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Thread: Possible trans upgrade

  1. #26
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    Update on my research. It appears there was a LSD mid sized case R129 diff with 3.69's. It came in the early 300SL's that were automatic. (the manuals had 3.45's)

    I happen to have one listed right now down by me here in LA.http://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-BEN...-/301410277612


    This is a very interesting and informative read. I educated me on the backlash of an MB diff- impossible to do without MB special tooling because the backlash needs to be set up outside the case then re-measured for a blind fitment inside the case. Forget what I said about R&Ding a few case for parts swap on my own- not like a GM or Ford housing...lol. Damn Germans over engineer everything.
    http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/...tml#post513955

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denlasoul View Post
    I know Russell. He is a good guy and knows his stuff. His reputationin the Seattle area is well known with people in the MB scene. Let me know if I can help out. His shop is close to me.
    .

    Thank you Den I will message him Monday. My plate is so full right now. I have to focus tomorrow on two race cars I need to get ready for opening night 3/28. Ill have a busy week, but once I get one of them out of my shop Tuesday and up to the track for perminate storage I am back to the Brabus for some TLC. I still have to finish that electric fan mod I bought a few months back prior to the accident. Then its the trans. I have a leak so I want to get to it ASAP. The car has also starter using coolant. I keep smelling coolant inside the car which makes me oh so happy. Sounds like a heater core is in order. I do not see anything wet though. I have to learn this car still- it is all new to me. Seems to be using coolant about about 1 qt every month for the last 3 months. nothing in the oil, and since I smell it inside the car I will hope to hell it is not a head gasket.

    Part of the reason for this swap is I might be driving this car more in the near future. We'll see. I have an older 85 Caddy Eldorado (the Suga Caddy) I use as a daily beater that I will probably be getting rid of in the very near future. Wifey hates it.. understandably. I've been tossing her the idea of buying a 2015 cheap Jeep (A Jeap patriot) that I would drive50/50 instead of the Caddy and my truck (I drive the caddy to keep miles off my truck since I need it for work- if it's down then I am down work wise so I only really drive it days I need it- other then that its the suga caddy) problem is she hates to drive the caddy so she is driving the Brabus full time, and then we are both in it always when together also. I am putting too many miles on it. THe Jeep would be a car that would be always used even for weekend outings unless we are dressed for an evening out (then it's the Brabus) She would use the Brabus and jeep 50/50 instead of the Brabus 100% (shared use of the Jeep on days I don't use it.)...

    ..so, Long story short? Looks like Ill be driving the Brabus more when I go out with the boys, etc...Car events, the race track. various things without the little lady. I want it a little more respectable with a better gear range instead of the long toss between 1st and 2nd that either lags on 20mph corners, OR, I have to kick the shit outta it and hammer it down to first gear to get it to move. It is what I hate about the , especially with the weight of a few passengers. this car desperately needs a better gearbox.
    Last edited by Vetruck; 03-22-2015 at 02:10 AM.

  3. #28
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    Holy hell how I I respond in correct order!

    One thing comes to mind on the shifter is the wood trim was different those years (possibly) so you need to measure the rectangular hole in the wood trim and ill see how they compare, otherwise you may end up with a gap between the shifter and wood trim.

    R129 diff I do not believe ever came in the 95' C36. I have no clue. Reason I find it hard to believe is the subframe would have to be different? My install required removal of the subframe, cutting, welding, wrong driveline angle, torn flex coupler bla bla bla. It worked. But never again. I have the diff, it should be fine. Rear cover had to be cut and trimmed, but you can get a replacement and go your way.




    So buy at your own risk. The axles and driveline bolt up, but correct mounting and spacing is for you to fit.

    A little side note, I would NEVER pay more then $200 for a used diff. $80-150 is typical local wrecker prices for a used MB pumpkin. They hardly ever fail, they are a part that every wrecker has on the shelf and can't get rid of!

  4. #29
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    Vetruck, as you get closer, pm me and we'll talk more about getting you all the parts & diff if you want. No way in hell is that diff worth anything close to $600. More like $100 (and that's what I paid for it off Craigslist.)

