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Post Info TOPIC: Auto-Trends LS1 inspired M116 and M117 Performance Engine Overhauls! Summer 2008
Do you think the M116 and M117 have what it takes to handle 400+ horsepower? The LS1 did! [10 vote(s)]

Yes
90.0%
No
10.0%
How can I get involved and be the first to own one?
0.0%


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Auto-Trends LS1 inspired M116 and M117 Performance Engine Overhauls! Summer 2008


Merge error.



-- Edited by SELLC on Friday 25th of June 2010 04:35:29 PM

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$y$Op

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Well its no secret that we have been building a lot of GM 350 engines. Mostly the LT1 as its is the last of a dying breed that is one of the last performance cast iron 350's that the general put out.

You may ask yourself what does all this have to do with Mercedes?

Glad you asked.... Glad you asked.

Here is a little known secret that not many know, especially them clowns over there at benzworld.org.

Both GM and Ford motor company started knocking out engines that basiclly copied the Mercedes design that was introduced back in the 1980's. The Mercedes Benz M117 and M116 of the 80's and 90's was an aluminum block with six bolt mains. The design was a sucess for Mercedes, so much in fact that Ford Motor company and General motors started using the design. Ford started first with the release of there Modular 4.6 motors that were cast iron, while GM started a few years later with the LS1 series. Looking at all three of these engines side by side from the bottom and you will soon realize what I am telling you is true. The only diffrence is that Mercedes has been doing it since the 80's and they were doing it with aluminum rather than cast iron.

After spending much time researching diffrent engines for our project W126 race car it became clear to me that the Mercedes M116 and M117 engines had what it took to be a performance player. For this reason I gathered up both a M116 and M117 engine and sent them off to the machieen shop. I just got back both engines and cranks and I am pleased to announce that a high compression Mercedes Benz engine is in the works here at Auto-Trend! We have a lot of diffrent ideas regarding pistons and how to under cut the camshafts to exceed horsepower ratings of 400 HP+ and not only that we are considering taking orders for this engine.

We figure that if GM can push 400+ HP out of their LS1 aluminum engines SO CAN WE! We also like the idea of a clean install using ORIGINAL Mercedes engines. We will keep you updated however many details will be keept TOP SECRET and we will be unable to give many details outside of photos showing the process and then finally a test run. We are not going to commit to a completion date, however we have all the parts needed and we are very excited about this. Many performance bolt on's are likley to spawn from these builds and we also feel that the completed engines will allow us to overthrow or nemissis BenzWorld.org with regards to forum popularity and dependable information.

Here is a look at Auto-Trend's first ever blocks that are set for a full performance overhaul.

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All the best!

Anonymous

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hi,
i'm from australia, i have a 83 w126 380 sec. i want to tweek her up abit. i know this is an american forum and the 380 was not available in the states, but my question is what is the difference in the block size to a 420, 500 and 560.
regards
themi

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Hello,

The 380 engine was avaliable here in the states, however it was not in 1983 and even when it was introduced here in 1986 it was never fitted into an SEC, just as you were saying.

With that in mind your 380 likley displaces 3.8 liters. The diffrence between the 380 and the 420, 500, and 560 is the displacement of the engine. The displacement reffers to how much volume the engine is capable of sucking up and compressing.

380 will displace 3.8 liters
420 will displace 4.2 liters
500 will displace 5.0 liters
560 will displace 5.6 liters

Pretty much from 1986 on thru present the displacement of a Mercedes was as listed above, with the model number representing the amount of liters the engine displaced. I am unsure if this was a coencidence as in Germany they use the metric system, however strangly they used liters. There was an exception to the rule back a long time ago (70's) Mercedes made the 300 which displaced a whopping 6.9 liters! Now that was a monster engine!

The 380 is the smallest V8 of the W126 era. Tweek it up by using premium fuel, regularly tuning it up, clean air and fuel filters. These things will help keep the vehicle running at its peek output.

Just how much more extra horsepower you looking for?



-- Edited by SELLC at 01:19, 2009-01-05

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Anonymous

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hello,
thank you for your prompt reply. it is a 3.8 ltr. i am looking at getting her up to about 300-350 horses. nothing to mental. preferably naturaly aspirated. is it possible out of this engine, or is it a waist of  time and money. my other option is to put in a larger motor like the 560, but i would prefer to keep the current engine. i want to at least try and keep it some what origanal if you know what mean. do you have any suggestions? there aren't that many speed shops in oz that deal with early model mercs performance. the only websites i can find are i the us, uk and ofcourse germany. are there aftermarket pistons, cranks cams etc i can buy?

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Well the 3.8 was not made for all out performance. While it has a good amount of power its also very easy on fuel compared to the other bigger engines.

My advice to you would be keep it in top order. Enjoy it. Remember its for comfort and style. Should you yearn for more power seek the larger 5.6 liter engine, it will save time and money. At least this way, if you still want more power, you will be building the bigger engine, rather than building a smaller one that could leave you wanting for more. Building a 3.8 up will leave you wondering what a 5.6 would have felt like with the same mods. Things like cams and internal mods are not something you want to spend for twice, especially with the cost of the performance parts for these engines.

Best of luck

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Rookie

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thanks for the advice, i appreciate your honsety. might just leave as she is. might get to expensive.

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Mack Griffith

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Any updates on the M116/117 performance engines.  I am in the process of putting a 5.6 M117 into a 1972 280SEL 4.5 with the 4 speed tranny from the 560SEL.  I am planning on an LSD rear end out of a 6.3.  Looking for someone to build me a higher performance engine (6.0L?) with sequential fuel injection, COP or wasted spark ignition, etc..  Any interest? 

Thanks

Mack

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I have been very busy with customer pay overhauls, and to be honest the money just isnt in it for Mercedes-Benz performance overhauls.

