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Thread: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

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    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    I posted this on MBClub and i thought you guys may also be interested...


    Here we go again… Some say it’s the V power running through my veins, some say stress causes irrational behaviour… My wife says I have an irreparable genetic condition.

    Whatever it is, I get an idea and I cannot rest until its done with.

    After the completion of the W123 manual 560 project, there was a gap in the “ongoing build” department of my left cortex.

    I love my 500E and I love my 3.4 AMG Estate.

    We spend most of our miles in the wagon as its practical, comfortable and a lovely motorway cruiser.

    For me though, I always miss the 500E grunt when I drive the 3.4..

    The straight six is a lovely “sewing machine smooth” engine, but it’s never going to have that V8 character…

    So of course, I started looking around on the internet in search of fellow escapees of the cuckoo’s nest and found a few… mostly Japanese or American.

    I even found one such member, whom we shall call “Nor” (real name heavily disguised for privacy) who considered selling his converted V8 wagon. I sent this mysterious “Nor” a message on Facebook. I got no reply.

    I started looking into what it may take to create such a car. Well I need a M119 drivetrain and a suitable estate of course.

    Well it just so happens that we have a lovely E220 in stock at Mercland. It’s a lovely car that our own team have breathed upon over the years.

    To convert a right-hand drive car, my best chances are a M119 from an early R129 I would think? The early R129’s used KE Jetronic which is relatively simple to wire up and get going... RHD steering box may be an issue here, but we can solve that surely?

    A few weeks go by, busy with work, until I googled once more. I see that fellow inmates talk of chopping backs off cars and welding them to a 500E saloon… hmm sure I saw something like that on crimewatch once… didn’t end well. Not a big fan of this method.

    Then I see how “Nor’s” car was built. To do this conversion well, you really need as many 400E or 500E parts as possible. Essential are things like the engine support, modified firewall, 500E engine Transmission, Diff etc etc.. Then there are the body panels to think of. If we are doing a 500TE then lets do it properly.. We need flared arches, we need suspension, we need brakes….

    The items become quite an excel spreadsheet.

    So I slowly steer away from the E220 we have.. don’t think that would work.

    I realised to do an authentic 500TE, it has to be a left hand drive with as many genuine 500E components as possible.

    I post on the book and of course instantly I get people offering me parts… awesome!

    Within a couple of days, I seem to have secured most of the body panels I need, but hardly any of the mechanical bits… Why aren’t people storing 500E engines complete with body shell in their sheds?

    Whilst my new buddy from Germany, “Roland,” is figuring out how best to bend side skirts to fit into an envelope, I start looking into where to get the drive train parts.

    Surely I wont have to try another search engine? Bing? Yahoo?? Are there any more?

    Just then “Nor” from the USA replies to me… “Ill call you tomorrow, still have the car.”

    Awesome, that’s that then…

    The next day I speak to “Nor”… A lovely gent, but clearly one of “us” crazies from the asylum.

    “Nor’s” price is a little high for the car, but by now I’ve started to total things up on that spreadsheet I began earlier… The numbers are starting to look like those I used to see during my days at an investment bank, and that’s without some of the essential parts required.

    We tentatively agree on a figure for the car subject to “Nor” looking into shipping logistics and prices.

    A few days go by and I didn’t hear from Nor.. I poked him on the book but no response.

    I figure he has changed his mind.. I don’t like to chase… I know when I’ve been dumped…. Just got to man up, listen to a bit of Whitney and accept it.

    Another enthusiast contacts me.. He knows of a nice 500E that been stood for a few years that runs great and has just had a load of $ spent to make it lovely.

    Unfortunately car is in Guiness-land.. and not the right side either… all the way on the other end, probably nearer Nor than me.

