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Thread: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

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    HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    For several years now, I've really needed to replace my front brake rotors on my 560SEC. I bought them about 2.5 years ago and stored them up in my attic, and finally this summer got them down and decided to bite the bullet and replace them at the next brake pad change. At the same time, I finally tired of the dusty Textar/Jurid/Pagid pads, and earlier this year ordered a set of Akebono Euro pads for the front of the 560SEC, to use when the time came.

    Well, starting about 10 days ago, that time finally came. My brake pad warning light started its tell-tale flickering, which indicated that a pad change was in order. So, I gathered things up, did a bit of research, and decided to do the job in the 90F Houston heat this weekend. Yes, the heat is JUST NOW STARTING to break, with highs only in the low 90s every day rather than in the mid to high 90s as is normal in July and August. So, car-repair season is fast approaching ... when I can do my repairs in (relative) comfort. But that day has not yet arrived, and I needed to do these brakes.

    I also decided to replace my front wheel bearings as a proactive maintenance item. The reason for this is that my SEC is still on its original roller bearings, and new Timken bearings are readily available and not all that expensive. The SEC (and SEL) uses the Timken SET3 (outer) and SET5 (inner) bearings, which are common sizes that are shared with many Chevrolet and Ford models.

    It is important to note that when bearings are replaced, the races (which come with the bearings) must also be replaced at the same time. You SHOULD NOT re-use the old bearing races with new bearings. The old races are pressed out of the car's wheel hubs, and the new ones are pressed in. More on that later.

    This job should take about 4-5 hours to do both sides, for the first-timer. Generally the second side goes much faster.

    Items required include:

    • Two front brake discs, MB part number 126 421 05 12 (current price $44.40 each via parts.com, ATE aftermarket $58.61 via AutohausAZ.com)
    • One 150 gram tube of MB high-temp wheel bearing grease (which is a fluorescent green in color), part number 002 989 00 51 10 ($5.28 via parts.com; $6.95 via AutohausAZ.com)
    • Two seals for the rear bearings, MB part number 005 997 44 47 (quality Elring product available on the aftermarket) (current price $13.80 each via parts.com; $2.82 via AutohausAZ.com)
    • MB brake paste, MB part number 001 989 47 51 ($11.70 via parts.com)
    • One set of four front brake pads, Akebono Euro 1072 (available via Amazon.com)
    • Four brake pad wear sensors, MB part number 140 540 12 17 (quality Pex product available on the aftermarket, $3.96 each via parts.com; $0.94 each via AutohausAZ.com)
    • Two Timken SET5 inner cone front wheel bearings (available from AutoZone)
    • Two Timken SET3 outer cone front wheel bearings (available from AutoZone)


    A front wheel bearing repair kit (part number 126 330 00 51, $80.40 for MB via parts.com, $27.25 for SKF kit via AutohausAZ.com, two required) is also available, which contains the following parts:
    • inner bearing sealing ring
    • inner tapered wheel bearing
    • outer tapered wheel bearing
    • pinch nut for axle nut (axle nut not included)
    • brass suppressor contact piece
    • dust cap for end of hub



    Tools required include:
    • Hydraulic jack
    • One and preferably two jack stands
    • lug wrench
    • drift punches - small and large sizes
    • Hammer
    • 19mm 1/2" drive socket
    • 10mm 1/2" drive Allen socket
    • Breaker bar or long-handle 1/2" ratchet
    • Bent needle-nose pliers
    • Channel-lock pliers
    • Large and medium flat-blade screwdrivers
    • clothes hanger (to hang brake caliper from sway bar)
    • small square block of wood (example, 4" length of a 2x4)
    • shop vise
    • Cardboard or other item to place underneath brake/rotor assembly
    • WD-40
    • Brake cleaner, 1 can
    • Blue Loctite


    The first thing to do is to loosen the lug bolts on the side of the car you want to work on, before jacking it up. I did this job one wheel at a time, rather than jacking up the entire front end. You can see my toasted clear-coat on my Lorinsers, which will be fixed this coming winter. Then, jack up the car and remove the five bolts and remove the wheel.
    IMG_3073.JPG IMG_3140.JPG IMG_3142.JPG


    Here's what the brake assembly looks like, with the wheel removed from the car.
    IMG_3143.JPG


    The next step is to remove the brake pad retaining pins and the anti-rattle spring. Use a small drift punch and a hammer to tap lightly on the two pins, and drive them out of the caliper toward the center of the engine. You can then use your bent needle-nose pliers to remove the pins from the calipers once they are driven as far as the punch will allow. You can see me removing the pin by hand here, as it came out fairly easily. This is not always the case.
    IMG_3144.JPG IMG_3145.JPG


