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  #1  
Old 07-10-2004, 03:54 PM
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Thumbs up (w108) Non-stock Mercedes wheels and tires, oh and motor too! lol

I have a w108 1968 250s. Years ago I got sick and tired of the poor choices of wheels for the car, so................

Not worried about originality, off to my buddy's car shop I went. We pulled all the hubs, and restudded them with a chevy bolt pattern! SWEET!!!!! Now I can run just about any kind of dam rim I wish! It rocks! Oh, and for anyone else with a 108 or 109, this is a really nice thing to do, cuz you can step up to as large as a 18" wheel if done right. We are putting 16 or 17's on ours.

Well, the mods didnt stop at the wheels.... we also yanked the crappy drivetrain, and replaced it with high performance chevy parts. It now sports a high performance 229v6, 350 turbo tranny, and a corvette rear end. Woohoo! Sorry folks, but I like it a heck of alot more than the original drivetrain. It rocks! We're now working on a new paintjob, custom interior, and custom audio system....

Anyway... biggest point of this whole thing is/was... if you get sick of the few crappy and EXPENSIVE choices you have for your 108 when it comes to tires and wheels, there IS an alternative. And honestly, if a person WAS concerned with originality, you could always buy a second set of hubs and have THEM drilled, and then install those. If, at a later date you choose to sell and want to sell as "all original", then re-install the original hubs, wheels and tires.

Oh, and I think it cost $25/US to re-drill and remount all the hubs... no biggie. Certainly worth it cuz we have a world of choices now for tires and wheels, at an affordable price....
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2004, 05:06 PM
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the monster
 
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I want to see pics.....
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1967 250s The Monster Project a.k.a "The Monster" a.k.a "Rolling Coffin" --sold--
The photographic ART thread
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2004, 05:13 PM
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it heads off to the body shop in a few weeks for a new paintjob, so we're currently pulling apart the body...... but can provide you with pics of whatever you like that's still attached to the car. You interested in the body, rear end, motor, or what?

You have a 1967 250S aye? Cool..... Hope it runs better than mine did! What a money pit, or should I say arm pit? It was terrible. 5 rebuilds in 3 years, and I gave up on the Mercedes motor.... but by then, had too much money invested to just quit! On top of that, I always loved the body style! Sooooo.... MAJOR modification project began! It's worth it though. Glad I did it, even though its been a lot of trial and error.... and has driven me nuts.... But,,,,,, got it all figured out now!!!!! WOOHOO!


BTW, lol, love your sig!
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:21 PM
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I realize that the car is underpowered, but why 5 motor rebuilds in 3 years? My old 6 cylinder just wants to run forever. Sure would like to see some pics of your wheel mount modification, chosen rims and engine installation. What was your final choice of tire size? Any rubbing problems front or rear?
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2004, 08:24 PM
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Gregg...

Man, would you please STOP posting pictures of that stinkin' immaculate engine

Actually, I am just so-o-o-o envious that you got that much shine from the dull aluminum valve cover... (and everything else in the engine bay) Followed your recent repaint thread, watta ride!!!
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2004, 08:54 PM
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As for the motor rebuilds, we just couldnt get the motor to hold together. I had the best mechanics around working on this thing. We'd get it all back together, it'd run great for about a month, then WHAM! It would spin the lower bearings. We mic'd the ENTIRE engine, and were maticulous about it. But it did no good. I think the longest a rebuild ever helt was about 6 months. The shortest, 2 weeks. GRRRRR!!!!!!!

As for the tires, right now it has low profile 14's on it. We are stepping it up to 16's as soon as the paint is finished. We've been hanging out in tire shops for the last 2 weeks looking at tires and rims, and have narrowed down our choices.

As for rubbing... Not with the 14's, and shouldn't be a prob with the 16's either. I found a great website where a guy has actually made a tire size calculator that shows what all you can replace the tires on the 108 with. He also features a dozen or so 108's that he has already changed over to 16's, and goes in to good detail as to what spacing you need to achieve the right fit. Kudos to him! Also, when we installed the corvette rear end we lifted the rear of the car by 2", just cuz we wanted to. I like the look of it too!