    I have to do this by phone… I speak to the Irishman… he describes the car as “sound” and that’s as much information as I have… Not entirely sure of his blood-guiness content at this point, but he seems pretty honest for an Irishman…

    I buy the car based on one or two passport sized pictures and the word of a fellow nutter. This car is not cheap, but a little cheaper than what 500E’s are fetching now. Its a whole 500E that I can use all the bits from and transplant into a wagon…

    Then casually surfing the bay and a high mileage USA import 500E pops up.. Ok this is interesting… the body is described as rust free… The engine/box are described as running perfectly.. The pictures show the seats and interior are worn but who cares? A quick note to code name “Eddie” reveals that his asking price is in the land of the fairies, even more that the price I have committed to for the Irishmans car…

    So we sit patiently twiddling our thumbs waiting for a transport company to collect unseen, untested and quite expensive 24 year old E500… A few days go by before Shane calls to say he will be on the way. So I send my childrens lunch money off to unknown Irishman and pray to all gods of all religions that he is of fixed abode and good moral stature. Will this be an Emerald or a Leprechaun?

    Thursday night comes and being a Rock and Roller, I am sat in my office advertising C220’s..

    Up pops a little box on the bottom right of my monitor… “high mileage 500E ending soon”… Ok well lets take a look.. I put in a cheeky bid… its somewhere between what I think its worth on terra firma and Eddie thinks its worth sat up high on those clouds…

    I close the internet page and advertise more C Classes.

    “Congratulations, you have won..” stomach feels a bit funny now…I appear to have purchased two 500E’s, a full 500E bodykit and various smaller parts.

    So as I convince myself that “all is well, you are a car dealer, you can just sell the Irish car, assuming it turns up…. ” Is there any lunch money left? I don’t think so… Going to have to sell the kids… Ah well, six years is a good run.

    Eddie was on the phone within minutes highlighting his 48-hour collection stipulation on the listing which I had man-read a few days earlier…

    I rang my mate TJ… “We are off to Preston very late tomorrow night after work.”

    Having known me since childhood, his reply carried a cocktail of unsurprised/disappointed tonal characteristics..

    TJ knew I must have spent money on something that ranks lower than the need of my children’s school uniform..

    I gather some pennies together and off we go on our adventure up Norf. Praying all the way that my wife didn’t enquire as to my whereabouts.

    I wasn’t expecting much from this car… It has done a few trips on those Highways.

    I didn’t bother with a test drive at 10pm. We paid Eddie and off we went.

    Woah, this thing is quick… It feels quicker than my 500E… maybe the miles really do help to loosen things up… or maybe someone has simply fiddled with the throttle to make it feel quick… I don’t care.. I glance at the oil pressure which reads “3” and the engine sounds sweet enough.

    Of course the interior is tired and has been tarted up for sale, probably by Chuck from over the pond...

    A thorough thirty second examination was carried out in a dark corner of the wild bean café in Kirkham.

    My iPhone torch revealed that he body panels are indeed totally rust free… Cool, so its decided, this will be the donor.






















    Just as I was updating my spreadsheet with the amended list of required parts, the apple vibrates..

    Guess who?

    “Nor” gets back to me… he has a price for shipping and has done all of his homework with regards the various shipping methods…. Over the preceding days, Nor had been busy evaluating the various quotes. He had been wrapping up the spare parts to come with the car, to measure them for more exact quotes…

    Uh oh…

    I now have two 500E’s.. a complete set of 500E body panels about to enter my letter box anytime and many, many, non-returnable parts from Mercedes on the way.























    How do I handle this? Well I certainly have gone too far to turn back… I could sell both 500E’s and beg Mercedes to take some of the parts back… But that will take time and I simply cannot invest any more money without me getting hurt… hurt real bad, by the boss.

    This is annoying… Why aren’t I more patient… Why didn’t I trust in humanity… of course Nor was always going to get back to me.

    Days go by and I realise there is no way I can buy Nors car… The desire is strong but I must confess my sins to Nor. I hope Nor is not too upset or offended. I have been messed around so many times over the years, I know how it feels… You really want to punch something really hard… I was thankful for the Atlantic ocean between us.

    Thankfully Nor took it graciously and we even hope to meet up at some time next year. Ill be the one in the baseball helmet.