    Next up is to remove the two brake pad wear sensors (unplug them from their electrical connector and pull them out of the top of the brake pads). After you've removed the sensors, you should inspect them to see which one was causing a brake pad wear warning light on the dashboard. Chances are that one of them is worn down. Also, you can then remove the anti-rattle spring much easier after the pad wear sensors are unplugged and removed. Here you can also see me using my Channel-lock pliers (actually they are Knipex models, made in Germany) to squeeze the pad and caliper together, slowly. This squeezing provides a little slack so that you can easily pull the worn pads out of the calipers.
    IMG_3146.JPG IMG_3147.jpg


    After that, you need to remove the pads by pulling them straight out of the caliper and setting them aside. From there, you need to get your 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar, and a 19mm socket, and remove the two bolts that hold the caliper onto the car. These bolts are accessed from behind the caliper. Be sure that you are removing the right bolts .. not the ones that hold the two halves of the calipers together! These bolts are on very tight (they use Blue Loctite), so a breaker bar and some effort here will be required.

    Next up, after the caliper is removed, is the removal of the hub+rotor assembly from the car. This is fairly easy once the caliper is removed. You first need to remove the dust cap that fits over the end of the hub. MB and a couple of aftermarket German tool makers manufacture a special tool for removing these caps, but you can do this quickly and easily with a medium sized flat-blade screwdriver and a mallet. You just need to tap softly and go around the entire circumference of the dust cap, and it will gradually loosen so you can pull it off. Below you can see the cap coming off, and what the inside looks like (end of the spindle).
    IMG_3148.JPG IMG_3149.JPG


    Here's what the end of the spindle looks like with the wheel bearing grease cleaned off.
    IMG_3150.JPG


    Next, you'll need to remove the retaining axle nut that is threaded onto the end of the spindle. It has a 5mm Allen pinch nut, which is rather easy to loosen and remove. Then you can remove the axle nut by turning it counter-clockwise.
    IMG_3151.jpg IMG_3153.JPG


    From there, you can just pull the hub+rotor assembly straight off the spindle. The outer bearing will come loose, so be prepared to catch it, and set it aside. You are going to clean it and re-use it, or replace it depending on how proactive you want to be. A careful examination of the bearing and race in the end of the hub will tell you if you need to replace the bearing or not. If you see any pitting, cracks, scoring or major burn marks, the bearing and race MUST be replaced. They are inexpensive parts, as mentioned earlier.

    Here's what the end of the spindle looks like, after the hub+rotor assembly has been removed. I am cleaning off the excess wheel bearing grease from the spindle, and also checking the bearing races on the spindle to ensure that they are in good condition. If the spindle shows any type of wear, it MUST be replaced.
    IMG_3154.JPG


    Now we move into the next phase of the job ... the separation of the hub and rotor. The rotor and hub are pressed together and held with five bolts, which are inserted from the inside. These five bolts are also secured by Blue Loctite, so you will need to have your Loctite handy when you re-assemble the hub and the new brake rotor.

    Here is a view of the assembly removed, and I'm cleaning the outer and inner bearing races carefully with a rag. I didn't show the removal of the grease seal on the inner bearing, which can be removed with a seal puller tool or very carefully with a large flat-blade screwdriver. It is EXTREMELY easy to damage the bearing using this method, so it is a good idea to consider replacing the bearing if you plan to pull the seal. If you don't plan to repalce the bearing, you can leave the seal in place and just clean and re-pack it with new wheel bearing grease. It's advisable to use the green MB High-Temp wheel brearing grease. You can also see a close-up of the inner bearing race, just prior to it being pressed out of the hub.
    IMG_3074.JPG IMG_3075.JPG IMG_3076.JPG


    The next job is to press the race(s) for the bearing(s) you wish to replace, out of the hub. To do this, I used a large punch with a flat end, and a hammer. There is a flange on the inside of the hub that you can hammer against, in a circular pattern around the circumference of the race, to gradually hammer it downward and out of the hub. Flip the hub/rotor over and do the same for the outer race. Here are a few views of the process of the race being punched out of the hub.
    IMG_3077.JPG IMG_3078.JPG IMG_3079.JPG


    Next up are the steps to separate the hub from the rotor by unbolting them. To do this, take two spare lugbolts (if you have them, otherwise you can use your regular lug bolts in a pinch) and screw them into the hub, as shown below. Put them in the holes next to one another, or two apart depending on the width of the jaws of your bench vise. Then you will want to clamp the heads of the two bolts into the haws of the vise. This will keep the hub from rotating in the vise, so you can have a stable platform by which to loosen the five bolts that hold the hub to the rotor. See below for details on how this works.

