W124 190e - engine conversion, what is best?

Discussion in 'Engine' started by cfoster, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. cfoster

    cfoster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Need a bit of advice and hoping someone knowledgeable on here can help me.

    I have a 1990 W201 190e auto (petrol), she a very clean little thing but on 256,000. I am the third owner, the first owner being for the first 25 years of its life. I has full main dealer history until 2015 / 245,000 miles then the rest at specialist.

    It's currently in for a service and I have been advised that the head gasket has gone, timing chain is stretched, engine mounts gone etc (although it drove beautifully I only used to drive it maybe once a month at most).

    With all of the engine work that is needed and taking the mileage into consideration, would it be worth me considering a complete engine swap from a different Mercedes rather than fixing this one? I am not fussed about keeping it original, it going up in value as in my view these will not see an increase for a long time, I would rather have something under the bonnet that will keep it reliable and enjoyable to drive.

    So, what are my options engine wise? I'm pretty handy with spanners and know my way around wiring so not shy going 'balls deep' as such(!), I just want to know what the preferred engine/gearbox conversions are that do not require any / much fabricating / mating with the car.

    Thanks

    Note - W201 not W124!
     
  2. OP
    OP
    cfoster

    cfoster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  3. OP
    OP
    cfoster

    cfoster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  4. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    Now although those ^ are lovely engines (same engine) you won't be able to run them unless you go stand alone ecu and a good one can cost
    An earlier engine with less electronics is a better way to go
     
  5. OP
    OP
    cfoster

    cfoster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ah ok noted thanks, what engine would you suggest?

    Thanks
     
  6. neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    What engine is in there now? 2.6's have a slam panel with a central bit that is removable, in other smaller engined versions it's solid. M103 3L would be the easiest I'd guess.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    cfoster

    cfoster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Its currently the 2.0litre auto in there
     
  8. Bellow

    Bellow MB Club Veteran

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    If you go larger - watch for the final drive ratio being appropriate.
     
  9. a111r

    a111r Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  10. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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  11. ivan1983

    ivan1983 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have the m111 in the slk and whilst it it's quite pokey it's about as refined as a tractor although the supercharger b whine is quite nice in the upper revs.
    I think a big straight 6 would be the nicest swap without going for a M119
     
  12. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Depends what you want I suppose. In my 190 days I remember having a discussion about this with the head mechanic at my local MB dealer who had driven or owned every variety of 190 including a couple of Cosworths he had owned personally. For long distance refined mile -munching his choice was always the 2.6 straight 6!
     
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  13. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    If you’re handy with the spanners, I would suggest a head gasket replacement and new chain at the same time if needed.

    Realistically if the engine is otherwise sound - not burning excessive amounts of oil etc you should be able to repair it for probably in the region of £100.

    Worst case a replacement M102 isn’t going to break the bank and you fit a 2.3 8v straight in if you wanted.

    If you want to fit a totally different engine from a newer car, or course it’s possible, but it’s a totally different undertaking relative to a head gasket job and chain (or like for like M102 swap)

    My view is that an older 2.0 190E isn’t really the best platform for increased power. The rest of the chassis - steering/suspension/brakes isn’t going to be an ideal platform for a more powerful engine especially with 200k+ miles and 30 years of age.

    If you decide to proceed with the head gasket replacement, a complete OE Elring gasket set with all the additional seals and parts used to be under £30. It’s a day or two's work and pretty straightforward - you can do the chain at the same time.

    Happy to help you with any questions relative to this job as I’ve done several over the years :)
     
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  14. SL300-24

    SL300-24 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have a 230TE W124 that we are breaking. Running 2.3 Engine and manual gearbox if you are interested.
     
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  15. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Perfect solution there :cool:
     
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