    Whilst all of this was going on, In the back of my mind I still needed a suitable wagon… where do you find a left hand drive estate car with the spec required to make this easier for me. I needed Left Drive, 280, 300 or 320, ASR traction, cruise, black leather, ideally 7 seater, heated seats and NO structural rust. Tried ebay with not much luck.. It has to be Germany surely? Surprisingly, although hundreds pop up on mobile.de, very few of the cheaper cars have the essentials I need.

    I loathed German at school.. So when talking to germans about W124’s, “je voudrais un pain au chocolat avec fromage frais” wasn’t getting me any answers about the condition of the subframe…

    Hmm, who do I know that speaks German and knows about cars…. Oh yes Roland!

    Roland made some phone calls and saved me from some very ropey cars. I would have bought one of them otherwise! He educates me on postal codes to buy from and those to avoid.

    A few days go buy and not getting far, when something catches my eye on Germanic ebay. A very poor advert. I had dismissed it earlier due to the pictures not showing any real detail. Upon a google translate of the advert I had learned all about the sellers deep affection for the car but nothing about its spec or condition. I emailed the seller with a google translate of “do you speak English”. The answer was nein. Roland did the honours. Next day Roland “pops” over from some 60km to view the car for me.

    He said “it could work”… Has all the things I need and only superficial rust. The seller is an older genuine guy and has had the car forever. Some W124 usual gremlins but nothing that affects my plans.

    The car is not cheap.. Germany is not a cheap place to buy.. I guess due to their strict MOT’s. Its much more expensive than that lovely E220 I am selling at the moment.. but its what I need and cheapest I have found.

    So a deal is done. I arrange transport with a local company to me.

    They let me down after trying to double the price. I contact other transporters. Some are ridiculously expensive and some are just far too cheap to want to trust.

    I decide there is nothing else for it.. I will have to make a day in my current 24/7 work diary to go and get this car.

    Over the intervening days, the Irish 500E turned up… wow. What a car. Drives like new. Unfortunately, the paperwork consisted solely of an old blue V5 and a note from the Irishman thanking me for the business. Odometer shows 83K KM.. Looked around for tell-tale wear and its easy to see that this car has had an easy life.. could be genuine mileage.

    I went for a drive… Lovely car… way too good to break up.. and in reality, way too valuable for this project. This will be for sale soon once we tidy some bits up and get it recommissioned.






    Friday came. My eldest and I got on a plane to Dusseldorf. After paying the taxi drivers mortgage off, we got a good nights sleep for four hours.

    A quick croissant and then I look out for a W202 running on LPG as instructed.

    Roland had volunteered to collect us and help with translation... I know there must be an “app for that” but there is nothing quite like trusting a German guy you have never met before.

    So we arrive at a house in some village with only “E” data reception showing on my phone. This place is on par with an African tribal settlement in terms of data connectivity.

    Now I really feel like Michael Brewer. I buy and sell thousands of cars a year but for some reason, buying a car privately like this, is always different, warmer somehow… You get to know a bit of the history of the car rather than just some specs on the monitor. I was feeling glad I had made the journey.

    So exchange of documents and then I get to see the car for the first time… Yep it’s a LHD W124.. yep it looks like it has paint on it in most parts and yep it starts… Lets go!

    Just then I see the son of the seller in tears… It was obvious that selling this car wasn’t an easy decision for this family. The father and son got emotional so we stopped for a little photo… We took some time for them to say goodbye.. Not quite sure how long they owned this car but the teenage boy indicated that it’s the only car he has ever known.





    Its been a long time since I bought a car like this and it reminds me of the special relationship that we form with these metal cans..

    Will panasonic cars have this effect? I don’t think so.

    In true used car sales spirit, the fuel lamp is on and needle barely moves. Off we go to find a station… We made it thankfully… Tank full and we head for the Autobahn… woohoo, never driven on German roads, 260 KMH here we come… We wave goodbye to Roland with an exchange of hazard flashes. Roland is a new Mercedes friend for life now.