    Use your 10mm 1/2" Allen socket and breaker bar to loosen the five bolts, once the hub is clamped into the vise by the lug bolt heads. The bolts will be very tight, so it will take some elbow grease to loosen them.
    IMG_3080.JPG IMG_3081.jpg IMG_3082.JPG IMG_3083.JPG IMG_3084.JPG


    A couple of final shots showing the process of loosening and removing the five bolts holding the hub and rotor together.
    IMG_3085.jpg IMG_3086.JPG


    Then, bring the hub and rotor back to your work area, where you will separate them. They are just pressed together, so you will need to insert a large flat-blade screwdriver or other object between them to begin working the two parts apart. See photos below for this process.
    IMG_3087.jpg IMG_3088.jpg IMG_3089.jpg


    Here are a couple of views of the bare hub, separated from the brake disc, as well as the old disc side by side with the new MB disk (painted gray for corrosion protection).
    IMG_3090.JPG IMG_3091.JPG IMG_3092.JPG


    Now it's time to install the new bearing race by pressing it into the hub. First of all, here are a few views of the new bearing and race.
    IMG_3093.JPG IMG_3094.jpg IMG_3095.JPG IMG_3096.JPG


    After scoping out the bearing, it's time to install the race in the hub. This is the larger inner bearing. First of all, you need to test-fit it by placing it into the opening in the hub. It's HIGHLY IMPORTANT that you install the race with the smaller edge facing up, as the cone profile of the inner bearing is going to point OUTWARD toward the wheel. So, you must have the larger end of the race facing down. Once you are sure you have the correct orientation, you should use the OLD race (which you pressed out of the hub) as a drift to press the new race INTO the hub. Do this by lining it up very carefully and evenly on the new race that is test-fit into the hub.
    IMG_3097.JPG IMG_3098.JPG IMG_3099.JPG IMG_3100.JPG


    Carefully and with only medium blows (softter at first, then a bit harder as the race starts to settle down into the hub) on the old race/drift, carefully hammer continually around the perimeter of the race to apply even pressure on the new race as you drive it gradually downward into the hub. The last photo below is what a fully driven-in race looks like, sitting in the hub. This, again, is the inner bearing race.
    IMG_3102.jpg IMG_3103.JPG

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Rinse and repeat for the outer bearing race.

    Next up, it's time to pack the new bearings with new high-temp MB wheel bearing grease. if you are re-using your old bearings and races, you can use any common shop solvent to soak and agitate the bearings to work the grease out of them.I am not a fan of using an air compressor to "blow" the bearings dry after being cleaned, if re-using them. Rather I just run them on a clean rag until no old grease comes out of them.

    Coat the outside of the rollers with a thick bead of new MB grease. I also work a bead in a circle along the split so that I can force the new grease into the bearing from the edge, as well as along the rollers. Push the greased bearing into the race (be sure to coat the surface of the race with some grease before inserting the bearing into it).
    IMG_3104.JPG IMG_3105.JPG


    The next step is to re-install the grease seal on the inner bearings. Gently line up and place the seal in the end of the hub. It is IMPERATIVE to apply even pressure to this seal to drive it down evenly into the hub, so use a block of wood or other solid object that can apply force evenly. Using medium blows with the hammer, gently drive the seal down and into the hub as far as it goes. the too of the seal will stand a bit proud of the edge of the hub, which is normal.
    IMG_3106.jpg IMG_3107.jpg IMG_3108.jpg


    Now that the seal is in, use a wire brush to clean out the metal teeth on the inside edge of the rotor. The car's ABS system uses these flanges as reference points to determine whether the wheel is rotating or not, so it's important that they are clear of brake dust and other debris. It's also an excellent time to clean the sensor/reader which is located on the brake dust shield.
    IMG_3109.JPG IMG_3110.JPG IMG_3125.JPG IMG_3126.JPG


    After all this, it's time to re-mate the hub and new rotor together. First, fit the two halves together, and line up the holes. Then you need to clean the five bolts that hold them together, either with solvent, or a wire brush, or both. Then, you will want to apply Blue Loctite to each bolt's end threads, as it came from the factory. Then insert the bolts into the holes and into the other half.
    IMG_3111.jpg IMG_3112.jpg IMG_3113.JPG IMG_3114.JPG IMG_3115.JPG IMG_3116.JPG IMG_3117.jpg IMG_3118.JPG


    A close-up of the Elring moniker on the inside wheel bearing seal.
    IMG_3119.JPG


    Next, insert your two lug bolts back into the hub, and take your assembled hub+new rotor back to the vise. Using your 1/2" breaker bar and 10mm Allen socket, tighten the five bolts so that the two halves are mated. These bolts need to be VERY tight. Bring the newly attached hub+rotor back to your workspace, and carefully install it back onto the spindle.
    IMG_3120.JPG IMG_3122.JPG


    Next you'll need to repack the outer bearing, using the same technique as with the inner bearing. Install the new bearing onto the end of the spindle. Next spin on the axle nut, and the 5mm Allen pinch bolt into the axle nut.
    IMG_3123.JPG IMG_3124.JPG IMG_3127.JPG IMG_3128.JPG IMG_3129.JPG


