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Deciding on the next restomod project.
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Discussion Starter #1
As part of researching these cars I came across this fun video of a stock Mercedes 300SE being driven around the Nurburgring:


It is interesting to watch the video. You can only tell so much from video with respect to how a car handles but from viewing the above I think it is safe to say the suspension is competent if soft and quite underdamped (lots of porpoising). The driver is quite good also.

No comments on the brakes in the comments but who knows (reading youtube comments makes you stupid).

Anyway, I thought it was a cool video and wanted to share. :)
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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Not Mercedes, but a great video of Hans J Stuck on the old Nuerburgring Nordschleife (Northern Loop) with commentary.
Longtime racer and ex F1 driver Stuck's father, legendary German racer Hans Stuck Senior used to run the Nuerburgrings competition drivers school. Few know the circuit better than Stuck junior, who grew up on this track.
Professional racing driver Sabine Schmitz of Nuerburgring Taxi and German Top Gear fame may know the track as well as Stuck
 

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1986/1990 W126
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Lol. Both fun to watch :)

Regarding 126 handling, i do realise its an outdated type of set up now, but doesnt anyone else find their 126 handling really damn good? I've always been impressed with how mine handles for such a big car. I often hear 'handles like a boat' as a comment amongst us, but i dont find mine like that at all. It always sees to dispatch even quite sharp corners withut fuss.
For the last year or so i've been a LOT more gentle on mine since its initial thrashing, but i got the opportunity to take it joyriding about a month ago with a friend in the car who'd been begging me for a high speed run when nobody was about. I had to use up some petrol before petrol tank swap so i agreed and we figured out some quiet places at 3am.

Wow, sideways drifting around roundabouts, full throttle on sharp turns, it just roared and flew and had such poise and authority, you can really slam it around as long as you use lots of throttle. And so often on the cornering you can hear all four tyres screaming, nice and balanced. Theres understeer and oversteer in places that seem to help more than hinder.
And we had a nice full throttle run on the motorway, not a car in sight late at night - my speedo light had gone out though unfortunately.

When it was released wasnt it meant to be a feature of the car that it handled as well as it drove?
Mine is lowered by a coil, and has staggered wheels, plus recent Bilsteins all round and a full alignment, which all helps a lot. I also noticed when i fitted them that the staggered wheels definitely give a sharper initial turn in on bends.

As a criticism, i do find that hard acceleration round a corner that suddenly changes direction or camber, its a bit of an ungainly switch over from one lean to the other. I guess thats just showing the limits of the semi trailing rear set up.

What do the rest of us think? I guess SEL's arent exactly meant for hard cornering, mines an SE. But i expect they're still pretty good going for what they are? I'm very curious about the SEC too.
I should mention that i grew up driving rear drive bigger engined cars fast in the countryside as a sport, so its just my cup of tea i guess, as opposed to front drive smaller cars which can be good. But i just dont like front drive at all.
 

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1982 280 se aut. ecc. - sold
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The Video in the first post is made by a Belgian guy whom I know as C_X.
I think he has a Benzworldaccount too.

gr J
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What do the rest of us think? I guess SEL's arent exactly meant for hard cornering, mines an SE. But i expect they're still pretty good going for what they are? I'm very curious about the SEC too.
I should mention that i grew up driving rear drive bigger engined cars fast in the countryside as a sport, so its just my cup of tea i guess, as opposed to front drive smaller cars which can be good. But i just dont like front drive at all.
I haven't driven a W126 myself - been in a few.

From what been researching from the technical side it seems the rear end of the W126 is a semi-trailing arm setup very similar to the BMW E30?

The E30 is a track terror and you can't really make any complaints about how it handles. I've seen some quibbles in the media about them at the limit (minor jacking due to inherent design?) but I don't see it as a big deal. Tend to write it off as the driver running out of talent.

The E30s I've been in seem fine. There's a bunch of them in our local racing club and I've never heard anyone complain about them at the limit. The E30 certainly seems more docile at the limit than my S2000 anyway.

The W126 front is a classic SLA setup with a large/tall knuckle, no? Lots of unsprung weight but perfectly fine/valid. There has been some industry buzz lately that less unsprung mass is not the end all be all for larger vehicles anyway.

So, in a long winded way I'm trying to make the point that I think it is fine. :)

I'll speculate that what you've noticed as being a negative is not so much an issue with the design per se as the OEM set up. Damping and roll bar rates that are too soft (but typical of the time when the car was new).

In the first video, the stock car looks very composed dynamically but too under damped. The porpoising is the big give away to that.

2¢ (2p?)
 

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W126 300SE, C124 300CE, W201 190E 2.6, E32 750i, Porsche 924
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The Video in the first post is made by a Belgian guy whom I know as C_X.
I think he has a Benzworldaccount too.

gr J
Hello, that is indeed me. I drive once or twice per 2 months there and I'm completely in love with the track.

I'm gooing to the ring for 5 years now and have some 200 laps... So I think.


The W126 is a good handeling car but a bit (a lot :p) of a boat and that's why I call it the ring boat :D

(Ring boot is Dutch for Ring Boat, so no shoe :D)

The film you all watched is my best time with my little ring boat but now I'm building a 190E 2.6 with a 3.0 12v engine as a ring tool.