    Well before I got the chance to test the range topping 320 torque, the temperature needle flew off the top of the gauge… uh oh. So first things first… post it on facebook..

    Stay calm. we have breakdown cover, we have stolen croissants from breakfast and a ¼ bottle of Evian… We have seen three and half episodes of Bear Grylls… nothing can break us.





    With the thought of spending the day waiting for ze RAC on the autostrassebahn, I pulled over and opened the bonnet.. Straight six sounded normal with that old car engine smell… no steam, felt the hoses, seemed ok.. no excess pressure.

    Hmm, breath out relief but a little scratchy on the head….

    Then I remember an old method passed down through generations of Maneks.

    I took my left fist and beat the dashboard.. Hey presto, the temperature was a steady 80 again.

    Utilising the phrase of our very own northern member, John… It was the standard equipment “comedy W124 gauges” playing tricks on me. And it tried to scare me all the way back home, bouncing up and down...

    The 250 mile or so journey to Calais felt a breeze through Netherlands, Belgium and France.

    We were on the train by lunch time and back in the UK..





    This is where we are at now and hope you are interested to follow the progress.

    Will the wife find out? Will I live to tell the tale?

    It may work, it may not, but in the words of my spiritual prophet and guiding force…

    “he who dares wins Rodney, he who dares wins…”

    Apologies for any mistakes in my grammar.. I only went to a cheap school and never really listed to my teachers.

    Apologies also, for what has ended up being a very long post. Future updates will be brief and picturesque.
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  3. #2
    E500E Guru Dario's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Oh no the car i drove in USA is donor
    1993 500E
    1994 E320 cabriolet

  4. #3
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Yes it drives great but lets face it, too far gone to save it...

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Great story

    Looking forward to further project info.

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Jaymanek: Cute kid, great post. Good luck.

    Regards,
    Peter Weissman

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    Junior Member Sam SL's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Who's who in that trio picture?

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    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Left is Roland, the guy who helped me..
    Middle is Me
    Right Is the seller Oktay.

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Very entertaining read, Looking forward to the updates! I want to do the same when I complete my current E500 project

    Also, if you are selling some of those 'spare' e500 parts, I might be interested


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    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Hi All!

    Mini update.

    Earlier this week I removed the dashboard, door cards and rear seats ready for them to go off to be redone.




    I will be using some Recaro CSE seats for the fronts. Still looking for correct adaptor brackets if anyone has any. Recaro number 85.51.09/09.



    The trimmer I am using this time is a Recaro dealer..




    The wood will go off to be refinished




    Parts are arriving daily. Thanks to the eagle eye'd member who pointed out that I had ordered the wrong control arms..
    Went with genuine MB parts, so expensive but at least they will last forever.

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    I love these builds !!! GL with it

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Last couple of days I found a few hours to remove the engine, Gearbox and main drivetrain components from the 500E.

    Im hoping to do the same for the Estate car in the next couple of days.
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    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Engine & Gearbox are now out of the Estate

    And just for comparison:



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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Great work so far! Your not messing around


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    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Hi All!
    Last couple of days I have been stripping the engine down. Took me all afternoon to strip all of the ancillaries from the engine yesterday.


    Today I stripped it down to heads and block.
    It will now go off to the engineers to test and refresh where necessary.
    It should hopefully come back looking a lot cleaner!

    A large order came in today. Mostly parts for Rear Subframe & Suspension.
    Also some parts for the engine refresh.
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Oh when I removed the valve covers, I noticed that the right exhaust cam was around a tooth out.. Im guessing this may have been the cause of the slightly stumbly idle once warm.

    I guess it could also indicate chain stretch? The other three cam timing holes lined up perfectly.

    Either way its getting a new chain and tensioner.

  26. #16
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaymanek View Post
    Oh when I removed the valve covers, I noticed that the right exhaust cam was around a tooth out.. Im guessing this may have been the cause of the slightly stumbly idle once warm.

