W124 Ignition tumbler

When I purchased my 300TE, I noticed two things that slightly concerned me. The first was that I only had one key for the car. The second was that the ignition barrel was slightly sticky. There are key blanks available for Mercedes of this era at locksmiths, but the only key I had for the car was a copy. I didn’t feel like a copy of a copy was all that great an idea, so I contacted the classic centre to see if new ignition tumblers were still available.

Turns out, for this era of W124, with the transmission interlock, […]

W124 Gullideckel wheels

I recently bought an additional set of W124 Gullideckel wheels for my 300TE. The wheels on my car look quite good, but the price was reasonable and its good to have a spare set. I have lots of spare W126 wheels, but they use a different offset.

I like how the factory wheels look on the wagon, so I have no plans to swap them out for a period option. The period AMG wheels look great on the C124 though. I hadn’t thought much of those wheels until this week when I decided to get a new set of tyres […]

300TE Tailgate struts

Like a lot of wagons and hatchbacks, the 124 wagon uses gas struts to hold up the tailgate. Unlike most vehicles, these are completely hidden in the structure of the car. I understand this was done both for aesthetic reasons as well as crash safety. My 300TE tailgate struts had started to fail. The tailgate would mostly stay up, but randomly it would slam shut with no warning. This was somewhat concerning, as my twin six year old’s love riding in the back, and it closes with such force it could do one of them quite a damage if it […]

W124 Becker radio install – part 3

I have been in the process of installing a Becker Grand Prix 1402 in my 1990 300TE. This is the model of radio it came with, although this particular radio is not original to this car. In the first installment, I sourced and tested the Becker 1402 and removed the Sony Xplod. In part two, I wired in the right connectors for the Becker, as well as the iSimple Tranzit BLU HF FM injector. By the end of that installment, I had music from my phone playing through the speakers of the car.

To complete the install of the Becker […]

W124 Becker radio install – part 2

Yesterday, I started installing a Becker 1402 in my 1990 300TE. This was the radio it was sold with, and the same radio I have in my 1987 560SEC. I had removed the old Sony and inspected the wires, plus fixed my broken Hazard light switch.

This morning I looked up the wiring colours for the Sony online. The wiring in the car has been ‘modified’ by various radio installers over the years, so starting with the Sony wires was a good place to start. As outlined the operation instructions, the Becker 1402 wiring harness has four wires going into […]

W124 Becker radio install – part 1

I purchased my 1990 Mercedes 300TE with a modern Sony Xplod CD player. It was a fairly low end model that sounded pretty bad and looks really out of place in the W124 dash. The passengers front speaker was not working, adding to the poor sound. The S124 has very silly speakers in the rear, one of the few design flaws in the vehicle. Losing one of the front speakers is a major blow to sound in the car.

My car was first sold with a Becker Grand Prix 1402. The operating instructions is still in the owner manual kit. […]

300TE Thermostat change

Since purchasing my 300TE, I haven’t been happy with the operating temperature. It hasn’t overheated, but it was running hotter on days in the mid to high 20s than I would like to see it. I want to be able to rely on the car on days well into the 40C range.

My mechanic had suggested that the fan clutch be changed. I had that done, and while there was an improvement, I still didn’t like what I was seeing. I was hearing the fan clutch roaring while cruising on the motorway, and temperature was creeping up at motorway speeds. […]

W124 fan clutch and other cooling system improvements

When I first got my 300TE registered, I had the A/C regassed as it wasn’t very cold. That made a huge difference as after that the car was ice cold. According to the service history, it had been a couple of years since it was last done, so it was probably about due. At the time, my mechanic suggested I replace the fan clutch, as the electric fan was cutting in quite a lot. He didn’t think the mechanical one was getting enough air through the condenser.

I figured this was a good idea, because even on a warm (e.g. […]

Fitting S124 factory cross bars

Ever since I purchased my 300TE, I had wanted to replace the aftermarket roof racks with the S124 factory cross bars. The car came with a set of Rhino Sportz roof racks, which looked like a decent, name brand roof rack. However, my wife was quite keen for a set of roof racks for her car, and these would fit perfectly. In addition, I was aware of how much better the S124 factory cross bars look on the car. They are probably not as practical, but I can always temporarily fit the other roofracks if needed.

When I first purchased […]

Planning 300TE repairs and improvements

Now I’ve had the 300TE registered for a month or so, and have put about 600km on the car, I have a better idea of some of the improvements I want to make to it. I was able to take care of some of the most obvious ones right away. I’ve been ordering some parts over the last couple of weeks that are now starting to arrive.

These repairs and improvements are as follows:

Sticky ignition key. The ignition key is every so slightly sticky. I am not keen to repeat the experience of my 280SE. I noticed that […]