I have a really nice ‘81 300D which requires no smog checks. Has anyone ever
dropped a V6 of any sort into one of these? The engine I now have is
non-turbo and would like something with some zip and a tranny for rear-wheel
Take an engine from a M-B Turbo and install it. Adequate power without
"reinventing the wheel."
Some years ago someone installed a used GMC V-6 and its Automatic from a
delivery van into a 300D. The owner was an excellent mechanic who
designed and fabricated many parts to make it fit. New motor mounts,
throttle linkage, enlarged the transmission tunnel (because he wanted
the new engine to be as far back as possible) and modified the drive
shaft's length. Highly skilled man.
He was quite pleased with the result at the end of the 1 or 2 year project.
a while and sort of like the idea of surprises at the ole stop light. Built
a sand buggy once with a reverse rotation 6-cyl Corvair engine mated to a VW
transaxle. Had to buy a special mating plate, camshaft and gear for the
bottom of the distributor. You should have seen the faces of Corvair owners
who watch my buggy at idle with the engine rotating in the "wrong"
direction. That buggy was a tractor in the sand and would virtually shoot to
the top of a sand dune. Totally dependable as well. Only other buggies that
could get me at the time were those with V6 Buick power or a really hot
1835cc Volks. You can see that I’d sort of like to get something out of the
ordinary. In fact if I could shoehorn in a Chevy 327 that would really be
Incidentally, will the 5-cyl turbo mate up to the 4-speed standard trans now
in my 240D? If so do the mounts work as well?
Yes, the 5 cylinder turbo will mate up with the 4 speed from the 240. I
had that exact engine swap done about 2 years ago. Car - 1979 240D with
4 speed manual. Engine donor - 1983 300SD with automatic.
I kept my tranny, had it rebuilt at the time, since it was out anyway,
dropped the turbo in and away we went. I did have the mechanic do this
engine swap, since my engine stand was occupied by my other project car
<G>. I believe the engine mounts had to be swapped for the ones from the 5 cyl. engine, and the drive shaft was tweaked a bit.
If you are an experienced mechanic type, you can probably do this
yourself, but it isn't a small job. However, I think it is worthwhile.
I can actually climb the hills outside of town without becoming the
hood ornament on a semi!
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"The earnest one"
My 1999 C230 Kompressor sedan (2.3L S/C 4-banger) gets about 28mp(US)g and
goes like stink.
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I've been happy with the swap. I had been getting about 22-23 mpg with
both engines. It didn't make it worse with the turbo. The one thing
that did seem to help my mpg was biodiesel. I averaged about 26-28 mpg
with it, same driving habits. I was really annoyed when the ONLY
station in the area that sold biodiesel closed. Grrr!
The 240 was a fine engine for flatland driving, I had it running plenty
fast on a trip across the state, through the desert. Couldn't climb
hills for sour apples though.
The 300 turbo is no faster from a standing start, but I can actually
climb hills with 4 people and luggage in the car and still keep up at 55
mph. Vast improvement over 25-30 in second gear <VBG>. I think you
will like the change.
You might want to see if you can put in a slightly bigger radiator. I am
going to do that swap as soon as I get some spare time. It seems to
heat up faster and run just a touch hotter than I would like to see
during the summer. Nothing dangerous, just a cooler engine is a happier
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