Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

expected 500sec euro to impress me more

18205 Views 156 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  tusabes
Edit: 7/27/2017 (ten days later): Posted it up on eBay...
End edit.
I picked up my first ever SEC mostly because I wanted the rear skirt which I thought was AMG, but turned out not to be. I bought it anyway because think the skirt will suffice, and I was over 3 hours invested.

I have always been "a sucker for an S class sedan in full euro dress" and bought the 1985 500se for that reason. I know the SEC is the higher value car, and maybe this one doesn't get me excited because it wears 14" bundts. But I just don't get excited about the long rear end. What am I missing?

The seat belt presenters are some real "first world" stuff right there. Reach back for the seat belt if it has fallen off the headrest mounted seat belt holder in an SLC can be so cumbersome. Oh my. :)

Otherwise... why am I not getting excited about this SEC?

I think this one is going to get passed on down the line as soon as I remove the rear skirt, and I guess the side skirts to give it a clean look... unless someone can convince me of why this car should get me excited.


Here's my w126 love...

See less See more
141 - 157 of 157 Posts
The last step today was considering putting the idler bolt and bushings from the kit in the car. While waiting on a friend to arrive with my large sockets, I was cranking with an adjustable wrench to try and see if the nut would come off easily. There’s a knock inside the steering box that is subtle. My friend and I confirmed it’s the steering box with excessive play. With wheels toed out, pretty bald tires, a dead steering shock, I can imagine how one wheel would grab, pulling the car to one side, then the other as weight shifts to the outer (slipping) wheel, and then the car pulls in the other direction, repeating the process, faster with a dead steering shock and loose steering box where there is play in the worm gear or whatever it is.

So I’m actually pretty excited to get this car out on the highway tonight and see if I’ve finally solved the problem.

Wish me luck!
  • Like
Reactions: 1
So the “death rattle” appears to be gone, but that’s not to say there’s no rattle in the front end. It seems that with the pentas on the front, I’m getting a vibration if I go much over 65. I didn’t get it above 80 really.

If the car can be driven 65-70 mph, that makes it work as a commuter around here. I know the front end could use more work, but I think I will call this “done” for now.

I will be able to drive the car to the barn and forget about it for a while.

I might try the thinnest junk spacers I’ve got, 5 mm non hubcrentric spacers and put the Lorinser rs90 back on, just to store the car.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
Oh. Last night @rwd4evr devised a system to hold the old driver spindle from this car and pound out the old ball joint. Basically it was a system to hold the spindle upside down, and hold a socket on the bottom of the ball joint to pound it out (after heating the spindle). Lots of wailing.

Having gotten out a bad ball joint, AND having “rented” an autozone ball joint press, I can now see how this guy is doing it all wrong.

The problem is that he is putting the clamp on the part of the ball joint that holds in the top of the ball, likely the most sensitive and fragile part of the ball joint. There is an outer rim that can be used to press in the ball joint, which would require a cup to sit over that sensitive spot.

The cup should have an outer diameter around 2”, and the inner diameter should be probably just a little bigger than the size of the hole in the spindle. @rwd4evr is working on finding a solution.

I wonder what percentage of shops would do exactly what this guy did in this video, maybe being fine, but also possibly damaging the ball joint on the way in, greatly diminution its life.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
Well, son of a B. I guess I’ve got to send this car back to some lightweight well balanced wheels.

Sure, I used the cheapest 3 mm spacers that may have gotten crushed when I mounted the wheels, but I didn’t get off the on ramp lane before getting right off. The rattle caw from the wet side. It could be coming from the steering box. It could be the subframe system, like maybe the brake bar. I heard a thunk when I hit the brakes after changing the wheels. So there’s surely more to do, reinforcing the statement that if you are going to do one of these suspension repairs, do EVERYTHING.

Since I was able to eliminate the rattle for at least a short period of time by:
1) replacing the known bad ball joint spindle
2) adjusting the alignment (required replacing tie
3) replacing steering shock
4) swapping the front wheels
... I believe it is possible that Putting on some well balanced smaller wheels would be a smart move.

