W126 power rear seat top trim

An obvious issue on my 560SEL was how the rear seat was mounted. There was an obvious gap between the parcel shelf and the rear seat. The 560SEL came standard with a W126 power rear seat. This either standard or optional on other W126 LWB models. It seemed clear that when the self-leveling rear suspension was removed, the trim was not put back correctly.

On a car without the power rear seat, the backrest is fixed into position so there is no need for an additional trim piece. On a car with the W126 power rear seat, there is a […]

W126 Monovalve eliminator – part 4

I have now completed the installation of the Movovalve elimination kit on my 560SEC. So far so good. Most importantly, I don’t have heat when I don’t want it, but it is available when needed. In the last installment, I completed the routing of the cooling hoses. From there I installed the radiator and ensured the cooling system didn’t have any leaks. The final step was to set up the vacuum solenoid so it could control the heater valve.

The very rough diagram below outlines how I adapted the kit for the W126. Note the diagram is not to scale […]

Installing a W126 radiator

Today’s job was installing a W126 radiator into my 1987 560SEC. I had previously sorted out the cooling hoses as part of my monovalve eliminator install. I was just waiting on a few extra parts I had ordered to begin this job.

Firstly I decided to replace the coolant reservoir tank. My current one is not leaking, but the plastic was quite discoloured and looked a bit white around the hose entry. Genuine Mercedes coolant reservoirs are still quite inexpensive, and you never know how long that will continue. Best to change it now. I was already planning to replace […]

Replacing W126 cowl covers

I had previously removed the W126 cowl covers to clean the drains. Now they are clean and I have replaced the ABS module bracket, they were ready to be re-installed.

Before I did so, I had some new parts to install. The first were the rubber boots that cover the windscreen wiper shafts. On most W126 cars they are almost non existent. On my 560SEC, I had the remains of one, and the other was completely gone. The picture below shows the two new boots along with the remains of what was left on my car.

Second was the rubber […]

Cleaning W126 cowl drains

As part of the installation of the Monovalve elimination kit, I needed to remove the ABS controller bracket. The bracket was in the way of the coolant hoses. I order to remove it, I needed to remove the W126 cowl drains cover. This is great opportunity to inspect this area and clean it. Cars that have parked outside often have debris here that causes rust.

In order to remove the W126 cowl drains cover, the seals at the firewall and windscreen must first be removed. In the photo above, I have removed the seal on the firewall but not the […]

W126 Monovalve eliminator – part 3

I have been working on a project to eliminate the monovalve from the climate control system in my 560SEC. In the last part I had almost completed the cooling hoses required for the job. I had mostly worked out hose routing I was looking for – which was combining the dual outputs from the heater core into a single hose where I could place the new heater valve.

Looking further my design wasn’t going to quite line up. Once I put the elbow piece on the end, it was too long and the hoses were bent too much. I didn’t […]

Mercedes-Benz Australia price list – April 1982

In April 1982 Mercedes-Benz was pretty much king of the hill when it came to mainstream luxury cars. Rolls Royce was in a league of its own, and Jaguar was at its quality nadir. BMW were just releasing the E30 which would propel them to a leadership position in the small, luxury market. They still could not touch Mercedes-Benz in the mid or upper tiers.

As a result, Mercedes were able to charge premium prices for their offerings. This was before the introduction of fringe benefits tax in Australia, so many of these cars were purchased as company cars with […]

Mercedes Club drive to Peats Ridge

The Mercedes Club organized a joint drive with the Rolls Royce Owners club to the Corrugated Cafe in Peats Ridge. Peats Ridge is about 90km north of Sydney. This was one of the first drives after the COVOID19 restrictions were eased. A couple of the members of the club were trying to organize a line up of W126s at the event. The event seemed like a good opportunity to see some Rolls Royces and give the 560SEL a good long drive after I got the car back from some preventative maintenance.

Taking the 560SEL also gave an opportunity to take […]

Which is the slowest W126?

Many people are interested in which cars are the fastest, but perhaps a more interesting question is which is the slowest W126? There were a plethora of W126 models offered from 1979-1991 and not all of them were particularly fast.

For the purposes of this test, I have assembled some contenders, based on data from www.automobile-catalog.com. This comparison assumes the cars are in as-new condition. Obviously a car with low compression and a bad transmission is going to be slower.

Here are the contenders:

280SEL for the Swiss market

The Swiss market had very similar emissions laws to Australia, Japan […]

Mercedes W126 buyers guide

I’m a big fan of the Mercedes-Benz W126. While it might not have the grandeur of the 60’s models, they make a really usable classic. The W126 can even be used as a daily driver. It still has the feel of a classic Mercedes-Benz but you get safety features like ABS, good air conditioning and reasonable fuel economy. When they are looked after they are a a very reliable car that is a delight to drive. I’ve now owned five of them over the years, mostly as daily drivers. Prices are still very reasonable. There are a few other W126 […]