I still have my block, crank, rods and heads for my personal project; however they have been in the bag for over a year now. Its hard to work on my own stuff when I have 4 customer pay overhauls in progress.

I dont want to discourage anyone, however in my past 10 years of Mercedes-Benz ownership, service, repair, restoration and used parts sales; I have found that when it comes to spending money the Mercedes crowd falls short. Its very rare that I find people spending money to improve their Mercedes and in most cases the people whom do usually fall short $$ wise, or give up. The rest of them just swap a Chevrolet engine for their Mercedes power plant. 

I think these older 2nd Generation W126 420/560 vehicles are going to need another 10 or so years before we can weed out all the people whom do not belong in these Mercedes. I have also come to the conclusion that my selling parts for a good price is only making this process take longer.

I used to offer many different parts, and information CD's for folks to get their feet wet and keep their cars on the road for little money, however I must admit that them days are coming to an end.

I wouldnt mind doing a customer pay overhaul, but many lack the money needed. I hate saying this in the W126 forum, but I think the GM LS series engines are a far better value if you are looking for ultra-high performance. You can also get cast iron LS blocks from the GM Trucks that give ultra-high performance modifications a chance. Lest we forget about the LT Chevy engines and Fords 302 and 351's. These engines are the best "VALUE" for high performance modifications, but they really dont belong in a Mercedes.

I still drive my modified 560 every day, and I have many other Mercedes as well. But when it comes to the internal engine performance mods, many are just dreaming.

I will admit that many manufactures have copied the M116 and M117 engines. They are well engineered engines. They are very powerful, yet refined. They offer a long life when serviced properly, however we must never loose sight of the fact that they were built for luxury power, and that modifications to increase a refined power plant such as these are going to require serious skill. Engineering a more powerful Mercedes engine is something I intend to do for personal gratification, as I have learned that the idea of making money off something like this will not be feasible.

With regards to the injection system aka Bosch CIS, I find the system to be more than adequate to supply the power, and the ignition system also is more than capable of delivering the spark needed. The idea of a coil pack per cylinder just equates to more money when the time comes to replace them, and all the modules and sensors that run them. Do they work better? Not really, but it will guarantee a better bottom line for the manufacture when the time comes to replace them! This is not to say that the technology behind these systems does not yield better emissions, just that we should all feel lucky to be driving these vehicles with systems that are now considered illegal to reproduce. Back in the day smooth power was not limited by emissions requirements. Back in the day smooth power was paramount, regardless of the poor sap behind you who had to breathe in the aftermath! LOL

Good luck with your project and let me know if I can help. 



 



-- Edited by SELLC on Wednesday 16th of September 2009 09:38:54 PM

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Mack Griffith

Date:

I am sorry to hear that you feel that way about MB customers.  I personally have never been accused of "cheaping out" on restos or mods.  I tentatively budgeted 12-15K for the engine portion of this.  If this isn't adequate, I would be willing to go more (within reason of course).  Reading your previous posts on this matter, it seemed that you were enthusiastic about this project and that is what led to my reply.  Thank you for your candor and I will look elsewhere.

Best Regards

Mack Griffith



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I did not mean to offend, however I can only express to you what I have seen first hand. I just love when people bring me $80,000 automobiles looking to spend under $100 for repairs.

You are 100% correct with regards to my enthusiasm for this project, however I think you missed the point. My point was that I would not look forward to doing this sort of work for anyone else (With regards to Mercedes Hi-Po Internal Engine modifications) with all that I have seen from customers whom drive them.

I never meant to imply that YOU were cheep; I was only trying to be HONEST with you regarding the cost of such things. For example, a reman 560 to STOCK specs, using Genuine Mercedes-Benz replacement parts would run upwards of $10,000 (Just for the engine, no labor included). So we can now see where I was going with my claims.

You bring up a good point regarding my honesty, and how sometimes being honest with people will sometimes turn them off. Guess thats why I was never popular with the children over at BenzWorld.org.

I wish you the best in your endeavors and I promise to keep everyone posted on my progress with this overhaul. Sooner or later I will be forced to replace the engine in one of my 560's and that is what I plan to do, but even for ME, it will require lots of time and money, even though I am doing all the work myself.

Thanks, and I hope I didnt turn you off. Sounds like your budget is in the realm, however most shops will laugh at $15K when it comes to performance overhauls, ESP on a V8 Mercedes, and I am just being honest.



-- Edited by SELLC on Friday 18th of September 2009 09:05:50 AM

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pagodino

Date:

Very interesting that the GM and Ford are inspired from the Mercedes. I am working on a modified M116 for my 280 SE 3.5 5-speed coupe and I am looking to go for mor power and torque without loosing riability and mgp. Ignition and EFi are modified with MSII and optical trigger in the distributor. I use the M119 injectors with 206 cc and 14 Ohm. The cam comes from imotes and is a 274 dg/115 with 1.2 mm UTC like the AMG-once.
Lightend flywheel. For the heads i will look to modify them with larger exhaust valves and looking for swirl effect.

AMG made several M117 up to the 4-valve version which was very close to the M119 (best engine ever made) 375 hp. Normaly about 57 hp (non SAE) /liter, not much. But a mechanic of Vaeth in germany made a 350 se with 300 Hp.

What are you looking for jigh end output or drivability. I think with a 8 Valve or a special inlet-manifold eletronik EFI on a 560 SEC you can reach 400hp.
In this case why not use the M119 in the 560 or the M120? In any case made a manual conversion too. Ther is a Vaeth 7.3 manual out on the streets in germany.

Best Pagodino

 



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Very interesting read. I was unaware of a company called Vaeth in Germany, however he would have the home court advantage being in Germany.

I myself would be looking for drivability in my daily driven 560 SEL, however in my project car I would be looking for max output.
The M119 and V12 are hard engines to come by. Not only that, parts for the M119 and V12 engines would also be much more money, IF you found them.