    I guess it could also indicate chain stretch? The other three cam timing holes lined up perfectly. Either way its getting a new chain and tensioner.
    If three are lining up and the fourth is off ~1 tooth, that isn't chain stretch... either the last sprocket jumped (unlikely) or a previous mechanic goofed up. Weird!!


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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    If three are lining up and the fourth is off ~1 tooth, that isn't chain stretch... either the last sprocket jumped (unlikely) or a previous mechanic goofed up. Weird!!

    Yes I think someone messed up. Its had some work before at some time.
    I guess it would explain the poor idle.

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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    036 world is so small... just talk to Roland yesterday Good old friend.
    Good luck, i´m thrilled.
    You can´t treat a car like a human.
    You must love it. (c) Walter Röhrl.

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  32. #19
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Do you know what it means when a three year old boy whispers, “its coming?”
    What could be coming?

    Well back to the build.

    Weekends are the only time I can use my own ramps at work, as they are in constant use.

    Friday afternoons one of the technicians finishes early and so I take a few hours out to make some progress.
    Plan was to swap rear sub-frames over by the end of the weekend. Well we would have to in order to be able to get them out of the workshop ready for Monday.

    We pushed the saloon onto the ramp and I started disconnecting all of the bits and pieces attached to the rear sub-frame.

    First the springs have to be removed which is very easy on these cars with the correct tools.

    Then the handbrake cables and brake sensors were disconnected. Once everything is out of the way, the complete sub-frame was lowered off the car.

    Once the 500 sub-frame was out, I set about replacing every suspension arm, link and bush on the axles. The sub-frame bushes were the most time consuming as they were pretty well stuck in.

    The 500E has been a joy to dismantle so far as there was no rust anywhere. No seized bolts, no rounded off nuts.. most of the underside is like the day it left the factory.

    The sub-frame was in nice condition also. No point painting this as I had considered, it came up great after a wash.

    Now that the sub-frame was out, the next task was to remove all lines for fuel and rear suspension.

    I had already ordered all new hoses and metal pipes for this. Unfortunately some of the front to rear metal pipes for both suspension and brakes came incorrect. Too long, short or with the wrong ends.
    Mercedes tend to do this with brake pipes, no longer come in the correct form.

    So on Friday night I labelled and removed all the pipes from the 500E. They were like brand new. Never seen a used car with such clean metal lines.

    Got home quite late on Friday after catching up with work and nursing my bruised finger which id struck with my large hammer earlier… those sub-frame bushes.. grrrr..

    Fellow housemates not too happy with my choice of perfume as I walk in… A unique cocktail of 97 RON, DOT 4 and ZHF fluid.

    Saturday afternoon came around. We put the estate up on another ramp and I started dismantling the sub frame. All went well and it was out pretty quickly.

    The sub-frame is very different. The 500 sub-frame is mostly tubular. The regular is much less heavy duty. See pictures below.

    Luckily I couldn’t see much difference between the mounting points. I was worried there may be some differences between saloon/estate.

    I removed all of the brake and suspension lines for the estate. These were NOT in the same condition as the 500E! Most were quite rusty.

    Wife and the kids were to be out so I had the evening to carry on.

    I couldn’t have done any more sub-frame work as I needed people to help me lift it into place.

    Early evening on Saturday I started swapping over the steering parts. The 500E box is quite compact in comparison to the standard item.

    The rest of the steering gear is all R129 and has to be swapped also. I have ordered all new links and track rods etc but they have not yet arrived. It took me a few hours to swap everything. Plenty of tight bolts and plenty of beating required to release those steering arm joints from their homes of over 25 years. I was still pretty upset with the hammer so it took a bit longer.

    Somewhere that afternoon I had also offered up the pipework to the estate. Surprisingly the pipework was pretty much spot on. I didn’t have to bend it much at all. It all lined up really well.
    The saloon and estate have the same wheelbase so I guess it makes sense.

