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Thread: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

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    Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    I see lots of talk about pre and post facelift 124.036 cars but am struggling to find a definitive list of what changed and when. Perhaps this varied on location.

    It would be very helpful to know exactly what changes were made as this helps with a potential purchase. It appears that many cars are a combination of pre and post facelift as owners have taken matters into their own hands. Personally I would prfer to purchase as original a car as possible.

    I have tried hunting down this info but can't locate it. If it is available elsewhere please do provide a link to assist.

    Best wishes,

    Pierre

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    W124 (sedan):
    - bonnet & grille
    - headlights
    - taillights
    - turn signals
    - rear lid
    - rear bumper

    C124 (coupe):
    - bonnet & grille
    - headlights
    - taillights
    - turn signals
    - rear bumper

    S124 (stationwagon):
    - bonnet & grille
    - headlights

    E500:
    - bonnet & grille
    - headlights
    - taillights
    - turn signals
    - rear lid
    - brakes
    Arnt
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    94+ got painted bumper impact strips front and back as well. The switch to single fuel pumps instead of tandem pumps happened [in late in 1995 production].

    There are a number of parts / part number differences inside the car that are less significant as well. Including changes in the wiring harnesses and center console wood, alarm and switches.
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Sauce View Post
    94+ got painted bumper impact strips front and back as well. The switch to single fuel pumps instead of tandem pumps happened around this time as well.

    There are a number of parts / part number differences inside the car that are less significant as well. Including changes in the wiring harnesses and center console wood, alarm and switches.
    I see the admins has updated my previous post, many thanks! I was just listing the main exterior items in a glimpse. Of course there is a lot of changes totally, not so visible, but most people normally don't do such type of upgrades due to the complexity.

    About the fuel pumps, my Limited has dual pumps and it was delivered 18.07.1994 (20 years birthday in a few weeks..
    Arnt
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    My fairly early 1994 also has dual fuel pumps -

    For the original question, when you get a bit deeper than just the external items, it's difficult because various changes were phased in at different points throughout the "entire" production cycle of the .036. So it's impossible to say that a "facelift" car has X and not Y, or that a "pre-facelift" car does not have X and does have Y. Often the mechanical changes were done during a production year.

    Examples of a few of these "under the skin" mechanical changes would be the removal of the 9-pin diagnostic port found on early cars; the move to a six-rib serpentine belt; the move to the improved belt-tensioner design; move to larger brakes; changes to the airbox lettering; changes to the air intake tube design; etc.

    As for just the "exterior" facelift items, like the hood, trunk, headlights, bumpers, and so forth ... yes it is easy to say that these appeared at a certain point/VIN number at the end of the 1993 production year/beginning of 1994 production. But various mechanical items...the change-overs have to be documented by members here, and in many (but not all) are identified in the EPC as of a certain VIN number.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    As GVZ noted above: Many of the changes noted above happened at different times, separate from the cosmetic facelift (bumpers/hood/trunk/lights). The 6-rib belt change was a year prior to the facelift, the larger brakes were late 1993 (USA model year) production, the bonus diagnostic port went away roughly at the same time as the facelift, etc. The change to single fuel pump was very, very late in 124 production, I'm not sure if any Euro-spec 036's have the single fuel pump setup. No USA-spec 036's have the single pump, the change was nearly a full year later.

    Remember that Euro vehicles have different equipment. So while all USA facelift cars have the 1492 stereo and no fader switch, this is not necessarily true for the Euro-spec cars. Tracking USA updates is much easier!

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    in many (but not all) are identified in the EPC as of a certain VIN number.
    Doesn't "1C" in the VIN (such as WDB124036 1C XXXXXX) denotes a face lifted car ? Well, at least for Euro cars ?
    1994 E fünfhundert (170kkm sold )
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by potty View Post
    It appears that many cars are a combination of pre and post facelift as owners have taken matters into their own hands.
    ...Also Known As Cross-dressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by potty View Post
    Personally I would prfer to purchase as original a car as possible.
    A prudent policy.
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by bing View Post
    Doesn't "1C" in the VIN (such as WDB124036 1C XXXXXX) denotes a face lifted car ? Well, at least for Euro cars ?
    No. That was simply the chassis number moving past the 2,000,000 mark. The facelift actually started in the late B8xxxxx chassis in Europe. There is a VIN break in the EPC along with an option code for early models.

    In USA, this happened to be very close to the B999999/C000000 crossover point but that is NOT an official break point for US models. In USA it's defined by the model year, where the 10th digit indicates model year (P=1993, no facelift, and R=1994, with facelift). Example: WDBEA36E2RC001234 would be a 1994 USA model year, with facelift.

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Many thanks to all for your contributions

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by bing View Post
    Doesn't "1C" in the VIN (such as WDB124036 1C XXXXXX) denotes a face lifted car ? Well, at least for Euro cars ?
    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    No. That was simply the chassis number moving past the 2,000,000 mark. The facelift actually started in the late B8xxxxx chassis in Europe. There is a VIN break in the EPC along with an option code for early models.

