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Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 03:42 AM

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap
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I changed direction on my previous engine choice, so I started this new thread. Photos of the car and other info on the previous thread here:

My original goal for this car remains the same, hot rodded sleeper. The luxury of modern fuel injection with beauty of a classic Benz.

It's been like pulling teeth to deal with the various machine shops and vendors to build the M110 the way I wanted, and to try and get as much horsepower as possible out of it. It seems no one can keep to their promised delivery times. So after 6 months of time, a couple thousand in wasted dollars, and the realization that if I could get 280HP out of the M110 is still wouldn't qualify the car as a Hot Rod, I admit defeat and give up on this engine.

So on to a simpler more modern solution. The Chevy LQ4 with a 4L80e trans.

Stock photo:

Attachment 136946

I purchased a complete 48,000 mile, 2005 drop out unit including engine, trans, ECU, wiring harness, gas pedal, accessories, and O2 sensors for $2500.

It shipped out this week and should be here in Hawaii in about 3 weeks.

In the mean time I'm getting some other items completed like a stereo and prepare what I can, while still driving, to get ready for the swap. Electric fan conversion, battery relocation, spare tire delete to make room for dual exhaust, etc

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 04:31 AM

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After spending the last month moving we are settled in and I'm back at work on the car. First up is getting some tunes going. I purchased a vintage Becker Europa 772 radio and Focal K2 Power 100KRS 4" front speaker system.

These cars have no really good place for speaker install. Typical door panel install looked to me to ruin the look. So I opted to go in the kick panels. It's a tight area on the drivers side due to the E-brake and hood latch lever.

i used the original kick panels to trace out on 1/8" MDF. The out of 3/4" MDF I made two "doughnuts" that match the inside and and outside dimension of the speakers. Then using Popsicle sticks and hot glue I fit the speaker rings in position that aim the speakers and miss the E-brake and hood latch lever.

Next is to use speaker grill cloth and staple to the speaker ring MDF and form the final shape of the "box".

Attachment 136947

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 04:34 AM

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Then 4 layers of fiberglass, some body filler, primer, and paint (spray can bed liner for texture) you have this:

Attachment 136948

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 04:40 AM

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And then the final installation

Attachment 136949

Sound is a little weak, partly that the speakers need to break in, but mostly since these are only 4" they can't carry much midrange and obviously not much bass. But at least I have something to listen too. Up later will be some speakers for the rear tray, amplifier, and a couple small subs in the trunk.

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 04:51 AM

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After I remove the existing engine and trans for the swap I plan on cleaning out the engine compartment and painting. So over the last few weeks I have been searching out a new paint color. I really like the grey exterior with the red interior, so for sure going to stay grey. The current grey is a little lifeless.

So how do you make grey exciting, you add some metal flake and some pearl. How about Grigio Ferro?

Attachment 136950

The overall color is close to original, but goes from pretty dark to pretty light depending on the lighting and reflection of the body curves.

To keep the under hood spray out easier I will shoot single stage, but the exterior will be two stage.

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 04:57 AM

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Spare tire delete.

So I'm removing the entire spare tire assembly, including the low hanging pocket. It drives me crazy to look at the passenger side of the car and see that "thing" hanging there. Plus it has to go to make room to route the right side exhaust exit. I see on a lot of these that this bucket it rusted out. My car has no rust and this bucket is solid.

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Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 05:01 AM

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Much better profile with the bucket gone

Attachment 136953

Coasttocoast 06-25-2016 05:10 AM

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Up next is to weld in a new filler panel.

Attachment 136954

On the drivers side there is a "Z" shaped support going from the rear of the suspension to the bumper support. It appears that the "bucket" is designed to carry that load. I'm having the metal bent and the patch panel rough cut, hope for delivery next week. Then I can fill the big hole.

FYI, before I started any work on the car, but after I upgraded the wheels and tires, this car weighed, front 1760 rear 1400 total 3140 with a half tank of gas.

I would love to be able to drop 140 pounds out of this car with the swap, but for sure should be able to get the front to back ratio closer.

97 SL320 06-25-2016 07:21 PM

The kick panel speaker install was common on older cars when stereo was becoming popular in cars.

Moving the battery to the rear will help weight distribution. By the late 80's every MB has a rear battery.

Running an aluminum rad would help too.

Mike D 06-25-2016 09:21 PM

Although I enjoy the build and appreciate your mods, I suggest you move this thread to the "Performance Paddock" forum.

Coasttocoast 06-26-2016 02:13 AM

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Today I replaced the factory engine driven clutch/fan with an electric fan. I ordered a Spal VA18-AP10/C-41S from Summit, a 16" low profile puller. I through bolted the fan with nylon bolts, nuts. The LQ4's ECU will eventually control the fan, so temporarily I installed a build type thermo switch with the bulb insulated and tie wrapped to the top radiator hose.

I think this is a good stock upgrade. Seems like it removed a little load and reduced some vibration.

Once the engine temp rises enough to activate the fan, the temperature quickly drops.

Attachment 136969

Coasttocoast 06-26-2016 02:24 AM

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Also today I added a pusher 16" fan, mounted to the condenser. Also a Spal from Summit. (Be Cool part 75059). I had to remove and relocate the horns to make way for the fan. A 14" fan would have been a better choice, as it hangs over top and bottom a little. I don't understand why there was not a fan here in the first place.

I used a simple relay to activate the fan anytime the compressor turns on.

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Coasttocoast 06-26-2016 02:29 AM


Originally Posted by 97 SL320 (Post 3610006)
The kick panel speaker install was common on older cars when stereo was becoming popular in cars.

Moving the battery to the rear will help weight distribution. By the late 80's every MB has a rear battery.

Running an aluminum rad would help too.

Thanks for commenting.

Right now I plan on keeping the stock radiator. It is very close in size to the fan I have in my Jeep (also Vortec swapped). I pulled it out today to add the fan and although I didn't weight it I can't imagine it weighs more than 3 or 4 lbs more than the aluminum one in my jeep.

Coasttocoast 06-26-2016 02:33 AM


Originally Posted by Mike D (Post 3610033)
Although I enjoy the build and appreciate your mods, I suggest you move this thread to the "Performance Paddock" forum.

This really will not be a high performance/race build.

Thanks for reading!

Coasttocoast 06-26-2016 02:42 AM

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About 4 years ago I swapped a 4.8 ltr Vortec into my 1995 Wrangler. It was a little more complicated than this will be. On that build I had to swap out the transmission output shaft to connect to the transfer case and modify two sets of driveshafts.

It's been a fantastic car, better gas mileage, almost no maintenance, and instant reliable starting. Oh, almost forgot about the boatloads of power, and it's turning 33" tires and it's the baby sized Vortec.

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