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  #1  
Old 04-17-2003, 01:58 PM
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Ponton engine swap - Options and opinions

First let me apologise to any Ponton purists for what I am about
to say!
My 220S needs an engine job. While not a problem, the first
thing I find is that the pistons are about $200 each. It occurs to
me that a complete engine swap would be cheaper and maybe
easier. I don't even care about originality, which I know is a sin.
Since I want to end up with a nice driver, getting an engine is
my first concern. Rebuilding mine will be pricey. If I swap in a
new one, what can I get? The original engine is an M180, so
I suppose any M180 series would work. The 220SE is M127,
so will any M127 series work? Since 113 chassis engines all
appear equivalent, does it follow that any M127-M130 would
be ok? This would obviously expand my options and allow
me to pick from many more engines.
Your thoughts, advice or ridicule is welcome!
Thanks.
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1967 250SL
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2003, 05:32 PM
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Location: Falls Church, VA
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Keep in mind that as you change engines you can get different intake, exhaust, and linkage configurations which could make the swap more difficult and expensive. Also, when you change the engine "family" you will probably need a different transmission and that could mean changing the length of the driveshaft, as well as mount location, linkage, coupling, etc.

None of these are show-stoppers, but they are likely to add time and expense to the point where $200 pistons look attractive.

Personally, I think a later injected 6-cylinder (M110, M103/104) would be totally cool.
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'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:46 PM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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Vaughn,
How 'new' an engine did you have in mind?
Any M180 - 220/230 Fintail engine will probably work, with one consideration - the Ponton sixes had steel motor mount brackets bolted to the front of the engine block while the Fintail and later engines used aluminum motor mount arms bolted to pads cast into the center of the engine block. My '60 220S Fintail engine still has unused, threaded holes at the front that could fit the earlier Ponton motor mount brackets.
I've noticed that some of the later engines still have these same holes but they are unthreaded.

Awhile back, someone on this forum asked about fitting one of the M130-2.8 engines into a 220 but I don't know if there was any response. You might try a search

As for the M127, the Fintail injection intake manifold sticks out horizontally from the head and may not fit the narrower underhood space in the Ponton. The gas-injection Ponton 220SE, used an intake manifold that curled over the valve cover and that one could be hard to find today. I'd recommend sticking with a carb engine.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:54 PM
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What I would like to do is stick my dual carbs onto whatever
engine I use. This may be asking for trouble. I have a 280SL
engine in my 250SL and I am comparing that to the 220 one.
(Just comparing, the 280SL engine stays where it is.)
It may be that my best option is to rebuild what I have.
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:55 PM
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I don't know ya'll. The price for the pistons sound about right. Look at the price of the diesel pistons. The first thing that came to mind is a 220S model with a 617 engine and the column mounted shifter with overdrive. Wouldn't that be something now. Anyway, getting back to the engine - if it were me I,d start saving for some pistons.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2003, 11:54 AM
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I just came back from my shed where I just happen to have a spare Ponton 220S engine and the M130 2.8 engine block and head I removed from my '72 250. Both engine blocks measured about 25.7 inches from the rear mating surface to the front. The M130 2.8 has the threaded holes at the front that should accept the Ponton motor mount brackets.
(On the '72 250 the holes are used to fasten the power steering pump, alternator bracket and front engine shock absorber.) As for the manifolds, I don't have mine handy so, you'll need to do your own interhange research. I don't know if your 220 Solex carbs will fit the 2.8 manifolds and I don't think those Solexes will work properly on the larger displacement engine. The later 220S/230S used Zenith carbs like my 250 so maybe you could use the 2.8 Zenith carbs on a later 220S/230S manifold.

You'll have other issues to work out such as
exhaust pipes, coolant plumbing and choice of transission. Most M130 2.8s sold in North America were fitted with automatic and I dont think that trans will fit in the Ponton tunnel. You could get lucky and find one of the few late '60s M130s with a manual trans.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:24 PM
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So, lets get this right. You just happened to have a spare engine in your shed that you forgot about.

We should all be so lucky!
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Warren

Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

ENTER > = (HP RPN)

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  #8  
Old 04-18-2003, 04:29 PM
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i'm at the tail end of of a m180 to 127 engine transformation for a 1963 220s

the m180 had a cracked head which i could have brought to a machine shop but i would then be concerned with the block, pistons, etc and it wasn't worth spending close to 5k rebuilding.

i bought a recently rebuilt 127 engine for $700.

things to be concerned with

1) how long was the engine sitting?

2) manual or automatic - pilot bearing and how the flywheel bolts onto the tourque converter

3) electric fuel pump - needs to added near the gas tank and needs to send 18lbs of pressure.

4) wiring - the fuel injection engine has more electronics involved.
i have diagrams if you need

it took more time than what i was originally expecting but i am overall very please with the results.

everyone here has been extremely helpful (see link) [link]http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?threadid=56938[/link]

you could do it
donít give up
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2003, 05:27 PM
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The one condition to inheriting 'Miss Daisy', my Fintail 220S, was that I remove the spare Ponton engine from the late Eloise Powell's garage, where it sat for about 20 years, after being removed from a "50s 220S by her late husband. I haven't tried to turn it over and I have no idea as to it's internal condition. Possibly, it may have some parts that will fit my Fintail engine but because of the engine mounting differences the Ponton engine won't work in a Fintail.

Having my spare 250 and 220 engines together did make it convenient to do some quick checks and measurements.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2003, 06:49 PM
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Look at what this guy had to do for his 300b

http://www.whereitsat.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/MB300/mb300engine1.htm

Now that was work.

In most cases, you can work the engine loose by rocking the crankshaft back and forth and lubing the pistons.

Regards
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Warren

Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

ENTER > = (HP RPN)

Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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  #11  
Old 04-18-2003, 08:57 PM
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An awesome tale of restoration and determination. I hate to think what the insides of my spare 220S Ponton engine look like.
(Or, even worse, the insides of my 180b's engine, in which the coolant migrated to the crankcase, many years ago!)

Well, I may be fortunate in having some spare engines but I still don't have a garage of my own!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2003, 03:59 PM
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Mark: Have you thought about selling your spare engine, or at least the pistons? I bet he'd buy them if they're any good!
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2003, 08:24 PM
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Well, the pistons are one thing that could also fit my Fintail engine. If I were to sell this engine, in unknown condition, what would it be worth? A few hundred? Several hundred? Plus the cost of crating and shipping this heavy lump!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2003, 09:22 PM
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True, Mark. If I were you, here's what I'd be thinking...
1) Am I going to need this engine for anything? If my current engine needs something, what does it need so I can swap them before I sell it?
2) I want to sell it before it's completely ruined instead of having a "Spare engine" that winds up rusted/frozen/crudded out from sitting!
3) How much does UPS charge to ship from Virginia to British Columbia? $$$$$$$!
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2003, 10:08 PM
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This engine sat on an unheated garage floor for about 20 years so I don't think another year or so will make much difference. Meanwhile, I could get some oil into the cylinders and see if it will turn.
When it's cold, I think I hear some piston slap in my Fintail engine so pistons could be parts I will eventually need, but they're not parts I could remove or transfer in a hurry.
I've heard that piston slap is common in these old sixes and it could go on for years or break a piston tommorow.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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