Piston Slap: But, But, But…It Has a Stick!

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
Jack writes:I have a W203 Mercedes-Benz C 230K/1.8L. Would a rear-drive GM DOHC 3.4-liter V6 with a turbo make the 300-plus horsepower I think this car needs? Would an LS V8 fit? Would a 392 Dodge Hemi fit? Unless AMG, even the Mercedes-Benz V12 is only 5.0-liters. My car has the six-speed found in manual transmission Camaros.Thanks!JKDSajeev answers:ZOMG those came with a T-56? Why would the dark ages of Mercedes’ engineering implement a gearbox so totally overbuilt for a W203? That’s totally not possible. I think you have this unit, and with that in mind, sell it and get a C55. Look I get it: this is a non-stereotypical performance car with a factory manual transmission. As the years go by this’ll be like a frickin’ 1969 Camaro to all the autopilot-driving conspiracy theorists that loathe our (their?) fantastic future. But even if you had a T-56 in that wee beastie, odds are the bellhousing wouldn’t fit an LS. Or any other high power engine available outside of Affalterbach.Not to totally kill your vibe, here’s a quick video of a friend’s E55 AMG powertrain swap.
And it took him years to get all the Mercedes parts talking with each other! So interfacing with Mercedes’ CAN bus electrical system with non-factory parts? Oh hell no, son, ain’t nobody dumb enough to do so much work for such a useless vehicle. I mean, you really have to be touched in the head to tackle such a project.(Looks back at his idiotic project car and the current hurdle of getting modern Hella H4/H1 lights installed.)
Misery enjoys company. You go right ahead and do an LS swap, including the T-56. Disconnect any warning lights that come with possible CAN bus rejection. When complete, it’ll make more sense than my restomod.[Images: Lead image: Shutterstock user alexkich. Body image: © 2016 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars]Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Nov 08, 2016

    If you're serious, buy a good running '02 manual Z28 Camaro (LS1), use the entire GM wire loom, ECM, emissions, etc, and graft in the GM gauges/instruments, splice in the Mercedes HVAC, and upgrade the diff, drive shaft and suspension to AMG or equivalent. Or just get the damn AMG car.

  • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Nov 08, 2016

    Almost any engine will fit in any car if you've got enough money and time.

  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
  • Ede65792611 Got one. It was my Dad's and now has 132K on it. I pay my Mercedes guy zillions of dollars to keep it going. But, I do, and he does and it's an excellent vehicle. I've put in the full Android panel for BT handsfree and streaming with a backup cam.