  5. #30
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    Thanks Remo. it was late last night and I was extremely tired - I rechecked the page that I thought had the c36 reference and it is wrong. it is merely a link to other parts and not a vehicle list of what that rearend went into.

    Reason why I am interested I that EBAY link to the 300SL 3.69 diff is it is suppose to be LSD. I would of course verify that before any purchase- but if it is I think the extra $400-$500 would be greatly worth the cost for the LSD if in fact it is one. The custom fit part is not an issue. I would buy a spare rear suspension subframe and mock up the diff into it, then simply do a bolt on sway of suspension parts when ready for the entire swap. I am one that does not mind buying spare parts to fabricate and have finished so the car is not down for weeks or months waiting on the unexpected fitment problems.

    As for the shifter, I can make my own console piece. Already did that for the current one since the car had damage here from a coffee spill prior to my purchasing the car. If you recall I did a chrome layover console and the plate underneath with the door switches is one I customized.

    Concerning your comment about the torn flex couple- Was it a situation where you welded it in the wrong angle and then later had to correct it after it tore? I am an expert in suspension and drivetrain geometry- and troubleshooting/avoiding such issues. The biggest issue I would be concerned with is if the R129 does not fit the W202 subframe then "are the W202 diff and the R129 diff different lengths"? What I mean by that is did you have to place the R129 diff more rearward in the subframe in order to get the driveshaft to couple in correct length? If so then that would place the stub axle flanges more rearward in reference to the wheels and change those axle angles as well (this would not be good) Hopefully you can confirm of both diffs are the same dimensions front imput and side outputs, and only the case size and mounts are different (I HOPE)?

  6. #31
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    Also- Why is your R129 diff cover different in the rear mount bracket and holes then the one I show in the link? I would not think my current diff cover would interchange onto it since I have a small case, but I have never held either in my hands to even know. I am starting to think a trip to a MB bone yard is in order in the very near future before I continue this conversation.

    I swear my head is hurting trying to find reliable facts on the internet. Wish I knew these cars better like I know GM stuff.

    Then I think there is the issue of the vehicle speed sensor and ABS. I will have to have that recalibrated also so the speedo functions correctly (Again I am assuming?)
    Last edited by Vetruck; 03-22-2015 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #32
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    If its an LSD then it's worth it, otherwise it's not.

    The axles bolt up fine and weren't an issue. The issue was that the diff was about an inch longer so the driveline had to be shortened. Then when the driveline bolted up- it was more to one side then in the middle, and that created issues because I didn't think shifting the diff more to one side was a great idea. I did play with the mounting a bit and got to a point where it doesn't destroy the driveline, however I felt as if I still had some driveline vibration. Maybe it was in my head, as the next guy who owned the car knew nothing and felt nothing different from the 97' C36 (auto) he had before.

    My cover is different because the guy I bought it from stated it was out of a W140 S class, I don't recall year/ engine but I'm sure it was a 6 cyl because that's how MB got those huge things to get moving with a weak ass engine.

    Does you current diff have ANY speed sensor or wiring attached ? The 97'+ use all 4 wheel speed abs sensors for speedo. Therefor if yours is the same, you need not to worry about any speed calibration since whatever speed the wheels turn at is what's displayed on the speedo

  8. #33
    Senior Member Dearlove's Avatar
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    damn you and your suggestions, i think i really need to do this too

  9. #34
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    ill be getting to that a week from now. Once I get one of my cars out of here I will get back on the Mercedes. From what I remember, I had checked into the speed sensor for my electric fan conversion. I recall my year car from schematics Dearlove gave me that the 94 has it's VSS on the diff. I remember tracking the wire in the schematics and finding were it ties into the passenger compartment, then over to the Speedo (the speedo VSS wire is where I plan to pick up the signal for my high ide fan shutoff mph) I think I recall it tying into the ABS computer as well from the diff sensor. I have someone that can shorten my driveshaft no problem for about $150- just had a '55 Chev 210 wagon done I put a 700r4 into for a friend With all this said, the computer stuff is what still scares me. This will all ultimately come down to what this Russell tells me both ability and cost wise on a TCU- I do not want any kind of smog check issue with dash light failing me visually.

