W116 280s engine options

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Sluggish

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Hi everyone

I’m new to your forum and I really enjoy the information I find reading through.
I own at 1977 280s and the motor is in poor condition unfortunately.
I would like to put a more modern engine in its place. I have been considering a Ford Barra engine.
As you guys have a lot of experience and knowledge, I like to hear your thoughts on my idea.
I have owned Mazda rotatarys in the past including rebuilding engines and restoring but have alway been a fan after owning my first Mercedes w140 500s a couple of years ago
Thanks
 

c107

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If it were my car I would be looking for a 280SE engine which will bolt right in and is much better than the carby engine. You can pick up a whole rusty 280SE for not much money.

If you’re really sold on the Barra idea you may want to change the rear end to a 450 one as the Barra is probably more suited to this. The M110 makes all its power at high rpm and it is geared that way. A Barra w116 has been done so it is possible. You need to make sure that it is the car you want as a Mercedes with the ‘wrong’ engine is incredibly difficult to sell.
 
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Sluggish

Sluggish

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Hey thanks for the reply. I have taken your advice and sourced a 1982 280se.
Motor seems to be in good condition. I have noticed a bottle of fuel additive in the door though, will this motor require some work prior to installation to run on unleaded?
Can these engines be turboed?
I will be looking to part the car out potentially after I remove the engine and box.
 

Oversize

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Much better engine choice! I would use an additive in the fuel (Valvemaster) but it's probably not mandatory since they already had hardened seats. The exhaust manifolds on the W126 6 cylinder were far superior to the W116 with the damn Y piece! You're on a winner!

Try it with a decent exhaust, before looking at a turbo. A manual trans might also be fun, but a bit harder to find. W123 manuals would be more common but I'm not sure if a W123 unit would fit in the W116.
 

c107

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Hey thanks for the reply. I have taken your advice and sourced a 1982 280se.
Motor seems to be in good condition. I have noticed a bottle of fuel additive in the door though, will this motor require some work prior to installation to run on unleaded?
Can these engines be turboed?
I will be looking to part the car out potentially after I remove the engine and box.

Good you have the whole car as you'll need some of the wiring for the CIS fuel injection in the 82 to put in the 280S. The CIS manuals are on this website. There will also be some misc parts you find you need once you get the swap mostly done.

I've never been close up to a carby 116, but I assume it doesn't have things like fuel accumulator near the fuel tank that you'll need from the donor car.

Does either car have real self levelling? It will be easiest if they both or neither have it. It can be worked around but better if you don't have to.

Not sure if this swap (w126 to W116), but sometimes when you do a swap like this you may need accessories and even potentially the sump from the old car.

some people like to run valve savers but in theory you'll be fine with PULP. By 82 these cars were being sold in markets where only unleaded fuel was available. We were slower than most countries to phase out leaded fuel.
 
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Sluggish

Sluggish

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Hey guys
Thanks for the information I am glad I bought a whole then as will work out for the better. My W116 does not have the self leveling but the W126 does.
Ok that’s handy to know about the CIS manuals. I will be sure to check out prior to the start of transfer.
The W126 does have ABS but the W116 doesn’t. The brake booster looks as it been recently replaced in the W126, is this compatible with the W116?
Thanks for the advice on the exhaust, I will be sure to try before I do anything else
 

c107

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Hey guys
The brake booster looks as it been recently replaced in the W126, is this compatible with the W116?

Not sure, but the W126 unit looks smaller, so not sure if they are interchangable.

On the self levelling, the new motor will have a pump coming off one of the cams. When people de-activate the self levelling they normally leave the pump in place but not sure if anything in particular needs to be done.
 
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