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Thread: New C126 owner

  1. #1
    Member Heksi's Avatar
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    New C126 owner

    Hello all! I am a proud owner of a 1985 500 SEC, one of the last Gen. 1 cars. This car started its life in Germany when it was picked up by its first owner from factory at Stuttgart at 22nd of May 1985. When the car was about an week old it got the original wheels swapped to BBS typ 184's. At some point the original springs have also been changed to AMG(?) springs, lowering the car some 5 cm. In Germany the car had two owers. The last ten years of its life the SEC spent in Estonia in hands of a one owner, where I purchased to Finland in September. Currently 256k kilometers (160k miles)

    Here's the options list.
    126.044 500 SEC
    117.963 231 PS (170 kW), 405 Nm (299 lb-ft)
    722.311

    271 LEATHER BLACK
    735 ASTRAL SILVER METALLIC

    240 OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE INDICATOR
    241 LEFT FRONT SEAT ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE WITH MEMORY FEATURE
    256 REAR AXLE WITH LIMITED-SLIP DIFFERENTIAL
    260 ELIMINATION OF MODEL DESIGNATION ON REAR LID
    280 STEERING WHEEL AND GEARSHIFT LEVER IN LEATHER TRIM
    440 TEMPOMAT (CRUISE CONTROL)
    442 AIRBAG IN STEERING WHEEL
    444 TEMPOMAT (CRUISE CONTROL) AND AIRBAG
    452 TWO-TONE HORN
    470 ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM (ABS)
    480 SELF-LEVELLING SUSPENSION
    506 OUTSIDE REAR VIEW MIRROR, LEFT AND RIGHT, HEATED (ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE ON THE RIGHT)
    510 BECKER RADIO MEXICO CASSETTE FULL STEREO, ELECTRONIC, KURIER LM/MW/SW/USW
    543 SUN VISOR WITH VANITY MIRROR, ILLUMINATED, LEFT AND RIGHT
    581 AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL
    645 M+S TIRES
    673 HIGH-CAPACITY BATTERY

    I have driven the car for only 1,5 months after letting it sit over the winter. Within a month I will do some servicing to it and take it as a daily driver for the summer. There are some minor issues to deal with, such as jerking shift from D to R and slight chassis/drivetrain vibration at highway speeds. Also the cruise control is working intermittently, such as heating, which does not heat time to time. The steering box has also developed a leak. Anyway, it is overall a clean and original car with practically no rust.

    Some pictures as it was when purchased (click for bigger!) In the last picture is also my winter drive, 300 E-24. I have recently been looking around 500eboard together with OZBENZ, since my native forums are not so model specific to for example C126, and looks like there is some good discussion about these cars on both forums.
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    Last edited by Heksi; 03-18-2017 at 04:45 AM. Reason: Added couple of details

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  3. #2
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    Re: New C126 owner



    Welcome aboard (though I know you've been a member for some years). Look forward to your work. I hope some of the HOW-TOs for the C126 are helpful for you. We have a small (but growing) group of 126 coupe enthusiasts here on the forum !!

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  5. #3
    Senior Member HOFF's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Nice example Gen1 and the BBS rims suit it perfectly!!
    1987 White Euro "ECE" 197kw 500SEC
    1988 Black Euro "RUF" 220kw 560SEC - going WB 2016
    1989 Midnight Blue Euro RUF 220kw SEL full hydro
    M117-968 220kw spare engine converted to EFI- Haltech 2000
    M119-960 5ltr /M119-980 5ltr-Haltech 2000 / 722.620 Trans - TCM 2000

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  7. #4
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Welcome to the SKlasse.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  9. #5
    Member Heksi's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Thanks! I have started to like the Gen. 1 styling more and more when looking at my SEC. The differences on styling are however subtle, when compared to Gen 2.

    Looks like I have been member since 2012, but this was my first post. I guess I started to get interested on Mercs around that time as I started to look around forums for information. Originally I have been an Audi enthusiast, but after purchasing my 300 E-24 two years ago, these Mercs have started to grow on me. I had a -77 Audi 100 GLS for 15 years, and I still have my dad's old -91 200 quattro 20V as a some kind of project, looking for better days.