    Now comes the "finesse" portion of the job -- adjusting the bearings so that the wheel/rotor spin freely, but there is no play in the bearings. There are several techniques to do this .. the factory says to use a dial gauge (which I have) and to adjust it so that there is 0.01"-0.02" of play detected. I have, for many years, used the "manual" method with no problems. This entails tightening the axle nut so that you can't tighten it by hand anymore. Then you BACK IT OFF about 1/4 to 1/3 of a turn, hold it in place with your fingers, and use your other hand to tighten the pinch nut. Then you check for feel-able/audible play by grasping the disc 180 degrees apart at the ends, and moving it back and forth in a shimmying motion to see if any plan is heard or felt. It it is, then loosen the axle nut/pinch bolt and re-adjust.

    Lastly, after adjusting the bearings, you need to insert the brass anti-static piece into the end of the spindle, and add the appropriate amount of wheel bearing grease into the end of the dust cap. The rule of thumb I go by is to fill it up with about 1/4 to 1/3" of grease, until the grease hits the line in the cap. Then I carefully re-install the cap and use my piece of wood to evenly hammer it back onto the end of the hub.
    IMG_3131.JPG IMG_3132.JPG


    Next, I use some brake cleaner soaked on a rag to clean fingerprints and grease off the braking surface of the rotor .... both sides.
    IMG_3133.JPG


    Now, it's time to re-attach the caliper to the hub. I had ordered two new caliper bolts, which came with Blue Loctite already on the bolts. So using my 19mm 1/2" socket in the reverse of the removal process, I reinstalled the brake caliper to the hub, unhooking it from the sway bar, from which it had been hanging using some coat hanger wire my daughter had brought me earlier in the day.
    IMG_3134.JPG


    Now it's time to install the new Akebono Euro pads to go with the new rotors. I used my large flar-blade screwdriver to SLOWLY and CAREFULLY press the pistons back into the caliper. Then I put MB brake pad paste onto the back and edges of the pads, and inserted them into the caliper. A small tapping motion on the top of the pad frame with my hammer got them into the correct position to accept the pins and anti-rattle spring. I also connected brand-new pad wear sensors and plugged them into the electrical connection.
    IMG_3136.JPG IMG_3135.JPG IMG_3137.jpg IMG_3138.JPG IMG_3139.jpg


    From here, it was just a matter of re-installing the wheel and torquing it appropriately.

    And that's the end of the HOW-TO.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    That sure is different than the E420 where the rotor is held on with one Allen bolt. Gerry, do you leave that gray protective coating on the rotors and just burn it off when you break in the brakes?

    I've done it both ways but not too sure it matters.
    Jon D.
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    HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    It doesn't matter really. The gray coating wears away fast enough. Yes, a different design than the 124 ... Some *coughgsxrcough* would likely say more archaic

    It's a design that is basically shared with the W123.

    It amazes me that the whole hub/rotor assembly is retained on the spindle just by that axle bolt & pinch nut....

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    That's an even better discription than in the WIS.... (Werkstatt Informations System)

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by tgrevel View Post
    That's an even better discription than in the WIS.... (Werkstatt Informations System)
    Hallo Thomas!

    I am not a big fan of the WIS. The old paper shop manuals (available for all models through the W124) generally provide the best and most illustrated instructions for maintenance and repair.... luckily because I now only own 124s and 126s I am covered with the paper manuals (or the MB service CDs, which are scans of the paper manuals).

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job



    I updated the original post with MB part numbers and parts prices for both MB factory parts (via parts.com) and quality aftermarket and MB product (via AutohausAZ.com).

    Interestingly, for standard MB vented (but non-drilled) front brake rotors, parts.com beats AutohausAZ's price for ATE rotors.

    I will post the wear measurement on my rotors tonight ... I need to measure them with my digital caliper, but I can tell you (and you can probably see from the photos) that the ridges were HUGE on the rotors. I'll bet they were WAY out of spec.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    FWIW, using WURTH's SBS on the ceramic pads helps when bedding them in.. On the rotor is good, ie the coating the benz rotors come with, but rotor and pad is Ideal..

    Also, for those that hang out in the not so warm climates I would recommend putting a thin layer of anti seize b/w the rotor and the hub...you will thank me the Next time you go in to change your rotors. I also put AS on the hub --> wheel mounting points...I've had to take my dead blow hammer and a piece of wood to a Number of wheels over the years in an effort to get them off!

    A Lot of ATE's are stating to show up out of China..and my favourite disk of theirs, the Powerdisc (slotted) looks to be headed towards NLA

    Zimmerman and Balo still are a German made affair FWIW.

    Jono
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    It doesn't matter really. The gray coating wears away fast enough.
    It's preferred to leave the gray coating on the rotors. It is a bed-in compound that aids in the new pads+rotors getting to know each other. It will wear off the friction surfaces almost immediately, but remains on the rest of the rotor (edges, hub, etc) as corrosion protection. Only the OE MB rotors have the nifty gray coating.


