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I am a small auto repair business in Northern Ohio, specializing in domestic autos. I now have a 1981 380 SL that needs a new engine and transmission. While shopping for a good used engine, someone told me that the "500" engine is a direct bolt-in, except the exaust manifolds need to be changed. I really do not know much about the car, so any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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I would be very wary of attempting this job without having done it before. The Germans did a lot of things quite differently when they engineered them. I believe a grey market 500 motor would drop in without too much drama (this being a very relative observation). I've been burnt a few times doing jobs on cars I don't specialize in, and don't try it anymore. Proceed with caution. With the right technical references and some common sense, a professional should be able to get through it. I would pad the hell out of your estimate as there are guaranteed to be all sorts of little things that will add up very quickly.
 
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