Can't comment on that particular swap but I would gather that engines
and transmissions from the same engine group would be fairly easy.
That would be a 380 or 560. If a six is what you want, the SLs were
also delivered in Europe with the same 6 that is in the 280. You could
gather all the parts or buy a wrecked donor and change things over if
that is what you want to do
Swapping is a rather big job to get all the details right. If you have
the abilities and the desire, go for it, I don't know that there would
be any cost savings like there (perhaps) would be with something on the
order of a 350 Chevrolet with a TH400.
I have heard of guys putting an M-100 (6.3/6.9) motor in the SLs.
Quite the job but is interesting if you have a jones for hot Benzos
(although there probably is an easier way to get performance.)
What would be the problem with just putting in a good 450 motor?
From a theoretical point of view this should not be impossible, because
Mercedes offered the 3 litre straight six also in the R107 body. OTOH
they changed quite a bit during the major facelift in the early 80's.
AFAIK this also enclosed a new front axle and front suspension, so the
engine mounts may have changed. Actually both the R107 and the W126 S
class made the engine swap from the 70's generation to the early 90's
generation. The engines used in the 280 SL, 300SL, 380SL, 500SL and
560SL were also offered in the big sedans.
However, I would not expect too much plug and play. Things like the air
filter, the exhaust system and the electric wires may require a lot of
work. It may be cheaper to sell the early SL and buy a late one.
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