    Actually I was looking for R129 500 SL instead of SEC, but I have also fancied SEC, and since this nice example was on sale, I decided to go for it. The SEC is still a very refined car, and compared to newer W124 it definately feels more luxurious. I also surprised me how quiet it is.

    I have already read almost all 126 HOW-TO articles. They are really helpful..!! Many thanks especially to you Gerryvz. I have been reading quite a bit about your 560 SEC.

    Before putting the car on its winter hibernation, I changed engine-, transmission- and rear end-oils, as well as flushed SLS fluids with new filter, changed brake fluids, spark plugs and distributor cap and -finger. On the spring's to-do list are coolant flush, belts, interior door handles (worn loose), fuel filter, fuel injectors and seals, power steering fluid and repairing steering box leak. I have also purchased a Becker Mexico 753 radio that was originally installed on this car. At the moment it has Europa 2000, which is a bit too new.

    Oh yes, there is one thing with the fuel gauge. When fuel quantity drops to 1/4 tanks, the reserve-light goes on and the needle starts bouncing between empty and 1/4 full. I already dismantled and cleaned the sending unit according to Kent Bergsma's instructions. It was actually really clean. I tested the sensor, and when the float was in full-down position, the gauge indicated 1/4 and reserve light was on. Any ideas? Bad solder?

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  11. #6
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Heksi View Post
    Oh yes, there is one thing with the fuel gauge. When fuel quantity drops to 1/4 tanks, the reserve-light goes on and the needle starts bouncing between empty and 1/4 full. I already dismantled and cleaned the sending unit according to Kent Bergsma's instructions. It was actually really clean. I tested the sensor, and when the float was in full-down position, the gauge indicated 1/4 and reserve light was on. Any ideas? Bad solder?
    The 124 chassis sometimes has the same issue with the fuel gauge. If you have a spare sending unit, you could try swapping it for grins. If there is still no improvement, most likely the gauge itself is defective. I haven't heard of anyone figuring out how to repair them DIY (you could try replacing any electrolytic caps), on the 124 we just swap out the gauge pod for a good used one. It's not likely you have a wiring problem but it wouldn't hurt to clean the contact points on the sender, gauge cluster, and fuses in the fuse box...

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
    Click here for my website
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Congrats on your new car. It looks amazing. Can't believe it spent 10 years in Estonia.

    According to the ETK, the car supposed to have a trip computer and it obviously doesn't have one. Have you figured out why? Do you have the original, paper, datacard?

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    Re: New C126 owner

    Thanks! Looks like the car has been in pretty good hands all its life. I actually googled the company which was the first owner. It is a family business, so I thought they might have some information, old pictures etc. of the car. They did recognize the car, but did not have anything to tell me about it. The service booklet is stamped full to 208k km on the MB dealer which sold the car new. I have little information on the service done during the last years, so that's why I'm doing all the basic servicing now.

    For some reason ETK does not provide correct information. However, I have the data card as well as the original order of the car with all the options and prices from 1985, and everything matches there. It's a matching numbers car, too. I checked all these things carefully to pre purchase checks, especially as the car came from Estonia. I checked the paint thicknesses, and apart from hood, roof and tailgate, it has been painted at some point. Also the rear window quarters have been done at some point. The window however seems to be original since it has the usual milkyness aronud the bottom corners.

    EDIT: If you are wondering the model designation on tailgate, it has been added afterwards from a Gen 2 car. To wrong position of course.. need to correct that.
    Last edited by Heksi; 03-18-2017 at 02:11 AM.

  16. #9
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    If you open the boot, there is a perforated area under the glass. This is a common rust area on the C126, and while not conclusive, the delamination you see may indicate the area is rusty. Get a bright light source and look up and under the boot just north of the boot lid seal. You will find several ovals and that is the piece that holds the bottom of the glass as it floats in a thick rubber MB seal. Along with timing chain and guides, this is another area that needs attention for mitigation of rust.