    There are more pipes on the 500E though as due to ASR, the brakes all have individual lines from the pump to each wheel.

    I used the 500E fuel pumps. The estate also has a “pre pump” to aid fuel getting over the sub-frame to the fuel pumps which is mounted under the rear seat. I left this in position.

    I only had to extend the return fuel line due to the different position of the fuel tank.

    All of the suspension pipes including flexi pipes were changed to new. The 500E lines run down the right of the car to the engine bay whereas on the estate they had originally run the left side.

    The suspension spheres were replaced whilst I was in there.

    So in short, everything was swapped to 500E spec.

    Around 9pm Saturday I went back into the office to finish off with work, which I had been doing in between spannering.

    I get a phone call. I know who it is before I answer it. I sense the impending doom. Yep, she was pretty upset. I had misunderstood. I was supposed to be home to watch the kids a lot earlier, whilst she
    went out.

    So I did the best thing any male can do in this situation. I stayed at work and advertised cars until I knew it was safe to go home.

    Sunday morning I was feeling pretty tired.

    Not sure if it was all that lifting of sub frames and heavy steering boxes, being shouted at or just lack of sleep.

    I swapped over the anti-roll bars complete with new bushes.

    The original self-levelling valve from the estate had to be used.. This is because the 500E uses one supply from the valve to both shocks. The estate has two ports, one for each side. So I went with the estate version as I had already run all new pipes to the shocks and used all new estate specific parts for this.

    Anyway, both sub frames were out on the floor ready to go back up.

    I had to swap the spring perches (or carriers) over as the estate has slightly different shock absorber attachment to the saloon.

    With the assistance of the entire sales team at Mercland the sub-frame from the 500E was lifted into the estate. Thankfully all lined up and it went up into position with minimal fuss.

    The same was done for the 500E.. if nothing else just to keep it mobile on its wheels for pushing around.

    I then came to fitting the H&R lowering springs to the estate. The boxes had the correct part number on but inside the springs looked like they were to fit a Hummer.

    Very angry email sent to supplier. Kicked the bin a few times. Feel better.

    I fitted the original 500E springs to the estate (looking like new of course).

    All of the brake/suspension lines were properly attached to the body using the original clips/mounts from the 500E. I will need to check that nothing is fouling the rear anti roll movement bar once it’s all up
    and running, but looks good for now.

    The 500 springs make the rear sit quite nice… So maybe I won’t bother with lowering springs after all.

    Following Saturdays mix up, I had been given a strict deadline. I HAD to spend time with my offspring.

    After a thorough tidy up, the cars were pushed back out of the workshop and all of the thousand and one tools that I had amassed on the floor, were cleaned and put away until next week.

    A well-deserved family trip to TGI Fridays helped the relaxation required after a pretty busy weekend on the cars and running a business concurrently.

    My son’s inquisition into the name of the restaurant as to why it implies that it only opens on a single day each week, took up any remaining patience.

    As the weekend comes to a close, I like to lie in bed and fall asleep to a bit of Netflix.

    Just as I select “Daddy” on the Netlfix welcome screen, the young son whispers, “its coming.”

    Like all of you, I wonder what may be coming? Could it be Christmas? The rampant screaming and running around that my wife displayed indicated I was in for more of a disaster… But as always I could
    not decipher ‘hysterical woman speak.’

    So I continued with the possibilities in my own head.. hmm It’s a little early for the apocalypse.

    Well I probably should have mimicked my wife, as a split second after the words had left my sons mouth, it was very clear what was coming.

    Yep… The £6.99 meal deal was refunded to me in liquid form on my chest.

    That was my weekend!
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  34. #20
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Today I sent off some engine parts for cleaning.


    And took delivery of some refurbished items ready for installation.




    Sent off wheels that I plan to use for refurb


    Also sent off exhaust manifolds for coating.
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  36. #21
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Hello all... Today I spent a few hours stripping the interior out so that I could trace the wiring loom back.

    Its been a frustrating day, following cables back from the battery in the boot all the way to through the car and into the engine bay.