    In USA, this happened to be very close to the B999999/C000000 crossover point but that is NOT an official break point for US models. In USA it's defined by the model year, where the 10th digit indicates model year (P=1993, no facelift, and R=1994, with facelift). Example: WDBEA36E2RC001234 would be a 1994 USA model year, with facelift.

    Here is a VIN configuration for European cars given by a Norwegian long time MB-enthusiast & parts dealer. (I hope the translation is fine)
    US cars use VIN (vehicle identification number) which has a different configuration than the Fahrzeuge Ident number used on European cars.
    Out from the Mercedes-Benz factory is the Fahrzeuge Ident number the valid identification.

    Example:

    WDB 124 036 1B 123456

    WDB = Factory/producer code
    .... WDB (West Germany Daimler Benz)
    .... WDC (West Germany Daimler Chrysler)
    .... WDD (West Germany Daimler)
    .... etc etc....

    124 = Model type/serie, or build pattern

    036 = Model designation, i.e. combination of chassis and engine type (sedan with M119..)

    1 or 2 = steering wheel position
    .... 1 steering wheel on left side (LH driven)
    .... 2 steering wheel on right side (RH driven, which is not used on the 036 since all were made LH)

    B = production factory
    .... A, B, C = Sindelfingen (for WDB or WDD)
    .... A = Tuscaloosa (for WDC)
    .... F, G = Bremen
    .... X = Graz
    .... etc etc...

    123456 = production number, but this number IS NOT sequential for each model type/serie


    Last edited by 500AMM; 06-26-2014 at 09:13 AM.
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    anybody help with telling me if the following VIN is post-facelift (japan car) WDB1240361C162922


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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Yes, that VIN is a facelift car (E500). Pretty late build.


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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Thanks. Photos here.. at the bottom..
    http://www.neweraimports.com/carDetails.jsp?carId=595

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Looks nice! If you buy it, I'd change that green antifreeze pronto... plan on a bunch of other deferred maintenance items as well.


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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    will do. where can I get a list of things to do? I was mostly concerned about the brakes not having been uprated..
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Can you tell she looks a bit soggy?

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanAtkins View Post
    will do. where can I get a list of things to do? I was mostly concerned about the brakes not having been uprated..
    Looks like it has the 320mm fronts, which it should have worldwide. Question is, if the car was originally sold in Japan or not. If it is Japan-spec, it will have the smaller rear brakes and no engine oil cooler. Also depends if you want to keep the stock front brakes or upgrade to the 334mm "Silver Arrow" Brembos...


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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    It's an original Japanese import via Yanase..

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    I'm going to ride around a bit first (subject to def maint issues) and get to know the car before making any changes...

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    To my knowledge there's two "facelifts" to 124-series. MOPF 1 and 2 (MOPF is a German abbreviation for Modellpflege, which translates to "model care"). MOPF 1 came with model year 1989. MOPF 2 came with model year 1994.

    And forgot, MOPF 1 never affected the .34 or .36 since they where not in production prior to 1989...

    Sorry - reading the OP's post again made me understand that this is not about the earlier 124 facelift at all.

    In Sweden, many of our .036s's are "facelifted" by previous/early owners. It's actually almost impossible to find a -91 to -93(B) .036 in original condition. Remember, these where very expensive cars back then, and many of the owners who bought them new in say 1993 wanted the new look of the MOPF 2 cars that came out a year later. And these owners usually had the cash to "facelift" their cars.

    For the .036, not much changed between the facelifts except for cosmetics (grille, headlights, indicator color, rear lid, rear lights, brakes (depending on market) and a few other bits).
    Last edited by doolar; 03-09-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by doolar View Post
    To my knowledge there's two "facelifts" to 124-series. MOPF 1 and 2 (MOPF is a German abbreviation for Modellpflege, which translates to "model care"). MOPF 1 came with model year 1989. MOPF 2 came with model year 1994.

    And forgot, MOPF 1 never affected the .34 or .36 since they where not in production prior to 1989...

    Sorry - reading the OP's post again made me understand that this is not about the earlier 124 facelift at all.

    In Sweden, many of our .036s's are "facelifted" by previous/early owners. It's actually almost impossible to find a -91 to -93(B) .036 in original condition. Remember, these where very expensive cars back then, and many of the owners who bought them new in say 1993 wanted the new look of the MOPF 2 cars that came out a year later. And these owners usually had the cash to "facelift" their cars.

    For the .036, not much changed between the facelifts except for cosmetics (grille, headlights, indicator color, rear lid, rear lights, brakes (depending on market) and a few other bits).
    It is a common misconception that the brakes were changed with the "new look" MOPF. The brakes were changed well before that at around 03/1993 production, as of VIN/chassis number B927761.
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    i think this may be the thread to ask a question that i have been wondering about for some time now.

