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Old 01-07-2006, 05:46 PM
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Need help with vette rear in a Mercedes

Got a 78 Mercedes 450SL with a SBC 383 stroker, 700R4 trans. and a modified vette rear. Engine and trans are in and now for the rear. The vette IRS chunk replaced the MB chunk, ( easy mod. ). The vette half shafts are tube type and the MB half shafts are solid rod type. In order to keep the wheel suspension and brakes, I need to mate the vette half shaft to the outer end of the MB half shafts that hook into the stock brakes. The outer end of the MB half shaft has a flat plate that looks like it can be welded to the vette half shaft. Anybody out there with some additional IRS input for this ChevyBenz street rod. Everything else has worked out great and this is all I need to do my first burn out. DOUG

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Old 01-07-2006, 08:03 PM
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Any competent drive shaft shop can fix you up with mating those different parts.

Vince
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:09 AM
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You're about 180 miles from me. If it was half the distance and gasoline was half as expensive, I'd drive by and take a look at your project. Sounds like something that can run with the Cobras!

Back around 1960, Bill Waddill, up in Flint, put an early Ford OHV V-8 into a 190SL for a customer. That was another sleeper, but not in the same league as yours.
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:37 AM
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Sorry folk's but this one's right down my alley.
I've been earning on Benz's since 78 and spending on Holdens, Chevs, Colts and Winchesters for the same time.
A 78 450SL should have a semi trailing arm rear susp with anti - squat. The 280/350SL's delivered here had no anti squat - their hubs ran in a bearing mounted on the (lower) control arm wheras the 450 and later 380 and 560SL's ran a floating mount pivoted at the rear of the arm.
The Benz driveshafts have a 6 element cv joint at each end of their solid shafts. Joining with a hollow tube would be easy but I suspect ballancing a 4 element uni to a 6 element cv could cause some problems. Perhaps someone has some experience with this as I don't and aim to keep it that way.
A 450SL rear end is at least as strong as a 75 Camaro 10 bolt, an 86 560SL rear is stronger, but not as strong as a 31 spline 9 inch - neither is ANY Vette irs.

If it were mine I'd use 560SL f & r susp (check the f & r scrub radius) and use a VERY competent driveshaft shop to mate the Vette front u - joint to the Benz rear biscuit with an internal slip joint of course.
But it is YOUR car and if you must use a Vette/Benz irs, just think balance.

p.s. sorry Billy but this one is up my street.

Last edited by IanRiordan; 01-09-2006 at 04:39 AM. Reason: to put an n in spending
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:26 AM
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Ian, the 190SL's are before your work time experience, but you probably found that interesting.

Anyway, you've brought up an interesting aspect. It's not so much a balancing problem as a torque variation with time problem. We certainly wouldn't put a CV joint at one end of a driveshaft and a U-joint at the other. But, this is a bit different. With such a driveshaft, you'd be coupling two relatively "solid" components. The result could be a disconcerting noise transmitted to the passengers. With such an axle halfshaft, however, you have a compliant tire at one end which would, I believe, "soak up" the problem quite effectively. So long as the U-joint is relatively "straight" at ride height, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:33 AM
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You don't want to WELD anyting to that flange on the Mercedes axle end! You need the matching flange off the Mercedes half shafts. I'm with Billy -- you shouldn't have a problem with a u-joint on one end and a CV on the other. Power pulses will be slightly different. You'll get an annoying vibration at worst, I'd think. There is a flat flange on the Vette axle as well, IIRC. You might be able to get a CV joint that will fit that. Or get the Vette outer ends (they should bolt to a flat flange also?) machined and drilled to fit the Mercedes flange. Most of these flanges have a ridge that mates to the shaft flange so that everything is centered correctly.

