Looking to hear from manual tranny drivers - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Dec 2018
Vehicle: 2014 c207, 1991 c124, 1980 450sl
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Looking to hear from manual tranny drivers

Hello everyone. New member here
So i'm in the process of registering a 1980 450sl. Needs a lot that needs 'fixing' and all in time but i love it as it is. The only thing i'm not loving is the transmission. I feel like i have too little gears to fiddle with. (The engine is probably gonna be replaced too with a more modern one like an m104, m119 or maybe a good ol m110). So my options are:
1. Put in a shiftable 5 speed auto which is a more sensible choice
2. Put in a 5 speed manual tranny. (Would be very cool to get a dogleg!)
I really like manuals and i'm fairly smooth but given the premise of a 450sl and associated comfort and luxury, is a manual r107 really worth it? My main concern is ease of driving and comfort. I'm not gonna drive it hard or see who can accelerate faster on a stop light. I just want something fun to drive.
I don't worry about if something is "doable" since we have crazy (and cheap) mercedes mechanics here.
Manual drivers, i'm really looking to hear your opinion if it's really worth it beyond taste
Thank you!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 01:57 PM
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Manual r107s are great!

The problem is actually finding those mythical 5 speeds. They're as rare as hens teeth and most of them are on euro spec grey market cars where you wouldn't want to tear it out anyway. Just as @nobby about his 280sl.

You'd have better luck finding a 4-speed.

Really though, if you want power and the grace of an r107 you'd be better off focusing your efforts on the custom engine and an appropriate transmission to match. Talk to @roncallo . He put a v12 m120 into his baby Samson with great results.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 02:13 PM
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Fill in your profile data so that we can better assist you.

Most of us will be opposed to de-valuing or mucking up perfectly good cars. There were many R107 made in the 18 years on the market. A great many have met sad fates and ended up crushed. Values of the original examples is increasing, as there are no longer any to be found at knackers yards. When one gets donked, I guess it makes our cars worth more. The cars that get "upgraded" end up worth less than nothing, as no self respecting Mercedes owner will honor what the seller now thinks they are worth. Witness a local SL with a Chevy engine that has not sold for five years. Seller thinks it is of value. The market says it is garbage and only good for scrap.

That said, If you do make changes, understand that it will only make you happy. As long as you are happy and have no expectation that you will be able to find it a new owner, go right ahead. When you make your "upgrades" keep the parts your removed so that anybody you try to sell it to will be able to put it back the way it was supposed to be.

I wish you success in your endeavor. I wanted to put a three pedal in my SL, but when the show judges spoke to me, I understood the thousands of dollars to do this would result in not being able to show it as anything but a mockery of the model. I think the exact works were that I would create a clown car. If I truly wanted manual SL, I would need to purchase a ROTW example that came from the factory that way.

Clay

74 450SL - Froggy
'86 300SDL - Polei
'82 300SD - Allen

Retired cars
'02 s430 - Victor
'76 300D - Voldemort
'95 E300D - Cleo
'72 220D - Gump
'87 300SDL - POS SDL

92 300SE - #1 boys ride
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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okyoureabeast
Here i've seen a lot of w123 taxis with m110s and 5 speed transmissions so they're not as rare as you think (emphasis on here).
Going v12 is an overkill for me and i'd be happy wirh anything fun like a sturdy m110. However, good m110s are getting rarer and rarer so maybe i'd go towards m104. M119 is an option but do i really need all that power?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Redghost
My car is far from original to begin with and that's why i thought i'd do the swaps in the first place. As you said it's something to make me happy but i'm still deciding if i really want a manual or not and looking for feedback on manuals. I really like driving old mercs and i prefer them over the newer ones. I have a 2014 c207 that i just hate to be honest but i had to get it because i need a reliable car. I've been driving a 1991 230ce for 11 years now everyday and i absolutely adore it (albeit very underpowered) but it's getting too unreliable lately so my choices were a 560sec, cl600 and 450sl. I only chose the 450sl because i found one 10 minutes away from home.
I'm not worried about resale value since it will probably stay with me till i die as long as it makes me happy.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 04:21 PM
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Nothing puts a larger smile on my face, after a bad day, than a top down cruise on a mountain road in the 84 280SL with Getrag 5 speed manual. The M110 with dual 2" exhaust, 16" rims/tires, and 5000 RPM shifts is amazing. Have driven a 350SL with 4 speed manual, the 350SL seemed more refined in its power/driving characteristics than the 280SL. The 280SL felt more raw/snappier.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:32 PM
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M110 or m103 would be the easiest way out.

M119 is so wide it would be more difficult than the M120 V12.

M104 may be an easy option as it is based on and M103 block which was available in the euro 300SL. But the 103/104 blocks are derived from a diesel engine and weigh a ton. Also the M104 may be taller than the M120 V12 and might have problems getting under the hood.

M113 is also an option that I am working on right now.

But none of the modern (meaning in the last 30 years) V8s or V12's were offered with manual transmissions.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CactiGuy View Post
I don't worry about if something is "doable" since we have crazy (and cheap) mercedes mechanics here.
Where is "here" ??
Please fill in your profile.

Why not START with a 280SL rather than potentially turn a 450SL into one?

I purposely searched for a 5 speed 107. Why?

Because it's my summer fun car.

My other 2 daily drivers are just tools of life.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nobby View Post
Where is "here" ??
Please fill in your profile.

Why not START with a 280SL rather than potentially turn a 450SL into one?

I purposely searched for a 5 speed 107. Why?

Because it's my summer fun car.

My other 2 daily drivers are just tools of life.
Probably the best advice yet. It would be far cheaper, and a hell of alot easier to maintain, to sell what you have and get a 280SL with 5 speed.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CactiGuy View Post
okyoureabeast
Here i've seen a lot of w123 taxis with m110s and 5 speed transmissions so they're not as rare as you think (emphasis on here).
Going v12 is an overkill for me and i'd be happy wirh anything fun like a sturdy m110. However, good m110s are getting rarer and rarer so maybe i'd go towards m104. M119 is an option but do i really need all that power?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobby View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CactiGuy View Post
I don't worry about if something is "doable" since we have crazy (and cheap) mercedes mechanics here.
Where is "here" ??
Please fill in your profile.

Why not START with a 280SL rather than potentially turn a 450SL into one?

I purposely searched for a 5 speed 107. Why?

Because it's my summer fun car.

My other 2 daily drivers are just tools of life.
W123 taxis with 5 speeds.

I'm a betting man so let's play a game.

Sounds like you're someplace in north Africa. I'll split my bets of either Morocco or Algeria.
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