M272 Balance Shaft issues exist outside the published range

Premature failure of the Balance shaft on the Mercedes M272 engine is a known problem. Apparently the balance shafts were too soft and so they wear out quickly. This was the subject of a class action lawsuit in the United States. Over there, the shafts in affected cars were replaced by the dealer out of warranty. This wasn’t the case here in Australia, although it is possible that a handful were done for good customers. There is a service bulletin published by Mercedes-Benz that outlines the repair and the engines numbers affected by the soft M272 balance shaft. Generally those […]

2021 Fleet Update

With the year coming to a close it felt like a good idea to do a 2021 fleet update. A bit of a summary of any issues I had with each car, how much I used it and any future plans. I don’t own a modern car, so these cars not only get used as a hobby, but as everyday transport – regardless of weather or traffic. My wife does own a 2007 car, but I only use that car when the whole family is going somewhere. The cars are listed in the order of how much I used them […]

MBCNSW late December 2021 night drive through Picton

Last night was the final night drive (and last official drive overall) for the Mercedes Club in 2021. Since the lockdown was lifted, we’ve really struggled with the weather for these night drives. Finally, the weather held up and we had a great turn out of 17 cars on the night. It started out hot and humid but cooled off and proved to be a great night for the open topped cars. I had originally planned to bring my 250SE, but hadn’t had a chance to get the club registration signed off in time. Given the route we took, I’m […]

560SEL refurbished Gullideckel wheels

My 1987 560SEL is in very nice cosmetic condition for its age and mileage. The only thing that really let it down was the condition of the alloy wheels. It was clear that they had been cleaned with harsh wheel cleaners many times over the years. The paint was badly discolored. I had some spare Gullideckel wheels that I could have sent away to be refurbished. However, I also had a lovely set of refurbished alloy wheels on my 450SLC that were correct for the SEL. That got me thinking that it might be better to get a different set […]

Troubleshooting 280SE running issues

One of the things I noticed right away when I got my new 280SE was that it wasn’t running well. It was very hard to start and keep running. Eventually, if I warmed it up a bit it would idle, but giving it much throttle would have it stutter and die. I was able to get it off the tow truck and into the warehouse, but not easily.

Getting it to run properly is my first priority as it will also confirm that the drivetrain is good. My first attempt was to check the spark plugs. I thought that perhaps […]

Machines and Macchiatos December 2021

Machines and Macchiatos is another local cars and coffee event I’ve been meaning to check out. I finally made it today, at their new location in Belrose. This location is very convenient to for me. Its on the second sunday of the month from 7am to 9am. Between the St Ives event, Eastern Suburbs and this event I could be going to an event almost every Sunday. Turnout was quite good, although a lot smaller than the St Ives event. I’m not sure if this is normal, as the weather had been wet all week and looked quite iffy in […]

MBCNSW early December 2021 night drive to Bilpin

Last night was the first of two planned December night drives with the Mercedes Club. This was now the 3rd time we’ve run the drive to Bilpin. We did the route in May 2021 and November 2020. The drive is pretty simple. We meet at Windsor McDonalds and drive up to the Apple Pie Cottage at Bilpin. The Apple Pie Cottage is run by a club member who puts on coffees, apple pie and this time Pizza as well. Not only that but he is quite the comedian.

We’ve had some really wet and wild weather in Sydney of late […]

The R16 resistor on the Australian W126

The second generation W126 controls ignition timing from the EZL. In most countries, Mercedes-Benz provided a knob to adjust the timing based on the petrol that was available in your area. This knob is present on my UK delivery 560SEC. I immediately turned the knob up to 98 octane petrol, as that is what I use in the car. In markets like Australia and the USA, they did not provide this knob. Instead, they provided a fixed resistor for that market. That allowed them to optimize for the petrol available in that market and focus emissions testing on that. That […]

Evaluating my 1979 280SE

I took the risky move of buying my 1979 280SE sight unseen. This isn’t something I particularly recommend, but you can get a good sense of a car by looking at detailed photos very carefully. The thing that attracted me to this car was the condition of the body and interior. I assumed a couple of mechanical issues in my buy price. I figure you can always sell a car with a great interior and paintwork. This is especially the case with a W116, as the model is known as rust prone, a trait it shares with the 107 and […]

My 1979 280SE project and my quest for the perfect W116

I’ve been thinking about selling my 1986 300SE for a few months and replacing it with something different. I bought that car five years ago when I needed to be able to drive it every day to drop my daughter off at daycare then to the park and ride to get to work. I no longer work in the office every day, so the need to have a full registered car for this purpose is gone.

Last year I dropped it back to club rego. While it got used a lot, it was always second preference to the 560SEL and […]