There should be no reason 350 HP+ could be had from a properly built 560 M117 engine in two valve trim. I think more than 350 horsepower could be had if you included some form of forced induction.

What I have been noticing with the General Motors LS1 engine is they use a steel sleeve in their aluminum engines. This sleeve is likley why they dont have problems with cylinder wall wear like the M117's aluminum cylinder walls. I personally think the Bosch fuel injection system could muster enough fuel for 400HP, however I agree that a digital ignition system with coil over plugs (Coil pack per cylinder) could easily net an addtional 20-40 HP.

To get a TRUE digital ignition system with multiple coils one would have to find a way to add a camshaft possition sensor. It may be possible to use signal from the rear crankshaft sensor however the front crank sensor pretty much does NOTHING until you hook up Mercedes diagnostic computer to the test port.

I would consider an M119 or even the V12 6.0 liter, but right now I have lots of M117 and M116 engines, so that is the reason I plan to stick with the original engine.

I have thought about putting in other engines, such as the 350 Chevrolet (For drag purposes), however it just doesnt belong in there. Ill save that for a Camaro/Firebird or Corvette. An M119 and V12 are Mercedes Engines so they would be acceptable alternatives, however when the time comes to service the M119 or the 6.0 V12 it will be much more costly as they too suffer from the lack of a steel sleeve. Lets face it, the kind of bang that would be required to push over 350 HP is going to really tax the aluminum cylinder walls, and that problem will carry over on the M119 and V12 engines as well. I am curious if Mercedes installs steel sleves in there race car versions of the M119, I am pretty sure they would have to.

Now that I have several M117 blocks, cranks, rods and pistons here is what I am mulling over for the performance build.

(1) Steel Sleeves in all cylinders
(2) Higher compression pistons
(3) Time-Certs for the head bolt holes
(4) Hardend screw in studs rather than the problematic head bolts.
(5) Stock cams cut for a bit more lift and duration.

The heads could stand a polishing, however I am most impressed with the design of the head even in the two valve configuration.The heads come from the factory with dual valve springs and could easily handle higher RPM's without a problem. I figure with all diffrent kinds of power adders on the market (Turbo, Supercharger and Nitrous) there really is no need for the 4 valve engine when you plan to FORCE the air in.

I often wonder if the steel sleves from an LS engine could be fitted into the M117. If so you could also use a forged GM piston (full floating of course) providing the wrist pin sizes for the connecting rod and piston were the same. This would cut cost and greatly improve the amount of power the engine could handle. I feel the connecting rods could hold 400+ HP without even being shot-peened/hardend.

I am in no hurry, I enjoy driving the 560 in stock trim. What I meantion above is more or less what I consider the best way of going about building serious power with the M117 platform. I would imagine that the engine  mentioned above would run very smooth dispite the modifications.


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Pagodino

Date:

Hmm,
the rally engines where stock 5.0 Second series with inorigin the small inlet/outletdiametres of the first 1800 450 SLC5.0 engines, they came up to 320HP in Rally-trimm with modified cams (274dg/115ang. 1.2mm Lify by TDC), ported, outletmnifold 2-1x4-long Type, no sleeves, the aced superfy is harder (silicates) than the steel I think. I had that engine in my former (1990) 500 SL which I bought from an ex Mercedes boss. I was silly to sell it, but the car is in SUI now.

AMG: never had high hp output per liters, they hav had the 5.6 (5.0 base), 6.0 an 6.2.
Onley fast engine was the 375 hp from the 450 SLC gr4 racer (only 3-speed automatik).

Sauber, the M119 was an evolution of the first M117 turbo Gr C from Sauber the C9 made over 400 km/h in Le mans....The basic alu M117 was turbogarged and modified, than came the M119 (best engine but to large "heads" for my projekt W111 coupe).

The old KE-jet is able to reach 350 Hp and more but I think it will be easier to go VEMS or Megasquirt for your project. In this case why not a Corvett-racing like inletmanifold?

Nicasil was used for the M117-9-120 and all Porsche engines after 1990, no risk I think for high power output.

Best Pagodino


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Very interesting. I have also heard many places that the treatment on the cylinder walls was stronger than steel, however I think they were referring to "Wear" characteristics rather than actual strength. Increased combustion chamber pressures and temps are to be expected from engines forcing induction (turbo,supercharger,nitrous). Not that I disagree with you, but I have serious concerns about the cylinder walls holding up under increased pressures. What really puts the steel sleeve in perspective to me is the fact that boring the M117 block will require and expensive process to re-treat the cylinder walls. Here in the USA there are less than a hand full of shops that can do it. For this reason I am still leaning towards the steel sleeve.

You also mention Nicasil, however I have heard reports that there was another process of etching the cylinder walls. Basically from what I gather this process draws the silicates to the surface of the cylinder wall when performed. Not a bad idea and I am VERY impressed with how nice the cylinder walls look whenever I open up a high mile M116 or M117. I am only hung up on the steel sleeve because I would like to bore the engine and perhaps use a different piston. I also dont like the price tag on Mercedes-Benz rings/pistons, which are likely produced by Mahle. I cant confirm for a fact Mercedes pistons are made by Mahle, but Mahle does sell pistons for the Mercedes engines.

I have thought about having a stock intake manifold cut where it meets with the heads, and then having some tubular runners attached to a PFI style intake, however the only problem with that is the fact the injector ports are part of the head on an M117 rather than the intake. For that reason I have moved on from that idea.



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I have attached a photo of a Mahle piston that I removed from one of our engines. While the piston shown is out of a Chevy 350 its important to realize that the block it come out of was saved. This is likley because the block was made of cast iron. This is also the reason I hessitate to build any "Real" horsepower on a Mercedes M117 engine without the steel sleeves.

