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Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/17/20 2:21 p.m.

Some more stuff has been moved, and the entire Miata subframe I had set aside is now gone, but there was just a diff laying around that I slid underneath:

I suppose I could chop off those mounting arms and fabricate new mounting arms, but I wonder about the longevity of welding on a diff case.

Securing the axle shafts, suspension, and ensuring proper geometry will need a little brainstorming, but not out of the realm of possibility.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
3/17/20 6:22 p.m.

Make a steel bracket that bolts to the vertical web at the inner ends of the mounting arms, and remove the arms from there out. Make one bracket that spans from all three of the original final drive mounts.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/17/20 7:12 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Ah, yes, I see what you're saying!

There's still plenty of steel around the current location to make something.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/17/20 8:21 p.m.

I do still have this sitting nearby...

Long-term I don't think it's what I want, but it would get it moving under its own power. I wonder what all I can pull off of that just to have a basic, running motor. Trans tailshaft needs to be shortened or the shifter modded and moved up some.

 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
3/17/20 9:51 p.m.

Don't be a rotard. BTDT

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/17/20 10:09 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

I honestly couldn't stand driving the car that motor came out of. The motor does belong to me, however, and will probably find its way to a new owner sooner than later.

Largest appeal is the form factor.

First thing's first, get it on all fours again. Assuming we aren't all forced into a national lockdown, the goal is to get that diff mounted sometime this week.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 5:39 a.m.

No progress has been made, as I've been unable to leave the house the last few days.

I keep mulling over motor ideas, and I wonder how well a flathead V8 would fit, but I've never lived with one to know if I'd really like it or not.

Tiny gearboxes for these old motors are also a huge appeal in keeping with the original form factor.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but what smaller motors exist out there that make more power than the original motor, that are available and wouldn't require loads of fancy electronics to make work?

I'm really not hell-bent on keeping it MB. I want something that will be easy to maintain, and have a decent market for replacement parts as the years wear on. As stout as the OM616 and similar motors are, it's only a matter of time before those parts begin to dry up, and unless a sudden aftermarket pops up to serve MB enthusiats, I don't see the outlook getting any better. These aren't at LS enthusiast level, and never will be.

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
3/21/20 8:43 a.m.

Can you put a rwd trans on the vr6 engines?

They're short, like 20" long, 24" tall and 14" wide.  I think the Audi v8's are also small in dimension. I just don't know if there's any rwd transmission adapters ect available. Or you could make one. 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 11:23 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

I don't have the experience with the VR6, but I'm sure something could be made.

Those have got to be cheap and plentiful.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/21/20 11:47 a.m.

I'm not sure people realize how small and narrow this car really is.  If that rotary is a runner, it might be your best bet.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 1:12 p.m.

In reply to jr02518 :

It is indeed very narrow, especially at the front, and also not a lot of space length-wise. Were this the 220, that came with an I6, I'd have a world of more room.

Here's the M117, hard to tell, but it was pretty much touching the firewall. Once the heads and valve covers were on, there was very little clearance between them and the fender panels.

The rotary is a runner, but not the greatest. I believe it only has about 85K on it. That RX was at the shop for nearly 10 years before we put an LS in it at the owner's request.

I've all the electrical bits and pieces, as well as wiring harness, but it seems fairly easy to get it running with next to nothing attached to it, save an alternator, and a carb.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
3/21/20 5:27 p.m.

Almost anything today has more grunt than the original 170. I would do a Mazda piston engine from, guess what? You already have the final drive, there are lots of them, the aftermarket is strong, the ANSWER.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 5:34 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

That was the plan originally. I had a 1.8 sitting in there. Exhaust kinda messed with the steering column, but either can be modified. We do have a few 1.8 motors around, too, at least two known good ones.

Could also solve the exhaust issue with a turbo... we make the manifolds.

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
3/21/20 6:00 p.m.

Use whatever you have at hand.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 6:16 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

I'm just ready to see it move and make it a rolling resto. If I can drive it, I can do all the little stuff over time.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/21/20 6:24 p.m.

Camaro 3.4 and t5. Simple, 150hp, incredibly compact. 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 6:35 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

L32, right? Could be a longer term solution.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/21/20 6:37 p.m.

Not sure. 91-95 Camaro and firebird should fit the bill. And be chap as hell. 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 6:54 p.m.

I'll do some looking around.

Turns out, we have a '99 1.8 at the shop that will likely need new bearings, but is a runner otherwise.

Doing a little bit more reading on that 3.4L.

Bill Mesker
Bill Mesker Reader
3/21/20 9:06 p.m.

In reply to Azryael :

The L36 NA 3800 Series 2 could be another option as well. Just something to keep in mind. They respond pretty well to mods. I know a guy that runs one in a final gen Firebird with a 6 speed and it been a really good motor for him.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/21/20 10:24 p.m.

In reply to Bill Mesker :

I've asked a friend of mine, and he says they're heavy/slow for what they are, but I don't think that's something I'd really worry about. I wanna be quick, but I'm not looking at smoking tires or racing people off the light.

I tend to take what he says with a grain of salt.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/22/20 6:56 p.m.

Here's the motor in question... it needs a little bit more work... Some parts seem to have been pulled.

 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/24/20 1:48 a.m.

We're going into what is effectively a "Shelter-in-Place" type deal down here, so I've been killing time watching random videos about swaps.

Searching for MB LS-swaps, I came across this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPT3P4H9rvs

While I normally value Pierre's knowledge of these older cars, I think he's too busy with his head stuck in the sand. Some of his replies to users are also incredibly out of character. Who hopes someone hits a telephone and ends up as a vegetable? A comment like that was honestly enough to lose a viewer.

It's times like these I'm glad that GRM is a thing, because I've had my fill or arguing with the purists on multiple MB forums who just don't seem to grasp that parts are getting harder to find, and it becomes less and less economical to maintain originality, especially in a car that will likely never be classic worth tens of thousands of dollars.

I mean, if Pierre is going to start making some bellhousings and manual swap kits for the M117 and M119, then great, but he's the kinda guy who tells you to fix the auto (or bring it to him to fix it, gotta make money somehow) and buy a Honda while leaving the Mercedes "original". Might be a great guy in personal, but online he's clearly a keyboard warrior much like another shop proprietor I know.

You can tell from the comments of people who support his views that: A) They keep their car "original" by paying someone like him to do the work; or B) They buy only the finest OEM $600 spark plug sets with associated wires and dizzy cap and rotor to replace themselves and feel super "mekanik" afterward.

Comments about resale are always hilarious... if I'm doing a motorswap, I'm doing it for me, because I intend to keep the vehicle til I croak. Anyone expecting hotrod dollars after a motor swap in most vehicles is misinformed and clearly stupid, I'll agree there.

At any rate, rant over. Everyone carry on and keep showing these naysayers that tasteful swaps can and have been done for DECADES, and it's not just a "stupid millenial" thing.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
3/24/20 7:52 a.m.

In reply to Azryael :

Your "mekanik" comment made me laugh. It's your car, do what you want with it.  

Azryael
Azryael Reader
3/24/20 11:15 a.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

It's the truth. I read posts about people doing this simplest things, and that's great, but when they turn around and this they have some mechanical authority and knowledge after replacing an air filter is when I start taking an issue.

I can't wait to LS-swap my big Mercedes and see if he'll come kick my ass like he says in the comments.

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