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Old 12-05-2010, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 166
Wink Questions ? 89 300 se and engine transplant possibilities

I recently purchased a rather nice 1987 420 sel PARTS CAR
it has documentation on the timing chain / head /seals and other maintenance performed , to the tune of $2700 in Feb of this year. I picked the car up in State College Pa and drove it home to Baltimore 135miles - No issues , really a nice car .

( seems a shame to part it out- but the price- low enough and I need some items for my 89 300 se)

A couple of questions;
1. The differential ratio on my 89 300se is the 3.46 the 420 sel has the 2.47
assuming they are interchangeable -
Might I realize better fuel economy at highway speeds?
or would the 6 cyl not perform properly ( not certain of optimum rpm range )
would my start up be horrendously slow /tedious ? ( 240 D like ?)
Currently I realize 19/20 mpg highway cruising and was curious if the 2.47 ratio might get me to 24 +- mpg at 70 mph cruising speed?

2. Is this 420sel drive train( 4.2 l v-8) suitable for a transplant ?
such as the '73 280 in EVOLDEAL'S THREAD ?
my '73 280 pronounced dead D:

or a locally owned '72 300 sel ? in need of new engine/ transmission

Thanks in advance for any input.

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Old 12-05-2010, 04:32 PM
Gilly's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
If you are willing to accept a decrease in off the line performance, everything to me looks like it would work OK. I don't think the decrease would be that dramatic, but noticeable. I would think your fuel mileage estimate would also be in the ballpark, a few more mpg.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:22 PM
cth350's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 3,840
The alloy V8 would drop into the older S class cars you mention. There would be a bit of a problem with the air suspension compressor and it's oil supply for the 300sel. But it would be a heck of a nice project. -CTH
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:58 AM
home of 4,5,6,8 cylinders
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 504
what kind of mileage u get on the 420? I heard of sometimes bigger engine burn less fuel.

I had a 300se before, the engine seems to rev a lot too. becareful to drop the 2.47 into the 300se, u could be loading/lugging the trans too much as u dont have to spin as fast.
I do have a 420 now, is much quieter , nicer, only draw back is going thru gas like no tomorrow. I also have a 190e 2.3 dont think is all that frugal on gas either.
The 300sd is the cheapest to run. As I use the combo oil.
I u really want to save gas, go get a diesel and burn atf /veggie oil.

Funny the modern day 560 v8 put out as much power as the old 6.3 v8 ( 250 HP approx )
and on my bro's 98 e320 it puts out 215 HP is as much as my 420 now!

the newer 500 puts out 322HP with 4 valves, newer ones is little less no a big difference.

V 12 were 389 HP, and a new sl 55 is almost that nowadays.

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