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View Full Version : What constitutes a "real" AMG Hammer ?



jhodg5ck
12-10-2010, 10:32 AM
[MODERATOR'S NOTE] - Split this topic off from Austin's Hammer "For Sale" ad as it was hijacking the thread.


Bump for Austin and his spectacular Hammer..

I am a bit curious as to what constitutes a quasi Hammer?

Jono

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gerryvz
12-10-2010, 11:09 AM
A quasi-Hammer would be a retrofit not by AMG, or perhaps a Beverly Hills Motoring car that received AMG external tweaks, but no M117 powertrain. In other words, a "lookalike" with stock go-power.

Cheers,
Gerry

2phast
12-10-2010, 11:18 AM
A quasi-Hammer would be a retrofit not by AMG, or perhaps a Beverly Hills Motoring car that received AMG external tweaks, but no M117 powertrain. In other words, a "lookalike" with stock go-power.

Cheers,
Gerry

I would also consider non-AMG built cars WITH AMG power plants as quasi Hammer's.

This is my personal opinion of course. The quasi Hammers still are collectible, they just don't garner the same value as a true AMG built vehicle would.

gerryvz
12-10-2010, 11:33 AM
I would also consider non-AMG built cars WITH AMG power plants as quasi Hammer's.

Agree 100%. :thumbsup2:

jhodg5ck
12-10-2010, 11:50 AM
I haven't seen any Hammer's that weren't built @ an AMG facility, be in Affalterbach, Westmont or BHM...so I suppose the question comes down to, who qualifies as AMG :-P

jono

gerryvz
12-10-2010, 02:56 PM
You mean to tell me that a garage mechanic or indy shop somewhere has never dropped an M117 into a 124 body? Analogous to what Satish did with dropping an M119 into a C126?

There were quite a number of places that billed themselves as AMG back in the day. We even had one in Portland, OR. I think they tended to be places that were "approved" by AMG mainly to sell external bolt-ons. But I've seen cars with stock powertrains billed as "Hammers" too. Many were converted/modified by these types of shops.

It's been done ...

Cheers,
Gerry

gsxr
12-10-2010, 03:14 PM
IMO, the only true "Hammer" would be one of the 13; although I thought it was also loosely applied to any DOHC M117 car. I wonder how many DOHC 117's exist today... I bet it's not many.

gerryvz
12-10-2010, 04:22 PM
I think that debate's been hashed through already (not here, though) and yes, it must be an AMG-built car with an original AMG M117. Then there's the subject of whether a "Hammer" is a 124 coupe or sedan....oops, I won't go there !! :smack:

There are some DOHC 117s out there that have been removed from other cars. Heck, IIRC Jono's got a lock on a number of them... :bananadeath:

Cheers,
Gerry

jhodg5ck
12-10-2010, 06:35 PM
I haven't seen any DOHC W124's that were created outside of known AMG facilities. Each car that floats around tends to have a readily traceable history.

IMHO, which is largely based on reading every old article I can get ahold of and chatting w/ Hartmut, the only cars that are Hammers are W124's w/ a DOHC M117 dropped in along w/ the re-engineered subframe/s-class differential etc..
13 or so sedans..I can think of 4 here stateside off the top of my head, about 5 or 6 coupes of which @ least one, possibly two is gone that I know of, and one wagon.

Keeping track of what was done in Japan adds a whole other layer of complexity, but I do know there are @ least a Few W124's w/ DOHC M117's running about, although the Japanese got into the M117/119 hybrids in a big way (something NA never saw since AMG NA imploded)....which adds yet another layer.

They made less then 200 M117 DOHC engines, including those made for marine use. the early ones w/ the smaller cam bearings loved to blow up, I have yet to nail down a definitive engine number where I can say w/ certainty that by XXX all DOHC M117's had the 27.5mm cam bearings... one day I'll get there;-)

As for loose DOHC M117's, I can think of 5 in the states.. one is here for repair. One is sitting in a shop in cali and the others are in pieces @ various locations.

