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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With more time to think and save than spend money, I'm currently the man with a million plans.
I know it may seem sacrilige but I'm sure some of you can appreciate other examples of fantastic German engineering and I quite like Porsches, but I'm starting from scratch financially and they're expensive.

So the current plan is looking like:
get done saving
W114 250CE
save
Porsche 944/951
save
Porsche 928S-4

Now I've done this kind of thing before and I'm pretty good at modifying a car on a budget, I know enough to get the most out of little. What I'm concerned about is getting a little help from a bit of work towards some solid resale value, ie. getting to that DOHC V8 Porsche quicker.

So what I'm interested in is what you guys like in a classic Merc with your eye to buy.

See, I can't stand a mediocre 0-60 and any car of mine absolutely must be describable as "quick," it's just a theme I've managed to keep since before I got my license and I don't want to break my own tradition.
But with my eyes on a 928 and years moving quickly I can't afford to simply toss money away. Well too much of it at least. I only earn a basic wage, after all.

So what sort of things do Merc enthusiasts look for when buying their own cars?
Good detailing, I've got that covered (trade experience).
Safety first, I'm into good tyres and brakes/steering/suspension must be maintained.
Clean interior, I only like to change the radio/speakers on a classic.

But what puts you off?
Engine modification is my sore point. I can't not do it. I'll buy a car and tear out the stock air cleaner on the way driving it home. ERB ends up in the boot within minutes.
I'll decide the engine from that body type, that I'm going to go with and get an aftermarket exhaust fitted. A performance air cleaner will be there as soon as I get to a speed shop.
I'll switch a carby 250C or an auto 250CE to a 2.8E/manual transplant. Or fit a turbo. Or both.

So since you guys are the Merc buyers, how much will I devalue or fail to increase the value of the car?
Say I'm looking at a 250C/CE at the moment for around AUD$3000 locally.
I clean it nice, fit good tyres, maybe upgrade the rims. Get the suspension, steering and brakes freshened up, drop the stance a little.
Put in a nice 2.8E/manual, very clean looking. A turbo/intercooler. Spend maybe $5000.
How much would you pay for a car like this? Would anyone even be interested, or would I be spending money on a boat anchor?
 

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Premium Member
1972 280CE
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4,215 Posts
There was a gun metal grey one rolling around in west london back in the late 90's. I think it was a 76 280CE with 16 inch Azev A's. Beautiful car.
Last I saw, it was up for sale at a private dealership for about 6000 GBP.
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's probably already been asked and answered somewhere, but just in case mercmad pops in here at some stage I was just wondering how the M114 coupes take to V8 transplants.

I've sourced a couple of 250C's and CE's in good nick cheap (although I won't get one in the driveway for a few weeks yet). So now I'm deciding whether to supercharge a 2.8 litre and drop that in or fit an alumiunium V8 of some description (M116/117, whatever I can get my hands on).

The thing to keep in mind is a low budget project. I'm prepared to spend on necessary items but don't want to go reengineering the chassis or anything.
The 280sel 3.5/4.5 is a completely different animal to the 114 isn't it?

Supercharging is cheap because I can specify the flat top piston, 8:1 Aust. post-1978 M110 and pump in a good 14psi boost on a basically stock engine.

But if I could spend around the same on a bolt in M116/117 engine I'd probably rather that.

So how hard is a V8 fitment?
 

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499 Posts
I've seen a few 114 mercs on the German sites with V8s,the later all alloy 116/117 motors are their favorites,especially the 500 motor,no problems with computor driven cam timing as you would find on the 119 engine from a 500SL.I think it's a great idea,BUT,are you in melbourne ,Florida or Melbourne ,Victoria?,don't forget you are in AUSTRALIA,land of the f$%[email protected]##% small minded buerocrat,Make sure you speak to the relevent people first to ensure that you will get it regoed.
The trans tunnel is big enough to accept the V8 and trans (same trans ,just more mods inside,about 600 mods actually).
Talk with CRS in Castlemaine,who are real experts at supercharging odd engines.But to my way of thinking,and if you are on the typical battlers income,buy a nissan r33 half cut and fit that RB TURBO MONSTER!.[}:)]
There are a lot of these imported into OZ from nipland and are cheap considering you get half a car and everything for a conversion job.If you want a manual ,get the trans from a commodore and the pedals etc.
Merc brakes are unbeatble,just reco the master cylynder and callipers,fit new discs up front and your luaghing.The hot setup in Germany is W126 brakes on the front with stock rears.It's a bolt on job with no drama what so ever.
Whats it all worth? what ever the market will pay son,what ever the market will pay....[:)]
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Being an engine not offered by the manufacturer as an original option, I'll need an engineer's report for the M116/117 or RB27DT (something like that, I can't remember the stupid Nissan engine code system), but as you say if the stock brakes are already good, and considering either engine transplant doesn't weigh anything like a cast iron big block...the official VicRoads/nationwide RTA guidelines are:

For a standard chassis and subframe sedan or coupe (different rules for cab-chassis and utes, and monocoque construction),

Up to the original kerb weight (kg's) of the vehicle X 4.82 in cubic capacity (cc's) for a naturally aspirated engine conversion.

