Mercedes Club drive to Peats Ridge

The Mercedes Club organized a joint drive with the Rolls Royce Owners club to the Corrugated Cafe in Peats Ridge. Peats Ridge is about 90km north of Sydney. This was one of the first drives after the COVOID19 restrictions were eased. A couple of the members of the club were trying to organize a line up of W126s at the event. The event seemed like a good opportunity to see some Rolls Royces and give the 560SEL a good long drive after I got the car back from some preventative maintenance.

Taking the 560SEL also gave an opportunity to take […]

W126 reclining rear seat

Long wheelbase models of the W126 could be equipped with an electric reclining rear seat. From the factory the W126 reclining rear seat was standard on the 560SEL and optional on other models. local subsidiaries may have ordered other models with this feature as standard in their markets too. At least here in Australia it is always seen on the 560 models, commonly seen on the first generation 380SEL and occasionally seen on the 420SEL. Privately imported cars vary, but it is more commonly seen on the higher specification models like the 500SEL.

The W126 reclining rear seat was not […]

560SEC stone chip touch up

Over the years my 560SEC has acquired quite a lot of stone chips on the front of the car. I understand the previous owner was in semi-rural Queensland so there may have been some gravel or unsealed roads in there. Today I applied a stop gap fix until I can address the problem properly. Most of the stone chips were in the front panel under the headlights. These panels are removeable, so eventually when I have the rust under the rear screen fixed, i’ll have this panel repainted too. That repair will be a couple of years away, so today’s […]

Flashback: 2012 Sydney German Auto-Fest

They Sydney German Auto-Fest is now a major event in the Sydney car show calendar. There are hundreds of cars to choose from including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi and some of the smaller brands. It has even replaced the separate Mercedes-Benz concours event. However, this show had quite humble beginnings. I attended the 2012 Sydney German Auto-Fest, back when it was a couple of dozen cars in a parking lot. I recall that this was the inaugural event, but I could be off a year.

I went there in the 250SE, but I wasn’t sure if you had to register […]

W126 Antenna grommet

One of the things that had been bugging me about my 560SEC was the missing W126 antenna grommet. Over time, they perish and instead of replacing it, the previous owner had used household sealant. This is an odd bodge as the part is inexpensive and easy to fit. The household sealant was making the SEC look like a real jalopy, and while that might be the name of this site, I don’t actually want the cars to look like jalopies.

It is quite easy to fit the new W126 antenna grommet. The power antenna must be dropped down. It […]

Guest Article: MrFrotop buys a coupe

The club guys were right about the bug. You know, the one you catch after buying your first classic Mercedes. It’s not that the W108 3.5 wasn’t enough, but after a couple of years you feel an irrational (yet somewhat justified) urge to have a Mercedes for every occasion. Rescuing all of these beautifully engineered machines from an untimely demise is a noble cause, some might argue. The passion was certainly there but in the end, you need a number of factors to align: funds, garage space and spousal approval. I had only one of those, the rest will have […]

560SEL Stainless steel exhaust system

I hadn’t planned on doing anything to the 560SEL’s exhaust system. However, when I was checking on the possibility of reinstating the self leveling suspension I noticed that the current system was rubbing quite badly on the drive shaft. In addition, it did not fit well and the hangers could not align. It was being held up with wire in places. I have now replaced it with a new 560SEL stainless steel exhaust.

The diagram below shows the factory system. While the Australian version of the 560 is quite similar to the USA version in many ways, it uses the […]

560SEL further maintenance

Before I begin regular usage of the 560SEL there is further maintenance required. Per a receipt I have, a new timing chain and tensioner was fitted around 20,000km ago. This is obviously a good thing, but it was a shame that while this was done, the M117 timing chain guides were not replaced.

The guides (and ideally the sprockets) should always be replaced at the same time as the chain. It is actually the guides that are the cause of most of the problems in the M116 and M117 engines. A stretched chain just exacerbates the problem.

In the picture […]

Repainting the W126 cladding

The W126 was the first Mercedes to feature plastic cladding. I’m not sure this is the best feature of the W126, but it started a trend that would continue for many years. The W126 cladding is attached to the car with a series of clips and consists of eight peices (four on each side) along the line of the bumper bars. The cladding is not the same colour on each car. Before 10/88 it was a contrasting grey, and after 10/88 it was generally a darker shade of the body colour.

This page (in German) provides all the colour codes, […]

Planning to reinstate the W126 Self-leveling suspension

After driving the 560SEL more I have decided to reinstate the W126 self-leveling suspension. I am probably one of a very small group of people who is putting this system back after it is removed. A 560SEL should drive really nicely, but the current springs and shocks make the ride like an unladen ute over rough surfaces. As a contrast my 560SEC has an excellent ride.

The current system was put in by Pedders, a local suspension chain. On speaking to a few people, I have discovered that the spring/shocks they put in are not really suited to the car […]