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post #1 of 8 Old 06-25-2016, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Merak SS questions

Hi
I'm new to the group but will be asking many questions in the future. I have a US 1980 Merak SS (no Citroen hydraulics - I think it is a Tipo 80). I have had the car since the late 1980s (I don't remember the exact year). It used to be my daily driver and has 96K miles. The car engine and transaxle were pretty thrashed when I got it (it had about 30k miles). I overhauled the engine and transaxle then but the transaxle is now bad again and the engine is tired (and difficult to make pass California smog checks). The car has been parked for the last 10 years and the transaxle is now out (and very broke).
I have some questions about thee engine and transaxle serial numbers. How are they tied to the car VIN? Would replacing the engine or transaxle with different serial numbers potentially effect the car's future value? There is an aluminum plate in the engine compartment (right side fender well above the required lubricant plate) that has the numbers "460457" and "US21496" stamped on it. Are these tied to the engine and/or transaxle serial numbers?
Thanks
Sterling
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-26-2016, 10:56 AM
 
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The serial numbers of the engine and transaxle are documented in the production papers of the car, available at the Maserati factory. Some of those papers can be obtained from the factory for a price.

Yes, changing something major, like the engine, is a big no-no for a classic car. Many people don't care, but those who care will probably prefer to buy another car that hasn't had such a transplant.

The above numbers are actually the CARROZZERIA and AUTOVETTURA plate numbers, which are the body production serials.

The engine number is stamped directly onto the engine body and starts with 114. You can find all the information about engine numbers and the different types by reading the FAQ section here: https://www.merak-registry.com/faq/

My suggestion is to fix the existing engine and transaxle. There are lots of spare parts easily obtainable, although the cost will be rather high.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-27-2016, 02:53 AM
 
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The funny thing about the purists who "care" is they will on the other hand have no problems with taking off the US bumpers and doing a fair amount of body work altering the car for the Euro bumpers though!
Nor will they have issues with pilling the smog equipments and also installing headers, re painting the car in a different color, etc, etc.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-27-2016, 07:35 AM
 
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well said, but I'm not a purist

My suggestion will help him so that he doesn't limit his options in the future when he decides to sell the car.

Better than the alternative, to suggest to switch engines and then one day find out that his car won't sell as well as he thought.

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-27-2016, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Maserati Blue View Post
well said, but I'm not a purist

My suggestion will help him so that he doesn't limit his options in the future when he decides to sell the car.

Better than the alternative, to suggest to switch engines and then one day find out that his car won't sell as well as he thought.
Thanks, this was the kind of input I was looking for. I don't plan on making this a concurs car just a good driver. However, I didn't want to do something stupid for when I go to sell the car. I pretty much knew the engine serial number should be kept with the car I just didn't know that you need to go back to the build records.
The engine block had a significant issue that I made "good enough" the last time I was in there but it isn't optimal. I'm trying to determine if I should go through heroic efforts to make it right.
I plan to have Harry Martens either send me a rebuilt transaxle or rebuild mine. The shipping of the core from the US is as much as the core charge (and it is more of a hassle to ship). If there was no way to tell if I had the same transaxle installed I would just purchase the transaxle outright.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-27-2016, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Ungaro View Post
The funny thing about the purists who "care" is they will on the other hand have no problems with taking off the US bumpers and doing a fair amount of body work altering the car for the Euro bumpers though!
Nor will they have issues with pilling the smog equipments and also installing headers, re painting the car in a different color, etc, etc.
This brings up some of my questions. My car came with all of the US (and California) smog equipment. Most of it is still installed since I had to have smog checks every other year since I live in California.
I had custom headers made that mate to the stock exhaust system (the one that needs the large lower panel that gives it the "big butt" look). However, the muffler/resignator outer skins have holes corroded in them. I may be able to have it repaired. I still have the original thermal reactors (not currently installed). The headers are difficult to see and I never had a problem passing the visual check. However, I would always struggle to pass the tailpipe tests (and that was before they required the treadmill). I had rejetted the carburetors to European specifications and installed the larger venturis. Additionally, the requirements to pass the check are actually tighter than what is listed in the manual. I would lean out the settings enough to get it past smog and then readjust the carburetors after the smog check. I don't want to do that anymore so will probably put the carburetors to US specifications.
1) Does anyone have current experience with passing California smog tests? Any exemptions to allow for putting European parts on (i.e., headers, muffler, no air pump, exceeding CO, hydrocarbon limits)?
2) What things can I get away with and still pass the tailpipe test? Headers? European or custom/aftermarket muffler? Higher compression pistions? European camshafts?
3) For resale, is it more desired to have the engine with all of the original smog equipment installed or OK to have a mixture of European and US spec parts (or does it matter as long as I have the original parts available)?
Thanks
Sterling
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-27-2016, 06:07 PM
 
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I can't comment on the emissions issue because I don't know anything about it.

About your 3rd point, I'd say that it is important to have all the original equipment, even if its not currently installed in the car.

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post #8 of 8 Old 06-28-2016, 03:28 AM
 
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Yes, It is worth more with all of the original numbers matching and even if it is not installed that you keep all of the original bits, so the next owner can have them to put on if he/she pleases.
I was just pointing out the hypocrisy of some purists. My opinion is that if they are easily cloned cars such as a '69 Camaro Z28, or a YENKO or say a hemi 'Cuda, then people want to see numbers matching so they know the car is "real" but is a situation where all of the Meraks or whatever left the factory with the same transaxle, does it matter if it is numbers matching? ...No.
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