15” 560sec wheels seem low they’d be a smart move. I know I’ve got some chrome ones laying behind the shop. I just have to find some tires for them.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
I’m definitely “there” on the concept of letting this car go today.


After the recurrence of death wobbly with the spacers and crap tire Lorinser rs90, I went hunting for the set of 15” our pan wheels to mount. I was pretty close to setting up a set of 4-5 chrome wheels (lowest value IMO) it’s usable tires. The fact that a new (and matching) set of new cheap 205/65/15 can be had at Walmart or eBay for $180 has me thinking it’s stupid to waste time mounting mismatched used tires, especially when this car is obviously going to be sensitive to bad balancing or runout. I was wasting time thinking about what wheels. I think that it probably does make sense to buy new tires if I’m mounting up chrome 15”. But would that dove my problem? Possibly not. So what do I want to do?

I’m pulling some 15” painted (low value) wheels off a 1986 300se I’ve got that has a coolant leak near the oil filter that looks like a real pain to fix. That car won’t be seeing highway time any time soon, so the ghetto Lorinser rs90 can go on there, even if the fronts require spacers to clear its tierods.

Of course one of the extended head lugs didn’t want to break free despite me torquing these bolts on the 300se myself not too long ago. I loosened all the other lugs in that wheel and went for a drive cornering and accelerating and engine braking to try and stretch that stuck extended head lug. Then I tightened the other four lugs, drove some more, and finally got the bolt to come free with a snap. Shwew!

You guys can see your logic of “get rid of that car or part it out” is decent logic when so much time is spent even thinking about death wobble solutions.

I was talking to a mechanic yesterday, and he said “CASTER BOXES”, and I think I may agree with him that that’s possibly the root, or maybe another part that has rattled loose due to driving with death rattle. It’s kid of like: whatever has caused your death rattle maybe doesn’t matter. It’s more like, “you’ve experienced death rattle. Now everything in your front end has been loosened up, and it wot ever be right again.”

Sure, there may be things that could be done to hopefully solve the problem temporarily, like:
- careful alignment
- perfectly balanced wheels
- any obviously bad suspension parts (like in my case a driver ball joint).

But even doing these things will probably only fix the death rattle until some other outside fence is introduced, like a bump while cornering at speed, or a weight falling off a wheel, etc.

So my goal is to be able to:
A) drive the car about 15-25 miles down the highway to my sister’s farm
B) tell a buyer that they can drive the car on the highway, but to watch out for death wobble and that the whole front suspension should be replaced (with the exception of the two new tie rods).


My idle issues seems solved after simply removing the plug to the IACV. The idle rarely is above 900-1000 rpm. Changing the timing does affect it a little, unlike when the IACV is connected (when the idle is constantly too low, under 500). That’s not right. The mechanic I was talking to (that told me about the caster boxes) also mentioned that something must be out of whack on that car. I wonder if maybe the air pump has gone squirrelly and is somehow stealing idle air. I think this issue didn’t present itself until I sold the car to my handyman and got it back. It makes me wonder if maybe the plug was always disconnected and he reconnected it while he had it. I may have to check my videos of the car when purchased if I really care. I know I idled it all the way home (2.5-3 hours) on the dolly when I bought it. So it’s not like I never let it warm up before.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
I completed the wheel swap, and had to use the spacers on the 300se. So the old rusty tie rods were the anomaly. I did not get it on the highway to see how it drives. I’m actually not sure whether I’ve ever had this 300se on the highway. It’s a pretty rust free body but clearly had some paint work on both rear quarters, and the trunk lid fits too tight. So I’m basically pillaging this euro car of its parts. I feel a little regretful for selling the gen2 euro bumpers, but I’ve got to stop hoarding and trying to save junk.

And here’s the way the coupe will remain for plenty of time.

Oh... slight pull to the right on the homemade alignment. I probably need to adjust that, but am not at all worried about these tires.

