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Mercedes, outclassed from the get go?


Burrtio_jack
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Hello all!  My team an I are building a Mercedes 190e 2.3 for a race, working our best to be able to make the race in San Marcos, Texas in mid March.  I do not see a lot of these on the track and hopefully I am not a slow pig compared to the BMWs and Miatas that will be all over the track.  Any people have some suggestions for running more oddball cars to be competitive? I have included a picture so you can see what I am starting out with.

20170814_200645.jpg

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4 hours ago, jakks said:

There was one that ran last year at AMP. Was pretty comparable to our e30's and was fun battling him for a few laps. Seven G Motorsports was the team name. I can't find any info on them though.

 

They were pitted next to us, beautiful car. I don't know anything about Daimler engines but the one in this car looked pretty trick, it had a really nice stainless header and either Webers or ITB throttle bodies.

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Great chassis, but not that great of a drivetrain.  2.3 is anemic at a measly 130hp.  The 6cyl had ok power (160-ish hp), but not sure if they came with a 5-spd and I don't know how easy merc manuals can be found stateside.  I don't think they imported many manuals after the late 80s.

 

Since its only 300pts to start I'd get the chassis/brakes sorted first and then research swapping.  MBMW by swapping in an M52 and 5 speed from a late E36?  Or maybe an American V6/5-spd?  The car is actually pretty light (factory curb only 2600-2800lbs) so once you get all the heavy bits out it should be in the low 2000s pretty easily.  I don't think a V8 swap is wise with only 14.5gal tank (16.5 with cell).

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We just completed our first chump race in our 190 this past weekend at Gingerman. Our car was a 2.6 5spd, we had ran at two track days and some autox events prior to this weekend with no issues but struck reliability problems immediately on Saturday, swapped the engine, then had issues shredding belts on Sunday but were able to do over 70 laps. Cooling issues both days. The cooling system is plenty sufficient when working but we have found is just pretty difficult to bleed.

 

Pace wise the car I think is plenty capable. Our fastest lap this weekend was a 1:52, with a good bit more had all the drivers gotten seat time. Our car as raced is I believe 390 points, with the only value adds being sway bars front and rear and an attempt at an lsd which doesn't seem to be working perfectly right now. Realistically I think the car would have been capable of cracking 1:49 if we ran more. Benefits to the mercedes is that you can parts bin many components from other same era mercs to get bigger brakes, springs, sways, wheels, etc for cheap from wreckers or parts cars. You have a fairly good selection of "easy" engine swaps. The car is fairly light, as raced no fuel is probably 2500ish, though is a bit nose heavy with that huge M103. Downsides I would say are primarily due to its rarity as a conventional enthusiast car. Aftermarket parts just aren't available or readily made like they are for miatas and bmws.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
16 minutes ago, theblue said:

 

had no problems getting by the one that was at the glen with the newer V6/I6.    Really nice guys on that team as an aside.

 

The car types models and makes don't have much bearing on how fast or successful a team is. 

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2 minutes ago, red0 said:

 

The car types models and makes don't have much bearing on how fast or successful a team is. 

 

... as demonstrated by the Honda marquee.  There are some very successful teams and others not so much.

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The biggest issue is the small fuel tank. You can only do so much before it becomes a limiting factor. Let's check the stats and start by looking at "The Golden Standard" of Chumpcar, the BMW E36 (not to be confused with the M-B E36 ;)). I used the Chumpcar accepted source for specs.

 

The competition: BMW E36:

1. Power to weight: 15.5 lbs/hp

2. Fuel to weight: 170.5 lbs/gallon

3. VPi: 500 pts

 

Compare those numbers to

190e 2.3:

1. Power to weight: 22.3 lbs/hp

2. Fuel to weight: 200 lbs/gallon

3. VPi: 250-300

 

190e 2.6:

1. Power to weight: 18.97 lbs/hp

2. Fuel to weight: 206.8 lbs/gallon

3. VPi: 325

 

I like the W201 but I think there's another MB choice with more promise: the W124 chassis.

300CE-24 (M104)

1. Power to weight: 15.0 lbs/hp

2. Fuel to weight: 176.4 lbs/gallon

3. VPi: 300

 

The right W124 chassis stacks up very well to the E36 and has 200 points available to play with, and all the comments about the W201 suspension apply to the W124.

 

Maybe you can trade up; that's a very nice looking 190e!

