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My GTO - Mercedes SLK unholy union is a thing!
I've started a brand new build. I'm swapping an LS2 from a Pontiac GTO into my 2000 SLK.
My SLK is pretty trashed so it's time to do something pretty unique. It's totally inspired by Aaron who posted his 4.3L swap here.

I’ve got Frankenstein vibes and Thor’s hammer mechanic skills. This can’t be good!

This is a huge project for me and I'm putting tons of work into it and documenting every step. I sincerely hope you enjoy it and let me know if there's something you'd like to see or know as I work on this!

Eric

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very cool! It will be a blast when done. LS swap all the things!
I hope it works when I'm done with it! I'm actually super stoked to do this build. I'm looking forward to the fabrication and creating something no one has done before. It's all about the journey!
 

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So is this the official build thread??

It looks like you could use the steering rack from that GTO... except for the part where the steering wheel spins on it's own?.... depending how that engine fits in there, you might be able to keep the steering box.. I would say test fit the engine and see.

Should be fast if you can keep it between the ditches!
 

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Why are you starting with such a POS for a donor car? You're gonna spend a ton on the interior, body work and top etc. You're in LA and surrounded by tons of cheap slks. Here's a few: https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/d/mercedes-slk-230/6544005705.html

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/cto/d/mercedes-1998-slk-230/6544000033.html

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/d/1999-mercedes-slk-230/6523826381.html


Even if you're donor car is free, these would save you money. Not trying to be negative. I completely dig the idea. I did some of this stuff back in the 70's. Stuffed some 215 cu inch olds aluminum v8s into MGBs. It was a lot of work but big fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is the official build thread yup.
I’m starting with a POS donor car because it’s a manual and it’s just a little bit easier to do the swap with the pedal box already in place. The car came with a spare dash so it’s not too difficult to fix the interior.

Turdo2 what steering rack did you use for your swap? The GTO rack is damaged so that’s probably not an option. The Mercedes has a really oddball rack to begin with and is not like most other cars I’ve seen.
 

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This is the official build thread yup.
I’m starting with a POS donor car because it’s a manual and it’s just a little bit easier to do the swap with the pedal box already in place. The car came with a spare dash so it’s not too difficult to fix the interior.

Turdo2 what steering rack did you use for your swap? The GTO rack is damaged so that’s probably not an option. The Mercedes has a really oddball rack to begin with and is not like most other cars I’ve seen.
Your SLK has a steering box with rolling-ball type steering. It protrudes into the engine bay a decent amount. The rack I'm currently using is from an E320/430 sedan. I used it because the 2 mount points were in front of the rack and i knew it cleared because the 4.3L came in those cars. But I'm learning that it feels a little too lazy on the car and am contemplating finding a better rack from another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your SLK has a steering box with rolling-ball type steering. It protrudes into the engine bay a decent amount. The rack I'm currently using is from an E320/430 sedan. I used it because the 2 mount points were in front of the rack and i knew it cleared because the 4.3L came in those cars. But I'm learning that it feels a little too lazy on the car and am contemplating finding a better rack from another car.
Sounds like you're finding the steering ratio too slow? I assume that this will be one of my biggest challenges with the swap. The engine is nearly as wide as the engine bay, but I plan to use block hugger headers. They are common on the LS.

Let me know what you find with the steering rack. It's going to be one of the early things I tackle.
 

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Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

I love builds.

Such threads are places for learning, whether you agree with them, or not.

Good luck.

Oh, see my pm. :tu:
 

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Sounds like you're finding the steering ratio too slow? I assume that this will be one of my biggest challenges with the swap. The engine is nearly as wide as the engine bay, but I plan to use block hugger headers. They are common on the LS.

Let me know what you find with the steering rack. It's going to be one of the early things I tackle.
I Think the LS will fit perfectly fine. pushrod engines don't have as much height or width due to not having camshafts above the cylinders. That's why i'm thinking maybe you'll be fine with the current steering box.. just put that engine in there and see how everything fits!
 

