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Old 8th March 2008, 01:42   #1
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Default advice on buying a used merc with a bootleg engine

Hi
This posting is probably anathema to the users of the site, but I could use your advice. Also, sorry but I posted it in the wrong place earlier - so please dont flame me...

I have been looking for a vintage merc (w111/112/113) for a while but have not come up with a satisfactory vehicle.

I am talking to someone in Hyderabad about a "ponton" (w120) but it turns out that the car needs considerable engine and body work.

I just saw a w115 (230D), which has been retrofitted with a Matador engine (don't laugh, this is a common practice since they share a common chasis as a result of an earlier collaboration) and is in decent running shape, with the fittings pretty intact.

While this is an apples-oranges comparison, not in the least because of the different models and provenance of the engines, I would like to know if anyone has an experience with the matador retrofits. What is the engine like? Are they troublesome? What is the benefit in terms of lower cost to maintain, replace?

Thanks for your advice
Best
Amitabh
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Old 8th March 2008, 14:05   #2
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Matador engines are good for matadors, yes they are relatively cheap to maintain. Diesel pump calibration is very critical for proper running of these engines, which are archaic low rev engines. Runs for about a lakh to lakh and half kms without giving much trouble.

I wouldnt suggest it to be in the bay of a Merc.
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Old 8th March 2008, 14:33   #3
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I remember reading somewhere, sometime in the distant past, that Matador uses a 616 engine from Mercedes-Benz (as it then was). You will be simply "rendering to a Merc what belongs to the Merc".
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Old 8th March 2008, 16:31   #4
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Quote:
that Matador uses a 616 engine from Mercedes-Benz (as it then was).
Wasn't it the Bajaj Tempo that used the OM 616 engine?
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Old 8th March 2008, 22:02   #5
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Matador never had Merc engine - Bajaj Tempo Trax had and they still have it. Yes I wouldn't suggest buying this kind of vehicle.

If you are looking for a Merc - you can visit many car dealers or can also try online sites which sell second hand cars.

I had seen a E220 (W124) myself - 1996 model selling for 4.25lacs. Try to buys these kind of vehicles instead of modified mercs.

Also mercs are a status symbol, do you want to spoil your image by using a vehicle which will run as fast as a Matador and make as much noise as a tractor ?

Regards,
Kailash
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Old 8th March 2008, 22:19   #6
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Err... My understanding was that the Indian version of this vehicle:-

Image:Hanomag henschel f25 v sst.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

had the OM 616 engine. That vehicle (or rather, Bajaj's / Firodia's version) was referred to as the Matador and as the Tempo by so many people.

And the "mention" I referred to was in the review of a real Merc Benz van by an Indian magazine. The review positioned the vehicle as the ideal pick up vehicle for hotel guests from Airports. The words the review used, while describing the engine was something like "the engine is OM 616, which is the same engine we find in the Tempo (or was it Matador?) and is tried and tested in Indian roads". Another thing I recall about this review was that it mentioned the vehicle as having a "soft suspension", with a long front overhang, which meant that the vehicle would hit the road while breaking hard. I do not recall which Magazine published that review.

I came across the phrase "soft suspension" for the first time in that article, and also the concept of long overhang + soft suspension = front hitting the road during hard breaking, and the fact it mentioned that a vehicle from Merc has an identical engine as a a vehicle manufactured in India. These things startled me, and I am unlikely to forget that article so soon.

The image above is taken from:- Tempo (car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Here are some more links:-

Werbeaufnahmen MB L 206 / 307 etc.

Bajaj "Tempo" is a three seater:- Bajaj Tempo Hanseat

The full list of the photo gallery:-

Das virtuelle Tempo Museum

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 8th March 2008 at 22:33. Reason: Added some more links
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Old 8th March 2008, 22:49   #7
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Quote:
Bajaj "Tempo" is a three seater:- Bajaj Tempo Hanseat
I meant "three wheeler" of course.
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Old 10th March 2008, 15:39   #8
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Fellas
Thanks for your spirited and very knowledgeable replies.

I know that I'm getting a tractor in a merc's clothing - but I've test-ridden it with a merc expert, ex-United Motors, who says that the Firodia/Tempo/Bajaj engine as it were is probably more refined than the original '71 diesel ever could be (post 35 years of use, that is).

I'm more of a design buff - and it is the lines of the car which appeal to me - hence this little con and I apologise for any feelings I've hurt.

Can anyone with price guidance (the car is in decent shape, with some, not all, of the interiors intact) PM me?

Thanks again
Amitabh

Last edited by amitabhnanda : 10th March 2008 at 15:48.
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Old 10th March 2008, 19:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitabhnanda View Post
I know that I'm getting a tractor in a merc's clothing - but I've test-ridden it with a merc expert, ex-United Motors, who says that the Firodia/Tempo/Bajaj engine as it were is probably more refined than the original '71 diesel ever could be (post 35 years of use, that is).
So, it is confirmed that OM 616 fits this vehicle? Is it a simple "drop in" replacement? ie., without modifications to the engine mounting points and gear coupling points - like flywheel, etc?

If so, your question can be rephrased as "If spares for a product from a German manufacturer is made in India, does it make any difference for restoration of vintage cars?"

I dare not answer that question - I am a mere gawker at shapely curves.

(Aside:- Is the vehicle currently having a 616 engine? If so, why can't the engine be rebuilt using the OM 616 parts? Take apart the existing engine and take each part needing replacement to a new spares dealer asking for OM 616 parts - taking the old parts only for comparison.)
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Old 10th March 2008, 20:29   #10
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OM 616 is not the one on the indian matadors in general and was introduced at the end of the life cycle. Original engine was D301E2 refer page 3 here http://www.tempoindia.com/sheeba/for...s/brochure.pdf Page 4 has details of when OM 616 was introduced, am still not sure it came in Matadors though.

OM 616 parts were exorbitant (ones that came in Gurkha and all) and that was ONE of the reason why it was not doing very well also.

Am not sure of the latest ones that force motors use, these were derived from OM 616 is what i have heard and maybe the parts MIGHT be less expensive.

If you are buying the car for the shape, then all this doesnt matter. But if you are planning to restore it proper i wouldnt even dream of an alternative like matador engine in it.

Last edited by Jaggu : 10th March 2008 at 20:31.
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Old 10th March 2008, 20:50   #11
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Would you go out with a shapely young looking woman with the heart of an old maid? OK nevermind, my advice is all rubbish anyways.

Good luck!
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Old 10th March 2008, 21:04   #12
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The Matador had two models. the 305 and the 307. the 307 has the mercedes OM 616 engine and this is the same engine that is used in the Tempo Traveller and also the Tempo Trax.

This is a very good engine and I have had both W115 and W123 models with this engine. This engine will easily do over 2.5 lakh KM.

This engine used on the tempo range of vehicles is the same except for the oil filter, the Mercedes uses a different type of filter housing, however the go into the same holes in the block as the Tempo.

Check the below links
Mercedes-Benz W123 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mercedes-Benz W114 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cheers.
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Old 5th April 2008, 23:36   #13
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Hmmmmm.

So did you go ahead and buy it ? How much did it cost you ?
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Old 6th April 2008, 12:31   #14
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Hey Man.
Still on the fence. Using the time to try and look under the lids of the salesman's eyes to see if there's any darkness lurking there (he refuses to let me take the car out to a garage for an evaluation).
Also also still desperately hoping a convertible (pagoda) turns up somewhere.
Will keep you posted.
A
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Old 6th April 2008, 20:47   #15
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Hmmmm. The Salesman refusing to show the car to a mechanic. It tells me that he is hiding something. :(
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