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  #1  
Old 11-28-2019, 08:10 PM
Bad Benzo's Avatar
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Opinions on W114 Transmissions 250C & 280 sedan

I presently own a 1976 280 sedan and I recently agreed to buy a nice 1971 250C from a friend. The 280 has a floor shift automatic, while the 250C is a column shift automatic with a bad torque converter. The 250C transmission is already removed and sitting in the trunk.

Since the 280 is my daily driver and a long time project, I already have many parts to complete a manual transmission swap from a W115 240D; my original plan was to put them in my 280 sedan whenever it made the most sense. Now that the 250C entered my life, I am reconsidering which car should get the manual.

As it sits, the 280 is fully functional and I have no need to remove the transmission for any reason other than to swap a manual. It is a US spec car, so it's already down on power; I believe the 250C is about the same, or maybe even a little more powerful than the malaise spec 280.

Since the 250C needs a transmission, something needs to go into that car no matter what.

That said, I am looking for some insight as to what would be the best approach for both cars:


Option 1: Put the manual in the 280 sedan and put the 280's automatic into the 250C. This gives the 280 some sportiness and minimizes the install time on the 250C. This option keeps the 250C as a luxurious tourer, whereas the 280 can be my brash daily with no apologies.

Option2: Leave the 280 sedan intact and devote the manual swap to the 250C since the transmission is already removed. I imagine dropping the column shift and moving to a floor mounted shifter will require some other ancillary items like a center console and some sort of delete hardware for the column shift. I can get the necessary parts one way or another, so there's no problem for me.



Any advice or insight is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-28-2019, 09:00 PM
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Elect for Option 1.
This approach a) avoids the need to switch the steering column jacket from column shift to floor shift style, and b) updates the transmission from a 722.2xx (fluid coupling) to a 722.1xx (torque convertor).
Also it would be desirable to install a 3.46, or even a 3.07, final drive; the 3.92 is too short.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:03 PM
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The 250C is the early '71 one with the 2.5l motor or the later '71 car with the 2.8l motor?

The auto transmission swap should be straight forward for the 2.8 => 2.8 swap.

Getting both cars running and driving on the same 3-day weekend would be a fun task.

-CTH
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cth350 View Post
The 250C is the early '71 one with the 2.5l motor or the later '71 car with the 2.8l motor? -CTH

M114 & M130; two displacement versions of the same engine.
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cth350 View Post
Getting both cars running and driving on the same 3-day weekend would be a fun task.
Considering one is in New York and the other is outside of Chico, California, that will be one hell of a tall order. The plan would be to ship whatever transmission I will put into the 250C ahead of me, then fly out to Reno and have my friend take me to the car. I can install the transmission in an afternoon, then sort out a couple of other issues (carbs, no headlights, door locks, trunk seal, flex discs, etc). The following day, drive it to the nearest tire shop and get some fresh tires and start making the trek back to Rochester, NY.

I figure this exercise in insanity would take me about a week to do comfortably since I like sightseeing.
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Benzo View Post
Considering one is in New York and the other is outside of Chico, California, that will be one hell of a tall order. The plan would be to ship whatever transmission I will put into the 250C ahead of me, then fly out to Reno and have my friend take me to the car. I can install the transmission in an afternoon, then sort out a couple of other issues (carbs, no headlights, door locks, trunk seal, flex discs, etc). The following day, drive it to the nearest tire shop and get some fresh tires and start making the trek back to Rochester, NY.

I figure this exercise in insanity would take me about a week to do comfortably since I like sightseeing.

If you do undertake this exercise, there is a rebuilt direct replacement (722.2xx) trans in my possession in Modesto, CA. $850.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank Reiner View Post
If you do undertake this exercise, there is a rebuilt direct replacement (722.2xx) trans in my possession in Modesto, CA. $850.
Thanks Frank, I will keep that in mind. This car will likely be a couple months away from my possession as my fall work season comes to a close.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:29 PM
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that's a serious 2,600 mile hike for a car you're putting back together.

It will be a serious shake-out run with your friend for the ~150 miles from Chico back to Reno.

Please be sure to let us arm chair mechanics know how the ride goes, we're with you the whole way.

-CTH
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:04 PM
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Weather may play into the drive to Reno as one must pass through the Sierras and over Donner Summit. There have been legendary road closures during a storm.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cth350 View Post
that's a serious 2,600 mile hike for a car you're putting back together.

It will be a serious shake-out run with your friend for the ~150 miles from Chico back to Reno.

Please be sure to let us arm chair mechanics know how the ride goes, we're with you the whole way.

-CTH
Thanks, CTH. My car club is called "Drivers of Imperfect Classic Cars," oftentimes we throw caution to the wind in the passionate pursuit of cars.

My 280 sedan sat under a pine tree for five years until I bought it. I got 30k miles out of that car, and two track days at Watkins Glen International. The more I drove it, the better it got. If there's one thing it taught me, it's that these cars are really robust and durable. I feel better about doing this trip in a W114 than any other car. Regardless of how it goes, it will be an adventure.
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1976 Mercedes-Benz W114 280 Sedan "Bad Benzo"
1996 Volvo 960 Wagon
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:14 PM
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Although it's been awhile......

....back in my W114/W115 daze, my recollection is that MB made the body shell with stampings and fixtures for all permutations. That is, floor or column shift, manual or automatic, the basic shell is ready for any combination, you just need to have all the parts to bolt onto the shell.

Last one I did was a 71 250C from column auto to floor manual. It all bolted up. Needed IP, steering column, pedals, trans crossmember and driveshaft. Console should be the same, if I recall.

This is one of those jobs you really want to have both cars side by side, as there are lots of little things you didn't know you needed.....

Jim

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