Here's the link to that site if anyone is interested:
http://members.tripod.com/~breastroker/MercedesBenzM100.html

The is a wealth of info on there as far as converting your tire sizes. I don't know this guy.... just stumbled on to his website by accident. I'm sure glad I did tho! Hope it helps some of you as well!

I'll try to get some pics to share with you folks ASAP!
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Old 07-10-2004, 09:00 PM
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Oh and check out the pic of Cox Racing Group's Coupe on that website, with 18 x 8-in. Rial wheels!!!!!!!! Can you believe it???????? Looks Sweet!

But I really do like the size of the 16" wheels on the 108. I think it gives the car a better balance. The 14" wheels always looked soooo tiny in the big wheel wells of the 108.......
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 68_Mercedes
...... but can provide you with pics of whatever you like that's still attached to the car. You interested in the body, rear end, motor, or what?
We'd like to see pics inside/out when you'r done with it.... as for "The Monster", I don't know what I'll be doing with it.

Dan
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1967 250s The Monster Project a.k.a "The Monster" a.k.a "Rolling Coffin" --sold--
The photographic ART thread
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2004, 04:00 AM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Yep, i too would like to see detail pics of the engine compartment including engine mounts.

And if it's amazing coachwork and handling you want then it's amazing coachwork and handling you've got in the 108. The Chevy conversion sounds perfect for you, lacking a nearby mechanic who knows anything about the MB engine. Nice touch adding Chevy wheels too...... that's traditional, eh? Can remember seeing a California deluxe VW Bus equipped with Porsche engine AND Porsche hubcaps as a kid back in the early 1970's.

BTW, seek "Kinpin Suspension" through the excellent search feature here. There are 16 grease fittings you've gotta hit every few thousand miles or so - to best maintain the MB ride in dusty desert environment. Kinpins can last forever if maintained, otherwise they are likely to be your next head-ache. Few and far between are garages qualified or competent to locate every grease fitting, I suggest you buy your own grease gun and do it yourself.

Otherwise dude, if you found this board a few years ago prior to rebuild #1 we could have saved you alot of pain and anquish before your "best mechanic" failed at the rebuild again and again.

Most common mistake is planing the cylinder head beyond spec which will raise compression beyond tolerances and gobble up the short block by spinning crank or rod bearings as you have seen. Chopping the cyl head is ONE mistake from the git-go that would follow every rebuild thereafter. You say the mechanic hit everything with the micrometer huh? But did he also measure thickness of the cyl head before putting it on the planer and walking away or smoking a cigarette while the soft alloy head got shaved to smitherines?

Did he also bore out the engine? Ooops, the original engine had tapered bores permanently mated to thick high nickel content sleeves which are heat treated to the bores so that they just cant be knocked out and replaced. What often happens is the original permanently fixed "sleeve" itself gets cut up to accomodate whatever straight sleeve replacement comes off the shelf.

And were the largest oversize high compression pistons used? Add this to cyl head chopped beyond tolerances and unless you've got tungsten bearings in the bottom end, the shortblock just wont survive. And the original pistons were perfectly ballanced/matched to the crankshaft with varying piston weights in the same set at the factory, to again insure longevity. Did your mechanic bother to interpret the letterings and identifying marks on piston crowns that tell their individual weights before ordering a replacement set.... probably not.

But dont feel bad - there are some who believe the Vintage MB shortblock is not rebuildable at all. Others have reportedly managed to pull another 100,000 miles or so out of an old longblock thats already got say, 250K miles, by NOT shaving the head and merely buzzing the existing sleeves as little as possible, if they are not out of round, to accomodate a nearly exact match of minimal oversize ballanced replacement pistons marked by their weights on the piston crown.

Hell, the only person I'd trust to build an MB engine would be someone who has done it several times successfully already. Key is to remove as little metal as possible, i think.

