560SEC Upcoming Projects

I’ve been preparing for the next round of improvement projects for the 560SEC.    The most important is the Timing Chain and Valve Stem seals.   I’m not going to do this job myself and am hoping to save a little labour cost by having both the stem seals and the chain done at the same time.   I had previously checked the Timing chain and while it looked like it had been replaced before, the guides were getting quite old.

The parts below are all that is needed to perform this job.  On the top row from the left the first are the chain sprockets for the camshafts.   These are not strictly necessary to change but once engines are over 200,000km they are normally worn and result in timing that is slightly off.   As they have to come off to replace the guides it makes sense to replace them.    Next is the chain itself.   IWIS is the OE supplier for these engines.   It comes with a master link and the chain.    Next to the chain is the tensioner.   I was hoping to go with a Mercedes tensioner, but they are now over USD$400.   Finally on the first row is the camshaft oilers, one kit per side.   These are plastic and become hard and brittle.

In the second row, the first is the valve stem seals.   One kit per side.  These are the genuine Mercedes seals.   I also went for the genuine Mercedes guides, as can be seen in the bottom row.   I had heard that the Febi guides are not as good as the genuine Mercedes.   along with them is the gasket for the tensioner.   These plastic parts (guides and camshaft oilers) are the achilles heel of the M117 (and M116) engine, and in my opinion a design flaw.

Timing Chain

In the next photo are some other parts that make sense to do at the same time.   Shown here are some gaskets for the valve covers to prevent leaks and the copper washers for the valve cover bolts.   When I checked the engine, the breather hoses looked very old, so I purchased new ones.

Also in this photo are some good used surrounds for the seatbelt opening.   I am missing my drivers side one – they crack and then fall out.   I also purchased a thermostat as this is a good item to keep as a spare.

560SEC Parts

For the longer term, I also purchased a new oil pan.   It looks like somebody has tried to jack my car up by the pan at some point in the past.   There is also a new grommet for the antenna in the pan.

Hydraulic Oil

I also purchased some brake pads to keep as spares (put away before the photo) and the wear sensors that go with them.    The little holder for the drivers sun visor is broken, so I have a replacement for that.   The module in the middle is a first gear start module, that I will enable with the switch above it.  Instead of starting out is second gear, this module allows the transmission to start in first and then upshift to 2nd at about 9mph.   This is not for for full throttle starts, mashing the accelerator will already drop the car into first gear.    The switch is to allow the module to be disabled.   This is important because in stop/go traffic or bad weather the 2nd gear start is better.

The leather in this car will need more conditioning, so I purchased some my Zymol.   I use this in all my cars that have leather interiors.


An oft neglected service item on these older Mercedes is the self levelling rear suspension.   This should be flushed and the filter replaced.   I purchased enough of the fluid to flush both the 560SEC and the 300SE.   I also purchased a filter for each car.

Hydraulic Oil

Both of my W126’s are missing their under-bonnet insulation pad.   This is for sound deadening and also to protect the paint above.   I will need to clean the remains of the old pads on before fitting these.   Unfortunately it is probably a while before I will get to them, but good to have them on hand for when I have the time.

Hood Pad

Finally, an owners manual for the 560SEC.   Its not the correct one, as it is for a USA model, but it was not expensive on eBay.

Owners manual

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