W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

1982-1993 :180E, 190E, 190E 2.3, 190E 2.6, 190D 2.2, 190D 2.5, 190D 2.5 T
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omerhanx
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W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 3:09 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been working on converting my W201 Mercedes engine to a V6 3.8lt ecotec from a VX commodore for the past year or so. Some people will hate it others will love it. It all comes down to preference. I love the styling and comfort of this era Mercedes, but unfortunately the engine was a bit tired even after a full rebuild, I was spending more money on repairs than the car was worth, so i made the decision to keep the car which i use as a daily drive and change the engine to something a bit younger, reliable and economical to maintain. Being in Australia, what is more common than the good old commodores, they are reasonably well built and a dime a dozen as they say.

Turned out to be a great conversion, feels and drives great, looks completely stock but a total sleeper! :glasses2:

I will try to post up as much info and pics as I can for anyone who is interested.
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AndrewsSL/SEL
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by AndrewsSL/SEL » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 7:38 pm

Nice...... :notworthy: and welcome to the forum :dance:

I'm very interested to see how this conversion happened. Did you have to replace or modify the lower crossmember? How did you go getting around the steering box?

Do you have any pics showing what you had to do??

Another benefit of this conversion is a manual 5 speed gearbox is an easy option :think:

Cheers
Andrew

86 Diamond Blue 420SEL [That is being parted out and stripped for spares]
87 Red 190E 2.6 [Cossie Bodykit, R129SL 4pots/rotors, Bilstein/H&R suspension=GOKART]
87 White 300SL R107 Roadster [Which has sadly become a bit of a garage queen]
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 11:51 pm

Hi Andrew,

It was definitely a tight fit. The firewall had to be modified slightly around the edges and the lower crossmember had to be modified to accommodate the height of the engine. I kept the original steering box which left very little to no room for the extractors. The guys at hume mufflers did a fantastic job with the custom extractors and exhaust, they somehow managed to weave it around the steering box and out the bottom. Also had to get the idler arms fabricated as they were touching the engine when the steering was turned.
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W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Sat 26 Jul, 2014 1:58 pm

More photos
Last edited by omerhanx on Mon 19 Jan, 2015 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Mon 19 Jan, 2015 7:34 pm

Image
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by MercMad West Australian » Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:10 am

Wow that 190 must fly now!

one thing about the 3.8 it may be rough as guts when revved but it sure as hell has low down torque and instant throttle response and is practically bullet proof when you've got a good one. Probably gets similar fuel economy to the old 4 cylinder too.
MMWA

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by TheMadRacoon » Sun 15 Feb, 2015 11:17 am

Nice.

Are you using the Holden transmission too? The W201 transmission wouldn't cope with the extra torque, surely?
Emad,
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Ivanerrol » Mon 16 Feb, 2015 2:50 am

How did it go with the regulatory authorities and what was required?
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by AMG » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 8:33 am

I know people bag the shazam out of fitting non-mb engines into certain models, but the 201 is just asking for all kinds of swaps....

let's see what I can think of from the top of my head....

m103 3.0
m104 3.0, 3.2, 3.6
om603, om 606, om602
m117 5.0, 5.6 & 6.0
m119 5.0 & 6.0
I believe someone attempted an m120 also.... no pics to confirm this.
m113 e55 swap
LS1, LS2 swaps
ford 289 / 302
Judd v8
2JZ
I've heard of a 13B sequential TT as well, but do not think it even got past putting the engine in the engine bay. That would have been maniac.

So the buick v6 is another, and looks to be a decent execution from the top down.
I'm guessing you're using the 700R4 auto, which is a good match for the car.
You may need to keep an eye out for a diff from a 2.6 though.... the larger crownwheel & pinion LSD centre offering and better ratios to err.. 'aid' certain enthusiastic driving activities. Might want to upgrade the front rotors and callipers to standard 4 piston w124 24v units as well, will make a huge difference to the stopping power.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by oz coz » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:01 am

Hey Joe,
You forgot Bahaimus with the Toyota V12 (or was it a Nissan?)
oz coz

1986 190E 2.3-16 Blue-Black
1990 300TE Diamond Blue
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by AMG » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:12 am

Yes I did... thanks for reminding me.... it was the toy bota 1GZ-FE v12
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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pastelgrey300D
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by pastelgrey300D » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:49 am

Don't forget the time that MB dropped in a C250 CDI into a 190D and cut the 0-100 time by 12 seconds!

