Author Topic: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap  (Read 104 times)

Bidart39

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M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« on: August 08, 2019, 01:39:56 PM »
I've attached the same write up except with pictures below
I wanted to post a write of my experience swapping my 220S M180 to a 280S M130. There has been some info about this swap online but none that really detail the process. In my case it was a 1964 automatic to a 1969 automatic.

My old engine has compression readings ranging from 30psi to 100psi. The engine wasn't original to the car so I didn’t feel bad about leaving the old motor behind. The new (old) engine was from a donor 280S that my friend Michael had lying around. This engine had dry compression readings between 160psi to 170psi on all cylinders: almost like new! You can see the condition of the donor below:



The first order of business was getting everything disconnected from both engines. That includes removing the hoods from both cars, the fuel lines… I’ve attached the procedure from the workshop manual below.



Once all was removed from both vehicles, it was time to actually remove the engines. I was able to rent an engine crane for 35$/day, not too bad.

The first to come out was the M180. Get that piece of junk outta here! Throughout the removal, my father and I had to change the length of the strap that was under the main pulley (changing the angle), so that the transmission could clear the firewall. It came out without too much of a fuss. The engine was placed in the rear of the donor car, making for a rear engine air-cooled motor, aka Volkswagen!




Next was the 280S engine. Again this one came out fairly easily by adjusting the angle of the engine. While we had it out, we took the time to power wash the engine and get all the years of crud off the new engine.
After that it was time to install the engine in to my finny. It took a little finagling to get engine in.



Most importantly is to watch out for the accelerator linkage coming off the firewall. If it doesn’t slide through the “slot” under the exhaust and above the engine mounts then it is impossible to do it later, and will most likely bend the linkage itself.
We placed a rolling jack under the transmission mount so that it wouldn’t be sliding on the ground and could easily be moved around. Once the 2.8 liter was in, we were able to bolt the engine mounts on to the frame of the car, while still leaving the rear transmission mount on the jack.



Because the engine-transmission assembly is longer for the 2.8 liter, you need to cut a hole in the transmission tunnel. I’ve attached the photos of the hole in the tunnel. It was about 3 inches by 6 inches as you can see.








Also because of the longer assembly, the drive shaft needs to be shortened. It was difficult finding a machine shop or even a drive shaft shop that would shorten the drive shaft. They all said that they couldn’t work on drive shafts that were friction welded together. I finally found a machine shop that could cut and weld the shaft back together. The trick is to scribe a line along the length of the shaft. This is so that when you cut out about 2.25 inches from the middle of the shaft, you can weld it back together, letting the weights be in the same relation to each other. That way you do not have to have the assembly re-balanced.
Once my driveshaft was modified, it fit back between the transmission and the 2nd half of the driveshaft. So I go the flex disk in there as well as a new transmission mount.



I put the cross member back in, using the metal mounts from the donor car (on the right).




The next area of concern is the speedometer cable. You have to use the speedometer cable from the donor car. The end that connects to the speedometer itself is different, so I just taped the speedometer end to the speedometer. It’s ugly, but it works well.


(The donor cable is on the left).

The final part was just reconnecting various items such as the fuel lines and electrical connections for the generator (I stayed with the generator because it didn’t require any different wiring and was recently rebuilt).

We hooked up the battery and started it, and voilà! It started right up and sounded so much better! The power difference between a tired M180 and a young M130 is astounding. It feels like a new car!



Overall, this conversion took us about a week, working all day. I’ve never pulled an engine and neither had my father and we both found this quite easy. We were surprised at just how easy it was. Other than the driveshaft and the hole in the tunnel, it really is just a bolt in swap. I recommend this to anyone that has a tired old engine and can find a donor engine.

I hope this helps others that are considering it, and don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 04:16:04 PM by Bidart39 »

drew56cus

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Re: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 03:21:51 PM »
Good one Bidart.
I too have done this, and here are some extra notes from my memory.
I don't remember cutting a section out of the tunnel, i think we just 'massaged' it a bit with a hammer...
Also, the wires to the transmission are on opposite sides for teh two transmissions, so I had to make up a little extension lead.
The angle of the exhaust manifolds were different for the two cars, so I had to get new sections of exhaust made up. I ended up putting a hot dog muffler in and the car sounded great at revs, I even had a walker come up to me one day to tell me how good the car sounded.
I got an instrument shop to make a hybrid speedo cable up for me, so that it had the W108 trans piece on one end and the finnie speedo nut on the other.
Yep, don't rebuild an MB engine if you can help it, best to grab a rusty car and do a swap.

The other thing you may consider if you get a donor is putting the larger W108 fuel tank in - these cars like a drink.
Cheers, Drew
A few W111 and W112 projects...

Bidart39

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Re: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 08:37:07 PM »
Thanks Drew!

The exhaust that came with the donor has quite a few holes in it. I'm getting it repaired in a few days but for now I've been using the one from the M180. The exhaust shop I'm taking it to is going to create a custom muffler, I hope it sounds good.

Best,

Bidart

Scoot

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Re: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 11:48:17 AM »
How did you deal with the oil cooler, which I think is an internal heat exchanger on an M180 and under or beside the radiator on an M130?
1965 300SE Lang
1959 Borgward Isabella Coupé

Bidart39

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Re: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 11:52:40 AM »
The oil cooler on the 280S was mounted to the side of the radiator. The front opening is larger on the 280 to accommodate the oil cooler. I kept the oil cooler but just mounted to the side of the radiator inside the engine bay. I used L-brackets, pretty janky but it works  ;D. So far it seems to work fine. I've attached photos of the setup.

Scoot

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Re: M180 to M130 Conversion/Swap
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 09:27:14 AM »
The oil cooler on the 280S was mounted to the side of the radiator. The front opening is larger on the 280 to accommodate the oil cooler. I kept the oil cooler but just mounted to the side of the radiator inside the engine bay. I used L-brackets, pretty janky but it works  ;D. So far it seems to work fine. I've attached photos of the setup.
I like your solution.  I went through this issue when installing a 280S engine into a 250S, which has the narrower radiator opening.  I ended up source all of the external oil cooler stuff that is used with the 250S (and probably unique to it) which was somewhat of a pain.  But not that much pain, it was back when you could find a junkyard with a W108 without much problem.  Remember those days...   :-)
1965 300SE Lang
1959 Borgward Isabella Coupé