HIGHWAY TEST (two 4 minute videos):

I’m going to call that done, take a few pictures and maybe use that video to try and help sell the car.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
Sellin’ pic’s

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
Only a crazy person thinks these cars look nearly as good with the park bench bumpers. Just my opinion I suppose but damn, it ain"t even close.
The castor rod rear bushes in the rear dog bones and up front in the lower control arm are always the culprit for strange knocking noises and weird feeling when braking etc.
They are holding the lower control arm in the correct position - when the bushes are worn that control arm is moving backwards and forwards - not good!!!

They are an easy fix for for DIY person to swap in new bushes

The front bush does require removal of the spring and spring cup base to access the bush. The dog bones are removed via the two bolts underneath but require the top thread to be sprayed with penetrine or similar (thru the hole where the retainer clip pokes out of the mount block) overnight before attempting to remove the bolt
Thanks for writing that up for me. If I end up keeping the car, that will be next. Right now I’m trying to decided on the best time to list it on eBay for a 7 day listing.

Passenger seat belt presenter doesn’t work. I guess I should post that and all the other flaws I’m afraid to highlight here, but ok... here goes... but first some other good things...

Driver seat belt presenter:

Driver window works despite falling out of the track if you don’t push down on it while lowering the window (impossible to do while driving).

Rust video:

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
The pictures certainly make it look nice. When I was up there and saw it the rain was COMING DOWN so I couldn't exactly see it all that well. ;)
The pictures certainly make it look nice. When I was up there and saw it the rain was COMING DOWN so I couldn't exactly see it all that well. ;)

Did you watch the last video? That one is the deal killer.

I had put on the pentas with the two worst tires, one of which had the hub ring smashed in too much, and was hard to get both on and off. I’m guessing the bore in the wheel is a little smaller on that one, or there’s a problem with the spacer. Maybe next time I will try the metal hub rings I bought. In any case, that created some doubt regarding the balancing / runout on that wheel, but it performed no worse than the 15” wheels on this car, almost exactly the same I guess. So I can’t blame anything on that wheel. That’s a good thing.

As I just noticed how cheesey those center caps are on those black pentas. :( I can see how they would make you unhappy each time you saw them on your car. And now I see macdeity is selling AMG center caps on eBay, which makes me think he took the real caps off these wheels before he sold them do you. Perhaps not true, and it doesn’t matter, but it make me feel like, “hey! Those caps are supposed to be on my wheels!” :( Oh well, I’m happy with them, and will probably just get them refurbed like new and get some good AMG caps for them, maybe even TIG weld in the metal hub rings, tack them in, or whatever is needed. I’m sure my wheel shop could handle that.

Well, that was OT.

Anyone have any advice on the best time to list/schedule an eBay auction for a car like this?

Schedule it for local (east coast) buyers? European buyers?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
Be sure the hub rings fit smoothly and the wheels go on hubs smoothly before trying to permanently attach them

Plastic hub rings might be more forgiving and the better choice for the problematic rim in this application

I usually have my auctions end Sunday night about 10pm eastern
Be sure the hub rings fit smoothly and the wheels go on hubs smoothly before trying to permanently attach them

Plastic hub rings might be more forgiving and the better choice for the problematic rim in this application

I usually have my auctions end Sunday night about 10pm eastern


I was thinking that maybe when people are at work, but you are probably right. Sunday night when people are settling down to start the new work week, getting organized is a good time.

Ok. I guess that settles it then. I will start it tonight.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I probably should have gone to a computer to do this. I probably have typos, but eBay usually lets you revise. I’m really hoping for more than $2500, but we will see.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I tried a go-round on eBay again, and the winning bidder thought he could get a loan to purchase it. I decided that the car may hav other bits I might want for my 500se project, and rather than rushing a sale, now that the car is a functional driver, maybe needing some caster box / brake rod work, it makes sense to just park it up with the rest of them going into storage. I’m going to focus on thinning the herd of 107s first. Lots of parts cars have to go pronto. So the non-107 cars are getting stored. Got a pretty good setup which is far better than what I’ve had at home. I believe it is progress.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
141 - 157 of 157 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.