational gages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
Brass radiator....they still make those?
My 107 has an aluminum core 3 inches shorter than the M-120 129. Otherwise all dimensions are the same. Therefore I need to make up with quality. I found a radiator maker that will make radiators out of brass with tubes 5/16" on center verses MB 10mm Alumninum. Between the brass and reduced spacing I'm golden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
For $6000 the kit would need to be top-notch and complete.
They sell BMW E36/LSx kits for $6000 so its possible
Do you have a web sight. One of the problems is there is more demand for modified BMW's than MB's. It has been a problem with my life. I always go with what I like rather than what makes the money. If I had an agent he'd shoot me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
2004 Z06 = 5.7L LS6....not much diff powerwise than a modded LS1
2006 Z06 = 7.0L LS7....good luck finding a used engine for anywhere near the price of an M120
The 7L Z06 is the only Chevy I would propose as a turn key solution. In fact that is what my project was going to be until I thought of the M120 solution. I must say I do prefer the M120 option to the Z06. Both of them have as Rolls Royce puts it "Sufficient" power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
Building an ironblock 400+ with L92 heads and an L76 intake would be a much cheaper alternative than an aluminum LS7
OR someone buys an LSx and looks for a car to stuff it in.
I know if I find a deal on one of these....
Ill start looking for a recipient.
Here in lies the beauty of the Chevrolet engine. You can buy an elegant 7.0L for $14K or go to the junk yard get some pig engine out of something and bolt on a bunch of aftermarket stuff for maybe $2K and have 700HP. When it blow up just get another bottom end.

John Roncallo
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2007, 03:51 PM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallblock450sl View Post
John, You can probable guess my opinion of the swap. First of all, There our cars and we will do what we want, no matter what "purists" think. So the awnser to #1-Who gives a "rats***" what anyone thinks.
You know I did this to a Ferrari 308 about 20 years ago. I learned that you can really piss people off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smallblock450sl View Post
Awnser #2- The styling and shure numbers of available 107's would be an ideal platform. (although I've read several post for swaps into othe models and they love them)
Actually I feel that this kind of goes agsinst me. Styling is excellent, but numbers are relatively low and age is lowering it. An SEC might even be a better candidate. This is because you only want to take from the latest years and the value of these cars is lower that the SL, placing more of them into the hands of DIY people who would do this. I have also seen alot of action with the 201 chassies both chevy and MB swaps. I just recently saw a guy posting for an M120 to be put into a 190E. That would be cool. Right now I think the 201 chassi may be where a kit could be profitable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smallblock450sl View Post
Awnser #3-I think 6 grand would be to steep. Modifing and fabricating the sub frame and tranny mount would be the best kit. The problem arises with the steering. Do you leave Mercede stock "rear steering" or update to rack and pinion mounted on the front of the reworked sub frame? (like mine is), Leaving rear steer would limit you on engines/oil pan configurations. Yes a new drive shaft would be good also. I dont beleive theres any reason to change the radiator. AC and PS and radiator hoses would be a nice addition. And last, accelerator linkage.
You are probably right, giving people just a subframe and transmount option would be a good alternative. That would get them the engine in the hole really quickly, which tends to motivate people. But I would want to have all the parts available to insure success and quality. As far as the stearing each engine application has its own unique solution. For my M120, I did not have to modify anything on the stearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smallblock450sl View Post

Awnser #4-Turn key's are for guy's with "Cash" no time or knowlege and in that respect....You build what the guy wants and is willing to pay for.
Yes thats my feeling. I think its more of a fully restored automobile solution with an MB engine, but the Z06 7.0L engine may be a candidate for it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smallblock450sl View Post
Awnser#5-If you have loved cars and always wanted something differant....You build it. I can still remeber the day my dad and finished the small block into my 1972 Vega. I thru him the keys and he took off so fast he just about tore off the exhaust system. (they were very low to the ground and there was alittle rise in our driveway) When he came back..... To see the smile on his face...as they...."Priceless". In closing....Anyone interested in this swap....GO FOR IT! Expecially if someone of Johns talent was doing all the hard work for you. Thanks and later Dave
Thanks for the post and compliment.

John Roncallo
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2007, 01:51 AM
Registered User
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo View Post
Forgive me for being a bit nieve, I havent worked on MB's except for the 107 for 20 years. What is a 203, and what do you mean by operational gages.
W203 =
2001-2007 c-class

What i mean by operational gauges is they use a CAN-bus for the body module to talk to the engine module, that talks to the instrument panel cluster.

