I received a message from F-Tune Performance recently asking for information about the U.S. market for builds using Mercedes gas engines. I wasn’t sure how to respond because I don’t hear much about that type of project. I’ve only been contacted by people interested in diesel builds.
I’m almost ashamed to mention it, but I’m looking for another project car. My current project isn’t finished yet, but I’m looking ahead and considering a couple directions to take. One is a “modern” Mercedes, probably a v6 or another popular, non-AMG, gas engine. While I like the om606 diesel, I’d like to become more knowledgeable about the gas motors. I’d also like to step into the current era of chassis models. But my enthusiasm slides downhill quickly when I consider the many different engine models and variations released in the last decade. There are so many engines to cater to, and I don’t know if any of them can produce enough power to be interesting.
During my chat with F-Tune, we quickly honed in on the m104. It’s not the latest generation gas engine by any means, but it’s capable of some serious power. It has far more to offer than the other late model, non-AMG engines I’ve researched.
Lately I’ve also been consumed by finding the best manual transmission alternative for the om606 diesel. The quick win for everyone is that the m104 shares the same bolt pattern. If I can offer different power packages -- from mild to wild -- and a transmission to mate up to it, everyone wins. With F-Tune providing the goods, the quality will be there.
I do have a reservation, however: the m104 may not be prevalent enough in the engine swap space to justify the expense of kitting, packaging, and importing a variety of offerings. If it were merely a matter of throwing parts on the website and ordering them from a reseller it wouldn’t be an issue, but proven performance packages that require fabrication are labor-intensive and expensive to produce.
With all of this in mind, I have a few questions…
- What’s your opinion of the m104?
- Would you be interested in various performance kits?
- What Mercedes gas engines do you think are the most popular for performance builds?
Don’t be shy – tell me what you think…