In the famous karousell:

 

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1966 200 Diesel; 1985 500 SEL (wrecked); 1991 420 SEL; 1979 280E (Home Market); 1993 190E 2.6
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C X, Ik houd van uw boot. Het is een geweldige kleuw. Het klinkt echt sterk te. (Ja mijn Nederlands is verschrikkelijk)

I love the sound of an M103. Its so different from a V8.
 

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W126 300SE, C124 300CE, W201 190E 2.6, E32 750i, Porsche 924
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Did they post times or speeds?
Who should post times?

The max I get on the ring with Helga (that's her official name :eek:) is around 180 km/h (Or 112 mph) and the best time I got with her is 10 minutes and 21 secondes.

As you can see, I had to slow down for an accident and also just before me a BMW M3 lost some oil over the complete track so I had to be carefull in some corners. (You can see the warning triangles in some corners with an oil warning on them, but in German).

Also the brakes, Those where new brakes but... My brake fluid is old and realy needs a change. Also 1/3rd of the track -> brake fading. And brakes are the biggest problem for the car. The standard brake disks are OK but the standard brake pads you get from Mercedes are a bit small and a bit ... crap :D

So now on my circuit-ready 190E I have ferodo DS 2500 with brembo 285mm disks. (Same disks from a 300E and 16v 190E.)

C X, Ik houd van uw boot. Het is een geweldige kleuw. Het klinkt echt sterk te. (Ja mijn Nederlands is verschrikkelijk)

I love the sound of an M103. Its so different from a V8.
Do you speak Dutch or is that some sort of babblefish translation? :D

And I do not like the sound of an M103 in the W126. I realy love the engines but the sound.... I know this is the Mercedes walhalla here but the sound of an In Line 6 from BMW those day's was much better. Like de 2.0 or 2.5 out of an E30 or E34. (I also have a E32 750i but in that car, there is no sound :D)



Also something I realy wanted to say for a long time on an English speaking forum where lots of Americans and Australian people are... Why do you find a 300 so slow? Did you ever drive one? Because mine is absolutely not slow and I read such comments over the slowness of a W126 M103 a lot.

Some figures from my car are:

217 km/h top speed (needle in the red zone) (135 mph)
0 - 100 km/h (0 - 62 mph) = 7.6 seconds
Little drag race from the red lights with a 190E 2.3-16 = both cars do the same until 100 kmh (62 mph) and from then the 190E 16v is quicker.


(Sorry for my English :eek:)
 

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560SEL 560SEC 300SEL E320 Cab. MB Metris Van / 300TD 300TE 300SDL, 300D, Unimog 406 (Gone)
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Your English is great. Better than most people posting on forums. I have a 300SEL and a 560SEL and am driving them concurrently. The 300SEL is quite fast enough but requires a little more downshifting and higher rpm to accomplish the same things as the 560. Most people have not had a 300SEL as a daily driver and so have no frame of reference other than quoted horsepower and torque numbers on which to form an opinion. Of course, if one just puts the pedal to the floor from a dead stop the 560SEL is quite a bit more impressive.

Thank you for the narrative on the video.
 

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W126 300SE, C124 300CE, W201 190E 2.6, E32 750i, Porsche 924
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No problem!

I was pretty amazed that it was posted here, the world is a small place with the internet :)

If you think of a normal 300se (I don't have a sel) ... It just can't be that slow. It is not heavy for such a big car (Only 1540 kilo's) and it has 180hp (And I've tested mine on a dyno and after 20 years it now has 182.9 hp :D).

Now, lets take a pre facelift American downtuned 500SEL. I've read befor that some just put out 200 hp or less and weigh a lot more then my car, so I think some people realy have to drive the in line sixes before they judge.

And yes, I have to give it some more weight on the pedal but when it goes, it realy goes. The only downdraft with this car is that the gear ratio's are much smaller then her V8 brothers and sisters so when you are dooing 120kmh/75mph you are driving at around 3500 rpm, so you hear the engine a bit more, but just because the ratio's are much smaller it realy accelerates nicely.

You may be asking yourself: Why isn't he driving a 560 european ECE version with 300hp? Well... We (In Belgium) are taxed on our engine capacity so my little 3L M103 costs around 710 euro's per year (900 dollars I think that is). For a nice 5 or 5.6 block you would pay around 2500 euro's. That's something I rather pay on fuel or Nurburgring trips :D
 

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W126 300SE, C124 300CE, W201 190E 2.6, E32 750i, Porsche 924
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It's a shame that my youtube account is clossed because I have a nice clip to prove how fast it realy can be.

Me against a friend in a BMW E46 330CI DSG, side by side untill 90 km/h and than he pulled away. And that BMW is not a slow car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd really like to see that video. Any way to post under a new account or make available as a mpg/wav/m4v/whatever on a web server elsewhere?
 

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W126 300SE, C124 300CE, W201 190E 2.6, E32 750i, Porsche 924
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I'll search for it tomorrow and put it online.

It's christmass evening here so I'm gooing downstairs and have a little chat with my grandmother!

Have a very happy and Benzy christmass you all! ;)
 
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