    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Yes, a different design than the 124 ... Some *coughgsxrcough* would likely say more archaic It's a design that is basically shared with the W123.
    Yup. I hated this design on the 123. Bummer the 126 has the same ancient, archaic, painful design.


    Quote Originally Posted by jhodg5ck View Post
    Also, for those that hang out in the not so warm climates I would recommend putting a thin layer of anti seize b/w the rotor and the hub...you will thank me the Next time you go in to change your rotors.
    I do this on the W124 rear rotors. Makes a HUGE difference next time they need to come off. Probably a good idea on the fronts too. Note the critical word here is "thin" layer. Very thin, and it must be even, or you can end up with slight vibration at speed.


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    I am not a big fan of the WIS. The old paper shop manuals (available for all models through the W124) generally provide the best and most illustrated instructions for maintenance and repair.... luckily because I now only own 124s and 126s I am covered with the paper manuals (or the MB service CDs, which are scans of the paper manuals).
    The older paper manuals (W123 and W126 were the last of that era) had EXCELLENT procedures, explanations of function, and technical data. The last paper manuals (W124) were not as good but still decent. The 124 CD-ROM has major issues because a some portions of it are PDF scans of the WIS, but the PDF's lack the interactive links to related procedures! Someone really screwed up on that one. I'm glad I still have the paper manuals.

    The WIS is, IMO, a nightmare. The instructions are often incomplete and the constant clicking links to different embedded procedures is a terrible user interface. Even worse, some procedures only show up under US English language instead of English, or vice-versa, and the information in each can be different. And if you choose to display both languages (which is an option) you're stuck weeding through double search results. I've been forced to use the WIS for my W210 and W140 and it ain't fun.


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I updated the original post with MB part numbers and parts prices for both MB factory parts (via parts.com) and quality aftermarket and MB product (via AutohausAZ.com).
    With parts.com shipping these via FedEx, would you still come out ahead based on the weight of the rotors and the fact that AutohausAZ would have free shipping? That's something I haven't figured out with parts.com -- when you click on the freight quote option, you won't know what it costs until they bill you.
    Jon D.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by emerydc8 View Post
    With parts.com shipping these via FedEx, would you still come out ahead based on the weight of the rotors and the fact that AutohausAZ would have free shipping? That's something I haven't figured out with parts.com -- when you click on the freight quote option, you won't know what it costs until they bill you.
    I agree Jon, very annoying not knowing shipping costs when you choose the freight quote option. Also can take a day or two to actually get the quote. Not sure it's worth the few dollars saved over the traditional shipping.
    Andy
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Actually, I have to admit that I'm not exactly sure how the freight quote works. I just check the freight quote box and the only "quote" I see is when I check how much they've charged my credit card, and by that time the parts are already in the process of being shipped. I think I've saved some in the past by using this option over the standard FedEx shipping option. Either way, I think FedEx is by far the most expensive way to ship parts. I sent a standard FedEx letter a few weeks ago and it was $39.00 -- enough to make my jaw drop when they told me.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

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    E500E Guru bing's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Gerry, how many miles and sets of pads you've been through on these knackered rotors or when was the last time you replaced 'em? Picture 22 show some big lips (ridges) and look waaaay out of spec, as you say. So deep those would make nice fruit bowls

    I'm surprised no complaint of warpness considering the heat in the Republic of Texas ?

    Nice write up/how to as usual!
    1994 E fünfhundert (170kkm sold )
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by bing View Post
    Gerry, how many miles and sets of pads you've been through on these knackered rotors or when was the last time you replaced 'em? Picture 22 show some big lips (ridges) and look waaaay out of spec, as you say. I'm surprised no complaint of warpness considering the heat in the Republic of Texas .
    I was hoping to get 'em worn so much that I could crack them, but alas, this wasn't to be. So given that I wanted to install the Akebonos, seemed a good time to replace the rotors.

    One rotor was somewhat warped, yes. I'd say I had at least 4 sets of pads on those pups, perhaps 5 sets.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by emerydc8 View Post
    Actually, I have to admit that I'm not exactly sure how the freight quote works. I just check the freight quote box and the only "quote" I see is when I check how much they've charged my credit card, and by that time the parts are already in the process of being shipped. I think I've saved some in the past by using this option over the standard FedEx shipping option.
    Gerry? What sayeth thou to Jon's charges?


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Not to stir the pot, but I looked for the drop down "GVZ Rate" but couldn't find it.
    Jon D.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I've been trying to find that option too. Must need to get my eyes checked.


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by emerydc8 View Post
    Not to stir the pot, but I looked for the drop down "GVZ Rate" but couldn't find it.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    I've been trying to find that option too. Must need to get my eyes checked.