Jono

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gerryvz
12-10-2010, 06:45 PM
the Japanese got into the M117/119 hybrids in a big way (something NA never saw since AMG NA imploded)....which adds yet another layer.

By "M117/M119 hybrids," are you meaning M119s with slightly modified M117 cranks to stroke them up to 5.6?

jhodg5ck
12-10-2010, 07:47 PM
nope, as best I can tell it looks to be an M119 w/ a 117 front cover..
A-la:
http://www.wintel.co.jp/vcs_photo/photo ... 0141-8.jpg (http://www.wintel.co.jp/vcs_photo/photo8/536-1_000141-8.jpg)

Some have said that it's M119 heads strapped to a 117 block.. having had both disassembled next to each other/checking out spacing/ports/bolt patterns etc, I say No Way. But, the strapping of a 117 front cover onto a 119 does have a certain appeal should one want to drop it into an M117 equipped car.. makes the engine plug and play.

jono

2phast
12-10-2010, 07:58 PM
I haven't seen any Hammer's that weren't built @ an AMG facility, be in Affalterbach, Westmont or BHM...so I suppose the question comes down to, who qualifies as AMG :-P

jono

Any non-AMG of Germany built car is a quasi Hammer.

AMG of Japan is definately a totally different story. They were much more than a reseller. AMG of Japan actually manufactured parts and built flavors of cars that AMG of Germany never built.

Not sure where I stand with the JDM AMG cars. I have looked into purchasing several at one point and they are very well built, documented, and in many cases the AMG options are coded into the VIN. If it wasn't so difficult to get these into the US, I would have a couple. :3gears:

jhodg5ck
12-10-2010, 10:20 PM
So, by your rationale a Hammer built @ Westmont by Hartmut and the boys is a quasi Hammer? Interesting, I think HF & RB would argue otherwise on that point! I for that matter feel differently, but I suppose that's understandable having two quasi Hammers in my fleet :-P

Funny you mention JDM doing things that AMG in Germany didn't do..my Wagon was just such a project here stateside. HWA thought Hartmut was nuts for putting the 6L 32V engine in a wagon, but HF wanted to prove it could be done. 400+ hours later....

I had a JDM AMG 560SEL 32v 6.0L in the shop, wasn't built any differently then my 560SEL 32v 6.0.. Only gripe was the fellow taking care of the car in japan..he put goop on EVERYTHING adding Multiple hours just to do a valve adjustment and intake re-seal.. :banghead:

jonathan

----------------
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gerryvz
12-11-2010, 08:44 AM
I would definitely consider any 124 with a 117 motor, installed at Westmont by AMG NA, to be a true Hammer. It doesn't have to be a German-built car. AMG NA had full support of AMG Affalterbach not to mention imported expertise. I wouldn't include BHM cars as Hammers - they mainly focused on cosmetic AMG mods (external).

Cheers,
Gerry

2phast
12-11-2010, 04:58 PM
So, by your rationale a Hammer built @ Westmont by Hartmut and the boys is a quasi Hammer? Interesting, I think HF & RB would argue otherwise on that point! I for that matter feel differently, but I suppose that's understandable having two quasi Hammers in my fleet :-P

Funny you mention JDM doing things that AMG in Germany didn't do..my Wagon was just such a project here stateside. HWA thought Hartmut was nuts for putting the 6L 32V engine in a wagon, but HF wanted to prove it could be done. 400+ hours later....

