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Old 03-05-2001, 05:41 AM
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I have a nice 1986 MB 190e (2L 8v) Centenary Special. This has leather seats, sunroof, electric windows, power steering, central locking, air conditioning, alloy wheels, and some wood panelling. It is an auto. It has done about 95,000kms. I love the car but it certainly lacks power. I can live with the lack of rear passenger room even. The local wrecker has a 2.3 16v Cosworth engine. I have driven a couple of 2.3 16v Cosworths and love the power and acceleration. The alternative is to buy a 2.6 190e but that would be a more expensive route and give me a slightly less powerful and exclusive engine. The cosworth engine has done similar mileage to mine and comes with a 3 month warranty. I realise I will probably have to replace the timing chain at the same time. The question is whether the transplant is possible and whether I can retain my auto transmission or upgrade to a 2.6 190e auto transmission or whether I need to take the dogleg 5 speed transmission as well. I'm not a great fan of the dogleg transmission especially in heavy traffic. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2001, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Near Williamsburg, Virginia
Posts: 358

The 2.3-16 is lighter, shorter, wider and lower than the 2.3. While the automatic is nice, once you've driven the 5-speed you'll want it. The engine is just half of the 16 valve. A transplanted 16V engine in a 2.3 won't give you the full 16V experience. Sell the 2.3 and buy a 2.3-16. Just do it. You will not regret it.
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Old 03-05-2001, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
The 16V bottom end is identical to the 8V other than pistons & a beefed-up oil pan! Swap would require radiator & several other underhood parts, including the engine wiring harness & computer. NOT an easy job unless you have complete donor car to get parts from!
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Old 03-07-2001, 12:00 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 412
Have we talked you out of it yet? The swap should probably should be done with a donor car. The 2.3 16 has a lot more features that are not readily visible. The brakes, sway bars and other driveline and shocks are heavier units. The interiors are a little bit sportier on the ones that I have seen also.
Unless you have the time for a major project you ought to buy a 2.3 16.
1990 190E 2.6
1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
1985 Mustang GT 5.0 5 SPD
1982 Suzuki GS 750T
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Old 05-29-2001, 06:04 AM
Dave Beaumont
Posts: n/a
I am a bit late in my reply but I have done the transplant.
I have a nice lorinser kitted car fully lowered and did not like the look of the cosworth. I too wanted the extra power but not the dog box, so in with the cosworth and stayed with the auto. I did have a few problems as no full car to rob and parts hard in newZealand, rev limiter, new tacho etc.
It works fine and I love it, I am just having my box serviced and upgraded to improve the shifting. As for the self levelling susp I know of a couple of guys who had to take it out due to problems with repair. Who knows but if you dont mind the look of the cosworths I would buy one.
Good Luck
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