    Recap-

    Shifter- No problem
    Trans acquisition and install, No problem
    Shorten driveshaft- No Problem
    Finding a rear subframe cheap- We'll see ill start checking (# 2 in priority)
    Finding a 3.69 diff- Shouldn;t be a problem/ LSD may though but not real important. I would buy if availiable but not mandatory
    The TCU- I think this is a big problem
    Why? Combined with the standard 94 w202 rear diffs, we have electronics in there that the R129 and W140 do not have.
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    I think I am hitting too many walls for this to be cost effected and completed in a timely manor for a car that is relied upon for a daily driver. Having a race car down for a while is no issue, but not the wife's car. I want this so bad though. Im going to put it off until I get with Russel and see what can be done with the TCU and the rear end VSS.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Dearlove's Avatar
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    what did you find the 3.92 in?
    Because for me 3.92's give me 100kph(62mph) at just over 2500 and a top speed of 250k's (150mph)
    So really a 4.11 would be even better....
    Last edited by Dearlove; 03-22-2015 at 11:53 PM.

  11. #36
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    also because your car is pre can bus it should be pretty simple, I'm pretty sure these can just be told (by the star diag) that the car is now a manual and it wont care, if that makes sense

  12. #37
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    the ratio's aren't that close together when i compare it to 'my be all, end all' of street cars designed for the track

    these are the ratio's of a nissan skyline (late 80's to early 90's)
    1st 3.214
    2nd 1.925
    3rd 1.302
    4th 1.000
    5th 0.752
    Final drive 4.111

    I guess the skyline has the advantage of a 8000 rpm redline (mine use to valve float at 10,000rpm...)
    Last edited by Dearlove; 03-22-2015 at 11:54 PM.

  13. #38
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    Okay so i found that the 3.92 came from the 200d, 220d. That's no good

    Also found the 190d or 190e 2.6 with 5 speed manual has this diff, perfect

  14. #39
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    Guys, doesn;t the C240 W203 share the same rear subframe? It this is correct then it appears this would be the simple and best availiable c240 3.67 carrier (A dime a dozen). I wouild think the stub axles from a C240n would just work instead of using my OEM W202 axles. What am I missing here? Either that or just use the entire rear subframe suspension assembly off the W203 and bolt it right into the W202.

    I love the possibility the diff electronics can be disabled like a manual car. I don't care for ABS anyways.(Ive disabled it on very other car Ive ever owned) I am hoping the VSS signal could be changed or the speedo, but any nannies I want disabled.

    ill try and contact Russell tomorrow and talk the computer stuff to see if this is all viable. If this is a go- then I will order what I need TCU wise and get the Trans on order here real soon. Even without a diff upgrade yet I still have the same somewhat 1-4 I have now- Only with a taller 1st gear that closes the long gap between 1-2 shift. I could even just add the diff upgrade a few months down the road. The trans right now is my main concern.
    Last edited by Vetruck; 03-23-2015 at 01:31 AM.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dearlove View Post
    the ratio's aren't that close together when i compare it to 'my be all, end all' of street cars designed for the track

    these are the ratio's of a nissan skyline (late 80's to early 90's)
    1st 3.214
    2nd 1.925
    3rd 1.302
    4th 1.000
    5th 0.752
    Final drive 4.111

    I guess the skyline has the advantage of a 8000 rpm redline (mine use to valve float at 10,000rpm...)
    I have 4.11's in my Old Vette racecar with a Muncie M22 Rock crusher Talk about close ratio. 2.20/1.64/1.28/1. This car taches 8500rpms on a SBC 327. 540 rwHP (not Flywheel. Car runs high 10's on a road race setup. I have video footage of it on youtube. I used to be the top Vette in the nation back in the early 90's. I use to beat Hobaugh and Thorton. Hobaugh is the current guy to beat in todays world. I don't have to money to bring that car out of retirement- nor the desire. I have other interests now then running the little tight cornered Goodguys baby-autox bullshit(About 1/4 the size of conventional SCCA autox).

    https://youtu.be/8owSVZaWH3A
    Last edited by Vetruck; 03-23-2015 at 01:57 AM.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Dearlove's Avatar
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    now that is some old school footage, haha.

