1 (edited by egesledder 2022-01-12 09:38 PM)

Topic: Caught in a Crossfire

Well, we're doing it, building Lemons' first Chrysler Crossfire.  One popped up for legit Lemons money with plenty of parts to sell and I couldn't pass it up.

None of us have any experience with Mercedes stuff, which this thing seems to be about 90% of.  Any suggestions on what to address to keep this thing on a track long enough to have fun?

It will be stock for at least the first race or two, but if keeping the Mercedes V6 and electronics going is as frustrating as everyone seems to think, then it will be getting a motor swap.  I've got plenty of spare Cadillac 4.9 parts around....  Any other swap suggestions?  Judge Phil says I need to swap in a L83 from the '84 'vette motor so it can be a Crossfire with Cross-Fire fuel injection.

Theme Ideas?

The Caddiata miata will still be racing too, this will be a second car.

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Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
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Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

I don’t think MB electronics are as frustrating as some make them out to be; stuff the biggest radiator in there you can fit, fill with 15w40 or 15w50, and go drive fast. The brakes, driveline, wheel bearings etc on these are plenty stout. Says the guy who ran a 90s era S class in 15 some races. The wife and I daily drive SLK230s which is to say, this same platform… 408k miles between the pair thus far.

Would offer you the L83 from my Vette but I bought it sans engine. I don’t think yours will run as fast as a 4.9 Miata but once you get used to the numb steering (box, not rack!) the SLK/Crossfire has decently high limits…

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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

As long as it's not an LS swap, you'd have to work hard to get penalty laps with it. Suspension is supposed to be good without changing it and these allegedly are stunningly good track cars. MAYBE IT'S THE SECRET WEAPON.

Early CAN-Bus systems—really any CAN-Bus systems—have theoretical nightmare potential, but I don't know that anybody has really run into that at the track.YMMV, but if/when it becomes a problem, you might find it better to go to Caddy 4.9L with 12 total wires in the whole system. Or a Crossfire L83; Phil is right on that.

It's also worth pointing out that the Crossfire nearly (though not quite) overlapped with sales of the Magnum 5.9L in the Ram and Dakota, which was basically a fuel-injected Chrysler LA-series pushrod V8. That engine family went back to the mid-1960s and was discontinued in 2003, right before the Crossfire came out. Swapping an old 318 or 273 into the sleek, barely camouflaged Mercedes-Benz is kind of the perfect representation of Daimler-Chrysler.

Sponsored by MERGER OF EQUALS.

(Yeah, I know you don't want to learn a new engine family when you already have spent years being the only ones to figure out HIGH TECHNOLOGY engines).

This is also a decent theme for a Charger/300, but the engine tech wasn't quite as ancient in those cars as the LA. Though I do know someone is building a Slant Six-powered '05 Magnum and that is Butt Excellent.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Though I do know someone is building a Slant Six-powered '05 Magnum and that is Butt Excellent.

Slant 6 for the WIN again!! You can't go wrong with the Leaning Tower of Power!! :-)

Off-Kilter Racing
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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Theme  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCwn1NTK-50.  Paint the car with the graphics from the game board.

Cant wait to see this on track

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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Isn't the standard answer:

"Put and Iron Duke in it"

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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

fitsbain wrote:

Isn't the standard answer:

"Put and Iron Duke in it"

I keep ranting uncontrollably at people that the standard answer is Y-block but nobody listens...

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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

To get even further out there how about a MEL V8!

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

mharrell wrote:

I keep ranting uncontrollably at people that the standard answer is Y-block but nobody listens...

I had the 292 in an old truck.
Very efficient motor... kicked a rod out, that smacked the starter, and busted off the bell housing.

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

If you guys DO want a crossfire I have a spare!!

Just sayin....

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11

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Very cool!

Ecotec all of the things!  Likely a pretty big step down from the stock V6 in power though (ours made 155 screaming horses at the dyno).

LFX motors seem to becoming a somewhat prevalent swap too and, I think, run relatively successfully.  I believe they make ~200 HP at the wheels. 