I have also had BRAND NEW Mahle pistons side by side with Speed Pro pistons and you can really see why Mahle may be good for naturally asperated engines, but not so great for forced induction. Dont get me wrong, Mercedes Pistons and rings are not much more expensive than a good set of Forged Sealed Power Units with Plasma Molly rings, but I dont see the value in paying for more for less.



-- Edited by SELLC on Thursday 28th of January 2010 11:48:12 PM

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HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR ENGINE WHEN YOU LET THE DOUCHE BAG REX TOUCH IT!!!!! AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA

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Yeah 42 Lbs of boost on a stock engine is a bad idea... Even if we were contracted to build it AFTER the fact.

Get a clue Stoma. Dont even bother responding to this. Ill just delete it.



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FRANK

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ROBERT TELL US MORE ABOUT THE ENGINE YOU HAVE

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robert wrote:

If you are still interested in building this engine, please call me at xxx.xxx.xxxx  I am finishing such an engine right now   Thanks  Robert



Hello Robert I am curious as to what you are selling. Given the fact we do not even allow paid adverisements (banner ad's, and other such things) I would expect that you share with everyone your merchandise freely as you do with your telephone number. Photos are a plus also.

If we dont see some meat and potatoes soon, we will have to remove your post.

On a side note, has anyone called that number? Nothing personal Robert, just trying to keep it clean. Lot's of scams brewing on the interwebs.


-- Edited by SELLC on Friday 25th of June 2010 04:37:22 PM

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Well here it is, the fall season of 2010 and I am just now digging all my goodies back out, thanks in part to my 91 560 needing a transmission that was buried. I now have three M117's as I have gotten rid of most of the M116 420 stuff.

The one that I am planing on putting sleeves in is the bare block in the photo. The other two long blocks have somewhat low miles and I am considering just freshening them up as test mules for various turbo and nitrous projects.

Without a doubt I am in no hurry, because my daily driver is a stock 560 that will be for the most part in excellent mechanical order once the transmission gets installed this week.

I am most interested in getting the Silver Dragon (91 Jap 560 SEC) in shape this winter so that I can do a little drag racing this summer. I have a few Mustangs that need ass kickings, even if I built them. LOL

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I should also mention that euro front bumper is now on Mclairs POS bondo buggy. I can only imagine the sob story he gave the original owner to get it.

While I won't go into details, I can honestly say the original owner would have come out much farther ahead sticking with me, rather than paying an outragous amount to someone else. Then again there is that Stigma that I can thank BenzWorld.org for, turns out it's been both a blessing and a curse.

Do you smell something burning?

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Anonymous

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i have a 500sec with 2.86 gears 18s and thrash the hell out of it every day most RELIABLE and cheep to run car (beside tires) i have ever owned, i keep oil fresh and thats it. alloy has its problems but this have you ever seen a benz do this? 50/50 weight balance is good with the aloy block secs too

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I find that my 560 SEL is most reliable and quite fast when at highway speeds, it's no slouch on the city streets either, however I do not beat it too awful bad.

My experiences with the 560 SEL over the past 10 years have been positive. I can't say much for the SEC because due to the amount of passengers I have to cart around I have not yet had the pleasure of driving one regularly.

I do however own a 91 SEC that I plan on building into a dedicated street/strip race car, and I think you are right about the alloy block making for a good weight differential. I plan on using the alloy block and Mercedes drivetrain in my performance endeavors so I look forward to seeing just how much abuse the SEC can handle this summer.

I myself go thru more gas than tires, but that might all change this summer when the SEC is prowling the streets. A big V8 is going to suck down the fuel, but at 11-12 MPG city it keeps the number of big engine Mercedes seen on the streets down, which is just the way I like it. I agree the V8 Mercedes are relatively problem free, needing nothing more than gas, fuel and regular maintenance.

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Apparently the lackeys over at BenzWorld.org found this thread... Each and every one of them were dumbfounded when they realized that the entire World Wide Web did not revolve around them. While I can not respond directly to them without being banned I have set up a separate thread for my thoughts and response.

Here is the thread they started to cross-link to our forum on BenzWorld.org

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd/1580351-things-we-clowns-dont-know.html

 

If you want to go off topic and want to get my un-biased opinion to their claims visit this link below,

 

http://autotrend.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBID=91042&p=3&topicID=42147737

 

Otherwise, thanks for reading and sorry for the disruption.



-- Edited by SELLC on Tuesday 5th of April 2011 11:45:31 PM

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Vaeth (Väth) is a small tuner located just outside of Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, Germany. They do a lot of custom work and are well equipped to work on M116 and M117 engines, as well as even older engines such as the M100 (6.3, 6.9). In reality, today when a customer comes to AMG and desires a pumped-up custom M117 or M119 engine, AMG does not have the technical capability to do this work anymore. They farm this work out to Vaeth.

I have visited Vaeth and they are very nice folks. I've attached a few photos of their facilities in Germany. These photos are from 2007 or 2008. I visited them to discuss the possibility of having them create me a 6.0-liter M119 with 400+ HP.



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MORE HYPOCRASY FROM NONE OTHER THAN DOUCHE ALL MIGHTY.............................................................. TRASH TALKIN MCKLARE AND HIS PERFORMANCE MODS AND AT THE SAME TIME BULLSHITTIN ABOUT GETTING 400+HP OUT OF A BENZ MOTOR JUST CUZ LS1'S CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAAAAAAAAA!!!!! HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have already gotten 400 HP out of a Mercedes almost 5 years ago via that Nitrous injection kit you keep talking about.

Additionally, it comes as no supprise why Mcliar has not had his car dyno tested and that's because he knows that POS misfit would either blow up, or return poor numbers. The term all show and no go comes to mind, but then again he took his car to a "show" and the front bumper to fender alignment was so poor that people even took photos of the botched job.