I had a JDM AMG 560SEL 32v 6.0L in the shop, wasn't built any differently then my 560SEL 32v 6.0.. Only gripe was the fellow taking care of the car in japan..he put goop on EVERYTHING adding Multiple hours just to do a valve adjustment and intake re-seal.. :banghead:

jonathan

----------------
Now playing: Califone - Mean Little Seed (http://www.foxytunes.com/artist/califone/track/mean+little+seed)
via FoxyTunes (http://www.foxytunes.com/signatunes/)

I do state upfront that it is "my opinion". I Can respect your view and opinion on the topic as well. At the end of the day, the vehicle is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. A highly documented car with a pedigree almost always garners the highest dollars when it comes time to sell. But given what Aaron sold his 6.0l Coupe and 6.0l wagon for (at Barrett Jackson) that logic isn't always correct. (And yes, BHMA built many 6.0l coupes and wagons)

But if you put a BHMA 6.0l W124 against a AMG of Germany 6.0l W124, the latter would be worth twich as much. There is a pedigree with a true AMG car over a car with a bunch of bolt on parts built by a reseller.

AMG of Japan not only built tuned vehicles that AMG of Germany didn't but also parts. Many carry HWA numbers on them but not accessible through the EPC. Take a look at one of the other threads about the AMG 400e. That was a unique AMG of Japan vehicle with some unique parts on it as well.

Oh, one last thought. I would own any of the above mentioned cars whether a true Hammer or a quasi Hammer. Austins car justifies his asking price, there is heritage and history in that car. If his car was built by one of the other US companies, I would still buy it, but it would have to be priced in the 20 grand range.

2phast
12-11-2010, 05:14 PM
I would definitely consider any 124 with a 117 motor, installed at Westmont by AMG NA, to be a true Hammer. It doesn't have to be a German-built car. AMG NA had full support of AMG Affalterbach not to mention imported expertise. I wouldn't include BHM cars as Hammers - they mainly focused on cosmetic AMG mods (external).

Cheers,
Gerry

Agree 100% with your BHMA comments, but....BHMA probably built more quasi Hammers than Westmont did. BHMA claimed that they bought more 6.0l M117 motors than any other reseller. Given the number of quasi Hammers I have seen over the years (from BHMA) for sale, it seems that claim might have some validity.

gerryvz
12-11-2010, 06:51 PM
Austin really ought to call up the MB Classic Center in Irvine and have a discussion with the General Manager there, given that his car is one of the very few documented "real" cars by AMG in Germany. I'd bet they would buy and even restore the car to pristine condition.

Cheers,
Gerry

omegabenz
12-11-2010, 08:55 PM
Austin really ought to call up the MB Classic Center in Irvine and have a discussion with the General Manager there, given that his car is one of the very few documented "real" cars by AMG in Germany. I'd bet they would buy and even restore the car to pristine condition.

Cheers,
Gerry

Who should I talk to? When I was at AMG in Germany in 2003, they didn't know anything. LOL.


HWA thought Hartmut was nuts for putting the 6L 32V engine in a wagon, but HF wanted to prove it could be done. 400+ hours later....

Why would it be any harder than a sedan?

I think the M117 DOHC motor can be called "Hammer" Motor, but I think the Hammer term was coined by the magazines, I believe Autoweek, and they were referring to the M117 DOHC W124 Sedan. Probably doesn't matter much.

gerryvz
12-12-2010, 10:18 AM
Who should I talk to? When I was at AMG in Germany in 2003, they didn't know anything. LOL.

I think the M117 DOHC motor can be called "Hammer" Motor, but I think the Hammer term was coined by the magazines, I believe Autoweek, and they were referring to the M117 DOHC W124 Sedan. Probably doesn't matter much.

Talk to Mike Kunz. They are amassing a good collection of very rare and low-mileage notable MB models. And I think that an original documented Hammer would fit within that purview.

As far as the term "Hammer" -- I think the debate stems around misuse of the term by some folks selling cosmetically modified cars over the past 20 years or so. I wouldn't say that a "Hammer" motor is a DOHC M117. I mean, those also went into C126 and W126 cars too. I've even seen 560SECs with 6.0L M117 DOHCs in them called "Hammers" which is wrong.

