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Old 11-14-2009, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: york, uk
Posts: 6
Six cylinders to Eight cylinders


This may sound like a series of stupid questions. You be the judge.
I bought a 1992 w126 300sel earlier this year. It drove part way home, then blew it's head gasket (...its a long story). I am currently repairing this.
The problem is that the car is weak and feeble compared to the 560 sel that I used to own about five years ago(I would have kept it were it not for advanced wear and rust).
Is it possible to fit an engine from the 560 into a 300?
And if so, what parts do I need to swap?

...someone is asking why.
To be honest, i'm not sure. It may be just that I like the car, or I wouldn't have bought it (besides, I had never heard of a 300 sel Carat before. Worryingly, neither had the local Mercedes dealership; but they once sold me a set of front brakes for the old 560 that were actually meant for an A class...).

The idea cropped up when I as pointed at what I was told was a M117.968 V8 engine, claimed to be from a 560 sel (it looks the part), he described it as a code 882... I do not know enough to recognise this. Does it mean anything to anyone else?


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Old 11-14-2009, 03:29 PM
pifcat2's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Willow Glen
Posts: 299
Most swaps are possible it just takes time and money. You would need to transfer all the engine specific parts: ECU, harness', relays, instruments, etc. It will take fabrication if there is no factory designed model...
'88 300TE, 175k, black RENNTech 3.6L Recaro C's AMG 1 SOLD
'92 500E, 110k, Spruce green, stock SOLD
'94 E320 Cabriolet, 130k, E500 wheels, Emerald green SOLD
'94 E320 Cabriolet, 110k, black, stock, SOLD
'88 300TE, 229k, dark grey, SOLD
'90 300CE, 212k, white, new paint, SOLD
'91 300E, 209k, white, rebuilt head SOLD
'74 914-6, grey, 2.7L 325hp twin turbo Audi conversion
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Posts: 1,946
It's ALWAYS cheaper to just trade for the car you want.
Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI, '06 SLK350
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:41 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 134
The engine you would want is the 117.968 code 822. That's the high compression version with the special exhaust and cams.

I would recommend against such a conversion though, unless you have a whole 560 SEL to 'steal' parts from, as there is more to it that just the engine.

Carat by Duchatelet are slightly more special cars... they generally have nicer interiors, and sometimes special bodykits and wheels.

If you wanted more power, fix your current engine, and if you're lucky, turbo technics might still have a twin turbo kit available for your engine. That should give you at least the same power as a 560, if not more. The last I heard, there were only a couple of the kits left, and they were just over 1k.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: york, uk
Posts: 6
Thanks for the advice.
Unfortunately it appears I am not lucky, and they have no kits...
Plan A is a more desperate option granted, but I prefer it to plan C...
Trading up to another car would certainly be cheaper, granted.
But I find that half the fun is getting there.
I have a spare 3 ltr engine; I can repair the first while researching upgrades on the second.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 134
Hmm, speak to Talbir over at Benzworld or 500Ecstasy... He might know where a kit can be obtained.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: york, uk
Posts: 6

Just one thing intrigues me, you mentioned the high compression engine as having special exhaust and cams. What is special about the exhaust and cams?

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Old 11-20-2009, 05:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 134
The exhaust manifolds and downpipes are are a 4-2-1 design, instead of the standard 4-1 log manifolds normally fitted to the lesser engines. The rest of the exhaust is the same as the second generation european 500SE/L
I'm not so sure exactly what the difference is in the cams, but I'd assume higher lift and different durations.
The throttle body is also larger on the 560.

Other differences that I can think of are the EZL and ECU.

A few years back my first generation 500SEL popped its engine, so I transplanted a 560 option 822.

I did remove all of the electronics and use the 500's ignition system and intake (with the exception of the throttle body) to make the transplant easier. Yes, I probably dont have as much power due to the slightly inferior ignition system, but its still powerful and smooth.

Like I said earlier, if your heart is set on the 560 engine.... you really need a running 560 car to transplant all of the junk over from, otherwise you'll be on the hunt for things like wiring looms, ecu, ezl, instrument cluster, exhaust system etc.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: york, uk
Posts: 6
Thanks for the advice.

I'll keep it in mind for an option if I can't find a turbo kit for the 300.
Fortunately the project is not time critical. Always wanted to do up a car, but ran into a few snags with this one, beginning with the head gasket. The car was described as an 'unmolested example' which I now interprate as 'no-one has done much to it in 16 years, including servicing.'

It came with a new viscous fan and was quoted as having a new v belt; seller seemed a bit put out when I pointed out new belts don't show signs of wear that quickly. It was also described as a smooth runner. I did not take too much notice of that one, for after all how smoothly can I run? (not very). Showed signs of water leakage from the heater.

Was rather upset when v belt broke up passing Retford, smashed the gearbox oil cooler feed in the process, sprayed the engine bay in ATF and blew what was left of the electrics. No power, no drive, truck close behind, and stuck in a contraflow. Heater blew when the engine boiled, dumping water everywhere. Rang RAC rescue at 11pm, got home 5.30am.

Had I been racing home I would have been less upset, but as I was cruising at 55 because of the transmission vibration from the 'smooth runner' I had less patience.
To be fair, so far its the only ebay buy that let me down.

Got home, had a drink, thought seriously about setting fire to it, and started to put it back together. Which explains the lack of a hurry. It's not going anywhere.

Oh, and if you ever do dealings on ebay with a salesman in london, watch out for the one who's feed back includes a negative strike and the phrase
' Cavet emptor, liberate tutame ex inferis ' and stay away from the prat.

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Old 11-20-2009, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas
Posts: 756
"Cavet emptor, liberate tutame ex inferis"

after looking up

"Buyer beware! save yourself from hell"
1996 E320 since 1/16/08, 171K miles as of Feb 2011

1989 300CE - R.I.P. Dec 29 2007
Other MBs (sold): 1992 300E-24 - 1979 350SLC - 1984 230E - 1990 300CE
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 261
Question Compression Numbers for a 117.968

What are the Compression Numbers for a 117.968 supposed to be??? The book says:
8.5 bar = 123.28 psi for a normal
7.5 bar = 108.78 psi for a low
1.5 bar = 21.75 psi delta between max and min

These numbers seem low....
Shouldn't they be circa 160 ??
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:49 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 9,087
Thumbs up

123psi on a 10:1 static motor seems low.

I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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