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Somebeach Reader
3/21/20 7:43 p.m.

Sucked the old brake fluid out of the 190e, and replaced it with new. Was going to bleed out the rest of the old through the bleeders but the 4 year old and I decided it was too cold and time to go back in the house. 

Here is the old fluid:

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) HalfDork
3/21/20 8:28 p.m.

Wow, that is *vintage* brake fluid. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
3/31/20 5:43 p.m.

Keeping track of recoup for potential challenge purposes:

Bought Miata for $853 sold roll bar for $150. Traded Miata for Saab 9-3. 

Parts sold from Saab 9-3

Fenders $150

Amp1 & Misc radio buttons $102.45 (115-12.55 shipping 

Passengers taillight outer $62.70

Trunk release button $8 ($15-7 shipping)

Running total $323.15



Hopefully much more to come


So far parting out the Saab has been a lot of messages back and forth with not a lot of completed sales. I think I will try eBay for some of the easier to ship parts. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/7/20 11:47 a.m.

Keeping track of expenses in one spot for potential challenge swap:

as stated above 

Saab trade $853

190e  $723

Cobalt SS parts total $122

(coil harness $10, injector harness $10, coils $18, ECU $70, Shipping $14)

Solstice bellhousing $35.74 (from patientzero)

Total with no recoup=$1,733.74


Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/25/20 2:58 p.m.

Made some head way on the donor car today. My brother in law came over and helped me get the engine out so we can start unhooking stuff. 

Other than Having some window washer fluid drip in my ear, and having a breaker bar slip off a bolt at just the wrong time and smack me in my face it went pretty smooth. 

we used a cart I built to put the kids yard kart on so I can move it around the shop. The cart is a little long and a little weak but it worked. 

we rolled it under, set the subframe on it, unbolted the four bolts that hold the subframe to the body. Then just jacked up the body and rolled the whole subframe out. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/25/20 3:02 p.m.

Now I just have to start figuring out what needs to stay in the engine and what we can delete. 

I am trying to figure out what this is first as it would be nice if we could get rid of it. Because that may determine how close we can mount this engine to the firewall of the 190E. 



Edit: looks like it is a SAI check valve and should be able to delete it and hopefully the rest of the SAI system. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/25/20 9:34 p.m.

Now got engine harness off and labeled. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/3/20 10:19 a.m.

Saab 9-3 recoup is now maxed out. 

It is interesting to try to get people to trade you parts you need. "Can't I just give you cash?" 

I did get a guy to trade my the head gasket and studs that I need for about $400 in parts off the Saab. I tried to give him a good deal so he would go through the hassle of trading parts. Instead of just paying me cash. 


My teammate, my brother in law, came over again.  We got the motor off the subframe, power washed and now on the stand. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/9/20 11:27 a.m.

Got the head off of the donor motor.  I can only hope that putting this back together is as fun as it has been taking it apart. 

Can anyone help me here to know what I am looking at and where the gasket failed? It seems like it is a newer gasket as the guy I bought the Saab from said. 

is it the darker spots between the cylinders? 

TurnerX19 Dork
5/9/20 8:03 p.m.

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

That was leaking at all of the dark spots. Check the head and the block very carefully with an accurate straight edge to find any warps. Your failure may be due to the previous installer's lack of cleanliness, if you are lucky. Use new head bolts even if they didn't come in the gasket kit. Re-use them once, maybe, but do not trust them twice, and it has been apart before with a short failure interval.

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/9/20 8:22 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :


Thanks. I am going to take the head to the machine shop to have it serviced. When I checked the head there was a gap of about .007" but I don't know how straight my straight edge was. But assuming that it was accurate is that enough to lead to the leaking gasket?

Also I will check the block too I didn't think about that, thanks. 


TurnerX19 Dork
5/10/20 7:36 a.m.

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

Oh hell yes, that never came close to sealing at .007. If the straight is really straight I use "no visible light" as "just OK"  It needs to be less than .001 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/10/20 7:40 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Thanks, for your help. Hopefully a trip to the machine shop will fix it up. 

jfryjfry (Forum Supporter)
jfryjfry (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/10/20 8:30 a.m.

Might be worth having the block checked for level as well 


so what is the engine plan???  Did I miss it?   I thought the original motor just needed a headgasket....

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/10/20 12:21 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry (Forum Supporter) :

The original motor did just need a head gasket (must be a theme with me). But I also wanted a manual transmission, then that led me to a whole engine swap idea.  

Saw a YouTube video basically using a Saab 2.0T with a GM harness and computer, and a Colorado transmission.

And decided to just go for it, and to do it under challenge budget. The max HP with the stock turbo seems to be around 250-300 on the Saab.  But that is still a lot more than the 2.6 out of the 190e was 160 when new and this motor has 200k+. 

I am learning  a lot and having fun. I suspect that when we get to the wiring and putting stuff back together it may be slightly less fun. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/30/20 8:19 p.m.

