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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

560SEL further evaluation

After owning the 560SEL for a couple of weeks I’ve had a chance to spent a bit more time looking over the car. I’ve also had a few more opportunities to drive the car – covering about 150 km over the time. This is a lot less than I would normally want to do, but with COVID19 lockdowns, I can only drive the car for specific purposes such as driving to the shops to buy food.

First thing to do was to put the car up on the hoist and have a look underneath. The car was ordered with a […]

My new 1987 560SEL

I am now the second owner of a 1987 560SEL. I wasn’t looking for a new car, but I could not pass by the chance to get my hands on a one owner 560SEL. Unfortunately, as much as I like my 1986 300SE, that car will be for sale after things get back to normal. The 300SE will be a good car for somebody as I have spent a lot of time and money getting it right.

The 560SEL was purchased new by a Sydney business owner and was first registered in September of 1987. While it was primarily a […]