It goes without saying that Mcliars salvage title wanna be AMG is just a pile of bondo and rubbing compound. No performance value whatsoever. Hell people with 4 cylinder Honda's put big mufflers on their vehicles too, but that just makes them sound loud and obnoxious.

If you spent half as much time reading as you do running that cock holster you call a mouth you would realize that the comparisson to the LS1 was just in the fact how both have an aluminum block, and also how close the LS1 is in design to the M117 and M116, but I guess thats too much for your small mind to take in. 



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PROVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE SO FULL OF SHIT THAT YOU MAY VERY WELL BE THE FAGGOT IN THE PICTURE GAYRRY PUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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just found this forum. Thought my project might be of interest. I have a '71 111 3.5 coupe with a manual transmission that I am building a larger displacement engine for. This is not intended to be a performance engine but a larger displacement essentially stock replacement. I want to bolt on my manual transmission so I need to retain an iron block engine. I thought a 5.6 crankshaft might fit in a 4.5 block since they are the same dimensions so I obtained a 4.5 and 5.6 engine and found with some clearancing the 5.6 crank fit. My stick shift flywheel fits the 5.6 crank and it even is machined to accept a pilot bearing. The 4.5 cylinder walls are .25" so there is plenty to bore to 96.5mm. I have had my crank fully checked and polished. The block is going in to be align bored and bored for the 96.5 pistons. I will then assemble the bottom end and check the deck height and have it parallel decked to achieve .40" squish area. The rods are being shot peened and polished, resized and rebushed. The heads are getting new guides, springs(both) and valves. The rotating assembly is being balanced. I am using 3.5 heads which will give me about 9.75:1 cr using the thinner 5.6 head gaskets. Im using a 5.6 intake which I will port match to the 3.5 heads. I am using Megasquirt and EDIS distributor less ignition. My goal is a quality stock rebuild with possibly some increased performance due to the increased CR and FI/ignition upgrades. Im using 56/57 mechanical cams which are 196deg duration. Im going to use a fresh air intake for the 5.6 air cleaner to get cool air into the engine. I have all the parts and just need to get the block to the machine shop-maybe in the next week or 2. Might be a while before the engine is actually run since the car its going into is involved in a total restoration. Once I get all the parts built I will wait until the car is ready before I assemble the engine. 1hp per cubic inch is not that difficult to achieve so Im thinking this engine might produce about 330HP but the valves are a little smallish for an engine of this displacement so that might hurt breathing some. Mercedes used a longer stroke and smaller bore than SBC, etc so the heads dont have room for larger valves except the 5.6 heads which have slightly larger intake valves.

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Nice!

That's some good info there! Good to know there is a cast iron alternative!

Photo's would be really cool too if you got time.



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We will see. It's a long way from completion. My original plan was to stroke it and stay with the 92mm pistons for 5.0. Since my donor engine was a K-jet 4.5 it has dished pistons that allow machining 4.5mm off the top to allow for the longer stroke leaving a small residual dish. I even machined a few pistons before I decided to bore the engine for the 96.5 pistons. The original reason I did not want to use the 5.6 pistons was that I was not sure if the coating on the 5.6 pistons was compatible with iron cylinders. I have since determined the coating is actually ideal for running in iron cylinders. My original idea was to develop a simple way to increase 4.5 power by stroking to 5.0 while at the same time incresing CR. I was reminded by many it was simpler to just install a 5.0 or 5.6 engine but my transmission only fits an iron block and I like the challenge of doing what no one else has done (to my knowledge)
I'm not going for all out performance but I want the power to drive on the freeway in today's traffic or up to Lake tahoe at 85mph if I want. I replaced the original 3.69 rear axle with a 3.27. Based on the heavier and lower compression 560 SEL I am anticipating 0-60 in the mid 5's. I have been assured my transmission and rear end can handle the power and torque but the clutch may prove the weak link.
Of course if someone goes my route they must use a transmission that bolts to the iron block.  One thing I am struggling with is piston-cylinder clearance.  The manual says new is .0003" to .0007" with a wear limit of .003".  That's some pretty tight pistons.  The pistons came in .01mm increments to precision fit them to each individual cylinder.
I will post some pics when I get chance.

PS-who is the idiot with the foul mouth?  I would hate to have my wife see that if she looked over my shoulder while I was here.



-- Edited by Tony H on Monday 25th of February 2013 10:52:29 PM



-- Edited by Tony H on Tuesday 26th of February 2013 12:07:45 AM

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Tony


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Block is at the machine shop for boring. I will assemble the bottom end and check deck height and then return the block for decking to achive .040" squish clearance. I will post some pics when I get it together.

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Tony H wrote:

PS-who is the idiot with the foul mouth?  I would hate to have my wife see that if she looked over my shoulder while I was here.


That would be Stoma, but he is no longer. I had to deal with that guy for too long.

Sounds like you are making forward progress. Clearances are pretty tight on Mercedes engines however it's not a problem if the machien shop has good equipment and a good opperator of said equipment.

I been so busy fixing customer pay vehicles that I must admit my Mercedes needs some attention. Still drive it every day, but usually twice a year I spend a few days fixing things. Right now I have quite a list.

My performance Mercedes engine projects have been on hold for years and years while I work to keep the head above water. Working as a mechanic usually means not a lot of time for projects as they are the first thing to get put on the back burner when things get busy. Sure, I build a few performance engines a year and perform lots of major repairs on M117 and M116 engines but they are customers cars and no one usually has or is willing to spend the coin needed to build up a hot-rod Mercedes engine. Who can blame them? These cars run so nice as-is it's hard to justify messing with them. Still I think a nice weekend hot-rod Mercedes would be a lot of fun.