I realize these are pretty lame suggestions in the Lemony-sense but, whatevs, I'm suggesting anyway.  smile

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Oh, this is Awesome!  Mercedes are my second 'passion' (what normal people would call a sickness) after terrible GM crap.  The M112 V6 and M113 V8 are really, really great engines - really common to see 300k+ on them on the street and, with Mercedes, street reliability actually tends to translate to track reliability (from what I've noticed, anyway).  They're extremely modular too - my S430 ate its serpentine belt, and I wasn't sure why so I didn't want to spend literally dozens of $ on a new one, so I decided to look up commonality, thinking maybe an S500 and an E500 would use the same one.  Nope, every M112 and M113, from a C240 right on up to an S55, use the same serpentine belt.  I don't know what prompted them to do it, but, this engine family was designed to be used, abused, and not cared for, fixed with a sledgehammer, and they just don't quit.  There's a 5.0 V8 with 29k miles near me, pulled out of an SL500, for sale for $400, because there is just no demand for them - in fairness, the rest of the cars do tend to be terribly needy, but, not the engines.  I've really, really wanted to M113 swap something, but, the Volvo 240 is the project now, and, I"m pretty sure they're just way too wide to fit without getting into major work that I don't want to do. 

Fun Crossfire fact - mechanically, pretty much the only thing that is Not Mercedes on that car is the transmission.  For whatever reason, Mercedes decided that the Crossfire should not get their 6 speed manual, so Chrysler just settled for one from a Jeep Liberty or some crap.  Why?  Who knows!  (Other than Mercedes being giant dicks to Chrysler about everything).  But, weird.  Also, the only non-Mercedes DCX vehicle to get a Mercedes engine (other than the handful of WK1 Grand Cherokees with the OM642 diesel).   

Keep us posted, really excited to see how this one turns out!

Semi-Sentient Centenarians
1996 Buick Century - we upgraded our crappy GM sedan with parts from a crappy GM minivan.
"It's got a van motor, a 220 cubic inch plant, it's got van tires, van suspension, van shocks. It's a model with the catalytic converters ripped out so
     it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it a racecar or what?" - Blues Brothers, Probably

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

We finally started working on the crossfire with only 7-8 weeks until the June HPR race.  We got a radiator in it and drove it around a bit, it seems to run great and has decent Lemons-grade power.  Steering is SUPER vague, still baffling that they would put that setup in a "sports" car.

For the front end damage, ideally we'd chop the front off of another junk yard crossfire and weld it on, but all the crossfires that have shown up in the local yards all have front end damage...  We did snag a bumper cover and fenders that were missing, only minorly damaged.  We're working the John Pagel to do an "acceptable" rebuild of the front end with sheet metal and tube steel.

Anyway, so far everything is on track, cage install is going smoothly even with the small cockpit.  This will probably be one of the only caged Crossfires out there.

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Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

The thought that popped into my head was "Why do they all get wrecked in the front?"  As in, are they underbraked?  Or do people with the exquisite taste required to buy a crossfire just bad drivers

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Gone bye-bye
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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

cheseroo wrote:

The thought that popped into my head was "Why do they all get wrecked in the front?"  As in, are they underbraked?  Or do people with the exquisite taste required to buy a crossfire just bad drivers

Yea... We had the same question.  Just the bit of driving we've done in it, I'd say the brakes seem fine, so maybe its an owner thing.

Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

cheseroo wrote:

The thought that popped into my head was "Why do they all get wrecked in the front?"  As in, are they underbraked?  Or do people with the exquisite taste required to buy a crossfire just bad drivers

Watching with fascination!

But

All crashed the same? Don't look too deeply as there is no likely easy answer, but be wary/careful, I almost bet during panic braking they get away from you.

Back in the early 90s I bought (to fix and flip) a mildly front crashed mid 80s nissan pickup, easy fix I thought.... for 3 months of searching, every single one in the junkyard was front smashed or already robbed of the bumper/grille/rad/fenders. Nothing wrong with the brakes but about crashed mine while driving around...wound up selling it still crunched because lack of straight used parts... Conversely, racing a Infiniti J30 for 10+years,  I have looked at every single unit that shows up at the junkyards and only 2 were hit in front.  Something inherently wrong but not obvious with some cars.