    I recently removed my glass and repaired the rust, fortunate not having to buy the bottom section and have it cut out and new welded in. I have experimented with a few pieces of back glass delamination. While using a wallpaper steamer to remove window tint film, I was using the hose in a concentrated area of 5 cm, and as the glass heated up on both sides from the steam, the glue became less milky. YRMV, but I found it interesting that the temp of water vapor could help that, wonder what hotter heat could do. Take caution, these back glass are NLA and I experimented on a spare only to be used if a collision cracked my good one.

    The price of a new MB seal is not too bad considering the length of time it lasted. The sealing cord used at the time has now shrunk, become hard and no longer bonds the glass to the chassis frame like it did. New MB sealing for the windows never gets completely hard and is a much better product. I coated the channel with it, then under the rubber seal all around the outer glass until it oozed. Cleaning as you go, one tube will leave about 1/3 left over. The old stuff is like plumbers putty.
    Last edited by nocfn; 03-18-2017 at 07:24 AM.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  18. #10
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    New C126 owner

    Jealous of your garage Heksi, if I could justify it somehow I too would have a c124/126 combo!
    Last edited by Cornershop; 03-18-2017 at 07:54 AM.

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    Re: New C126 owner

    FWIW I've just had my rear screen changed for a Pilkington item, as the MB item is NLA. Purchased from a reseller called http://www.originparts.de/index.php?lang=1

    New MB seal also used.



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  22. #12
    Member Heksi's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    I know the rear window frame rust issue, and in my car it has already been repaired at some point. There is no rust or water leak. However, I suspect that the glass is original since it is delaminated and with MB stamps. At the moment it is only a cosmetical issue.

    Cornershop, good to know if rear windows are still available! How much did it cost?
    1985 500 SEC
    1992 300 E-24
    1990 200 quattro 20V
    instagram@hptalli

  23. #13
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    I used 3" wide matte shadowline tape to cover my delam before I found nice used replacement. You couldn't tell it was covered until you were right up to the window.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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    Re: New C126 owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Heksi View Post

    Cornershop, good to know if rear windows are still available! How much did it cost?
    Wow, just checked again and the price has rocketed!

    I only paid 285 Euros + 120 Euro shipping from Germany to the UK back in December, they now want 680 Euro just for the screen!

    I'm wondering if the new price is for a genuine MB screen, rather than Pilkington ?

    https://www.originparts.de/index.php...am=A1266701680

  26. #15
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    $1,100 US when I priced when available, just checked MB dealer and its $991 but if they have it, they wont ship it. Classic center says http://partssearch.mercedes-benz-cla...ts/A1266701680 its NLA
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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    Re: New C126 owner

    Quote Originally Posted by nocfn View Post
    $1,100 US when I priced when available, just checked MB dealer and its $991 but if they have it, they wont ship it. Classic center says http://partssearch.mercedes-benz-cla...ts/A1266701680 its NLA
    Thanks, i recall the vendor telling me the MB item wasn't available, before confirming the Pilkington was available. So maybe the circa 300 Euro price will still be accurate for the Pilkington item.

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  29. #17
    Member Heksi's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    I have been driving the SEC for about two weeks after the top-end rebuild which has been covered it this topic. Within 1,5 months I will be putting the car to its winter hibernation, but before that I am gathering myself a to-do list of repairs for next spring and summer.

    Here's a list that's been done besides the top-end repair since I started this thread:
    - Bouncing fuel gauge repaired by checking through all the gauge soldering (A friend of mine did this)
    - Cruise control not working intermittently > repaired by checking through the control box soldering and replacing condensators (he did this, too)
    - Took apart ACC control panel and checked through all soldering (same guy)
    - Becker Mexico 753 with 3,5 mm AUX-input installed (found from eBay)
    - Correct wheel center caps installed
    - Lubrication of hinges, locks, etc.
    - All V-belts replaced
    - Replaced worn interior door handles (Has anyone done this? I wasn't able to get all the slack out of driver's handle. Adjusting the slack completely off means the plastic covers don't fit nicely to door panel anymore, so I had to leave the handle a bit too loose to the the panels fit fine. I wonder if the wire running from handle to locking mechanism is stretched)
    - Cleaned and lubricated door window mechanisms
    - Cleaned and lubricated seat rails, hinges and ring gear (at least everything that is able to do without removing the seats)
    - Cleaned the whole interior throughly, washed seats and conditioned leather
    - Regular washing and waxing