Just be thankful you have the insight to do this yourself. Just keep picking away and soon it will come to frutation.

Can't wait to see the photos!  



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The iron block clearance is .0008" to .0012" so my machinist is boring the block to .0008", I will check the deck height and return the block for honing. It is a small custom machine shop and it might take a month-by then my rods should be back from rebuilding. My time is extremely limited also-in fact I just took a new position in my company that has me gone during the week. The engine work is something I can do until I get more time to dive into the restoration.  I cannot figure out how to attach an image-the "insert/edit image" tool is asking for a link and I want to attach an image from my camera.  any clue?



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Got the rods back from a performance rebuild-magged, resized, side beams polished, checked for straightness, static balanced, pin bushings checked. Block is being bored today. Should be able to mock it up without rings this weekend and check deck height. Will post pics when I can figure it out.

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Hello Tony H & everyone,

I'll give you credit for taking on such a challenging bit of engineering etc, and even more credit for following things through to your own design criteria etc, well done indeed ! One thing I'm not too sure about though is you having to shave qt 4.5mm off the piston crown...This is substancial and fingers crossed that there's enough strength left on the crown to handle the heat and pressure, not to mention the extra loadings your top ( and other ) piston rings will now have as they've " moved up the cylinder bore " closer to the maximum heat and pressures...Anyhow, I'm not trying to bag you or or discredit your project in anyway, and actually would like to wish you all the best of luck ! The swap to the 380 ratio diff (3.27) will have the engine revving at about 3,000 rpm at 65mph ( approx 100 kmph ), and should leave you with plenty of top gear acceleration, although perhaps not a great deal of top-speed, as a standard 560 engine makes its peak power at around 4,800 rpm, ( 380 @ 5,500 rpm ). I don't know the weight of your car, but the masses of torque that a 560 engine makes means that it's happy to pull all of the numerically lower diff ratios, and when combined with your 4-speed stick-shift, I'd personally stick to a lower ratio diff and have longer legs in each gear and make the engine feel more flexible etc., you'll still get there pretty damned quick !
My own experiences with 4-speed manuals, 5.0 ltr engines and 3.08 diff ratios found me rendering 1st gear almost useless as the engine revs-up far too quickly, and axel-tramp and other ill-mechanical happenings present themselves leaving you the driver not only looking stupid, but feeling stupid, and you end up using 2nd gear starts for most of your driving. I don't know the ratios of your 1st gear etc, ( I have the info but have not looked yet, as you don't quote a trans number etc ), but since you were after a stock rebuild etc, I'd run the 560 diff first, and make the change later if needed. There's no point in having a 4-speed manual and only being able to use 3-gears comfortably ! You have to calculate out what rpm per mph your 1st gear will give you...eg These 5.0 ltr combo's I've mentioned gave me about 14 kmph per 1,000 rpm... That ends up being about 70kmph @ 5,000 rpm. The standard 560 diff should give you around 90 Kmph or possibly more at the same rpms, without the axel tramp etc since the engine would have a little more load on it...
For anyone else out there thinking about an engine swap and coupling a manual transmission to the drive-line, I'm sure that there has to be some-one somewhere State-side that manufactures bell-housings or adaptor plates to suit. This would be a 10-times cheaper alternative than having to re-manufacture an engine assembly !
Castlemain Rod Shop in Victoria Australia offer just about any transmission to engine combo you can think of by way of manufacturing new bell-housings or adapter plates to suit. Give these guys a call or email, as they'll soon have you sorted out pretty quickly I think, though I don't know about their Benz knowledge. Rest assured though it's their business to sort you out ! Hope this all helps and all the best of luck !

Cheers,

Rastus

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Hello people,

I've managed to do a little more digging in an effort to aid Tony H a little further if needed, though he seems to have all the bases covered ! With regards to your camshaft selection, the cams with the numbers 52 and 53 stamped on their ends offered the 3.5 ltr Benz V-8 its highest horsepower output. The exact specifications remain unknown to me, however the cams preceding these ones and the ones you are using offered this engine less horsepower output, but enhanced emmissions output ! (The same camshafts as you know are used in the 450 engine...)

The 44mm intake valves are also used in the 450 as with the 350 engine...However the 280 6-cylinder unit uses 45mm intake valves...Apparently they're a little longer in the stem, but it could be possible to use these...This would offer you a near 3% improvement in valve size... ( Better than no improvement !) Also the 3-angle valve job is mandatory !!!

Reasearch by engine tuners has revealed that there are a number of other considerations to be had when taking on a project like this, particularly when both boring and stroking methods have been used to increase an engines capacity, in this case, nearly close to 60 cubes !

By boring out the cylinders, we can realize a capacity increase and its attendant increase in performance without noticably increasing the inertia loads borne by the bottom-end. Increasing the length of crank-throw or "stroking" as its commonly known, does increase the bearing loads of both the big-end and mains... ( Are the bearings of the 560 the same size as the 450 ?) However, if this is borne in mind as far as revs are concerned, it need not be too serious. eg.- The increase in power of a stroked engine over an unstroked one, may not be very much more than that of an unstroked one...The main difference being that the unstroked engine would "have to rev higher" if were to approach the power of the stroked engine. A longer stroke does however give an increase in Torque, which is a prime requirement for acceleration. If we find that an engine can be stroked without losing its rev-limit, then an increase in power in proportion with the capacity increase will definitely be obtained so long as it's accompanied by increased breathing efficiency. Any capacity increase which is not accompanied by better breathing will serve to only increase mid-range Torque. This is especially so when breathing limitations are imposed by valves, ports and throttle size, rather than the camshaft.