But speaking of hybrid cars, there are rumors of somebody in Texas who specialized in 108 conversions to fit the 5 cylinder diesel. Have you heard of this fellow?
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2004, 09:45 PM
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Any Benz engine that physically fits will drop right in, the only problem might be driveshaft length. Otherwise, the engine mounts are all the same.

There are a number of reasons I'd not "chevyize" a 108, starting with problems with wheel ofset. If you don't care how it handles, go ahead, but incorrect offset does screwy things to the way it drives.

Altering hubs to a different bolt pattern will cause trouble with rotors, too.

I'm afraid your friend the "engine rebuilder" didn't do something right. My guess would be excessive clearance and using SAE measuring tools rather than metric -- I've seen the results, and they aren't pretty. Sloppy bores way oversize and loose crank bearings result in very rapid failure, along with re-using stretch bolts or failing to torque them properly. It ain't a Chevy, wheels aside.

Tires wider than 205 mm will rub, so don't go wider than that. Wheel size is irrelevant here, just tire width.

Peter
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1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2004, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for all the input folks!

As far as what all the mechanic did and didn't do, my golly, that was seemingly a millenia ago (it was back in the late 80's/early 90's). However, the guy that rebuilt it was renowned in these parts for his Mercedes work. German motors is ALL they worked on, nothing else. Looking back now, I'm sure there's a 100 reasons why the car could have did what it did... but I trashed the motor right after I pulled it, so there's no way to check now. So at this point, it would only be speculation on all of our parts as to what might have been the cause. However, for anyone rebuilding one, the things you have posted are dam good things for them to read BEFORE rebuilding.

As far as wheel offsets and what not... the reason we chose the corvette rear end is because it was within less than 1/2" difference in width, and also was independant suspension as well. With a few small brackets welded into place, she slipped right in beautifully! As far as handling and driveability, I really can't tell a difference. It still handles pretty much the same as it did back then, cep't it's top speed is no longer 180 MPH and she's no longer a "dog" off the line.... In fact, I raced it once, against a '78 chevy Monte Carlo w/ a 350 V8 with a few "tweeks" to it, and to be frank, we SMOKED em! Hehehehehe. Needless to say, they were dumbfounded that the thing could blow em off the line and whoop em like it did.... until I opened the hood......

To date, I've had no rotor problems or any other problems related to the change-out. Everything seems to be working out just dandy, and I'm happy as happy knows how to be with the conversion.

As for the guy in Texas who's supposedly changing out 108's and putting diesels in them..... never heard of him.... but I KNOW it wouldn't be MY first choice for a change out! LOL!

I realize that to "chevysize" a Benz isn't everyone's idea of a great thing. LOL! But for us, it's what we wanted, and it has turned out great. Now we have a great motor that kicks butt, and has 1001 accessories we can add to it to "spruce it up". Too, there's that advantage of no matter where we go we can find parts for the motor and transmission (no waiting a few weeks for parts). Add to that, the parts are relatively inexpensive, and well, it's the best of both worlds for us! We have a beautiful classic car that drives great, looks great, and is who's drivetrain is easy and cheap to maintain. We love it. Now all we need is a paint job.....

I'll try to snap some pics this week to post. We've pulled much of the stuff off the engine to take to the body shop (AC, Radiator hoses, heater hoses, etc etc) so it SHOULD give you a pretty good look at what we did without all the BS in the way...
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2004, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 68_Mercedes
... cep't it's top speed is no longer 180 MPH and she's no longer a "dog" off the line....
WOW, I never reached that speed with my 250S, you trashed a 180mph engine?

I guess that's a typo.......
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The photographic ART thread
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2004, 09:20 PM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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68, am hoping you've documented every step of the process including parts numbers and special adaptations with reciepts and specs.

This kinda know-how is scarce and it wouldnt surprise me if potential hybrid 108 fans wouldnt mind paying for the information that you can provide - a service to the community at large if you post the info online, linked to this thread.

And you've gotta believe many tears were shed at Daimler Benz Corporate level because development of the 5 cyl 95mph 30mpg engine just barely missed the 108 body style by merely couple of yrs.