 

But in the meantime, enjoy some MB supremacy:

 P.S. For those watching and noticing how often the back end of the Benz is out: it's not that the car is twitchy, it's that it can be taken to the limit and slightly beyond regularly with confidence. Fun!

Edited by mender
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Wow!  Thank you all for the responses!

 

This car was a heck of a deal and I couldn't pass it up.  $700 with brand new wheels and tires, $0 investment and got it running with a charge on the battery and new gas.  We had planned on doing one of the easier swaps to a e300 motor (3.0 i6 ~200hp or 3.2 i6 ~220hp) with a 5 speed behind it, but we were also considering just getting it on the track with the pig motor and get a race or two under our belts in this series.  We were also going to steal some larges brakes from the e300.

 

Mender!  That is a great breakdown of advantages.  It has brought up the discussion of flipping the 190e.  

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8 hours ago, Burrtio_jack said:

Wow!  Thank you all for the responses!

 

This car was a heck of a deal and I couldn't pass it up.  $700 with brand new wheels and tires, $0 investment and got it running with a charge on the battery and new gas.  We had planned on doing one of the easier swaps to a e300 motor (3.0 i6 ~200hp or 3.2 i6 ~220hp) with a 5 speed behind it, but we were also considering just getting it on the track with the pig motor and get a race or two under our belts in this series.  We were also going to steal some larges brakes from the e300.

 

Mender!  That is a great breakdown of advantages.  It has brought up the discussion of flipping the 190e.  

Let's continue the process and I think that discussion might move a little quicker. ;)

 

Here are the numbers that pop up when using the Chumpcar swap formula to do the M104 swap on the 190e:

1991 190e VPi: 325

Swap weight: 2669 lbs (used by Chump to determine the added points)

M104: 217 hp

Points added for swap: 132 pts

Total: 457 points

 

So if you use a 300e engine, your 190e value is already at 457 points!

 

Makes a lot more sense to me to use the rest of the 300e as well, you get the big tank and brakes and a whole bunch more points to play with! You don't have to do a swap, the engine's already in there! Plus you can buy body kits to build a clone of this:

33b5d2abdc3d8090958ee254550d6f69.jpg

 

It's Hammer time!

 

Okay, now a plug for not doing a manual swap.

 

Don't forget that you can deduct 75 points if you run it as an automatic. If you're going that route, a 300CE-24 with the 5 speed auto has the 3.69 rear gear ratio and the trans bangs off the shifts at the 7000 rpm redline. It has decent ratios; here's a chart of the speeds in gears:

1st = 34 mph

2nd = 59 mph

3rd = 93 mph

4th = 133 mph

5th = 177 mph (good luck!)

 

As it turns out, the slowest corner at quite a few tracks is about 35-40 mph at the apex, making 2nd gear great for a hard run out of the corner. 3rd gear runs to 93mph, accommodating most short straights and medium-speed twisty sections, and 4th peaks at 133 mph, just about perfect for the main straight at all but the big tracks.

 

All that for only 225 VPi, leaving 275 points for mods. No engine or trans or brake swap so you can concentrate on the other stuff and get it on track sooner. So much better!

 

Send me a PM and we can get into details best discussed away from snoopy Chumpers. :P

Edited by mender
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10 hours ago, mender said:

Let's continue the process and I think that discussion might move a little quicker. ;)

 

Here are the numbers that pop up when using the Chumpcar swap formula to do the M104 swap on the 190e:

1991 190e VPi: 325

Swap weight: 2669 lbs (used by Chump to determine the added points)

M104: 217 hp

Points added for swap: 132 pts

Total: 457 points

 

So if you use a 300e engine, your 190e value is already at 457 points!

 

Makes a lot more sense to me to use the rest of the 300e as well, you get the big tank and brakes and a whole bunch more points to play with! You don't have to do a swap, the engine's already in there! Plus you can buy body kits to build a clone of this:

33b5d2abdc3d8090958ee254550d6f69.jpg

 

It's Hammer time!

 

 

Ok, I agree with 90% of what you're saying (except the auto, because I can't do an auto race car)....BUT, what is the actual weight of a W124?  Wiki lists nearly 2 tons....and it can't be THAT much heavier than the 190.  I keep forgetting that engine swaps have a performance adder now and not the standard "I can do it for 50pts" nonsense of yesteryear so that again points more towards the 124...if you can get it down around 2500lbs.

 

The Hammer was one of my dream cars growing up.  Dad had the 84 190E 2.3/5spd followed by a W124 300E, and I always loved those cars.  He also had a W108 280SE4.5 that I would love to have now.

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