1972 W114 250 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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1972 W114 250

Hi All,

I broke down and got myself a money pit. Black 1972 W114 Sedan with carbed M130 engine in it. It has an Automatic transmission, with column shifter, and red interior.

I'm new to the forum, and am looking to get this car mechanically sound over the next year or so!

The engine has low compression in one cylinder only, and I'm hoping it's just an exhaust valve problem, and will probably have a specialty restoration shop take care of that over the next few months.

brakes, coolant lines, and power steering I plan on addressing first.

The shocks and front suspension are shot, but that will be something I tackle when the time comes.

After that, I've got a never ending list of cosmetic and electrical repairs I'd like to tackle.

I'm starting to build a tool kit for the car, and have ordered some manuals.

I've heard that voltage regulators are a common failure, so I'm planning on getting one of those to start. Beyond that, I'd love to get pointed in the right direction on major things I should look for, and specialty parts that might not always be available that I should keep an eye on. And important "preventative" maintenance I should also start doing immediately.

I'm probably in over my head and it's probably going to take more time, and cost more money than I'd expect, but that's okay! I'm a knuckle head, but at least I'm a knucklehead that knows what I'm getting in to. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more about the car, and getting to know some of you in the forum!

-Abel
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 07:12 AM
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1972 W114 250

I would suggest trying to DIY everything on this car. I would even try to DIY the valve adjustment. Labor rates will exceed the car's value quickly unless you have a very rare rust free example.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 04:58 AM
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I put more than $30k into my 108 and lots of that was for things I thought I should fix. I'd suggest not spending on things you think you need and instead on needed repairs. You'll go under water quickly

Take a look at the online resources prob of the forum - lots of good info there that might be helpful.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well. Poor car didn't even last a day. Even after an inspection, this was a gamble and a loss.

Motor was in worse shape than assumed, and I broke down almost immediately. May need bottom end and top end rebuild, along with total front end suspension and engine mounts.

It looks like I have purchased a good looking parts car.

I'm still feeling like a knucklehead for ignoring the red flags and thinking I'd come out ahead. I got towed to a surprisingly honest specialty shop and will get some quotes on what the estimates would be if I were to move forward with this car. Already many more times than it's worth. I also made the alarming discovery that the frame is bent. The mechanic understands that this is most likely an autopsy at this point.

I've reached out to the PO to buy the car back for a discounted amount to help me cut my losses with a little more grace.

If that doesn't work I have a far fetched plan to disassemble most of the car and store parts in a garage that isn't quite big enough for a vehicle, but empty.

When I'm done licking my wounds, and saved up a considerable amount, I think I'll make sure to look for the best Mercedes I can get, and consider swapping the interior. That was the one aspect of this car that is very, very, excellent. . .
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 10:20 PM
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I'm not saying you should waste your time on this car, but the fun part of w114/115 is that they are as cheap as go carts, and fun to learn on if you are willing to spend your time on the junky hobby cars. I bought a coupe for $600 and enjoyed trying to make it run and finally towed it to someone who parts out MB with my truck and dolly for $800. I might have gotten my money back out of it. The guy I sold it to sold it for $1600 to someone as a parts car I think.

I bought another coupe worth restoring for $500 with no title and I've recently seen someone in California trying to sell the car for over $9,000. They'd done virtually nothing to the car it seems.

I'm not saying your ideas are bad. I just don't think you can take 90% of the w114/115 out there to a mechanic and not think you are going to lose your ass. They are a DIY car IMO, and require lots of patience and pride of ownership. Just my opinion.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Fonzi,

Thanks for the reply. Your enthusiasm is very encouraging.

This is probably just a momentary lapse in my enthusiasm. I'm struck by the huge slice of humble pie I'm being force fed, and the fact that the car didn't even last 24 hours.

But it's good to hear that people do get these running. I paid too much for the condition the car ended up being in, and I feel like a sucker for it! No one to blame but myself, since I almost had two pre-purchase inspections done, one at a mechanic of my choosing.

That being said. Current mechanic is at least going to help me decide what needs to be done, and what parts I might need. At least with that info in hand I can decide what I can do myself, and what I'll need to pay someone who knows what they're doing to do. I want to learn as much as possible, so I can make "smarter" moves from here on out, and decide if it's worth continuing work on this one, or if it's time to look for a better restoration candidate over the next several months.

Thanks again. Looking forward to learning a lot, and eventually ending up with a reliable W114.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 06:04 PM
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Abel, sorry to hear that happened. Dont beat yourself up too much, live and learn from this. As Fonzi says the W114 is a great project car if you have the time and have some mechanical skills to do 95% off the work. This is a photo of our before and after. It took 3 months, full time and around $8,500. This forum has been a amazing source of help for me from other vintage benz owners. Don't rush on a decsion yet, think about what your best options are.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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That's amazing.

I already own two other older VW vans, and they are a blast, and after about 8 months of scouring the Internet I found the early era mercedes w114 and w115 to be the best looking older cars that could be transformed in to daily drivers out there. And with rear wheel drive and very pleasant handling to boot.

W123s - manual 240Ds and 300CDS took a close second
Early 80s Volvo 242s took a distant 3rd.

This will be a big step up for me. Luckily I didn't gamble more than I was willing to lose, I'm just adjusting to the worst case scenario so far. I've got lots of homework to do.

If I could do half of what it looks like you were able to do on my own for another $8500 I'd be amazed.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 09:46 AM
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I was wondering what makes you think you need a lower engine rebuild? How was that diagnosis reached?

As far as front end rebuild and motor mounts, those will likely be required for almost any old benz you purchase and are not that big of a deal.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 09:48 AM
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Also.....photos? What is the condition of the rest of the car.
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