    The complete relay box is now out and the entire engine bay wiring harness is out of the car.

    Not an easy job but im glad its out of the way. I had been dreading it.

    I still need to remove the wiring harness for the instrument panel, Ill try and complete that tomorrow...

    Now that its out it doesnt seem too complex but I will keep queit until its in the estate and until it actually works!

    I cant understand why the estate car has a speedo cable being a 1994.
    The 500E doesnt have one and I cant recall seing a cable driven Mercedes speedo since the 80's...

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  38. #22
    .036 Hoonigan™
    E500E Boffin
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaymanek View Post
    I cant understand why the estate car has a speedo cable being a 1994.
    The 500E doesnt have one and I cant recall seing a cable driven Mercedes speedo since the 80's...
    All 124 chassis have mechanical speedometers, cable-driven, except for the V8 models (.034/.036). I agree, the cable speedos are a PITA, tend to have bouncy needles, and are generally archaic. On the bright side you will be converting to electronic with the 500E transmission + cluster!


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  40. #23
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Yes I have been trying to figure out the wiring in the cabin today... What a mess... I need to figure out which parts of the loom I need and which I dont... taking some time to figure!

  41. #24
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: W124 500TE Project - Lets do this!

    Hi everyone,
    The last few days I have been busy with the wiring loom from the 500E. It took me some time to free it from the car.
    I had to follow the cables from the battery in the boot, to the engine bay, to all of the connector blocks and carefully pull it all out whilst labelling every connection.
    The toughest part was the wiring loom inside the car. It is about 3x as thick as a regular W124 interior loom. It weaves in and out of various areas of the dash and all has to be picked out…


    I had to remove most of the remaining dash, the steering column etc etc. I had to unscrew each and every wire from the fuse box, carefully labelling each connection.
    One night I took the whole lot home and lay it out on the floor.


    I then had the joyous task of carefully following each and every wire, removing the bits for the A/C, Stereo, Sunroof and so on. The wires I needed were the ones that affect running of the engine, gearbox and everything to and from the instrument cluster. It took me about five hours and one very sore back.
    I don’t think I will know if I’ve made any errors until I try and run the car! I hope not!
    I just need to tidy the wiring up and make it look like a loom again. Then eventually ill need to offer it up to the estate and splice it into the existing wiring where necessary.. Oh fun.
    Over the weekend I took a break from wiring. Since the differential and reconditioned drive shafts were looking at me with their pretty new paint jobs, I decided to get the rear end complete.
    The sub-frame was mounted last week. However there were some parts I wasn’t happy with.
    I had already changed all of the suspension arms but the shock absorber bottom ball joints were totally shot. So I had ordered a pair of new shocks… £££ ouch.
    Also the bottom ball joints on the rear hubs didn’t look great.
    That was not a fun job to replace. Broke my special tool that I’ve had for years. Had to resort to making my own out of a head bolt and two large sockets..
    So all of that was replaced and I mounted the differential last night with the drive shaft’s.
    It was a bit tense when hanging the diff, as it looked like the brackets for the self-levelling valve and also the suspension spheres were going to catch the diff flanges… The suspension spheres are mounted differently in an estate to a saloon.
    In the end, when the diff was mounted and left to hang, the parts all cleared each other by a mm or two! Almost like someone at Mercedes had designed it all to work together.. I may need to take my “adjustment stick” to one of the suspension pipes, but I’ll do that later once things have settled.
    The rear end now has

    • 500E sub-frame
    • New sub-frame mounts
    • Reconditioned differential with with genuine Mercedes fluid
    • New self levelling shock absorbers
    • 500E springs
    • New suspension pipes both solid and flexible parts.
    • 500E wiring harness for rear axle
    • New anti-roll bar bushes & drop links
    • All new suspension arms
    • Reconditioned driveshafts

    I did take some pictures of the rear axle all in place, but some wally left the memory card in the PC so none of them saved.
    Ill get some later.
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