    TO-DO list for the future
    - Clunking noise from prop shaft / rear end / rear suspension (This noice is noticeable on slow speeds when stepping off accelerator, stopping to lights and as a strong jerk when selecting straight from D>R. Any ideas? Prop shaft dampers look good on both sides. Center bearing carrier?)
    - Heater not putting out warm air every time when needed (I am almost sure this is the monovalve. I have found only repair pistons made by "MTC" Are they any good, any experiences?)
    - Small rust repairs on door seal rails
    - Cleaning the underbody
    - Replacing the fuel filter
    - R and R of steering gear, fitting repair kit
    - Flushing the power steering fluid, replacing filter
    - Checking the condition of SLS accumulators
    - Air conditioning service
    1985 500 SEC
    1992 300 E-24
    1990 200 quattro 20V
    instagram@hptalli

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  31. #18
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Your clunk smacks of typical rear carrier bearing, flex disks, transmission mount and motor mounts. One of those things that should all be done while you are there. Also check the bushings on the guide rod mounts. I know you mentioned back end, but those describe as well. If you have not changed the Differential mount consider that and its fluid.

    A simple check is the rear control arm links to the swaybar to the wheel assembly. The clunk at low speed may just be worn plastic bushings. It looks like a plastic Z at the end of the rear swaybar. The w116 links are metal and a lot stiffer and bolt up just fine if you don't like the w126 plastic version.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  33. #19
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    Re: New C126 owner

    The SEC is now hibernating over the winter. The last episode of the heads rebuild was a engine oil leak which was first suspected to become from the front end cover sealing on the left side. There is no gasket, only sealing compound. Once the power steering pump and reservoir was removed, it was obvious that the leak was coming from the front end of left cylinder head gasket instead.

    Apparently the gasked was damaged on the "loop" which goes around the cam chain opening, when the front end cover was installed. The heads were already in place at that point. The factory guide is to grease the head gasket when installing the front end cover as it is a very tight fit. I guess this was not done, or something else went wrong. I don't know if it would have been wiser to install the front end cover first, and the heads after that. But there might be a reason for everything, I guess.

    Anyways, they now installed the left cylinder head again with new gasket set, and everything seems to be ok.

    At same occasion the engine oil was replaced with Penngrade 1 20W-50 with MB filter so I can now drive with a peace of mind regarding the valvetrain wear.

    Earlier in the autumn I replaced the spark plug wires with Bosch set 0 986 356 334 which cured the misfires. The replaced set was a mix-up of Bosch and Beru leads and resistors and did not give solid values when measuring the Ohm's.
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    1985 500 SEC
    1992 300 E-24
    1990 200 quattro 20V
    instagram@hptalli

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  35. #20
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    Re: New C126 owner

    I love your 560sec, the BBS wheels look great on the car. I've been daily driving my 560, since my E500 is in the shop, and getting more familiar with its charms.
    RicardoD
    1990 964 C4 / 1991 964 C2 tip
    1994 E500
    1991 560SEC
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  36. #21
    Member Heksi's Avatar
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    Re: New C126 owner

    Thanks! I like the wheels also. I think you mean 500 SEC

    I think the original owner had a good taste since he ordered the car with classic colour combination (silver/black). On Gen 1. cars there were some quite "70's" colour combinations available. He bought the wheels when the car was an week old. Originally it left the factory with 14" steel wheels and hubcaps. I also found out that my car has AMG lowering springs and shocks. They look quite old with the old-style AMG logo, although I don't have any receipt with the car papers. I think they might be installed on same occasion with the wheels.

    I like to drive both 124 and 126, they have their own character. And both are 100% Mercedes.
    Last edited by Heksi; 10-27-2017 at 01:17 AM.
    1985 500 SEC
    1992 300 E-24
    1990 200 quattro 20V
    instagram@hptalli

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