    C'mon guys, of course you're not going to see my personal shipping rate, unless you're logged into parts.com as me.

    Kindly see attached screen shot.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    I will post the wear measurement on my rotors tonight ... I need to measure them with my digital caliper, but I can tell you (and you can probably see from the photos) that the ridges were HUGE on the rotors. I'll bet they were WAY out of spec.
    My two rotors measured the following thickness:

    24.3mm
    24.7mm

    Per Mercedes-Benz specification for W126 rotors:
    FRONT
    Thickness 28mm
    Limit for maintenance service 26
    Wear limit 25.4


    So, I was a good 1mm below the absolute replacement limit, and almost 2mm below the maintenance limit


    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    It's good to see that those limits are more than likely precatory. At least you know you got maximum use from them. Did you notice any decrement in braking performance?
    Jon D.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    i used in my w124 500e till they broke.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    i replaced with febi rotors for r129 its cheaper.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    One of my rotors was slightly warped, so I could feel some pulsing through the pedal. While not bad, it was there for some years. So braking is smoother now.

    The only other observation I have is that (so far) the Akebono pads are harder than the dusty but factory spec Textar/Jurid/Pagid pads. The Akebonos require slightly more pedal effort to stop, whereas the softer stock-formula pads are very grippy. I do think that slightly higher pedal effort will be worth 80% less brake pad dust over the life of the pads, though. It will be interesting to see how long these Akebono pads last. I have a set waiting for my E500 for the next pad change, as well. I'm already using them on the front of my 560SEL, too.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Also - the Akebonos seem to take a few hundred miles to bed in. The feel isn't always great at first, but it should improve over time. Check back after 500 miles or so and let us know what you think.


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Great post Gerry, I am sure in the none to distant future I will be heading down this same path.
    Thanks for the tips!
    Yasin

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Akebonos are getting a little more "grippy" the more I use them.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Gerry, you mentioned in your first post that you were going to restore the toasted clear-coat on your rims. I have the same problem on my 1995 E420. What is involved in restoring these? Is it a DIY job? The 1995 rims are definitely a different finish than on my 1994.
    Jon D.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by emerydc8 View Post
    The 1995 rims are definitely a different finish than on my 1994.
    Through 1994 the stock 8-hole wheels were painted silver with a clearcoat. The 1995 wheels are a machined aluminum finish with clearcoat (no paint), aka "high sheen" in MB terminology. It's my understanding that the latter are much more difficult to refinish while retaining 100% original appearance.


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    HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I will have a local wheel shop here in Houston that restored my AMG Mono IIs, called Rollo's.,do the work. They do great restoration work. Each when will likely be $100-150 to redo.

    I'm going to have them redo the wheels on my wife's 1995 E320 wagon this winter when I am rebuilding the top end of her M104 engine.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Thanks, guys. I guess a DIY project is out of the question on these rims.
    Jon D.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I've been rolling these new Akebono Euro pads on the new rotors for some weeks now, and probably almost 1,000 miles, so I can give an update on them.

    First of all, my wheels aren't showing the slightest indication of dark brake dust. The front wheels look freshly washed, which is SWEET and worth the cost of the pads !!

    Overall, the braking feel of the Akebonos is about 85% that of the stock Textar/Pagid/Jurid formula pads. Meaning the OE pads are grippier and stop the car a bit quicker than the Akebonos. The Akebonos feel slightly harder and while they do inspire braking confidence, they just don't quite have the same "bite" as the softer OE formula pads. You get used to it. it's not major, but it is discernible/noticeable.

    Overall, though, I'm totally sold on the Akebonos and have them on the front of my 560SEL as well, and I have a set waiting in the wings for the front and rear of my E500 when it comes time to change those pads. I'm very happy with them and heartily recommend the Akebono Euros.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    If the smaller edge of the race is facing up (what will eventually be toward the inside of the car), how does the bearing go into the race?

    The bearing only fits into the race from the large side toward the small side, and the large side is now inside the hub.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    If the smaller edge of the race is facing up (what will eventually be toward the inside of the car), how does the bearing go into the race?

    The bearing only fits into the race from the large side toward the small side, and the large side is now inside the hub.








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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    No. On the outside bearing, the "large side" of the bearing race sits toward the OUTSIDE of the hub, facing the wheel/brakes/tire. The tapered portion is pointing inward toward the engine.

    On the inside bearing, the "large side" of the bearing race sits toward the INSIDE of the hub, facing the engine. The tapered portion is pointing outward toward the wheel. You can clearly see this in the photo below.



    The photographs in this HOW-TO very clearly show how the race is pressed into the hub, and how the bearing fits into the race. The race and bearing are both tapered, and only fit one way together, and into the hub.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Am I reading this correctly?

    The race was installed backward ??

    :eek:

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    Am I reading this correctly?