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/09/03/1990 ... ine-jumps/
David
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1965 W110 190c - Mittelrot
1967 W110 200D - Weiss (work in progress)
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omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:51 pm

Hi everyone, thanks for your messages. The engine was immaculate from the donor car with less than 100k on the clock. Im using the transmission that was on the engine which is the 4L60E. It would have been much easier to drop in a T700.
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:52 pm

The diff has been upgraded already by the previous owner so its holding up pretty good!
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:55 pm

The car would definitely benefit with an upgrade to the rotors an brakes. Thats next on the list. Everything was done by professionals so i shouldn't have trouble getting it engineered i would imagine, just haven't got around to it yet
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 9:56 pm

Here is a short video i took over the weekend
http://youtu.be/j2n4TjAkQpM
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

omerhanx
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 10:01 pm

Surprisingly im getting better fuel economy that the original mb engine. Awesome low end torque and being such a light car i barely use any throttle to get going.
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by AMG » Wed 18 Feb, 2015 6:59 am

well with the huge displacement increase and the correspondingly large torque increase over the original engine, it shouldn't come as a surprise, especially knowing that the v6 is renowned for low-rpm torque outputs (hence the choice by GM to power their land barges)
I am surprised you used the 4L60E, but understand as it obviously came as a 'donor package', and then the ECU would have needed a fair bit of work to divorce the trans control signals.

700R4 would have been an easier mechanical fit, due to trans tunnel size, but you have it all going now..... so what is done, is done.

the 124 24v rotors & callipers are a massive improvement over standard brakes. you should be able to find them relatively easily. Forum sponsor can help if you run out of options.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Mercmad » Wed 18 Feb, 2015 9:59 am

i like this! mainly because decent MB ENGINES ARE HARD TO FIND HERE, I.E . OM 606 turbo... :laughing6: :laughing6:

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Greg in Oz » Wed 18 Feb, 2015 3:43 pm

AMG wrote:...the 124 24v rotors & callipers are a massive improvement over standard brakes. you should be able to find them relatively easily. Forum sponsor can help if you run out of options.
Especially given that it is obvious from the photos that it was only a 180E or 190E 1.8 which (like the 2 litre) had solid rotors. At least the 2.3 and 2.6 got vented front rotors. The 180E also missed out on ABS.

If you can't find brakes from a 24 valve 124, even those from a 12 valve 300E are an inexpensive and worthwhile upgrade. They are what were used on the 190E 2.3-16 and 2.5-16.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by omerhanx » Wed 18 Feb, 2015 4:05 pm

Greg in Oz wrote:
AMG wrote:...the 124 24v rotors & callipers are a massive improvement over standard brakes. you should be able to find them relatively easily. Forum sponsor can help if you run out of options.
Especially given that it is obvious from the photos that it was only a 180E or 190E 1.8 which (like the 2 litre) had solid rotors. At least the 2.3 and 2.6 got vented front rotors. The 180E also missed out on ABS.

If you can't find brakes from a 24 valve 124, even those from a 12 valve 300E are an inexpensive and worthwhile upgrade. They are what were used on the 190E 2.3-16 and 2.5-16.
Do they just bolt on directly or will I need to modify them in any way?
You can't make a w124 better, you can only make it different.

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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by merc-304 » Mon 07 Nov, 2016 5:16 pm

omerhanx, i noticed you have this car re regoed with the v6 modifications , any dramas getting this done and did you have to /or did you do the brake upgrade ?
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by kimrh » Tue 08 Nov, 2016 9:45 am

These Ecotec engines are great little 3.8ltr warriors and i had a lot to do with them when i had my 2001 VX Commodore some years ago.
I ended up adding a simple Raptor Supercharger to mine (from Tim in QLD who produces them) which is a bolt in kit for these engines and you can easily get them tuned now.
Mine i ended up going a bit overboard with custom pistons and mild ported heads and Commetic head gaskets and ARP head bolts - but all this is not necessary with low boost controlled for max 8psi
i got 306rwhp (228 rwkw/405nm) on a Dyno Dynamics dyno during initial tuning phase (see attached pics) but ended up swapping out the valve springs and improved on that later to 330rwhp if i recall.
They are great engines for accepting mild boost in standard format though to increase usable torque for street use and in that light chassis the W201 would really be quick but i suppose the Toyota engine options for more power would be the easier path.
Great conversion project you have achieved there and it sounds nice
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by merc-304 » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 9:19 pm

Have a read here mercinstein
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Mercinstein
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Mercinstein » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 11:57 pm

merc-304 wrote:Have a read here mercinstein
thank you merc -304 I have read through.


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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Mercinstein » Wed 28 Dec, 2016 8:22 am

G'day omerhanx could you possibly have any photos or discription of the modification of the pitman arm and the idler arm need too be done to clear the Buick starter motor. The steering box is about 6mm away from the block of the engine without the heat shroud on the steering box.ImageImageImage


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merc-304
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by merc-304 » Wed 28 Dec, 2016 8:33 am

omer has not been on here for nearly 2years.
Is your conversion from auto to manual ?
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Re: W201 V6 3.8lt Ecotec Conversion

Post by Mercinstein » Wed 28 Dec, 2016 9:06 am

merc-304 wrote:omer has not been on here for nearly 2years.
Is your conversion from auto to manual ?
G'day Merc-304 thank you . That's no good. Argh yes I will be using the T5 Borg Warner 5speed. From the Commodore.


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