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I too will be intently watching this. I've been absent from this forum for a while because a few months ago my SLK went out of commission. Long story short.... my Mercedes had to make the ultimate sacrifice lol.
So, needing a new motor (not really, I can rebuild this one, but I'm jealous of all these V8 guys popping up), I've decided to go either LS or SBF. Turdo2's thread has shown that fitting the Mercedes V8 on mine would require more metal work than I'd like because I have a 4cyl pre-facelift. However, his only issue was the steering box because of the motor's width.
Because of this, I will be watching your thread closely. I am very curious if the LS is thin enough that the steering box would have no interference. If not, a 302 is even thinner and maybe that would work. I can get a running 302/t5 combo donor mustang around $1000 or less and would only have to focus on mounting and wiring if the width allows it. Plus, the 302 already has a front sump pan.

So from what Ive read, an LS should be about 25" wide from manifold to manifold. A 302 should be around 24". Turdo2, can you measure the Mercedes width? I'd like to have the width for reference. Revmatchtv, check your oil sump location. I think you'd need front like the mercedes v8. Also, let me know if that trans fits. I know these cars have small tunnels. If it doesn't, you may need to settle on a t5 like me. Camaro's had T5 WC that can be adapted to fit an LS. I only have my eye on it because it's such a small trans and I anticipate fitment issues with anything larger. Good luck, I hope this goes well!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So from what Ive read, an LS should be about 25" wide from manifold to manifold. A 302 should be around 24". Turdo2, can you measure the Mercedes width? I'd like to have the width for reference. Revmatchtv, check your oil sump location. I think you'd need front like the mercedes v8. Also, let me know if that trans fits. I know these cars have small tunnels. If it doesn't, you may need to settle on a t5 like me. Camaro's had T5 WC that can be adapted to fit an LS. I only have my eye on it because it's such a small trans and I anticipate fitment issues with anything larger. Good luck, I hope this goes well!
I've measured and it will definitely fit in the engine bay. The big question of course is the steering system. I've got roughly 1" to spare with the stock LS headers. I am planning to use block hugger headers, so if I'm lucky, they will fit with the oem steering rack.

I'll see how the stock T56 fits. It doesn't look huge, but I know the Mercedes tunnel is narrow. I go the engine out of the SLK last night and i'll have a video up in a couple days on that. Next up is to yank the LS. I should be able to do that this weekend. Then the fun really begins!

Someone mentioned traction? I'm not worried about traction as I'm planning on doing some body work to get wider rubber. It's all a process...
 

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Has anyone swapped in an AMG LSD into an earlier R170? The stock diff is pretty tiny and I need an LSD for the kind of torque the LS puts down.
 

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now this certainly sounds interesting! I know that the conventional wisdom in the US is to put an 8" Ford in the back - however I'd imagine that this wouldn't really work in this application (needing an IRS and all?)
 

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now this certainly sounds interesting! I know that the conventional wisdom in the US is to put an 8" Ford in the back - however I'd imagine that this wouldn't really work in this application (needing an IRS and all?)
My donor car is a 2006 Pontiac GTO with an IRS. When I pull the drivetrain, I'll see if it it will fit. I somewhat doubt it, because the GM diff appears quite a bit bigger, but I'll certainly give it a shot. It would need some custom mounting.
 

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My donor car is a 2006 Pontiac GTO with an IRS. When I pull the drivetrain, I'll see if it it will fit. I somewhat doubt it, because the GM diff appears quite a bit bigger, but I'll certainly give it a shot. It would need some custom mounting.
There is a company called wavetrac that made LSDs for SLK32s. If not, you can find similar differentials in most w202s, chrysler crossfires, and maybe a few e-classes but not sure of the years. The c-class rear is supposed to be near identical though, so that would be your best bet.

And waylander, the 8" is decent, but the ford 9" is legendary ;)
 

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I don't think even the AMG cars (of this era at least) come with LSD. If you found a way to use that GM diff, that would make this car VERY strong. plus I imagine there are aftermarket LSD kits for it.

If someone wants to do some eyeballing, this is how much room on each side of the engine there is. I can actually remove the exhaust manifolds while the engine is still in the car.
 

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a bit off-piste, I know

but given the ease with which you transatlantic types both purchased and trashed r107's, the diff in a 500SL, and a 560SL came with 25% mechanical LSD as standard. The dimensions can't be too far adrift from the SLK's. Just thinking out loud, even though it is near-blasphemy to my r107-owning ears...:crying:
 
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