Up to the original kerb weight (kg's) of vehicle x 4 in cubic capacity (cc's) for a supercharged or turbocharged engine conversion.
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Which means if the W114 even weighs anywhere near a W123 I can pop a 440 Mopar or a supercharged LS-2 in it if I want, so long as the brakes, suspension and other items are up to scratch and I have a satisfactory engineer's report.

Everyone loves those RB27-30 engines around here, I know...which is probably why I hate 'em. Can't stand the bloody things. Give me an old red motor any day and I'll get 250hp out of that easy as tripping over a cowpat' and enough torque to give a centimetre of wheelstand on the left-front.


I'm still running computer models on supercharged/turbo'd M110's, it's going to come down to what turns out cheaper overall. I'd be pretty happy with either (merc F/I 6 or N/A 8) in that body type but I don't think it'd feel right with anything else, it's just too classy a shape for that I reckons.

I can pipe a centrifugal to the k-jetronic or get a custom manifold and pop a Holley on a roots, but I think that'll get expensive, even though the better performer in the long run.
I'll have to weigh up costs against an engineer's certificate (won't need one with an M110 if I say it was out of an W114 280C, honest it was).


Thanks for the info mercmad, it'll help me out a ton.
[^]
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
This is becoming like a journal I know. Oh well.

I modelled a turbo on an M110 2.8E low compression variant (8:1 post '78)
popped in 560 k-jetronic injectors and piped a Garret T-45 running 1.0 bar of boost
added a good aftermarket intercooler and water injection
custom exhaust design is race quality aftermarket
and set the spark curve at 14, 11 and 18 degrees of advance at 3 break points.

The computer projected a nice 350bhp at 6000, under SAE conditions with a basically stock engine.
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I thought, what about supercharging, maybe shave another $500 or more off the setup price.

So I switched the turbo for a Vortech centrifugal, a V4-Z which is about the biggest you can get (it's roughly same size Supercharged SEC put on his 560, pumping 1200 island-cfm).
Put an intercooler on it but left out the water injection.
Used a pre-'78 M110 running 9:1 compression ratio stock.
Played around with the cam profiles a bit to get the flows right with the stock heads.
Popped on a good aftermarket exhaust system.
It was thirsty so I shoved a bigger (64mm) throttle body on it.

SAE 300bhp at 7000rpm, still not bad at all, but it lost a lot of torque over the turbo that'll really kill acceleration times.

Thought okay, what about toss the k-jetronic for a custom blower manifold, a roots type supercharger mounted on it and a good ol' fashioned Holley 4BBL.
B&M 144 cfm is a huge huffer for 2.8 litres but what the hell, I've been watching that Swedish street racing video and couldn't help myself. Had to retard the living hell out of the spark curve though, with 8 and 5 degrees over 4 breaks.

SAE 305bhp at 6500rpm and the torque curve was right back up again.
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Then I got greedy with the horsepower bug. Added a water injection plate under the Holley 650 DP and ported/polished the heads a little. Just upped the flows to a good street job.
That little extra and the cooler charge really opened up the possibilities, I threw the spark curve back to "best power" and it just wouldn't knock.
So I shoved a bigger supercharger on it. And again. Running a 175cfm B&M now.

SAE 500bhp at 6500rpm and enough torque to rotate the planet.


Think I know what I've got in mind for that 250C now and I won't even need an engineer's report.
[^]
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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Discussion Starter #15
Awmegawd! Love that induction setup too.

You could drive a propellor with that thing and shove wings on it. I really mean it, that's the basic spec for a good, light business aircraft or load lifter.
It's a damn plane!
 

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The conversion was done on this car when it was new,[8D][8D]
The cost of a new 6.9 in 1970's terms was $120,000.The turbo cost $50,000[:0]
The owner,Phil("turbo phil" now! LOL) went for a drive and reported that the performance was HUGE!!!,THEN DISCOVERED THAT THE TURBOS BEARINGS WERE SHOT,[}:)][}:)]
This car is a weapon,bring on the SL65's [}:)][}:)][}:)]
It looks a lot better now that thirty years of crud have been removed from all that Aluminium.
One thing i learnt young was...no matter how big you think you are ,there is always someone bigger 'n uglier than you '[:)][:)][:)][:)]
 
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