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 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 […]

W126 Becker Radio install – part 2

In part 1 of this series, I had begun installing a Becker Mexico 1402 in my 560SEC. I had planned out my install and done the core wiring for the Becker itself. Today, my goal was to complete the wiring of the ancillary components and test the system.

I decided to use two X30 harneses for the install. I had four available plugs on the X30 power block, so it kept it neater if I used two. The main purpose of the first one was to connect my USB ports. I also used one of the ground wires for the […]

W126 Becker Radio install – part 1

My 1987 UK Market 560SEC was originally sold with Becker Mexico Cassette player (option 251). I’ve been planning for a while to re-install a period Becker radio, with a few of my own upgrades.

My first task was to research the radios and purchase a suitable unit. I ended up purchasing two radios, Becker 1402 and Becker 1480. As the skills and parts to repair these radios are getting harder to find, I wanted a primary radio and a backup unit. I am installing the 1402 and will get the 1480 repaired and keep it as the backup. I have […]

Becker 374 Operation Instructions

The Becker 374 Mexico Cassette Vollstereo Reverse was the standard radio installed in the S-Class from 1979-1981 models in Australia. It was seen on the last of the W116s and I believe the early W126 too. This radio replaced the 485, the last of the pinstripe models in the W116s. It was the last of the older style radios with knobs to be found on the S-Class before the digital display radios were introduced.

The most significant difference between the Becker 374 and the similar looking Europa was the auto reverse function. The Europa was found in W123 models of […]

Becker 868 Operation Instructions

In Australia, the 560 models were standard with a Becker 868 Mexico CD Player. This doesn’t sound like much of a deal in 2022, but back in the mid 80s this was a huge deal. Should you have wanted to upgrade your 300SE or 420SEL from the standard Becker Cassette player to the CD, you would have paid more than $2,000 extra in 1990. This is almost $4,500 in todays money.

In most countries, the CD Player was an optional extra even on the 560 models, but Mercedes-Benz Australia priced them so high they needed justification for the difference between […]

Becker 1402 Operation Instructions

I am currently installing a Becker 1402 Grand Prix electronic in my 560SEC. I don’t have the original owners manual packet for the car, so I didn’t have an instruction guide. In any case, since my 560SEC is a UK version, it would have originally had a slightly different Becker that looks visually the same. There were a couple of buttons I wasn’t able to to identify, so I borrowed the instruction manual from a friend with a 1989 420SEL.

The Becker 1402 was standard on the W126 from 1988 in Australia (other than the 560) and at least some […]

Connecting the Becker Line out module to a modern amplifier

I’m currently planning to install period correct Becker radios into my 450SLC and 560SEC. I previously outlined the radios I plan to use, and tested them. I was able to confirm that the Becker 1402 destined for my 560SEC was working correctly. Rather than using the internal 2x25W amplifier in the Becker, I planned to connect it to an external amp. While I could have used speaker level inputs, I was hoping to leverage the Becker Line out module to connect to the amp using normal RCA inputs.

The Becker Line out module was part of the Premium sound […]

Planning Becker radio installs

In the two years of owning my 560SEL, one of the things I have appreciated is the original Becker CD player. I’ve owned many classic Mercedes-Benz models over the years, but until the 560SEL none of them had their original Becker intact. The Becker radios just look and feel right in the dash of the car. I had never really understood that before. That got me thinking about putting some of my other cars back to stock.

The first car in line is my 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC. When I purchased the car in 2003, it had a 90’s era cassette […]

W126 handsfree solution with original Becker

My one owner 560SEL still has its original Becker CD player. Australian delivered 560SELs and SECs came standard with the CD player, which also has a control box in the boot. Mine is still working well. My goal was to find a good W126 handsfree solution with the original Becker. While a modern radio and speakers would probably sound better, the Becker is a part of the original character of the car and worth keeping.

This era of Becker do not have an aux input like the 60s models do. Therefore, the only solution is to have the unit modified […]