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SLK Donor?


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Hi all,

Let it suffice to say that I'm new here, have never built a car before, and am a complete novice, so some of what I'm asking my seem quite naive... but any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received.

I've been reading-up on building a Haynes roadster, and am nearly ready to begin. The example in the book uses a Sierra as the donor, which was a far more accessible donor car when the book was first published, but now their increasing rarity is driving the price up - even for an utter shed.

Another viable donor that others have turned to, is the MX5. These are of course far more commonplace, and a near-roadworthy example can be picked up for £500 or thereabouts.

For a little more than that, I have just come across a 2001 manual SLK230 Kompressor. Before I go wading in and throwing my money around, I was wondering whether anyone had used one of these as a donor previously, and what their experience was?

On paper, it's a 2.0l 4-cylinder engine with plenty of torque and power - thanks to the supercharger. It has the FR layout and manual box that I need, but being inexperienced and possibly over-optimistic, I wanted to know if anyone had tried this before I go biting off more than I can chew?

Cheers!

James

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Never heard of anyone using that engine which means you will be breaking new ground and have very few people to help you. If you were more experienced, I'm sure you'd be okay but as a novice, stick with the MX5 route. Lots of people have used them , nice and cheap (I can imagine the price of MB  spares) and you'll have loads of people able to help when  you need it.

Trying to squeeze the supercharger in would be a nightmare for starters 😁

Also, don't discount the Ford route - you don't need to buy a donor, you can just buy the bits you need. Lots of Zetec  engines, MT75 gearboxes, suspension parts etc available on eBay or from GBS if you've got enough cash. Even more people with Fords so lots of help and they are arguably simpler engines - the MX5 had loads of variants, some with VVT, some without, 1.6 to 2.0l engines - very confusing 😉

Edited by nelmo
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@nelmo, thank you for bringing me back down to Earth! 👍

What you’re saying there makes sense, and I guess there’s nothing stopping me trying it out in a few years once I’m more confident.

Also good to know about the Ford route, most of what I have read points to marrying up an engine to the Type 9 gearbox, but it sounds like things have moved on since then!

Lots to think about. Thanks again!

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I hope I haven't put you off 😉. When I built mine, I was also a complete novice - try reading the first few entries of my build blog (link in my sig below) and I've also got a page on there entitled 'So you want to build a kit car' which you may find useful.

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2 hours ago, nelmo said:

I hope I haven't put you off 😉. When I built mine, I was also a complete novice - try reading the first few entries of my build blog (link in my sig below) and I've also got a page on there entitled 'So you want to build a kit car' which you may find useful.

Put me off? Haha, definitely not!

Thanks for the tip - I’ll take a look. I guess everyone was a novice once. 👍

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I personally would do the Merc route as it should be a great install and amazing talking point.

We all love our creations and can talk (bore) people for hours on our babies.

I squeezed a Sierra Cosworth into mine and although many problems arose the result is mine.

Just got to sort out noisy hydraulic lifters and turbo with creep and all will be rosy😏

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