I'd put forth the general definition of a Hammer as:

1) A W124 chassis car. Most pure/narrow definition would be a W124 sedan ONLY, but its probable that a 124 coupe or wagon could also fit into this category.
2) Must have been built by a "real" AMG facility in Germany, the US or Japan -- using real AMG expertise/parts/personnel. So this would mean solely Westmont IL in the US (AMG NA). No authorized resellers of AMG parts like BHMA or AMG Northwest, AMG West, etc.
3) Must have an AMG-built DOHC M117 engine of either 5.6 or 6.0L displacement. Generally 6.0-liter would be the most pure definition of a Hammer.
4) Must also include other non-powertrain mods, such as suspension, external cosmetics, monochromed paint, etc. UNLESS specifically ordered by the owner NOT to have these (which is possible).

Thoughts / comments?

Cheers,
Gerry

Alpina
12-12-2010, 02:47 PM
In 1987 when Road & Track was at Ehra Lessing VW high-speed track ,, and the multi famous RUF Yellowbird crushed everybody
AMG offered their 300E,, with BBS seats and the engine was just a tiny differnt vs M103 :hot: ((M117))

this car ,, codename HAMMER,, was one of the fastest and iirc the only 4 door car

small offtopic -->>

i remember a USA Ferrari 288 GTO (( Bob Norwood)) with a Can Am engine could not get the 200 mph benchmark , the owner was very disapointed,,
here is a link to this 288,, and how it is today
http://www.p4bynorwood.com/Ferrari_288_GTO.htm

jhodg5ck
12-12-2010, 05:08 PM
I don't know where Aaron's coupe was built, but the wagon was built @ Westmont, @ the request of one of their best clients, Alan Feingold.
Hartmut and a few specialists sent over from Affalterbach were tasked with the project...to answer Austin's question, the wagon was a PITA as it started life as a diesel..requiring a lot more modification/adaptation. As per the article on the car in Automobile, they could have built 3-4 sedans in the amount of time it took to complete the wagon.

If the Aaron's coupe was done @ BHM, it was cleanly done, no rougher then any other AMG modded car I've come across, Affalterbach/Westmont or otherwise.

Japan did turn out a number of cars that were interesting and one off, I did read up on the 400E AMG, IIRC, that car showed up a while ago. Also, just in in chatting w/ those that worked @ Westmont back in the day only a fraction of the cars they turned out have shown/made notable appearances on the web. I've been keeping notes on the stories so I can attempt to track down a few particular cars, but what we have seen is only just the surface.

Jonathan

Chappy
12-12-2010, 05:14 PM
Great topic!

2phast
12-12-2010, 07:15 PM
I don't know where Aaron's coupe was built, but the wagon was built @ Westmont, @ the request of one of their best clients, Alan Feingold.
Hartmut and a few specialists sent over from Affalterbach were tasked with the project...to answer Austin's question, the wagon was a PITA as it started life as a diesel..requiring a lot more modification/adaptation. As per the article on the car in Automobile, they could have built 3-4 sedans in the amount of time it took to complete the wagon.

If the Aaron's coupe was done @ BHM, it was cleanly done, no rougher then any other AMG modded car I've come across, Affalterbach/Westmont or otherwise.

Japan did turn out a number of cars that were interesting and one off, I did read up on the 400E AMG, IIRC, that car showed up a while ago. Also, just in in chatting w/ those that worked @ Westmont back in the day only a fraction of the cars they turned out have shown/made notable appearances on the web. I've been keeping notes on the stories so I can attempt to track down a few particular cars, but what we have seen is only just the surface.

Jonathan

Hmm, thought Aarons wagon was done at BHMA, could of swore he had that in one of his auction ads. Never the less, I have personally seen at least four 6.0l wagons either in the flesh or for sale. Possibly more, as I don't keep track of those things like some do. All were done at BHMA.

Only seen a few Westmont cars, most beaten down and hacked up. Its a shame those cars ended up like that.

Would agree the wagon is the rarest though, followed by the coupe and then the sedan.

