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  #1  
Old 07-31-2013, 07:35 PM
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How rare are W108 4-speed manuals? And how hard are trans swaps?

so, I got the go ahead from my dad that he'll buy my unicorn 210 wagon from me. Didn't wanna sell it but at the same time I really wanted a W108 or C111 for the past 3 years, this this sounds like the best compromise as my wagon will still stay in the family. Also, having 2 cars in hollywood california with spot for only 1 can be a nightmare, I know from the Mk1 VW Rabbit/Golf days.

So now I have around 5-7k to play with, and living in Southern California, I'm in vintage Mercedes mecca. AMAZINGLY clean w108's are popping up on craigslist for less than 5k, but being so-cal they are all column shift or flood shift automatics. I've found one or two floor shift manual 250s (i think one might have been a 280s) but the interior was too shot on both. My main criteria is the inteior to be in near perfect shape as I've found out when restoring my Mk1s that those are the hardest and most expensive parts to come bye.

Now to my questions, I've pretty much searched the whole country (via adhuntr) and the only manual w108 I found was this one on ebay (Mercedes-Benz : 200-Series 280S in Mercedes-Benz | eBay Motors) which at $9k plus another $2k for transport is out of my price range.

I'm strongly considering finding the cleanest 250/280s and just swapping in a 4-speed or later 5-speed if possible.
My question are:
-should I be looking for a I6 car or V8? does it matter? Would prefer an I6 Carb'd for simplicity and to minimize operational costs.
-Is the cranks/flywheel bolt pattern the same on both the auto and manual cars?
-besides the w108 manual trans, what other year/model trans should I look for? Presumably it would be cheaper to just buy a donor car, which cars should I look at for donors?
-Are the drive shafts same length from from auto to manual?
-Should I specifically look for a floor shift?
-Are the trans tunnels different from the floor to column shift?

C111's are much more common in manuals, especially the early 220SEb's or 250SE's and I do much prefer the coupes but all the ones ones with nice interiors are $20k+ and mechanical injections and cost of parts scare me.

Thanks in advance for any advice! oh and if anyone knows of a nice W108 or C111 manual under $7K, please let me know!

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  #2  
Old 08-02-2013, 12:57 PM
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I don't think a lot man trans cars were sold in the US for marketing reasons. The tunnel and crankshaft should be the same but driveshaft will be different. A doner man trans car (rusted, wrecked) would be good to have. If you specifically want a man trans it would have to be a 6cyl. The only V8 cars that had a man trans were 3.5's. I see manual transmissions on Ebay and here in the "Wanted/for sale" sometimes-even a complete conversion.
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111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new

Last edited by Tony H; 08-02-2013 at 03:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonist View Post
C111's are much more common in manuals, especially the early 220SEb's or 250SE's and I do much prefer the coupes but all the ones ones with nice interiors are $20k+ and mechanical injections and cost of parts scare me.

Thanks in advance for any advice! oh and if anyone knows of a nice W108 or C111 manual under $7K, please let me know!
Funny, that. All the modern cars with electronics controlling everything (and all interconnected) and cost of their parts scare me.

Just remember that even with a nice $7 108, you'll likely need to put some $ in to it when some 40 year old component shows signs of age, but it is 40 years old... Replace it properly and it'll likely be good for another 40 years.

Have no fear!
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2013, 08:19 PM
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I had a manual trans 250S with a column shifter when I was in Germany.
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Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2013, 01:36 AM
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Manual trans cars are out there, but you have to look/wait/look/wait...
I've seen quite a few in the 2 years while I was looking for a w108. My ideal would be a 280SE with a floor shift manual. It had the most power short of a V8, and if the injection needs expensive repairs then it can be converted to a Megasquirt.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:14 AM
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Wohoo! After tweaking out on the innerweb for the last 48 hours I found exactly what I was looking for! Its quite a distance away from me, but I'm still highly considering it. The price is well within my range. Oh, and its a 2.8 liter to boot! Stripped model (exactly what I wanted), 4-speed on the floor, no A/C, carb'd, does have auto-windows tho, DB172 Anthracite Grey (non-metcallic) with ivory interior. My 210 wagon is Tectite Grey, very similar in color but metallic. I really didn't wanna get the typical white or beige car which so-cal is littered with. According to the seller its a semi-daily for him, meaning its a great runner, with recently rebuilt valvetrain, steering box, gearbox (synchros), shift linkages and various suspension components.

I got in contact with the seller today and if all goes well she should be on the truck to so-cal in the coming weeks.

and some pics for you guys:





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  #7  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:27 AM
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I was also considering this one, mainly because its a 4-speed COLUMN shift and I really love the quirkiness of it, but the seller wasn't too cooperative, plus with a bad interior I kind of gave up on it now that I have found the Anthracite grey one.

I'm not affraid to post the link for 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250S



At first I didn't really like the color too much (i presume its DB542 Dunkelrot) until I saw a picture of this example!




the color match steelies with the chrome dog bowl looks amazing!
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2013, 08:56 AM
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I have three W108 manual window regulators and a set of crank handles from a W123 (don't know how correct those are). Interested?
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2013, 10:21 AM
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Nice find.

Enjoy the car and keep it well and nice...

I share your sentiment on finding older cars with the nicest interior possible. That stuff is hard to find in excellent condition, and the mechanical stuff can always be fixed or refurbed.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:04 PM
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The 280S is a sweet looking example-where is it coming from? You can always convert to Megasquirt if you don't like the carbs. It is an European version car? An easy givaway is the rear license plate light-the US versions have the 2 clunky ones that stick out on each side of the license plate and the european one is in the bumper(much cleaner).
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Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:42 PM
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The car is originally from Washington state, supposedly garaged all its life, so no rust. I don't believe its the Euro version as it has the side markers and also the vertical license plate lights.

I have TONS of experience tuning 2-stroke moto carbs, but I have a feeling that automotive carbs are a whole 'nother ballgame. So we'll see, the seller claims the carbs have been recently rebuilt and adjusted. About the megasquirt, where do the injectors go? would I need an FI manifold off an SE car?
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:08 PM
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I would think a FI intake manifold would be the way to go but there are others on this forum with much more experience on 6cyl megasquirt conversions than me. The FI manifold has equal length runners,a plenum and a throttle body so I would think it would be better. All V8's had fuel injection so they already have the correct intake manifold.
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Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2013, 03:20 PM
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the MFI cars have injectors in the head, yours doesn't. The dual carb setup should be happy with a duel throttle body inject setup if you were to ditch the carbs. There are plenty of threads here on zenith carb repair and setup. Many will suggest ditching them. Others will suggest the repair route.

-CTH

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