    Not too sure about the 203 having the same rear subframe, I'm 'pretty sure' it doesn't?

    And if you want no abs, just unplug the abs unit in the engine bay, I do that when i track my car as it then looses traction control

  17. #42
    Senior Member Dearlove's Avatar
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    oh and if you do this let me know if your redline changes. Mine did twice out of 3 times. pain in the ass. The weird thing is it didn't change to the 4000rpm neutral rev limit but to some weird thing like 5750? Some sort of limp mode perhaps? But why it doesn't do it every time i don't know??

  18. #43
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    They are different in mount position obviously because the car chassis are different in shape, However, everything I have researched in the past shows a direct cross reference of al rear suspension links (the 5-link MB patent- same goes for the Crossfire Chrysler). I do not see why a w203 diff and axles would not be the best choice for a retrofit. Likely that the mounts have to be modified, but I would think this would be the closes fit and just use the w203 halfshafts/stub axles. Remo mention he has a w203 (I think you said your wife's car?) is it possible to math the w202 diff and w203 diff in measurements if you have two laying around?

    W202 subframe
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    W203 subframe
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  19. #44
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    I think you will be fine running a 3.67 203 diff with a pair of 203 axle assemblies and leave the subframe alone.

    I have a 3.67 203 pumpkin in the garage at the moment, (as well as a couple of 203' C-classes lol) but I'm almost certain the 203 pumpkin should slide right in. I just don't have a 202 diff at my fingertips to compare it to a 203 diff.

    Also, since you have the speed sensor on your diff, I'm not sure if you can possibly tap into an abs sensor and grab the signal from there. The R129 3.69 diff I have does have a speed signal as well. But both are equally a headache (modify subframe to fit R129 diff vs. grab speed signal from elsewhere and install a 203 diff.)

  20. #45
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    But to answer your question, yea I can take some measurements next weekend off the 203 subframe since I need to replace my diff immediately. (Noisy carrier bearing, getting worse)

    Also, on the standalone TCU ask about the diff ratio and what happens when you change it. Your current setup has no trans computer at all, just some vacuum controls and that's it. So your check engine will not be an issue because as far as your car is concerned it can be a manual shift! You will have to rewire a simple parking safety switch to let the car start in park and not in drive.

  21. #46
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    You are the man Remo! Great info. This is sounding very promising.

    The VSS I think is an easy one since it is probably just counting the rotations of the input shaft. I would be willing to bet it is a standard 2 wire signal so this universal unit from Summit Racing should work fine wit a magnet washer attached to the rear flex coupler or such and this unit leaning off the diff. I could jump it right into the factory wiring harness back there.

    This way I have a speedo and the car does not fail the "visual" portion of the Calif smog inspection every other year.

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/rp...4165/overview/

    This is what is great about car forums- A few guys working together to make some possible viable upgades and documenting it for others. Thank you so much for the help and ideas guys. Great team work on this stuff.

    Dean

  22. #47
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    Here's some pictures from today's w203 diff swap. My pinion bearing was getting really noisy, so I opted for a used 3.67 instead of my 3.46, since the car is manual and has no transmission control module, I can run any ratio I please. The knuckle on one side had to be removed partially as pictured to free one axle out and be able to drop down the pumpkin.

    The axles should in theory fit the 202 hub. 203 axles are 25 splines (27mm thick).









  23. #48
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    Some of those pix are random mount points of the subframe & diff.

  24. #49
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    Now the ultimate thread jacker, installed a pair of factory Xenon headlamps. This is my wife's car, we live in the Tahoe national forest and its DARK at night!!

    Before (halogens)


    Installation,

    Variant coding via SDS,

    Works!!

    All done,

  25. #50
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    Nice lighting upgrade! So is this plug and play assuming the coding is done? I assume the self leveling would be disabled/non-functioning.
    1994 C280
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    ......dang now I know where all my money went.

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