Nobody can argue against 108 coachwork being the finest on the road today, possibly only bettered by amazing features of the 110 and 111 series. Just take care of the kingpins and replace sub-frame rubber bushings so you can keep the damned thing on the road, ok?

Hell yes, gotta see them pics especially where Corvette trans-axle meets the metal and where V-6 engine bolts to the frame.
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'74 280/8
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'63 220Sb 4-spd
'63 190c 4-spd
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2004, 11:36 PM
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First off, did you have a metric speedo in there? Top speed for a 250 is 115 mph due to the rear end, not 180. Might be 180 kph, but kilometers are a bit shorter than miles....

A 603 turbodiesel will give somewhat better performance than a 250 six, although less than the m117 or M116. Dropping in a 617 turbodiesel is fairly common in Europe -- pushes the milage up to around 24 mpg and drops the taxes considerably without a serious hit on performance. A 3.5 L sedan is quite costly in Germany. As a said, it's an easy conversion, and with the turbo 617 you lose very little performance wise.

The corvette rear end would be a good choice, although it's quite a bit heavier (with the american V8, this probably restores front/rear balance, too). Only question I would have would beweight capacity as the corvette is somewhat lighter, at least the older ones. Wheel bearings are a huge PITA on a corvette, too.

The V8 version 108s are pretty snappy, and although the swing axle rear end has some drawbacks related to camber and jacking on turns, it was, after all, a 1953 design, and didn't use CV joints (not availabe at the time!) nor did it use high angle standard U-joints, since they cause serious vibration and trouble with the necessary floating axles.

Too bad AMG never did their magic with the M117....

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2004, 12:25 PM
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1967250s: I just made up the 180 MPH thing. I wasn't meaning to be serious when I said that. LOL! Although I think my speedo reads 140 MPH? I can't remember. Seems like the literature in my book said it's max was 160 MPH or something? Don't take my word on that though till I have had time to check it out and make sure tho. It's been years since I cracked open the original owners manual.... like maybe 10 years? LOL!


240DieselDog: Yes, I know every part and componet in the car, what year and where it came from. GOTTA have that, cuz some day I know I'll need replacement parts. As far as anyone being interested enough to pay for the info.... you may very well be right, cuz I know it would have saved us a ton of $$$$ and time had we have had the info at our fingertips before we started! I would have easily paid $250 or more for the info, looking back. All the guess work prolly cost us in excess of $1,000.00. There was lots of trial and error. LOL! But we've actually considered maybe setting up shop to do change-outs for 108's. It's an idea anyway. It obviously wouldn't be a fulltime job, but maybe a sideline hobby. We have the space, and all the tools, and now the know-how to do it. Wouldn't mind converting a few a year.... As far as the diesel goes... I dunno, I know diesels are good motors, I just dont care for them. But I'm sure the 108 could have benefitted from them. And as far as the chassis itself.... as pissed as I was over all the motor problems I had, I never could bring myself to trash the car. I love the ride, I love the look, I love the car. I'm addicted to it! Oh, and I'll try to get them pics real quick!

psfred: As far as the speed thing goes... check the response to 1967250s at the first of this reply. As far the vette rear end... although the vette was lighter, it seems to hold up just fine in the heavier benz. Course, gotta remember, Vettes were made to shake and bake, so their rear ends aren't made of plastic. Thus far, we've had no problems out of it, and I really don't expect to have any, tho I could be wrong. Only time will tell. It seems to work just fine, and it matches up well with the v6.

Anyone know where you can buy chrome or stainless steel bolts? Right now we're working on sprucing up the motor, and getting everything chromed out. Part of that endeavor will be to install either chrome or SS bolts, but I need a good supplier for them, which may be tough with metric bolts. Who knows....

Meanwhile, I'm getting really excited about getting this little toy to the paintshop! WOOHOO! NEW PAINT! Something the poor old thing hasn't seen in 36 years! I'm so excited and ready. Oh, and wait till you see a few of the other "suprise" changes I've made and am making to it.... LOL! SHOULD be interesting when completed! (No, I'm NOT going to tell you... just wait and see! LOL!)

Later!
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