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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Riddle me this!

I am looking at purchasing 1969 W114.
I have two choices:
choice #1:
No rust, well maintained, solid body AUTOMATIC.
choice #2:
Little rust, ok condition, MANUAL transmission.

Prices about the same.

How big of a difference is this car with manual transmission?
I didn't even know they come with manual, is the manual rare 114?

I appreciate your input.
Thank you.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 05:26 PM
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Im sure an Automatic would cost you $1200 at a starting minimum for repairs when it does go out. A manual may only need a clutch replaced.
When was the last time a manual tranny needed repairs compared to an automatic?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 06:09 PM
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Rust is more expensive than a new transmission. So is everything else the same about the cars? By the way, these are gas hogs and they like premium. Hope for 14 mpg. Great ride though. I would get the one with the least rust and the best suspension.

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 09:09 PM
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which w114?

what Scoot says... x2
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 10:00 PM
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I'd go for the manual. But if I had the cash and the 2 cars are reasonably priced, I'd go for both!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 05:10 AM
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Not sure where you're located, but the standard tranny on these car was the manual, and most were delivered with a manual gearbox. However, especially in North-America, manuals were not popular.

If the cars are in similar condition, go for the one that gives you the best feeling.

Based on the info you give us, its tough to give any specific advice.

Also, these engines do very well with a propane / LPG conversion.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys.
It's a tough one for me.
They are the same color too, :-)
The manual has sun roof too while the automatic doesn't.
My prefered choice is no rust and manual. I'm really afraid from rust on these cars so I would probably opt for the automatic.
Once I see both and inspect in details I will give you an update.
What do you think it's the average price that one should pay for these cars in decent condition? I'm located in Canada.
Thank you.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:44 AM
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You have said nothing about the driving experience of both. You need to take a comprehensive drive in both of them. Even if you decide (ahead of time) against the rusty one, drive it. Drive as many as you can so you have something to compare to. I drove probably 8 cars before I bought my 114 coupe and it is really tight compared to the others.

I have no idea about prices in Canada. I would say to come to S. California and pick up a great rust-free car for about $3000...

Scott

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Scott,

I will drive both, starting with one on Friday.
Wow, sure the prices are cheaper there then here.
Asking price on the two is $7000.00

What do you think are the things I should look for?
rust is obvious, all cars have little things that owners usually know go wrong.
I appreciate your advice.
Thank you.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 09:46 AM
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$7000 is quite high for a sedan. (It is a sedan, not coupe, right?) Here is my short-list of things to look for:

1. front and rear windshield gaskets - when were they replaced? If the haven't been replaced, they probably leak. Front windshield gasket leaks into front footwells. Rear windshield gasket leaks into the trunk. Look carefully at the corners of front and rear windshields -- any white buildup on the glass or rubber (moisture indicator). Look under the front carpets (you must take the carpets out of the car and really give it a good looking over. Look under the rubber mat in the trunk. The rubber trunk mat is a real killer on lots of MB cars. It traps moisture under the rubber and you get rust. Look for irregularity under the paint on the outside of the windshields, particularly at the corners and bottom edge. If the metal is rusted where the windshields mount (the unexposed areas) your repair job becomes bigger than just replacing the gasket, which in itself is not trivial. Also look for rust in the truck rim

2. Heating and Air Conditioning. Does the car have AC? Did it ever? If not, make sure that the heater fan works on all three speeds. The heater fan is difficult and expensive to replace. If it DOES have AC, the fan for the AC is a different fan than the fan for the heater. You need to make sure both fans work, particularly the heater fan. The same knob turns on the fan(s). The TERMPERATURE knob controls _which_ fan gets turned on. If you have the termperature knob all the way off (ALL THE WAY) then the fan control will operate the heater fan. If you have the termperature knob even a little bit on then the fan control will operate the AC fan, and a vacuum actuator will move a flap changing the air flow.

3. Under the hood... I'm guessing that these are M129 engines - 2.5 L I-6 with 2 zenith carbs. I could be way off. Carbs can be fussy but if tuned well they are good. When you drive around it would be useful to see what comes out of the tail pipe when you floor the car. It would be useful to have a friend follow you on the highway and report back to you. Some smoke is OK, might just be running a little rich.

4. Make sure all the windows work (manual or electric).

5. Make sure the wipers work. Mine don't work right. I have to hold the foot pedal (frog) for the washer pump to make my wipers come on. Not a big deal though.

6. If you are taking it to a mechanic, knowing the compression would be useful.

I'm sure there is more but this is what I can remember...

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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