Since last post took Saab head to machine shop. Got it resurfaced and cleaned. Total $85. 

Put the Saab head back on the block and got the solstice bellhousing put on the Colorado trans. 

Also since the 190e was from the salvage auction I needed to get it inspected to get the "rebuilt" status so It can legally be driven on the road. 

I had an appointment for inspection scheduled for 8 am Friday the 29th for my inspection.  I packed up some extra brake fluid, oil and coolant just Incase and headed to the Findlay Ohio inspection place. 

I arrived early at 7:30 and they waved me back.  I told them it was a cars 4 kids car and I didn't change anything.  The officer said oh good an easy on we like that for a Friday. 

I sat at my socially distanced chair outside, and little before 8 the officer came out and said I was ready to go. The officers were all very nice and seemed in a good mood!

Next I took the form from the inspection and my salvage title to the title office.  You had to call the phone number on the door and then they would call you back on your cell phone when it was your turn to come in. I only waited about 10mins and got my new "rebuilt" title. 

next was tags and registration, I ended up waiting about 1.5 hours in line. Needless to say there were people getting pretty unhappy in line with the wait. But the weather was nice and I had pleanty of time so I wasn't too bothered by the wait. 

all in all took me a little over two hours for all three stops. 

Next up is to start labeling everything I can in the 190e and pull the motor and trans out of it. To get it ready for the Saab/GM stuff. 

It seems like for the body controller I just need to supply power to one of these computers. Does any one know which one of these is the body harness controller for lights windows etc?

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/5/20 8:36 p.m.

It was a good day.  Got some work done. 




Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/7/20 3:33 p.m.

Today I tried to do a test fit of engine (Saab EcoTec) and transmission(Colorado AR5 with a solstice bellhousing)

I hit a snag. I think the transmission shaft might be just a little too long for the place where the pilot bushing will go in the engine. 

I am going to go back a look through some info online. I think I saw something somewhere about trimming something to get everything to fit. I just needed about another 1/4" to get the bellhousing hooked up to the engine. 


I think I need to trim what is circled in white a bit. Any advice on what to use? Angle grinder, and just grind it down? Porta band, sawzall? 

Portaband and chamfer the edge with a flap wheel

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/7/20 4:49 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks, I just found it that I actually need to cut the splines back.  And leave to non splined part alone. I guess I could try the portaband still and just be really careful. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/12/20 8:10 p.m.

I ended up just spacing out the bellhousing from the engine with some washers so I could try to test fit. 


first thing I need to do is remove the bracket for the SAI at the back. I couldn't  get the engine back far enough for the bellhousing ears to clear the front subframe. 

it also looks like I may need to do a remote oil cooler as that is back there as well. 

if I do a remote cooler I will need to see if I can reroute this as well. I just can't remember where it goes. I think maybe to the bottom of the radiator but I just can't remember. 

davbro New Reader
11/4/20 6:25 p.m.

I love this Build!!! The 190e is one of my favourite Mercedes.  Just reading through it has helped me a lot with my Saab project (which I am clueless about)  I actually did not know that it was an ecotec.  Keep it up man, i would love to see it at the 2021 $2000 Challenge

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/4/20 7:45 p.m.

In reply to davbro :

Thanks for the encouragement! Taking everything apart was fun, now I am on to the hard part. 


Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/8/20 5:50 p.m.

Saturday, in the mid 70's in Ohio in November what a nice day. 

My goal for today was to test fit the engine to see if there is a way to get this ecotec to fit in the Mercedes with as little cutting as possible. 

First I removed the heat padding material from the transmission tunnel. 




removed padding


I ended up removing the oil cooler and some other cooling system hoses 






Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/8/20 6:08 p.m.

I am going to try to get the extra space at the back of the oil pan, in front of the bellhousing to fit over the top on the front subframe area. 



the height of the ecotec is working against me. The 2.6 6cylinder that came out seemed pretty long so I knew I had enough room length wise. 

But the ecotec must be taller. I also need to do some cutting to get the shifter for the AR5 that I am using for the ecotec up through the floor. I hope that lets the engine level out some. 

hopefully it lets the front of the engine drop down some as well. I just sorta rested the engine in there to see how close the hood came to closing. 

still have a ways to go. 

if I can fit the open spot at the back of the oil pan over the subframe, I think I will be able to keep the oil cooler in the stock location, which I would like for budget reasons so I don't have to get a remote cooler. 

but then from the end of the new  transmission to the old transmission hole is way off 


so I measure on top to see if I can just locate the shifter and then run some linkage back to the correct shifter spot. 
(I don't really know how to explain what I mean here)

but if I locate the new shifter where it wants to be right now I need to move or remove this 

according to face book this is the sensor for the airbag. Which I don't care about bc I will be doing a different steering wheel anyways. 

However some one said it has something to do with the seat belts too? I need to find out if I remove this will the seat belts still function correctly? 

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