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 […]

Locating the W126 X30 power block on RHD cars

I’m currently planning to re-install the Becker Radio in my 1987 560SEC. At the same time I will be installing a small amplifier, a bluetooth FM Injector and a couple of unobtrusive USB charging ports.

The second generation W126 wiring harness provides a factory way of adding additional accessories. This is the X30 power block. Up to 8 accessories can be connected using factory plugs and their own wiring harnesses. The number already connected will depend on options installed on the car.

Other than the direct power for the amplifier, I plan on using the X30 power block for the […]

50 Years of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The S-Class is probably the signature model for Mercedes-Benz. Personally it’s what I think of when I think of the brand. When I think Porsche, I think rear engined sports cars. When I think of BMW its sports saloons with an inline six. For Mercedes-Benz, it’s the S-Class. Throughout the years the company has seen other halo models come and go, such as the 300SL Gullwing and the 600. But the S-Class has always been that statement of what the best car they could make that would actually sell.

The S-Class was officially launched in 1972 with the introduction of […]

Identifying W126 Brake calipers

I recently attempted to take my 560SEL on a Mercedes Club night drive. On the way there, I experienced a soft brake pedal and a very hot drivers side rear wheel. I had an issue with a soft brake pedal on a mountain road back in 2020. At the time I thought I had solved it as I removed the aftermarket brake dust shields and had all the hoses replaced. It’s pretty clear that I have a sticking rear caliper (or two) that is the root of the issue. It also explains why I always felt the 560SEC had better […]

The R16 resistor on the Australian W126

The second generation W126 controls ignition timing from the EZL. In most countries, Mercedes-Benz provided a knob to adjust the timing based on the petrol that was available in your area. This knob is present on my UK delivery 560SEC. I immediately turned the knob up to 98 octane petrol, as that is what I use in the car. In markets like Australia and the USA, they did not provide this knob. Instead, they provided a fixed resistor for that market. That allowed them to optimize for the petrol available in that market and focus emissions testing on that. That […]

Guest Post: W126 parking brake shoes

I purchased my 1989 420SEL about two years ago and have been busy doing a lot of work to the car to bring it up to my standard. My most recent job was to inspect and replace the W126 parking brake shoes. The parking brake was not holding the car, even after I adjusted it. The Mercedes W126 uses a separate set of drum brake shoes that act on the inside of the brake disc for the parking brake.

Last weekend I started the job, and at first it was pretty easy. The wheel and caliper was off in no […]

560SEC outside temperature display

Last week I fixed the outside temperature LCD on my 300SE. Today it was time to fix the 560SEC outside temperature display as well. In my previous post I covered the details of where I purchased the replacement LCD panels. This same repair should also work on W124 and W201 models of the same vintage. I understand there are minor variances, and that the LCD changed slightly in later years. Both types are available.

I found a few things to speed up the process while doing the second car. Firstly, the instrument cluster does not need to be unplugged. It […]