Okay, so I’m horrible at puns, but this is my site and I do what I want! For the uninitiated the W114 & W115 models were Mercedes-Benz “working mans” offering from 1968-1976. The W114 ranged from the entry level 230 to the slightly nicer 250 on up to the top of the line 280C. This was a simpler time, so the W114 utilized an inline 6 with displacement befitting it’s name. The 230 had a 2.3L, the 250 a 2.5L, and the 280 came with a 2.8L the only oddity being some of the later 250’s having the 2.8 as well.
Likewise the W115 were all diesel inline 4 engines with similar name schemes from the 200 to the 240D, with the exception of the 240D 3.0 or 300D using an inline 5 diesel engine. The W114/W115 had a lot of firsts for Mercedes-Benz and they’re one of my favorite generations because they’re dirt cheap and can be crazy reliable if you can get past the dual Zenith 35/40 carburetors or Bosch D-Jetronic issues. We love ours, and we almost added another to the collection as my searching turned up a cheap running 240D. I’m convinced we’ll have another soon enough.
Anyway, we went swimming and decided to take the Benz. I usually take drive the Benz when Ali and I have scheduling conflicts or when I feel like rolling like a badass, but it still doesn’t get driven enough. Our closest swimming hole that’s clean enough for us to swim without holding our noses has about half a foot of incline when you leave the road into the parking lot. I’m not sure whose idea that was, but it’s not much of an issue when you approach at an angle. Combined with the speed bumps nearby, you’ve got a recipe for smashed under body bits. I didn’t leave at an angle. Things got crunchy, and the speed bump did the rest.
So into the garage Winston went. We measured the pipe size, which is only 1.75″, and decided to make our own y-pipe by grabbing two 45 degree pipes that would go into a 2.25″ collector. I stopped by Weavers after work the next day and grabbed the parts we needed to get started, including a glass pack as it was about the smallest muffler I could get that would be cheap and effective. Sam is in the process of starting a new job, and his old job didn’t want him to stay for his two weeks so he was over and agreed to help me out. By help me out, I mean he did all the work. I can’t weld, and according to his previous boss, neither can Sam. I’ll let you be the judge.
We ended up cutting back into the header to take off some of the really crappy pipe that had already been patched multiple times. Sam did some measuring and mocking up and the y-pipe came together.
The plan was to have the glass pack attached straight off the collector and then run it back and do a 90 out to the side just before the rear tire. Unfortunately, I only had enough to get us to the glass pack and nothing past that, though we did cut the only good length of pipe off the old system and use that as an extension out of the glass pack.
Cruise night on Wednesday was actually a cruise in, so we headed out to which was maybe not the best idea. The pipe wasn’t back far enough to eliminate the majority of the resonance, so it was loud inside and out and at anywhere from 45-55mph the resonance was at a perfect spot that really messed with your ears. It felt like it was vibrating your ear drums enough to cancel out any other noise. Painful, but we made it to the Wayside for the cruise and had a nice dinner.
I’m actually probably lucky the car didn’t start on fire. The pipe we salvaged had the exhaust dumping almost right into the passenger rear footwell, so everything got pretty warm back there . A previous owner put undercoating on the bottom of the car and the inside floors as well, but it’s sort of tacky to the touch and I hate it. The exhaust dumping to the back seat managed to melt some of it, good thing it was a short trip there and back!
I was able to pick up two 2′ sections and a 90 degree bend the next day, we didn’t measure anything from the salvaged pipe so I kind of assumed it would work out. I got lucky!
I had some left over hi-temp paint and exhaust wrap. I originally planned to use the wrap but I was too lazy to wrap everything once we got it tack welded and figured out where it would sit. I had already painted the salvaged pipe so I decided I’d at least do that with the rest. I let Sam weld it all up and then I cleaned it down a bit with carb cleaner and then sprayed it down with my surplus paint. I used a piece of cardboard to make sure I didn’t spray the under-body gold as that would look silly.
I honestly don’t think it could have worked out better if we actually did measure and plan this out. The pipes I bought fit perfectly and managed to snuggle in right where the only body channel opened a bit to allow it through and out the side. It also ended up coming out just enough that I didn’t have to cut it to make it look right.
As you can see, it turned out nice. The copper actually looks better against the green than I had thought it would. I also finally got my collector plates (which I paid for back in April, thanks WiDOT!) so now I’m a real collector and all. You may have also noticed that we used self taping screws and some random chain as our exhaust hanger. I do feel kind of bad putting screw into the body work but some initial exploration under that aforementioned spray liner has revealed that I likely have some body work in the near future. Luckily, I’ve found some pretty cheap replacement floor panels for when the time comes. I’m not sure when that will be, but you’ll definitely see it here when it happens!
Bonus! I’ve got a bit of video as well! It’s nowhere near as coherent as the write-up above but it’s the only way to experience what my W114 sounds like with an open header.