Friday, May 27, 2011 - 12:08 pm, by: Matt Clarke(Handsomerob)
SEMA, Las Vegas. If you have never been to the event, it would be safe to say that you just haven’t lived life to its full extent when it comes to the automotive industry and its events that it has to offer around the world. SEMA blasts them down your throat
From the newly released production supercars from the big dogs to the latest gadgets available on the market from all over the world. They have it all and to see it in one day would be a miracle.
It’s a floor to ceiling fashion house of seductive man toys. Ladies, high heels are not compulsory on this event if your accompanying your man friend, trust me its long haul. If its not your thing, find a shopping mall and hook up at the end of the day, say 9pm on the first day
Every year that I have attended, there has always been one car that just stands out from the crowd. Last year was the 69 Camaro that just won hands down in my books but this year (2010) I saw god for the first time!!
In front of me stood the most amazing 61 190sl roadster I am ever likely to see. Built on a 2008 SL600 V12 chassis this little piece of oldschool had taken on a whole new life and just roared awesomeness.
Built by Hot rods and Custom Stuff in LA, the car took 18 months to build using a near new 2004 SL as the donor and 2 separate 61 roadsters to wrap around the bare German super beast chassis to finally bring to life what some people know of in the Mercedes world as “The Mercedes BENT”
After speaking to the builder personally for quite some time, he informed me that the total build price or sale price was close to $600,000USD and the car was already pre-sold. As soon as I picked up my jaw, I soon realized that when you’re talking Mercedes, you’re talking dollar signs.
The early 190sl roadsters fetch high dollars climbing from $35,000 for a project all the way to $145,000 fully restored. He informed me that car had to be lengthened across 7 points and widened 6 inches at the front and 7 at the rear to accommodate the late model chassis with the V12 6.0L twin turbo engine boasting 750ftlbs of torque
That part of the story sounds good already. The front custom grille was machined from one piece billet aluminum at a small cost of $5000USD. Considering that a standard 190sl grille reproduction will run you around $3,000USD, that isn’t to bad.
The custom 20 inch wheels were machined to resemble the yesterday era and also came at a hefty little price but at $5000USD for a set of boots to finish off this machine, and why wouldn’t you. The little merc isn’t just a show toy. This car hits the track and does it extremely well. Boasting 600Bhp in such a little roadster you can imagine the feeling would be quite stimulating.
I have always loved the Merc’s especially these old roadsters. There very rare, very hard to find, very expensive to restore and extremely expensive to buy restored. If your lucky enough to find a 55 190sl which was the first year they were built with very limited numbers, you would be one of a limited elite number of people in the world that own one. Only 1,727 built and 830 shipped to the USA, there up there with the Shelby’s with production numbers
A good friend of mine who is also a fellow exporter out of Texas calls me some months after SEMA to inform me that he may have something that would be of interest to me knowing my love for the oldschool merc roadsters
He says that he found an old 190sl in parts in an old guys garage but he wasn’t sure what year it was but the original numbers matching engine was fully rebuilt and it came with a lot of new spare parts. It was missing a few things and the he had lost all the data and Vin number tags and could not find the title. He says that if you inspect the odd car down in Florida for me, that he will pick this car up and deliver it to us down here in Florida and all I had to do was pay for fuel.
Im not quite sure how much this is going to hurt at this stage and I cant disclose what happened from this point on but it didn’t hurt at all. I am pleased to say that my wife, Sheri is now among one of these elite few that own one and it just so happens to be a 55 190SL roadster. Build number 666.
Mercanstein is alive!!
After some grueling 12 minutes on the internet, I had located a full set of blank data and Vin Tags, 9 in total, and at a cost of a can of coke and 2 big Macs (in the grand scheme of things), had a title on its way along with a build sheet.
We have looked at so many options with what we plan to do with the resto and at one stage it was going to be that candy apple red that she likes so much with tan leather interior but after seeing this photo, we have gone with silver with red interior.
As for engines, I have the original one that came with the car and has already been rebuilt but Im not in any hurry to sell it. I have 3 options at the moment. 289 windsor with all ford driveline, a 1996 black lid SR20 turbo with a 5 speed or a 1993 SC400 Lexus V8 with Auto trans.
Its currently needing some floor pans that I have chased down so I will try and keep this thread updated and see how Mercanstein unfolds
The possibility of RHD conversion is also on the cards but Im still on the fence with that one
Matt Clarke Newbie South australia 190 SL (1990 lexus V8)
He said that he had replaced the crank angle sensors and the timing belt and it still ran like shi7.
We got it back to the work shop and quickly started to diagnose the problem.
Timing belt has been done properly. So we moved onto getting the codes manually from the ECU. Was very difficult as the engine wasnt actually running.
Got afew codes but nothing that made any sence.
So we went straight to the heart of the problem. We ripped out the ECU and pulled it apart. Looked like it had a tad of burn along the board so we went onto ebay to find another. ONLY one in the entire USA. Car came from California and the ECU's for cali are all anti smog (thats ok...I will sort that later)
ECU went in on Wednesday and the car is now running but NOT responsive to throttle so the next thing is the airflow meter
I also have a spare nock sensor for the engine so I will swap that over also and start eliminating all the normal faults for this V8.
We took the exhaust off on Friday but havent got the 2 cat converters off the back of the exhaust manifolds yet as it could possibly be the cats are melted and causing restriction of the exhaust.
When your listening to it running/barely idleing, it sounds like that could be the case. I have allready checked for air leaks after the AFM and there were a few but even fixed it still ran like a pig but its running as if it has a vacuum leak.
While running, I disconnected the AFM and it didnt really change much in revs
Monday, Im going to take out the cats, if it no run, swap out the nock sensor, no run, chase an AFM, no run, crank angle sensor.
But before I do that, Im going to ring a mate who has a diagnostic computer that can plug into the car and read the codes and chase the problem
Today is Sunday and Im supposed to be heading out on the bike with a few lads but if I want to get any of these projects finished, I need to go down there today.
Taking the car outside and blasting the entire under chassis so I can start on that.
We are more that likely doing a 5 link rear in the ar5e end and a heidts front end and were going RHD
Im going to build this car for daughter (Maddy) and send it to Adelaide Australia
Im flying Shawn in from cali, a good friend who has done many of these types of conversions and was part of overhauling with Chip Foose.
Friday, May 27, 2011 - 12:18 pm, by: Matt Clarke(Handsomerob)
Spent yesterday morning ripping out the cats from the manifolds. (not an easy job and never is)
Cats were fine inside. Started the car and still non responsive.
Pushed it back into the corner and went on with more important stuff.
Later in the day, Angelo (my diagnostic wizard) came over and had it running in 5 minutes. It was one of the throttle body sensors. Now we can chase one of them up and rip the engine out and get rid of the lexus body.
Made a frame up on the weekend to get the merc up in the air and do the rapairs I need under the chassis. Going to be a NOT fun job.
Matt Clarke Newbie South australia 190 SL (1990 lexus V8)
Friday, May 27, 2011 - 12:19 pm, by: Matt Clarke(Handsomerob)
The Lexus pull down
We did this a few months ago, so its not recent. We stripped all the parts of the Lexus after we managed to get it running. It turned out it was the California style throttle body. One of the sensors was bad.
I wanted to salvage all of the electrical just in case along with the entire floor pan of the car. The front suspension in these cars just drops down with only 4 bolts and the rear does the same with 4-8 bolts. I have saved that also just incase Iuse the lexus arse end in it as that independent also but will require a few mods.
We tried a saw for a while and I gave up…wasn’t quick enough for the fatkid…..we broke out the plasma