    Why is it that some cars...seems like USA/Canadian and so on..have the wdbEA....in the vin number..and NOT the wdb124036.....number?

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowman View Post
    i think this may be the thread to ask a question that i have been wondering about for some time now.

    Why is it that some cars...seems like USA/Canadian and so on..have the wdbEA....in the vin number..and NOT the wdb124036.....number?
    The VIN for USA vehicles was standardized by US law in the early 1980s. The following article explains the various numbering systems well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicl...ication_number
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanAtkins View Post
    will do. where can I get a list of things to do? I was mostly concerned about the brakes not having been uprated..
    Those are the late front brakes. Unless you are going to racetrack the car, those will be fine for anything that you are likely to do on any public road anywhere in the world.
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    The VIN for USA vehicles was standardized by US law in the early 1980s. The following article explains the various numbering systems well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicl...ication_number

    thank you very much Mr. nice read

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    WDBEA36....... equals US VIN number
    WDB124036.... equals "rest of world" VIN number and US chassis number

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    WDBEA36....... equals US VIN number
    WDB124036.... equals "rest of world" VIN number and US chassis number
    hey there
    yeah..i got that..but i wonder "WHY" it is like this..why does the US cars have "their own" vin number..but i kinda got that answer in the "wiki" page about "vin numbers" .

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    Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    The US government requires a specific format for VIN numbers that contain a set of mandated information ... Manufacturer, model year of the vehicle, a "check" digit, the vehicle's serial number, and so forth.

    The US just has different VIN requirements than other countries is all.


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  32. #30

    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Was going to post a new thread but saw this one while browsing. I was curious as to why facelift period was so short? Generally, companies do a mid-cycle refresh or facelift to get 3-4 years but for W124, it was only two years. And, this is when product cycles were 10-12 years old compared to 6-7 nowadays. Hence, I wonder why M-B decided to facelift and then stopped production two years later.

  33. #31

    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Usually, but I think MB had figured out that there was something odd about there w124 grills. In 1994, the c class grills were similar to the 1994 e class grills.
    So I think once the 1994 c class grills were designed, MB changed them on the E classes to the similar style.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym View Post
    Was going to post a new thread but saw this one while browsing. I was curious as to why facelift period was so short? Generally, companies do a mid-cycle refresh or facelift to get 3-4 years but for W124, it was only two years. And, this is when product cycles were 10-12 years old compared to 6-7 nowadays. Hence, I wonder why M-B decided to facelift and then stopped production two years later.

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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Facelift or not? As I am about to restore the looks from a facelift to OEM "tutti" like many some 10-15 yrs ago I thought the facelift
    looked "sleeker-refind" nowadays I Think the origin looks better, a bit "brash" if that is the right expression?

    The facelift could/should have been when the W140 came, just to follow suit, the W202 did so by looking like a mini W140.
    I am fine with both styles BUT not with that name change E500 Fu.....He.. that is the W211. I will allways say, the 036
    IS the 500E, period. I do not know how they were thinking by changeing the Trademark name.....

    Go Watch the 500E video, Gerry posted and you'll understand,,
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    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym View Post
    Was going to post a new thread but saw this one while browsing. I was curious as to why facelift period was so short? Generally, companies do a mid-cycle refresh or facelift to get 3-4 years but for W124, it was only two years. And, this is when product cycles were 10-12 years old compared to 6-7 nowadays. Hence, I wonder why M-B decided to facelift and then stopped production two years later.
    Three reasons:

    1) A family resemblance thing: to bring the "face" of the aging W124 into line with its W140 (introduced in late 1990 for 1991 production) and W202 (introduced in 1993) brethren.

    2) A sales preservation thing: to provide an end of life "kicker" to stimulate sales until the W210 was ready for public introduction in 1995.

    3) A cost optimization thing: opportunity to "slipstream" some additional cost-saving measures into the latest-production cars to save a few more bucks and increase profitability.

    It was relatively easy to make the changes in a "running" fashion to the front and rear ends of the car.

    Cheers,
    Gerry


    W124 facelift grill compared with W140 & W202 (respectively):

    Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.09.00.jpg Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.08.01.jpg Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.08.31.jpg


    W124 pre-facelift grill compared with W126 & W201 (respectively):
    Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.11.19.jpg Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.09.16.jpg Screenshot 2017-09-12 08.10.23.jpg

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  37. #34

    Re: Facelift - Exactly what changed and when?

    It's been covered a lot, face-lift or not to face lift.
    It's still a tough one. But I think I have the answer for me anyways.

    I like the pre-face lift so long as the headlights are a euro-style.
    When I look at my pre-face lift W124's that have the crackling headlight plastic, I think about either face-lifting them or getting euro headlights. I never think of replacing the plastic.

    I like the post face lift too, as the lights and grill make flow together for a sleeker look.

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