W126 Odometer Repair

My ‘new’ 300SE suffered from a common problem with Mercedes of that era, a non functional odometer. The mechanical odometer is driven by a small electric motor instead of a traditional speedometer cable and associated gears. This is because the speedometer is electric yet the odometer is mechanical. This combination was common in the late 80s and early 90s before cars moved to fully electric speedometers and odometers. The Series II W126 uses a VDO odometer unit shared with many Mercedes and BMW models of the era. There are a number of articles on the internet that already cover W126 […]

The 300SE strikes back

My ownership of the 300SE had been off to a good start until 3 issues reared their ugly head in the last couple of days.

As outlined in the last post, the first issue was the A/C stopped blowing cold. I already knew I had to do a few things for the climate control – I could hear the little aspirator motor rattling away behind the glove box. The aspirator motor is basically a small fan that blows air from near the dome light down to a temperature sensor. That sensor is used for the climate control. I’m a little […]

300SE servicing

The 300SE didn’t come with much concrete service history. I started a full service on the car to establish a baseline. This will allow the car to be properly maintained to the factory schedule. The service items arrived this week, after a quick call to MB Spares in Canberra.

So far I have done the following:

Oil and filter change Renewed spark plugs Transmission oil and filter change Differential oil change Power steering oil and filter change Removed the after market chrome wheel arch trims

Still to do, is both petrol filters, air filter and to properly flush the […]

450SLC timing chain check

The Achilles heel of M116 and M117 engined cars is the timing chain. As the engine is an overhead valve engine, the chain is used to make sure the valves open and close when they should. On the V8 the chain needs to go to both heads and down to the crankshaft and so it is very long. This exacerbates the potential problems compared to other engines.

Over time the plastic guides become brittle and the chain stretches. The most likely failure is either due to a stretched chain or brittle guide, the guide breaks and causes the chain to […]

My new 1986 300SE W126

Today I purchased a 1986 300SE W126. I needed a car that had room for three child seats when necessary and was eligible for historic rego. It also couldn’t cost too much money. Enter the W126.

I had originally agreed to buy a 1976 450SE in gold, but that car developed a major engine problem. I had never owned a W116 and finding nice ones is not easy. After that car fell through, I was able to find this one instead, and reasonable W126’s for little money are much easier to find than W116s.

The car has three owners before […]