Preparing my 300TE for a family road trip

In January, I’m taking my family to Tasmania on holiday. Instead of renting a car down there, I’m driving down and taking the Spirit of Tasmania. I’ll collect my family from Launceston Airport as they will fly down. Due to the cost of the Spirit of Tasmania, its actually cheaper to do it this way. It works out well, as they are not interested in the long drive down.

I’m taking my 1990 Mercedes 300TE on this drive. Now I could have taken my wife’s modern car – a Mercedes E350 Wagon. However, I far prefer driving the 300TE. The […]

M117 fan controller prototype

A couple of months ago I tried a modification on my 560SEL to trigger the auxiliary cooling fan earlier. The primary reason for this was to provide adequate air flow over the A/C condenser in stop/go traffic. The W126 A/C was designed for R12 refrigerant and is marginal at best with R134A. I used a resistor to trick the fan into running at a lower temperature. It worked, but the temperature kick in was a bit higher than I wanted and the wiring was messy. I thought a better solution would be to build a proper M117 fan controller.

The […]

M117 Auxiliary fan cut-in modification

Under normal operation, the auxiliary fan on the M117 engine cuts in at 105C. It can also be triggered by A/C system pressure. These settings work fine to keep the engine at the correct temperature. The challenge is that most of these cars have been converted to R134A refrigerant. R134A is far less efficient than R12. The A/C system in the W126 was designed for R12 so is now under specified. Add in the hot Australian climate and stop/go Sydney traffic and you end up with a hot engine and poor A/C performance.

I’ve noticed that once the coolant temperature […]

W126 auxiliary fan replacement

Now we have hit summer here in Sydney, it was apparent that the auxiliary fan was not working. The fan is triggered either by high coolant temperature, or refrigerant pressure. High coolant temperature causes the fan to run at full speed. Refrigerant temperature can trigger a slower fan speed based on a resistor. Before I just jumped into W126 auxiliary fan replacement, I tested the existing fan.

The first test is to jump the wires at the coolant temperature probe. This should trigger high speed running. The next is the sensor on the A/C receiver/drier which should trigger low speed […]

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 […]