As Gerry mentioned already. BHMA did many W126 6.0l conversions as well. I remember at least two that had the wide body conversion done to it. Back in the day, I remember trying to buy a wide body kit for the W126 and was told only the resellers could purchase it/install it. Although they would eagerly sell you a 6.0l M117 crate motor, for a cool 80k +/-.

Prime
12-13-2010, 08:23 AM
Does anyone keep a database of the known Hammers similar to Gerry's E500E database? There was a Westmont-built 6.0 liter Hammer sedan in my area for sale several years ago that I considered seriously. 27k miles and mint, with all the extras including ostrich skin Recaros. The owner was asking $28k. I always wonder what happened to that car. I probably still have some pics I took laying around somewhere.

gerryvz
12-13-2010, 09:38 AM
I would love to create a sub-database of known AMG 124 sedan/coupe/wagons. Unfortunately I've never pursued this to date, so have no VINs. Also this would be highly subjective due to the individual mods of each car, and the fact that many if not most Hammers and other quasi-Hammers were regular cars that were built up to Hammer status.

However, this would be cool to do, and I would love to do it. Perhaps some folks here could help get me started.

Cheers,
Gerry

jhodg5ck
12-13-2010, 11:03 AM
I'd be curious to see or hear about details on 6L 32V wagons, as by Hartmut and BTE's knowledge, there is only one. I know the wagon was done @ Westmont not only from Hartmut but the Automobile article (I'll see if I can find my scan).. I know Aaron "had" his cars "serviced" @ BHM, but I doubt that too as if that's the case, their work is crap.. my wagon showed up w/ machined rotors, about 30 thou under spec and chinese brake pads..and brutally out of tune w/ M103 spark plugs etc, etc....

I don't know where Mike's 6.0L SOHC wagon was done, I may have to pester him and see if he knows, or maybe I'll pester Hartmut, see if he remembers the car.

The site thinks my pics are too big so here's a link to my picasa gallery..said article is there along w/ a few other photos.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jhodgman/HammerWagon02#

Jonathan

jhodg5ck
12-13-2010, 11:16 AM
btw, this fellow already started a bit of a Hammer Registry:

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/sho ... ght=Hammer (http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?t=266098&highlight=Hammer)

2phast
12-13-2010, 02:16 PM
I know Aaron "had" his cars "serviced" @ BHM, but I doubt that too as if that's the case, their work is crap..

You summed that up pretty well.

omegabenz
12-13-2010, 10:11 PM
Even AMGs work wasn't the best back in the day. Honestly, it's a good thing that Mercedes implemented their standards, but back then they just wanted the cars to haul a$$

See picture here on engine stating w124 (Hammer)...(nevermind, I cant upload it, error message
The image must be at least 0 pixels wide, 0 pixels high and at most 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high. The submitted image is 2351 pixels wide and 3467 pixels high.)

jhodg5ck
12-13-2010, 11:06 PM
not the best..indeed..some cases were worse then others..! I need to take a pic of the tubular header that was on cylinder 5 & 6 on my sedan.. they collapsed it in SO far in an effort to make it fit as to kill over 50% of the volume.. ugh.

Yea, I was having similar issues before..thus the link in the prior post.

gerryvz
12-14-2010, 09:06 AM
Send me the materials and I'll shrink/post them. Alternately, you can publish a link here if you have the material posted, say to a Picasa site. Just post the URL.

omegabenz
12-21-2010, 04:25 PM
Loose translation:
Hammer, term coined by american fans after the 4valve 5.6L motor...

I attached some articles on my car as well.

tuttebenne
01-12-2011, 10:18 AM
btw, this fellow already started a bit of a Hammer Registry:

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/sho ... ght=Hammer (http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?t=266098&highlight=Hammer)

Fantastic info and commentary in this thread. Hammers are such "Holy Grail" stuff aren't they? For what its worth, I have seen (recently) the red '86 at the top of the registry list. It was a religious experience.