Billy mentioned something about no CV joint on one end of a driveshaft when a single u-joint is on the other. I guess a double cardin CV joint doesn't apply? I've seen lots of cars with a double cardin (double standard u-joint) CV joint on one end and a single u-joint on the other. Torque tube setups usually have one standard u-joint or a double cardin CV at the trans. The double cardin CV joint DOES have a similar action to a standard u-joint, of course.
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:54 AM
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Hey Billy I've done a bit of resto work on 190SL's , can't get excited about the German sidedraft solex's(weber copy). Also ralph nader wouldn't like the swing axle rear - has AIDS got him/her yet?
Farna, I've seen a cardin joint at one end with a true cv at the other - front shaft from t/case to ifs front diff on an asian 4wd. But generally the cardin is there to sort out poor pinion angles - Bronco/CJ7/Caddy or Lincoln.
Vibration is your enemy, Talledaga ms 1970 and the drivers walk out due to 'pogo effect'. Now that I've been arrogant and told the man what I'd do, lets solve his problem. If it's a pre 83 Vette rear it will have 12 inch discs,4 pots and internal handbrake. The 450 should have 10 in/2spot/internal. What about we keep the entire Vette rear, lose the wheel studs, drill & tap for Benz wheel bolts - 14 mm, and fit 560SL front brakes? This gives us 4w vented, same bolt pattern (requires 15 in wheels - 450 has 14s) and STANDARD parts availability if you break down out in the long and lonely whilst doing said burnout.
Good luck, send pix of your sump, I'll bet it's different.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:50 PM
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Chevybenz Update

You guys have been great with help. Some additional info, I`m using the vette rear cause I was told NOT to remove the driveshaft tube since it was part of the frame support. Got all this info from RENN TECH, the Mercedes gurus in West Palm Bch. They said that the stock rear would take a dumb when torque exceeds 300#. Thats a stock engine, computer says mine should make about 462# @ 3500. Cammed it to be a stump puller. The vette chunk it a good fit with plate adapter and an alum. chevy driveshaft will be used from 700R4 to rear with H.D. u-joints at each end. Now, if I get your drift, I need to hook the vette half shaft with u-joint to the center chunk. At the outboard end, I mate up a mercedes half shaft with cv joint to the vette halfshaft. I then bolt up to the mercedes outer brake assembly to retain the stock suspension and brakes. If I understand the principle, the cv joint at the outboard end will accomodate the movement of the halfshafts. How am I doing so far? THANKS, DOUG
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:21 PM
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Sump Question

Yo, Ian, I almost forgot your last question about the sump. With my first try at engine install, I thought I`d have to use a modified front sump or dry sump since crossmember was in wrong spot, BUT, since nothing else fit either, I wacked the firewall and took 3" out of the center and like majic, EVERYTHING fit. With the engine back 3", I now have a STOCK oil pan bolted in with clearance to spare. DOUG
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:04 AM
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Sorry Doug but I think I may have come down with toomanybeerslateatnightwhilereadingthequestionitis . I think I may now have a handle on your situation.
If you are using a Vette diff with EVERYTHING else in the rear Benz then here's the go - Your Vette centre will come with stub shafts for the inner uni of the half shaft to bolt to, load these into your parts chaser. Early W107 (71/89 SL) have a 'c'- clip on the diff end of the driveshaft but the inner and outer stub shafts are built into the cv. The later ones have 6 multi - spline bolts holding the inner stub to the cv, you need these.
Measure the overall width of the Vette diff/inner stub combo then do the same with the Benz gear. If you're lucky ( and I suspect you are) the Vette stuff will be wider.
Put the Benz inners next to the Vette ones, throw your notes into the glovebox then drive to your friendly neighborhood engineering shop. Get the Benz flange welded to the Vette splines and fit them to the diff. You'll probably find the axles are now too long, so as both ends are splined a custom set is viable compared to cutting and welding the old ones (they step up to the splines).
When all is said and done I still think a 560SL centre is a better bet, they bolt in, are much larger than a 450SL centre, as strong as a Vette centre and with all the rusty SL's in the northeast - probably cheaper.
Last thing, those outer cv retaining bolts and washers, reuse the spacer tubes but DO NOT reuse bolts or washers. Use mild (light blue) locktite and torque to 25nm (appr 17 lb/ft) Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:21 AM
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Ian certainly has a viable plan, but, when you consider the operations involved, it would seem to me that you're opening the door to the possibility of so many problems that a screwup, somewhere along the line, is certain to happen, what with the welding AND the machining of custom halfshafts. And, all of this is to avoid a problem which...in my opinion...doesn't exist. As I pointed out, the compliance in the tire will accept the torque variations from the CV/U joint mating. I should have also pointed out that the halfshaft is rotating at a speed much lower than that of the driveshaft. Personally, I'd stick with the original plan.

