Callaway Mercedes

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Callaway Mercedes

Post by Luigi » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:13 pm

Time to turn on the wayback machine!...


Motor Trend, May 1983 v35 p76(2).
By: Ro McGonegal

Full Text COPYRIGHT Petersen Publishing Company 1983

Diesel With a Difference

Throw a leg over the bolster and slip into the Recaro's palm. Feel the soft glove leather and fondle, please, the buttons for the contour bladders. Then lock your hands on the 3-spoke wheel, using the leverage to snuggle your buttocks to the seat. Pull the shoulder belt across your lap and hook it home. Twist the ignition and watch the gauges snap to attention. The lights burn as steadily as coals through the dash panel and the machine steals a few seconds to ready itself for business. Time is measured by the pumping in your chest and the wait seems much too long . . .

Okay, okay, stop twitching. You weren't waiting for an electric pump to stoke the Webers, you were indulging another electronic function, the one that supplies juice to the machine's uuuuuhhhmmm, aaahhhh, pre-heat system, the kind of system that brings life to a--yes!--diesel!

(Fade to black. This little psychodrama was brought to you by Callaway Turbo Sytems in Lyme, Connecticut.)

Standing in the silence of the marrow-cracking January cold was Reeves Callaway's sleepy 240D Mercedes, the unwitting cohort in a project meant to freshen his perspective somewhere between twin-turbo 928 brain-busters and the midnight shriek of the 4-cam Cosworth on his overworked dynamometer. Callaway was fully aware that the 240D has been the subject of hotair experimentation by others, but the Mercedes was largely unknown to him. He found something special. He found a wonderfully over-built automobile, a product created for the outer limits of the autobahn. But he also found the 240 to be a first cousin to Torpor, the pavement sloth, and sluggish automobiles have no place
in Callaway's calculations.

Perhaps more impressive than the M-B's bedrock physique was the way it handled, even with the comfort-prone Continental radials. Enough potential, reasoned Callaway, for certain owners to enjoy the car from a driver's standpoint. Everything in sight exuded indestructibility, so could the inner engine be any less substantial? His thought was to make the car respond at low speed and undergo maximum pressure by the time it reached 60 mph.

As Callaway puts it, "The conversion is a simple one and diesels are hard to hurt. The diesel benefits from a turbocharger more than a gasoline engine does, and it operates at an inherently lower exhaust gas temperature. The strain that a gasoline powerplant finds with turbocharging is just not realized in the diesel. The excess air generated by the turbo cleanses the combustion chamber, recovers heat energy, and yields a boost in horsepower.'

Underhood provision for the installation is prodigious. Despite the 4-cylinder's stock proportions, the distance from engine to fenderwell ensures proper clearance and ventilation for a hot turbo housing. Since the standard equipment is well engineered, Callaway's "Turbo Twins,' Don Miller and Kelly Parsons, preserved as much of it as possible.

For men of their experience, the 240 conversion was pure child's play. Rather than create an exhaust manifold of their own, they simply cobbled a new one, adding a stanchion on which to mount the turbo housing and modifying it further with the addition of a wastegate. Then they fabricated an elbow to link the turbo to the intake manifold; pre-production samples were tube steel, but the production piece in every conversion is cast aluminum.

At this point, an aftermarket oil cooler would have been included, but the 240 already had a good one. Aeroquip stainless steel lines complete its integration with the turbocharger. The brushed-aluminum air cleaner was moved forward a few inches to finish the job. The exhaust system has extremely low back-pressure (about 4 psi), so it, too, was left intact. (If there is need, Callaway will bolt up the even larger pipes from a 300D.)

By the boss' estimation, the result of this manipulation is a 45% power increase, boosting the 240D's 67 hp to an estimated 95. Fuel consumption for this vehicle with automatic transmission is 28 mpg, which the Turbo 240 has dutifully retained during 12,000 miles of operation. The automatic transmission has lost none of its harmony, and it shifts as smoothly as the day it hit the pike. But the 240's 0-60 ramble has been reduced by nearly 5 sec to the respectable vicinity of 15.5 sec, attesting to the turbo's healthy contribution to low-end performance.

Applying heavy leather initiates the hotair rush almost immediately and gives the driver a feeling of muscle in reserve. Even without exciting the turbocharger, Callaway finds that sluggishness has been transformed into willingness. The effect is that of hacking tomatoes day after day with a butter knife and then finding the joy and happiness that a freshly-honed blade can bring. The buzz that permeates the normally aspirated 240 at 60 mph is greatly subdued in the Callaway Turbo, and even at 70 the Mercedes feels completely relaxed. At lesser speed on a secondary road, one gets the impression that the engine finally has reached parity with the car's suspension.

A 300SD it is not. Years of Mercedes-Benz development have made the 300SD a strong candidate for the title of ultimate turbodiesel. The 300SD whistles to 60 in the mid-12-sec range, which makes the 240D Turbo a matter of economics and preference. At minimum, those four fleeting seconds will cost $6000 (the price difference between a new 300SD--suggested retail $37,000--and the Callaway 240D Turbo). The conversion includes everything we've mentioned, plus a boost gauge and an exhaust gas temperature meter. It retails for $1800 and will hinge itself to any 1977-82 240D.

Those who design to do the work themselves (we'll bet against it) will discover that the changeover requires about six hours, and putting the gauges in place another three. The leather Recaros and special steering wheel are Callaway's favors because he feels that man cannot live by turbo alone.

And who would contemplate this aberration? That's right, lawyers, doctors, "investors,' et al., with a strain of cayenne pricking their otherwise immutable demeanors. Demand is going something like this: The Twins were dissecting a stickshift mini-Panzer at the time of our test, shaking their heads in disbelief over the dozen 240s already waiting to become schizoid sports cars.
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Re: Callaway Mercedes

Post by Jeroenvgfn » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:58 pm

That could be my daily driver :beer

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