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Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Team Infinniti wrote:

But

All crashed the same? Don't look too deeply as there is no likely easy answer, but be wary/careful, I almost bet during panic braking they get away from you.


I blame it more on small sample size.  Its pretty rare to see these pop up in yards, we've only seen 3 near Denver in the past few months.  One of those was technically a rollover, but the front was also smashed.

Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

18 (edited by egesledder 2022-05-12 08:59 AM)

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Getting very close to race ready!  Cut up a Sebring grill to finish off the front end.  Cage is done, seat and harness are mounted and ready.  I ended up adapting the wheels to 5x114 so we could run the piles of wheels and used tires we had from the Caddiata.  17" tires are so much cheaper than the 18's and 19's the crossfire came with stock, and used 17" tires that we already bought are free!

Finding a windshield for this thing has been very difficult.  Basically no one has them in stock, and no installer can find them, except for a few left in a Chrysler warehouse and they want almost $2k for them.  Was tempted to go Lexan or try and fit a used windshield in.  Then I found that Safelite claims they have some in stock, so I'm currently scheduled with them and waiting to see if this is true or not.

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Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

How was the Crossfire's big debut?

Semi-Sentient Centenarians
1996 Buick Century - we upgraded our crappy GM sedan with parts from a crappy GM minivan.
"It's got a van motor, a 220 cubic inch plant, it's got van tires, van suspension, van shocks. It's a model with the catalytic converters ripped out so
     it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it a racecar or what?" - Blues Brothers, Probably

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

I feel you on the windshield trouble. Safelite is terrible at it. I have a parts windshield and they still wouldn't do the work because it was in a frame and they won't do removals (even if I accept the risk of cracking). I'm pretty much relegated to DIY attempts to try and replace it myself and risk the cracking on removal.

World record simca driver, kei car owner, zymurgist
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21 (edited by egesledder 2022-06-09 03:58 PM)

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

First race went as good as it possibly could have!  We ran this as our second car and had a group of 6 new-ish drivers for the crossfire (3 were rookies, 3 were almost rookies)  It passed tech with zero issues, which was a relief, but we had talked extensively with John while rebuilding the front end and cage.  They put us in B with zero laps (mostly because we had a team of rookies running it, and it was a new build)  It then ran the entire race with no issues.  We also won the Organizer's Choice Award for finally bringing a Crossfire!!

I did do a short stint in it on Saturday while we were still trying to diagnose fueling issues in the caddiata, it handles much better than expected.  I actually don't mind the steering. Visibility isn't great but its manageable.  Power is good enough to be quick in a Lemons race.  We were just running the stock Crossfire brakes with some good pads and rotors, it was sufficient, but definitely needs some bigger brakes to go consistently quick.  It also needs a full revamp of the suspension, stiffer everywhere.  A limited slip diff in the back would also be nice.

Overall it was quite nice to drive.  The three people on the crossfire team that had driven the caddiata in previous races all said the crossfire was much more enjoyable and easy to drive and they all put down quicker times in it than they ever had.

I'm excited to evolve it further and see where we can take it. 


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Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Also, the windshield replacement went perfectly.  The safelite guy showed up and had it done in 30 minutes, and was super stoked to see a caged crossfire.  Yes, I would have done it myself, but literally no one except for Chrysler could find one for me.

Petrosexual Racing - 4.9 HT swap/Trashback Miata
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=35746
BFE GP '18 - 1st in C, High Plains Drifter -19 - 1st in B/Overall
Uh oh, Spaghettios...

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

You lucked out on that then. The only replacement NOS windshield I can find for the XR4Ti are all cosworth windscreens over in the UK. Shipping makes it cheaper to just DIY a lexan windshield here.

World record simca driver, kei car owner, zymurgist
1989 Merkur XR4Ti - Project Merkur Space Program - Winner "Halloween Meets Gasoline" The Pitt Maneuver 2022
1980 Dodge Challenger: Most Extreme eLemonAtion Challenger (Rust Belt Ramble 2021 Dishonorable Mention)

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

Having met Drew, I predict he'll sort it out for the fall race, then go big in 2023.  Expect awesomeness.

Re: Caught in a Crossfire

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1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)