    The race was installed backward ??

    :eek:
    It's a nice try to Clark....

    BEFORE






    AFTER




    You get credit for attempting to try a yoink. But next time, look at the photos a little more closely.

    You can clearly see from this factory diagram of the W126 hub and bearing arrangement, the taper of the races as they are pressed into the hub, with the large ends of the bearings pointing outward (outer bearing) and inward (inner bearing). That is how things were assembled/installed in this HOW-TO.

    Screenshot 2015-01-29 06.05.48.jpg

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I'm talking about what "whysam" said

    I can see your pictures are correct.

    What's he talking about?

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    HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Gotcha. Makes sense. I was scratching my head at his post. I'm sure our 126 experts would have been all over my ass if it had been wrong.

    Actually (and I think I said this in the HOW-TO) things can only be assembled one way, so in this instance it would be hard to do it backward. Unlike the egregious & fatal errors I made on reassembling the M104 ground behind the vac switchover valve or front flex disc bolts, this one is pretty fail safe.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I wonder if 'whysam' maybe doesn't realize there are races on each side of the hub and that the bearings taper toward each other? Sounds like he thinks the securing nut holds the hub just against the spindle, rather than realizing the bearings squeeze toward each other, as well. Not sure this explanation helps!

    At any rate, I'll chime in with a recommendation to use a press to install the races, rather than hammering them in. I worry about getting things slightly cocked or dinging an edge of the race with the hammer.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by luckymike View Post
    I wonder if 'whysam' maybe doesn't realize there are races on each side of the hub and that the bearings taper toward each other? Sounds like he thinks the securing nut holds the hub just against the spindle, rather than realizing the bearings squeeze toward each other, as well. Not sure this explanation helps!

    At any rate, I'll chime in with a recommendation to use a press to install the races, rather than hammering them in. I worry about getting things slightly cocked or dinging an edge of the race with the hammer.
    If you use the old race as a ring mandrel, it's an exact, dead-on fit and won't damage anything. Hammering it in with soft to medium blows, you definitely "feel" when the race is in position. It's a different feel with the hammer when it's in position.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    I'm talking about what "whysam" said

    I can see your pictures are correct.

    What's he talking about?
    Is "whysam" a Benzworld W126 forum member? Perhaps there's yet another Ron500E "Bottom Gear" story here to join the cascade- and McClare-inspired stories already out there, about reversing front wheel bearing installation.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I grind the outside of the old race to give me a few thousandths JIC.

    Also, when driving it in, do so from eye level..you'll spot any cocking of the install Far sooner that way!

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Usually there is no need to replace the race or bearing unless there are signs of wear like discoloration or pitting. Does MB say to replace with the rotor or just inspect and replace as necessary?

    Also I saw some very very convincing counterfeit bearings this last year. A friend of mine showed them to me, SKF. He only caught it because they had laser engraved the outer race with a class of bearing that didn't exist in that size. The boxes were nearly identical, the physical bearing was identical. They tested hardness on the fake and found it to be several points off. I would only buy from MB or direct distributors for SKF or Timken. My Timken rep told me they destroyed something like 9 billion $ in fakes last year, insane. This type of thing seems to be becoming a problem.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Hi, wonderful how-to post, thanks for that. I need to replace only my bearings, not the rotor or brake pads. Can I do this without separating the hub from the rotor?

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    OP -Thanks for taking the time. Have been using this to redo front brake setup on my 1991 MB 300-SEL - very similar to what I see in the photos.

    Thus far I have come across one gotcha that the OP was smart or lucky enough to understand.

    Inner Wheel Seal - front brakes.

    He mentioned an Elring with MB part # 005 997 44 47.

    My front inner seals had the MB part # 005 997 44 47 stamped on them. They were OE. The OE, Elring; Reinz seal have a metal shelf for lack of a better word that runs the circumference on the inner side of the bearing. All of the other after-market parts I've seen that cross-ref to MBs 005 997 44 47 have a different look on the inner side and are noticeably thinner.

    The MB OE 005 997 44 47 is approx. 13mm thick; Timken 3794 or anything with 3794 in it or 19773 are approx. 8-9mm thick.

    Using anything other than OE or Elring; Reinz, I see the seal pop out the back when mounting hub/rotor assy. back on the axle. Also - after installing one of these thinner seals, the inner bearing no longer spins.