As for the strength of the stock unit: The limiting torque "seen" by the center section is that which causes incipient tire spin. Now, an argument can be made that, with the large engine, you would be spinning the tires a lot more often and thereby risking a fatigue failure of some part, but, apart from that, you might have gotten by with the original unit. (This is assuming, of course, that you're not going to be throwing on some wrinkle walls and taking it to the strip.)
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:50 AM
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I've only seen a couple of modified 350/450SL's, one was a twin turbo 450 (tight). I'm with Billy, I only said how to go about it , I didn't say it's a good swap. Personally I'd test the stock unit - they're ok, if and when it pops go (am I sounding like a broken record?) 560SL centre. Look at one and compare to a Vette. Happy burnouts.
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:00 AM
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Hey Guys...you're all wrong!

Use the Merc Diff,You only need to connect the Vette tranny to the mercedes Diff with a suitable drive shaft,
Here's what i can add to Ians posts,Back in the day ....AMG built two SL's a 350 and a 450 SLC,Both with the M-100 mercedes V8.
Now if if you have never heard of an M-100 ,they started off as the Engine in the Mercedes 600 ,Grosse( or Grand mercedes in English) .
The engine was also used in the W109 300SEL 6.3 .A road rocket which can run from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds,( this is a HEAVY car remember! and it's 1968-72!).
The Next version was the 450SEL 6.9. Again a big heavy car which will run to 140+mph and 0-60 around 7 seconds.all at a max rev of only 5000 rpm...
So AMG put one of these torque monsters into a 350SL but bored and stroked it to 7.2 Liters
WITH THE STOCK DIFF!
So what on earth are rentech talking about when they say the diff cannot handle the power of a chev????
Do as Ian says,get to the nearest merc Wrecker and buy either a 560SEL diff head or a 560 SEC diff head because it will be Limited slip.
These are both W126 Chassis.
I doubt if you will have any reliabilty problems as AMG,Brabus,Karlson etc etc have built some incredible engines for the Euro racing circuit which would eat your chevy and are still runing stock diffs so worrying about parts supply will be a " Non problema".And Mercedes Bits are available anywhere in USA.
I have a mate in Florida who has a 280SL with an M-100 which is running the w113 Diff!,Alos another mate has a Turbo charged 6.9..It will smoke the tires in all gears ...at any speed,again with the stock diff...Nope,I doubt you will breack a Mercedes Diff head ,Go with the flow and keep the superior engineering and Quality
Heres a bit of reading...
M-100 engines
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:03 AM
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The sliding sleeve in the w108/109/111/113 rear would break if old and abused, I fitted 3 to a German dentist's 6.3 in the early 80's but he used to belt it with a gutfull of Wolf Blass (German/Australian wine).
I fitted a new c/wheel and pinion to a new 6.9 in 1980, it was owned by a young politician named Jeff Kennett(rollbacks outside the TOC H - Toorak Hotel). But I've never seen a failure in a W107 or W126.
If I built a hi po Benz V8 (unlikely) it would be a 6.9. From 83 to 87 I worked in an authorised dealer with their own machine shop. With the sump off the 6.3 looks a bit like a smogger Olds - fairly light but the 6.9 looks more like an L88, how many cruisers you know of with a dry sump stock?
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:45 AM
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Hi Ian,I totally agree with the old swing arm diff problem,that sliding joint will spit out the back in a 3.5 ,never mind the 6.3!.At least you can grab them cheaply out of 108's .Sort of reminds me of my Flatty Ford days,fixing key ways etc and broken torque drives. .
You don't happen to remember what Colour Kennets car was* ?,I know a guy close to you who has Bondys 6.3....
My closet dream car....A 6.9 in my 26 Chev roadster( was 354 Hemi powered ) :evil
This is how you bust those early style swing axle diffs and it's all torque , no foot brake drama....


*I know some one who may have it now*

Last edited by mercmad63; 01-13-2006 at 03:59 AM.
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