I'd like a GM e-38 PCM that talks to the mercedes can-bus so all the factory gauges work like the do with an M112 engine.

oh....$14k for an LS7 is not including a PCM(powertrain control module), wiring harness, or dry sump tank and lines.
Not to mention.....no forged pistons. hyper-cast...weakest part of engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
Here in lies the beauty of the Chevrolet engine. You can buy an elegant 7.0L for $14K or go to the junk yard get some pig engine out of something and bolt on a bunch of aftermarket stuff for maybe $2K and have 700HP. When it blow up just get another bottom end.
OR
You spend $7K on a forged 440 shortblock and spray a 250 shot on it all day and all night.
Elegant or not, it will hold up alot better than an LS7.
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Last edited by Gen3Benz; 12-10-2007 at 02:05 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2007, 03:02 AM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
W203 =
2001-2007 c-class
I guess that would be a C230, C240 C280. I tried to talk my wife into one of those but no luck. She ended up with a Altima.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
What i mean by operational gauges is they use a CAN-bus for the body module to talk to the engine module, that talks to the instrument panel cluster.

I'd like a GM e-38 PCM that talks to the mercedes can-bus so all the factory gauges work like the do with an M112 engine.
For that I will have to go back to school. But I am about to take a crash course in CAN bus so who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen3Benz View Post
oh....$14k for an LS7 is not including a PCM(powertrain control module), wiring harness, or dry sump tank and lines.
Not to mention.....no forged pistons. hyper-cast...weakest part of engine.

OR
You spend $7K on a forged 440 shortblock and spray a 250 shot on it all day and all night.
Elegant or not, it will hold up alot better than an LS7.
440 are we still talking Chevy or are we talking Mopar. Am I dating myself?

John Roncallo
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2007, 06:53 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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The 440 mopar is one stout motor...well built with a forged crank, but very very heavy, and fairly bulky too.

I saw a 107 up at Auburn one year with a 426 Hemi in front. The amount of subframe modification make your v12 project look simple!

I wanted to see what it sold for but it never crossed the block. I never found out whether it was withdrawn or bought before the auction began.

Tom W
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2007, 08:22 AM
have mercy's Avatar
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I met a man who have changed a111 car,63 250.Had installed 350 change rear 4/11 pos.Would smoke the tires.He was so happy with him self.I looked under hood,under rear.Turn to him and said you are a butcher. So we go to some back roads lots of turns and hills.I took my 60 190b kicked his ass he could not keep up.To much weight up front. Chevy makes good motors but do not run or sound or belong in a benz.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2007, 06:31 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
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Thumbs up

If you do, just stick with the GenIII and newer motors. The early Gen I and II are of no comparison to ease of wrenching, swapping, and insane power levels.

I have a single GT67 turbo on my 5.3 @ 15psi with a good cam, 4k stall, ported 6.0L heads (317 cast), etc, etc. The power in nothing less than shocking in a pickup truck. My pal knocked 0.5 off his ET with a mild cam and an underdrive pulley... the gains are just massive.

Just know that even a stock alu 5.7 on stock 241 heads are known to lay out near 300rwhp and over it with a simple air intake and rear muffler upgrade. Keep this in mind for the R107s as MOST have the small R&P in the diff.

A good, low buck swap could be the truck 5.3s as they can make over 300rw with a good cam and all boltons, even more with better heads.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2007, 11:04 PM
Registered User
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo
440 are we still talking Chevy or are we talking Mopar. Am I dating myself?
440 cube gen3 shortblock.
I should have called it a 439 and had you really confused.
SDPC2000.com sells alot of gen3/gen4 shortblock/longblock/crate engines for good prices.
Definently NOT mopar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit Man X
If you do, just stick with the GenIII and newer motors. The early Gen I and II are of no comparison to ease of wrenching, swapping, and insane power levels.
Ease of wrenching is for sure.
Takes 5 minutes to yank the intake(on my car), 7 minutes to yank a water pump(on a gm truck).
Not to mention the parts compatability between all the engines of the generation, which is what im sure you meant by swapping.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2007, 01:06 PM
mramay's Avatar
Mike R.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Gen III and up is the only logical choice - newest design, lightest weight, best electronics.

My '02 LS6 Gen III engine weighs 390 pounds, 434 pounds complete with accessories. The m117 engine is 452 pounds without accessories. I believe the 4L60E transmission is within ten pounds of the weight of the SEC tranny. This LS6 engine is twice (2) the HP of the M117.

FYI, I've FINALLY figured out how to mount the rack & pinion assembly in my SEC with no bumpsteer. It requires a new engine crossmember, but keeps my power steering and full displacement (~45 degrees) of wheel travel.
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