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Old 11-05-2002, 07:24 PM
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another look at the possible 4.2 swap for a 3.8

I am still working on a solution to replacing the engine in my newly acquired 1982 380 SL. I am finding that a number of knowledgeable (in my opinon) people believe the 3.8 aluminum engine to be less than the best of Mercedes' efforts.

I have been told (more than once) that I can swap out the 380 long block in my car with a 420 long block. In addition I would need to swap out the oil pan, motor mounts, and the intake system from the 380. The person who gave me the information has an interest in that he has a 420 engine for sale.

I will look into the oil filter housing difference as suggested by benzmac in the previous post. Does anyone know of any reason why this swap would not be a good idea (other than from a purest point of view- I just want a reliable driver) Does anyone know of any other swaps that would make sense? I see that the 5 liter (M117) is similiar, but I don't know just how similiar it is. I would like to explore all the options before leaping. Thanks for your input.

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Old 11-05-2002, 08:27 PM
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if there is nothing wrong with the 3.8 i would stick with it...i like mine and it has never caused problems, just like every other v8 of the time, its important to keep timing chains in them. All and all i like the 3.8, seems plenty powerful and i havent had any problems with over 200,000 miles. although i must admit the 5.0 or the 4.2 is a much stronger engine.... just ramblin i guess...

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Old 11-05-2002, 09:28 PM
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Ramblin is fine- I need the input. My engine has been updated to the 2 row chain so if I found a 3.8 with the single row chain I assume I could just swap the two row chain components in and add a new chain and guides. Perhaps it will come down to finding a good candidate for implant be it a 3.8 or a 4.2 Seems like the 4.2 would pack a little extra punch but that is not what I want the car for- I just want a reliable driver. Thanks

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