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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

W126 SEC auxiliary fan replacement

Once I got the air conditioning working on the 560SEC it was apparent the auxiliary fan was not working. As can be seen in the wiring diagram below, the W126 SEC auxiliary fan can be triggered either by high coolant temperature or by refrigerant pressure. The diagram is for 1986-1990. In 1990, the W126 went to a dual fan setup. The fan can operate at two speeds based on a resistor.

My fan would not work even when fed 12v directly. I struggled to find a replacement fan from a brand I trust. I wasn’t that keen on a […]

560SEC Climate Control repairs part 1

When purchased, my 560SEC did not have working climate control. Not only did the A/C not work, but the heater had a mind of its own, occasionally bursting in to life and turning on full heat. Curiously for a car that has been in Australia since the early 2000s, the car had not been converted to R134A.

My first step was to see if the system could work. Overseas readers may not know that in Australia it is illegal to sell freon to the general public. R12 has not been available for many years. Therefore, I booked the car into […]

KE Jetronic EHA Adjustment

I discovered at the MBCNSW Dyno day that my 560SEC was running dangerously lean. Lean enough to cause damage to the engine. While I was in the USA for work, I went to the Mid Florida Auto show. I met Pierre Hedary there (who runs an independent Mercedes workshop), who suggested that I should start by testing my fuel pressures and that he had a couple of videos on youtube to help. The first video was on checking KE Jetronic Fuel Pressures. The second video was on KE Jetronic EHA adjustment.

As I own two KE Jetronic cars and one […]

MBCNSW Dyno Day

The MBCNSW held a tech day at a dyno equipped performance shop today. I was keen to attend as I wanted to understand how much power my ECE 560SEC is making. Geting dyno time independently can be expensive, but through the club day it was very affordable. The tech day was held at SR Performance at Wolli Creek.

On the Dyno, the following cars were tested:

CLK350 C209 C63 AMG 1974 350SL 1972 280SE 3.5 1987 560SEC 500SL R230

While my primary reason for attending the day was to find out how much power my engine is making, A […]

NSW Historic Plate Adapter

It was just announced that the NSW 60 day logbook ‘trial’ has been made permanent. This is great news as its a really good system. The two minor drawbacks – the amount of paperwork and the size of the plates. The plates are tiny and really ugly. They are so small that they don’t line up with the mounting holes of nearly any car. The neatest way of mounting them is to use an adaptor.

On the 250SE and Traction Avant, I made adapter plates out of sheet aluminium. I’ve never been 100% happy with them. On the 450SLC, I […]

M117 lower oil pan replacement

One of the things I noticed when I first changed the oil on my 560SEC was the dent in the lower oil pan. Presumably it hit a curb or rock at some point. It was also leaking. the dent was likely too small to interfere with the oil pump, or oil pickup but I wanted to be sure. The M117 lower oil pan can be changed without removing anything else. It made sense to replace it with a new one to make sure there is no impact on the engine and to stop the leaks.

As it was about […]

Mercedes self-leveling rear suspension flush

A common feature of Mercedes cars from the mid 70s through the mid 2000s is the self-leveling rear suspension. This system is standard on the wagons, but was commonly specified on the higher end sedans too. Mercedes-Benz Australia was particularly keen on the system fitting it to coupes and even mid size saloons.

The system ensures that even with a heavy load in the rear of the car, the suspension remains level. Keeping the car level improves handling and safety. It is actually quite a simple system, derived from the more complex system on the 6.9. This system, in turn […]