At the end of the day Tony H, without knowing the full specs etc of your project, it would at this stage appear that your main power gains will be enhanced in the mid-range power section, and that would mean that a numerically lower diff ratio will be of much more benefit to you ! eg, as posted earlier ( though I forgot to mention it ) at around 65mph, you'll be revving at around 3,000 rpm using the 380's 3.27 diff ratio...Allowing for an approximate 1,500 rpm increase should you change down to 3rd gear for an overtaking manouever, you would then be revving at 4,500rpm, giving you only 300 rpm's worth of acceleration before you moved out of the engines "little window" of peak torque and power...Use the lower diff ratio to get the most out of your project ! Hoping this helps you in your considerations !

Cheers,

Rastus


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Thanks for your interest in my project. At this point what I am building is a 5.6L engine in a 4.5L block using a 5.6L crankshaft, rods and pistons and boring the block to 96.5mm. The block dimensions are identical between the aluminum M117 and the iron M117-it is basically a drop in. The bottom end is way strong enough-probably stronger than the aluminum block. The 56/57 cams are longer duration and higher lift than the 52/53 cams. I have verified this by putting one of each in V-blocks and mic'ing/degreeing them. I may go with the "AMG" replica cams intended for the 5.6. They work very well with higher compression-I will have about 10:0.1. My car weighs about 3700lbs. with the 3.27 rear axle the 60mph rpm will be 2500. It should be very responsive at freeway speeds.
As I mentioned I am not building a performance engine but a high quality rebuild of a 5.6 in a iron block so I can use my original manual transmission. I know there is HP to be gained with head work, cams etc but this is a luxury touring coupe and I don't have any illusions of it being a race car. Those last few HP start to become very expensive. I think with this program I will achive about 140 more HP than stock while staying within the price of a quality rebuild. I am not cutting any corners but I don't want to spend a bunch of money trying to get the last HP out of it. I'm concentrating on a very strong bottom end-align bored block, blueprinted crankshaft, performance rebuilt rods, balanced rotating assembly, factory piston clearances.
Not sure if you saw in previous posts but the only reason I am doing this is so I can use my manual transmission. If all I wanted was a 5.6 it would be easier to just install a 5.6 engine and transmission. My 3.5 needs a rebuild anyway and this will actually be less expensive than a correct 3.5 rebuild (Have you priced 3.5 pistons lately$$$)
Stay tuned-I should have my block back from the machine shop tomorrow.

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Hello Tony H,

Thanks for your update, and yes I have read your earlier posts and once again credit for the challenge you've taken upon yourself ! I'd still be very concerned about the diff choice, or how you arrived at 2,500 rpm for the cruise speed of 65mph. I don't doubt you, its just that the 2-vehicles that I've been in recently, ( 1982 380 SL and 1984 380 SE ) were both revving at or very close to 3,000 rpm at 65 mph ( 100 kmph ). The 380SL owner has swapped rims from the later 15'' type back to the original 14'' mags, but this did not effect the engine RPM at highway speed as the overall diameter of the wheel assembly remained unchanged...My 350SLC revs at 3,300 rpm at 65 mph, and it is fitted with the standard 3.46 ratio, and topps out at about 6,000 rpm for a road- speed just on 200 kmph ( 125 mph ?). I would suggest that the 3.07 ratio ( from a 450 )would probably give you the rpms that your suggesting at 65mph. Perhaps ask SELLC or gerryvz about the official rpms, as I know that gerryvz actually fitted one to his 560SEC, and SELLC earns his bread and butter repairing these cars so maybe he's test-driven one lately ? Of course, should you be fitting 17",18"" or whatever wheels to your vehicle, all the numbers change so all this blows out the window ! Don't forget to change the speedo-drive in your transmission to correct your indicated road-speed etc. Thanks for the update on the camshafts and their specifications, I might have to find some for my 350...Though in truth it revvs out pretty hard already, and I would possibly have to de-tune it to find more mid-range power, but do you think I'm really going to do that ?! Ha ha. Look forward to the next few posts ! Have fun.

Cheers,

Rastus

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Hello Tony H,

I forgot to mention that if you havent had the chance yet to visit the thread on this site posted as " what does a stock 560 SEL do in the 1/4 mile" you should...Yes there's a lot of bollox from RSJ who is no-more, but there's also a lot of food-for-thought posted there from lot's of people ( probably the most from myself LOL ), but you may find a few pointers should you find the time to scroll through the 2-odd pages. Also, having been an apprentice at an official MB dealership in my younger days, I managed to acquire ( and still have ) a number of technical bulletins etc that were released from the factory etc etc. The main source of my information comes from what's possibly a little known book that was issued from MB and updated / revized on a yearly basis, plus only issued to MB dealerships...The book I speak of is what's labelled as " The Technical Data Book". It's basically a pocket sized Bible of ALL the specs of ALL the models with regards to sevicing, repairing and full of revized / updated specifications of all MB models. Dyno outputs and targets plus automatic transmission data etc etc are all provided within the pages of this little book. You name it, it's in there + more ! I would suggest that if you can grab a copy from somewhere, it will no doubt help you maintain your vehicle in top-spec. These books however were phased out of print by 1990 ish, due to the more economical uses of at first "micro-fische" interfaces, and then of course computers. Good luck.

Cheers,

Rastus

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Hello Tony H,

According to the "Tech. Data Book" that I mentioned in the last post, a 450 engined Mercedes fitted with the 3.07 diff will give you 210 kmph at 5,000 rpm. I know we can't just 1/2 this figure to arrive at our rpm at 100kmph, but if we did, you would assumingly be revving at around 2,500 rpm...Everything that this book has in print has proved incredibly honest and accurate, at least for my 350SLC. Enough said !