    Click on the autohausaz site below - then select your ABS-equipped 126 car - select the brake section and once in there - select wheel seal. Click on the Reinz seal. You'll be able to see the inner side of the correct seal to use for ABS cars - then click on the Reinz seal to see what the inner part of the seal looks like. This is what is needed for ABS 126 cars:

    http://www.autohausaz.com

    In hindsight, I believe the way you avoid this is to buy a kit from one of the online sellers like peachparts.com or autohausaz.com

    Also - instead of using a vice to separate the rotor from the hub, you can use a technique displayed in the following thread from another site. It simply involves bolting up the hub/rotor assy. to the tire that has been removed or by using the spare tire. Post #3 and #4 have photos that clarify this technique:

    http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/...otor-w123.html
    Last edited by Mike M; 07-24-2017 at 06:34 AM.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    the mb dealer parts websites is telling me that these pads are correct for gen 1 500sec, s o u purchased them but something seems off, they look too large and too modern almost.

    is this not the correct pad even though the parts sites says so

    my SEL fronts looked more like gerrys here
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    HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I read somewhere that the Gen 1 may have bendix calipers not ate, but epc give pad numbers for them. So verify the calipers you have for your car and be sure they match the epc by vin. I cannot see your pictures on the phone app just yet.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by vdubpower View Post
    the mb dealer parts websites is telling me that these pads are correct for gen 1 500sec, s o u purchased them but something seems off, they look too large and too modern almost.

    is this not the correct pad even though the parts sites says so

    my SEL fronts looked more like gerrys here
    That #001 420 80 20 front pad set is for pre-facelift 126 coupes 380SEC and 500SEC. They have floating front calipers. That little sniglet has tripped up Benz techs and parts guys ever since they were introduced. Those early coupes use their own front discs, too. They are #126 420 02 72 and they use the block type wear sensors #201 540 03 17, quantity 2...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    wow so these are truly different than the SEL of the same yr and both euro generation 1

    so i think i got the right stuff, the discs we found match your number but they add 64 to the end.

    the rears for all w126 79-91 are the same , correct?
    i got parts 126423001264 and 001420062041
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by vdubpower View Post
    wow so these are truly different than the SEL of the same yr and both euro generation 1

    so i think i got the right stuff, the discs we found match your number but they add 64 to the end.

    the rears for all w126 79-91 are the same , correct?
    i got parts 126423001264 and 001420062041
    Yes, the rears are the same on all 126 vehicles. The added "64" suffix is a frequent new addition to a number of parts over the last few years. I don't know exactly what that's about, but those suffixes usually have something to do with vendor sourcing, logistics, minor parts modifications, legal compliance certifications, quality checks, etc.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    so i checked my car, it has LUCAS calipers...no idea if thats wahat came with or after
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by vdubpower View Post
    so i checked my car, it has LUCAS calipers...no idea if thats wahat came with or after
    There are a lot of Lucas branded parts on the brake systems of MB vehicles. Lucas actually owned Girling and sometime a couple or three decades ago they slowly replaced the Girling name with the Lucas name on the automotive brake parts...
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    well hopefully the pads and rotos i purchased go with this set up...i didnt have chance to remove wheel and really inspect...and i cant see thru the wheel on my sel because the 3 piece amgs are on it
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  59. #55
    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    My SKF wheel bearing kits, via AutohausAZ.com, came in the mail today. Part 126 330 00 51.

    "Made in China" was stamped on the bearings. Sending them back, even thought they were only $32/each.

    Ordered from Gainsville Mercedes @ $82/each. Hope these will be "made in Germany".
    Trae
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  61. #56
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by Trae View Post
    My SKF wheel bearing kits, via AutohausAZ.com, came in the mail today. Part 126 330 00 51.

    "Made in China" was stamped on the bearings. Sending them back, even thought they were only $32/each.

    Ordered from Gainsville Mercedes @ $82/each. Hope these will be "made in Germany".
    Trae,

    If I remember correctly, I got my bearings and races (Timken) from a NAPA store in the Houston area. I was satisfied with the quality of them at the time. May be better than the Chinese-made SKF bearings/races, and as I recall they were a decent price, too.

    As far as I remember, they were/are made in the USA too.

  62. #57
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Thanks Gerry

    I won't fret over the few extra $$ I might have saved. Darvin has treated me right on lots of parts over the years.

    Just wanted everyone to know that SKF wheel bearing kits are MADE IN CHINA.
    Trae
    1992 500E Renntech
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  64. #58
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by Trae View Post
    t SKF wheel bearing kits are MADE IN CHINA.
    That is sad. I've been using Timken for my 124 and 210, so far these have been Made in USA (available online via Rock Auto). I don't have the 126 "SET" numbers though.
    Dave M.
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    • Two Timken SET5 inner cone front wheel bearings (available from AutoZone)
    • Two Timken SET3 outer cone front wheel bearings (available from AutoZone)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    I don't have the 126 "SET numbers though.
    The late 126 SET numbers are in the parts list in the first post: two each of a SET3 and a SET5. That should cover the front bearings.

    Note: The 126 is a totally different setup than the 124. GSXR would call the 126 "antiquated"

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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  67. #60
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing 126 front brake rotors + brake job

    I got in a box of FAG's just to see...Made in Argentina. They do make nice Bugatti's down there so IDK, might be OK...

    jono
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