M117 fan controller prototype

A couple of months ago I tried a modification on my 560SEL to trigger the auxiliary cooling fan earlier. The primary reason for this was to provide adequate air flow over the A/C condenser in stop/go traffic. The W126 A/C was designed for R12 refrigerant and is marginal at best with R134A. I used a resistor to trick the fan into running at a lower temperature. It worked, but the temperature kick in was a bit higher than I wanted and the wiring was messy. I thought a better solution would be to build a proper M117 fan controller.

The […]

S211 Tail light bulbs

My wife’s E350 Wagon recently started throwing up error messages about burned out tail light bulbs in the dash. Turns out, this is not nearly as easy a fix as you would expect. First, I consulted the owners manual. The manual tells you that these bulbs are not user serviceable and do take the car to your Mercedes-Benz dealership. I wasn’t really interested in a visit there, so I started trying to work out how to change the S211 tail light bulbs myself.

In the end I purchased a whole new rear light assembly from the USA. From the USA […]

W126 Outside temperature LCD screen repair attempt 1

The W126 outside temperature display was standard in all Australian delivered series 2 models. The little LCD screen is not really compatible with the Australian sun as most of them start to bleed and become unreadable. My 300SE and 560SEC both have unreadable LCD screens. The 560SEL, which was garaged all its life still has a good screen.

Buying a used one is not really a good option. They are not particularly cheap, and even if a cheaper one from the USA can be sourced, it would be in Fahrenheit. There is somebody in Europe who is selling replacement LCD […]

MBCNSW March 2021 Night Drive

Today was the monthly MBCNSW night drive. Over the last week, Sydney has experienced the worst storms in sixty years. The original route that we picked for the drive was not going to be possible. It went down into the national park and close to flooded areas. There was also the risk of unknown potholes in the road that we wouldn’t see at night.

Therefore, we decided to postpone the original route to June and do a much simpler drive this evening. We met at McDonalds Thornleigh. From there, we drove up Pennant Hills road and then down Pacific Highway […]

March 2021 Rover P5 Coupe restoration update

Regular readers will remember I have been stopping by to check out the Rover P5 coupe restoration. The updates show just how time consuming a proper restoration is. Those TV shows that try to do one in a weekend really are quite silly. There is a big difference in just slapping things together and doing the job properly.

To recap there are three Rover P5s under restoration. A 1964 P5 Coupe MKIIA in manual/overdrive; a 1965 MKIIC in manual/overdrive (converted from auto) and a 1966 MKIII in manual/overdrive (also converted from auto). The two MKII cars are both admiralty blue, […]

450SLC wet feet

I’ve had a problem with wet feet in my 450SLC for years. Generally this manifests itself with water dripping onto both the drivers and passengers feet when the A/C is running. This is particularly prevalent when going around a corner. I had always assumed that this was caused by blocked A/C drains. I tried to clean them a couple of years back but the problem never went away.

A couple of weeks ago I took the car on an extended drive and had a lot of water covering my feet, but especially in the passengers side. I figured it was […]

W126 Radio and USB sockets

When I bought my 300SE about four years ago, it came with an early 2000s era Kenwood CD player. At the time, I assumed I would need to replace it, as it wasn’t working. Turned out the plug had come out of the back and it actually worked fine. It wasn’t a bad unit, as it could play MP3 CDs, display track information and so on. My main problem with this radio was that it would occasionally cut out, and only work again if I removed and plugged the face back in. The W126 radio is a DIN unit, so […]

M272 Camshaft adjuster replacement

I really dislike the check engine light. To me its an altogether silly concept given the digital dashboards cars are equipped with. It can mean anything from a loose fuel cap to a destroyed engine, so consequently people just ignore it. Modern cars know a whole lot more about what is wrong with them. Instead of posting a reasonable error message on the dash read out, like they do for a blown bulb, you get the check engine light. My wife’s E350 had the light come on a few weeks ago. You could also tell that the engine wasn’t as […]

W111 Battery

I had recently noticed that the battery on the 250SE was not in good health. The battery disconnect switch I built a few years ago has a battery health indicator included. Even when connected to the trickle charger it was showing orange. I also noticed that the trickle charger would sometimes go into error mode. My battery tester showed that it was well below where it should be. I had only replaced the W111 battery in the 250SE about four years ago, which is a pretty short life.

I was never happy with the battery I put in the car […]

Auto Brunch St Ives March 2021

I visited the St Ives Auto Brunch event again this month.   Like last time, the event was huge – probably slightly bigger this time.   Due to other commitments i didn’t even get to see all the cars yet I was there for over two hours.

I got there about 7;30AM and there were already queues to get in.    While there is a bit of chaos, I like they have not brought in over zealous security guards that would just spoil this event.   One thing that would be good would have been if they were to open a few more […]