560SEC battery tray

On my trip to Victoria last last year, the alternator on my 560SEC packed in. I was able to limp the car home by swapping batteries with a friend in another W126. I also purchased another battery on the road. When I arrived back in Sydney, it was this new battery that was still in the car. I was just going to leave that one there, until I noticed a slight creaking from the bonnet hinge. The bonnet was also a few mm too high.

Turns out the new battery I bought along the way was slightly too big. It […]

W126 rear speakers

I had previously replaced the front speakers in my 1987 560SEC. Now it was time to look at the rears. As I outlined in the article about the front speakers, I am replacing the W126 rear speakers with Crunch 16.5cm speakers. These speakers should fit into the factory brackets and underneath the factory grilles.

Changing the rears in the second generation W126 is a bit more of a fiddly job. For starters the factory grilles are now very brittle. Not only are they over 35 years old, but the Australian sun is not kind to plastics. It is quite common […]

W126 drag link and alignment

I’m planning to drive my 560SEC down to Melbourne in a few weeks. I’m going see the Mercedes Benz Club of Victoria concours and attend a tech day on electrical troubleshooting.

A drive like this meant attending to a few things I had on my to do list for the car. One of them was to replace the W126 drag link. It was supposed to be replaced at the same time as the tie rods and idler bushing were done. Unfortunately, I had bought the wrong part. I should have realized but the left hand drive part is different to […]

W126 front speakers

I’m taking my 560SEC on a long road trip in a couple of weeks. I’ve never really been especially happy with the sound from the speakers, particularly from midrange tones. Before I took the car on a long trip, I wanted to upgrade the speakers.

I am also doing a similar project on my 300TE. On that car, one of the front speakers is damaged and makes a rattling sound. The W124 speakers are harder to find than for the W126. The front speakers on a W124 use an odd mounting system, and the rears have minimal clearance. There […]

Mercedes W126 self-levelling rear suspension flush

I’m about to take my 560SEC on a road trip. I’ve been making sure I had appropriate spares for this road trip, especially things that would he hard to get by the side of the road. One thing on my list was some spare ZH-M. ZH-M is the hydraulic fluid used in the self-levelling rear suspension. Since I was ordering ZH-M I got enough to flush the 300TE and 560SEC, as well a a new filter for the 300TE. The ZH-M was available from Sparesbox.

The fluid in the 560SEC looked fairly dark. I last flushed it in 2019. […]

560SEC 722.3 transmission rebuilt

I’ve known the automatic transmission in my 560SEC was weak for a few years now. It was exhibiting a lot of the symptoms of wear that these 722.3 transmissions do when they are wearing. When it was cold, there was a lot of resistance in reverse. It would also occasionally bang into a lower gear or shift erratically. Once it warmed up, it was a lot better, the feel of the transmission was not close to the 722.3 in my 560SEL or the one in my 300TE. While it didn’t leak normally, if I didn’t use the car for about […]

W126 Self Leveling rear suspension low ride height

Ever since I owned my 560SEC, it has always ridden too low in the rear. I have attempted to adjust it a couple of times, but was never able to get the correct height. Using the factory procedure to set the neutral height did not work.

At this point a lot of workshops would suggest to rip out the system. This is a really bad idea. The self-leveling rear suspension is a simple system that works really well. Most problems can be simply fixed and are generally cheaper than ripping out the system. Factory SLS cars never ride properly once […]

W126 Becker Radio install – part 4

Previously, I had installed a Becker Mexico 1402 Cassette in my 1987 560SEC. This is a very similar model to what it left the factory with. My setup looked factory, but was running a hidden Bluetooth FM injector, amplifier and USB charging ports.

After driving around for a few weeks, I realised I needed to make a few changes. Overall, I was really happy with the system, except for the following:

USB charging ports were no longer working Distortion in music with strong midrange at medium to high volume The radio worked at position 1 of the ignition switch, but […]

W126 guide rod mount bushes

Back in September, my 560SEC was at the mechanics to fix a sticking brake caliper and fix the A/C. At the same time, I asked for the source of two oil leaks to be investigated. One was from the power steering and one was engine oil.

The power steering leak was confirmed to be from the steering box itself. I had already changed the leaking low pressure hose. The engine oil leak was actually quite simple – it was from the oil pressure sender unit. However, it had been leaking for a while, and had leaked all over the guide […]

W126 Becker Radio install – part 3

I am currently in the process of installing a period correct Becker Radio in my 560SEC. In part 2, I had the system up and running. The final task was to tidy up the installation and re-install all the trim.

The first step was to properly organize and tidy up the wiring. I wanted a neat install, and to hide all the wires out of the way. The Alpine amplifier I am using is small enough I could tuck it in with some other control modules in the passengers foot well.

I mounted the amp with the back face up […]