Cheers,

Rastus

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Hi Rastus,
You may have miss read my post-I actually said my 60mph RPM was 2500. I arrived at that by taking my tire diameter (25.7") calculating the rotations per mile (783) and multiplying that by the final drive ratio (3.27). The result is 2560 engine rotations per mile or 2560 RPM at 60 MPH. I have read all the 560 related posts-thank you. Lots of good info. I enjoy reading about others experiences and look forward to getting mine back on the road soon! Thanks for your interest in my project. It may not be useful to many but someone with an Iron Block M117 that wants to keep it somewhat original my want to follow my plan if it works out.


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Hello Tony H,

You're correct Tony H, I wouldn't say that that I miss-read your post, it's just that here in Australia everything is metric, and 100kmph is actually 62.13712 mph, and I've always tended to round things off to 65 mph bla bla bla as its really slow...Here in Oz, some of the better freeways allow you to do a max. of 110 kmph, which usually means the "law" only starts showing interest in you once you cruise past 120 kmph, or if you like, close enough to 75 mph...This is a much more enjoyable cruising speed as you feel like your getting somewhere as opposed to going to sleep ! Your calculation appears fine on paper for your calculated ( and mere ) 60 mph. You could possibly need to re-calculate it though, as the diameter of the wheel reduces once the weight of the car is on it...I also firmly believe that the torque that a 560 produces will more than happily pull a lower ratio diff, and still be very exciting to drive. You mentioned somewhere that you wanted to cruise comfortably at 85 mph. These Mercedes V-8's are happy to cruise at whatever speed you want, all day every day etc etc. Fuel consumption will inevitably increase should you stay with your present choice, and your top-speed potential will be lost. This is all up to you, and I've always known that everything you change in one area, has an opposing affect or trade-off in another...It's only you that has to be happy so go for it !

Cheers,

Rastus

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I have 16" wheels with 225/55/16 on them so my tire diameter is larger than the stock 185/14. I would like to have a taller rear end but 3.27 is the tallest other than the 6.3 rear axle and with a 4 speed I will lose too much off the bottom end if I go lower so I think the 3.27 will work out.
I got the block back from the machine shop. Very excited to mock up the bottom end to see where I am on deck height. Hopefully this weekend. Then back for decking(if necesarry)/final honing and balancing.


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Yo Tony H,

Your not wasting any time at all ! Looking forward to your end results !

Cheers,

Rastus

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Yes, I too look forward to hearing how it all turns out and even more so; seeing some photos of this cast iron counterpart.

It's been awhile since I read this thread, and until now it never dawned on me that I really gave no photos to support my LS1 comparissons... Most people would just think I was talking about the fact that the LS1 is aluminum also.

So lets have a look at this engine,

At first glance you MIGHT think... Hey that photo above is an M117! BUT IT'S NOT! It's General Motor's LS series aluminum engine.

This photo above is an M117 lower end, but it just goes to illistrate my point; that the M116 and M117 aluminum engine should be capable of handling some serious HP.

The big difference of course between the two is the upper half because Mercedes uses the overhead camshaft. My comparisson or "insperation" from the LS series is the fact they got some of them rolling around out there @ 700+ HP. Although I must admit the LS does have more beef on the upper half in terms of webbing, mostly because the cam and lifters go there. Ill dig up some photos if anyone is interested in seeing the two side by side on top, but know this, the bottom end is the only thing these two engines have in common.



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I have actually had this in the plans in different versions for quite a while. The 3.5 is a great engine and had mine been in top shape I probably would have been happy with it forever. Mine has unknown(LOTS) of miles and is tired and when I started l0oking at rebuilding it the idea occured to use a 4.5 because I wanted to stay with an iron block. Then I got to thinking about what I could do to the 4.5 and it went from there. After I did some research and found a 5.6 crank would fit the 4.5 block that created the possiblity of either a 5.0 or 5.6 depending on what pistons I used. At first I was hesitant to overbore the engine that much but found my cylinder walls were plenty thick for the 5.6 pistons. And as a bonus the extra displacement raises the CR.

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Tony H,

The little 3.5 is a good performer, no doubt, even when compared to the "modern" cars I face everyday of similar, even larger capacities and 4-5 speed autos. It will manage to out-drag the Generals 3.8ltr V-6 and easily matches Fords 4.0 ltr OHC straight 6...It will even pull-away from the said V-6 ( just ) at WOT and a road-speed of 100mph whilst pulling up a 4-5 degree gradient...It is hard for me to pay-out on this little V-8 when it can still easily and happily propell the 1650kg SLC to 200kmph !!! I would still rather that MB made a 3.5 V-8 instead of the V-6 they offer people today ! It seems that even MB followed a trend / fashion where nowdays it seems that all manufacturers are making a V-6 of some sort ! It would also seem that production-costs are greatly reduced since you only have to make an engine with 6-cylinders instead of 8 ! Lets face it, 2-less pistons and say 8-valves less per engine for the same capacity means you could theoretically make 4 x V-6's to 3 x V-8's for the same number of parts !... (The thought of a 32 valve quad-cam MB 3.5 V-8 that would rev to say 7,500 rpm does make me smile though...Awesome fuel economy and some good top-end power with that V-8 induction roar makes me wonder " why make a damned V-6 ".....).

Don't for a minute doubt yourself with the descision of turning a 450 into a 560. I would suggest that many people are very interested in the success of your venture...Just check-out the amount of people looking at this thread ! Stay focussed, take your time and follow it through, you will be rewarded ! Remember this saying..." THERE'S NO REPLACEMENT FOR CUBIC DISPLACEMENT" !!!! There's a certain quality to driving a car fitted with a large V-8 that cannot be conveyed into words. You will understand this statement better when you start driving your completed car.

Cheers,

Rastus

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True-the more cubes the better. If I am going to build an engine it makes sense to build it as large as possible. There is really no extra expense except for the cost of the core engines-about $500 for the 3 engines I used. I roughly calculated about 3.5-4K when it is all done and that includes rebuilt heads with new guides, valves and springs and all the machine work on the crank, rods and block and balancing.

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