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

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap but but butit has a stick
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.
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2 of 33 comments
  • 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.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.