Engine Transplant Recommendation

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I bought my first non-GM car in more than twenty years yesterday. It is a 1985 Mercedes 230 CE which is a gray market car here in the US. The body and interior are in very nice shape but the engine is shot due to a timing chain problem that bent valves and probably damaged the pistons.

Instead of the expense of rebuilding this engine, I am thinking of putting in a GM V-6.

It looks like that there is plenty of room to it mount in place of the original straight four.

What engine, transmission combination from what vehicle would you recommend? Keep in mind that this is a rear wheel drive car. I'll be looking at auctions to find a wrecked car so that I can get all the electronics too.

Thanks, Scott

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You'll find plenty of aftermarket products for the Chev 4.3 v-6 and it has plenty of power. After all, it is essentially the old trusty 350/5.7 with the back 2 cylinders 'cut off'. IIRC, the s-10 pickups/Blazers after approx. 1995 have a 4L60E trans, a good one, and a "vortec" v6, more power than earlier ones. However, you'd need the donor's computer to make the trans shift. Earlier 4.3's were not as powerful as the "Vortec" series, but IIRC they have the 700R4 trans, which can be caused to shift with an installable kit(like from Jeg's) just by dropping the trans pan. Easiest way to make the swap would be with a suitable intake, carb, and an "hei" distributor from GM--only 1 hot wire to connect to dist. for all to fire up and run and shift gears using the 700R4 trans & shift-kit. What would be the ultimate, using GM's v6, would be to get the later model v-tec with 4L60E trans and use its computer to control all. Much more wiring adaptations, plus comp. mods, but it'd be a neat, dependable swap, giving plenty of hp PLUS good mpg. Luck, s

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Check out the website <http://www.jagsthatrun.com . They provide aftermaket engine mounts (among other things) and "how-to" information for dropping GM V8s into various vehicles. I haven't specifically checked, but there's the possibility that some of their stuff is applicable to GM V6s as well.

Not affiliated, Mark

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"Mark Sparge"

Lot of things to line up and/or interfere. Unless you have CAD models of both, or are real handy with a torch (I'm not), I'd want to know the combination was going to work.

My experience is limited to dropping in a different option available from the factory. That was enough work.

If I was going to go through the work in your case, though, I'd go Chev 350. I'd get the baddest, fastest, smoothest engine I could afford and stuff it in there. It would have to have lots of machined and powdercoat stuff, and lots of modern Tuned Port electrical crap that I could tweak myself. I think that would provide the most fun for all the same efforts involved.

- D

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I second sdlspamo's choice. The 4.3 is a good motor and should be easy to find, plus I believe it has the same bolt pattern as a small block. If you get board with the six a 350 should bolt right up to the 700r4.

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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 09:38:20 -0800, a rock fell the sky, hitting Scott Buchanan on the head, and inspiring the following:

As others have mentioned, the Vortec 4.3L V6 was a great engine. I had a '95 Jimmy which I drove for 150K miles in seven years. Just watch out for the early ('95-'96) injectors as they are FUBAR.

Again, it is basically a 5.7 minus two cylinders with the same bolt pattern and can hook up to the same tranny.

The jagsthatrun site is pretty useful for a swap. I haven't looked in a few years, but I knew a few guys who did a V8 swap into blazers using their advice.

If you're really itching for some fun, try a 6.2 or a 6.5L diesel. Again, same bolt pattern as the 5.7 AFAIK.

--
kai
www.perfectreign.com || www.4thedadz.com
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Follow this link to a real engine: 1100 cid V8 in a Mustang!

http://www.catsasskustoms.com/modules/AMS/article.php?storyid 5

Scott Buchanan wrote:

--
Eugene Blanchard
http://www.catsasskustoms.com
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Thanks for the responses. I read up on the Vortec. It looks like a good engine but I think that it may be too much power for this application. I don't want to break anything. Did they use the 3800 in any rear wheel drive car?

and

chain

recommend?

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You're taking the trans that goes with the V6 or one that can handle even more, you'll certainly need a custom driveshaft anyway... Just the rear axle is all you'll have left that it could possibly break. I don't think a MB would have one so weak as not to be able to deal with it in more or less normal driving. Maybe if you're doing burnouts you could break it.

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No burnouts here. The only doughnuts will be inside the car.

Scott Buchanan wrote:

drive

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drive

The Vortec is indeed a better engine, but you're not talking insane horsepower here. You won't be breaking anything - at least not because of the Vortec.

--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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What are we talking about: 200 HP? The original engine is about 140 HP.

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Some Camaro's and Trans Am's had the 3800.

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Scott Buchanan wrote:

The Buick 3800 has gone in rear-drives from its inception in the 70s (Regal, Grand National, etc.) to the last of the v6 F-bodies (Firebirds and Camaros), so there are RWD transmission choices factory paired with both Gen-1 and Gen-II 3800s.

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You might take a look at the marine 3.0 4 cyl that OMC and Mercruiser use.Same bell pattern as a 350 chev and make 120-140 hp even with the marine intake-exhaust manifold. Will

Scott Buchanan wrote:

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V-6 Firebirds had the 3800 in them all through the 90's. It was a front-wheel-drive block configuration (that's all GM produced), and they had a 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed tranny that were configured to fit it as a rear driver.

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Joe wrote:

GM made both FWD and RWD 3800 blocks, just like they did with the 2800. LOT's of variations out there of both. I can think of 5 variants of the 3800 block in just RWD alone, not including the earlier 225 it was based on.

--
Steve W.

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No, they didn't in the 90's. Not at all. But I think the OP has already lost interest. I had assumed he'd want something fairly late-model, since he used the term "3800".

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Scott Buchanan wrote:

What vintage engine/trans are you considering? Modern distributorless/EFI/fully electronic, or older distributor ignition and/or carbureted?

If you're going for an older simpler approach, then since *EVERYONE* is going to recommend a Chevy 350 I'll be contrarian and recommend either an older Buick v6 or v8 and associated trans, OR a Ford 5.0 and associated trans. A turbo 3.8L out of an 80s Regal would be a very cool swap in a Benz. Both Buicks and Fords have front-mount distributors and will likely have less firewall clearance issues than a Chevy. If it were *me* doing this swap it would be Mopar all the way. :-)

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I was thinking about an OBD II engine for fuel efficiently and cleaner emissions. I can handle the electronics. I had a '82 Cutlass with the 3.8 and thought it was a great motor. Turbo? Humm....

I am not a Morpar guy, but what would you recommend?

a

and

chain

putting

recommend?

too.

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