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Discussion Starter #141
It became obvious the new bushings were not going to slide in and they are not stout enough to be hammered on. The solution is to use something that could pull them together. In my case, a piece of all thread, some washers, and nuts. After a few minutes the bushings were perfectly seated and re-assembly was the opposite of disassembly. Final torque at 180nm and it was another job done.

Today was so productive that I have run out of new parts to install. I am waiting for my control arms to come back from Roy in Georgia as I have taken him up on his offer to install the new bushings in to them. Once they arrive I should only need a day to put everything back together. I will also need to go through the process of filling the transmission back to spec. I am really eager to see how the car sits with the cut springs!
 

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After several attempts to install the bolt in the same direction as it came out, I did what others did, turned it around, and installed it.
The correct way:

The 1/3 of the firewall (the firewall is actually three distinct pieces) has to be removed -the driver side portion. It is held in place only by 4 self-tapping screws. Once that part is removed, the area opens up a lot and offers access to that bolt.

When a bolt is tightened (any bolt for that matter, especially if it is supposed to be torqued to a specific value), the bolt is held in place and the nut is the one to be rotated. The reason that bolt is installed that way is because if the nut is to be placed in between the firewalls it cannot be tightened because the (torque) wrench does not have enough room to be maneuvered there (brake lines, cables, A/C hoses, etc.). So keeping those two last statements in mind, to install the bolt from the front and torque it while holding the nut in place in between the two firewalls (like everybody appear to do) is not the correct way. To avoid that, the Germans installed the bolt pointing to the front of the car, held the bolt in place with a wrench between the two firewalls and tightened the nut in the engine compartment, where there was plenty of room to maneuver a torque wrench. That's the reason the bolt is installed that way.

Of course, once the portion of the firewall is removed some cleaning can be done too. To reinstall it is only a matter of 10-15 minutes.
 

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Haha there is always logic to German Engineering and they covered it all in the 80's with the W126 chassis.
It still amazes me how thorough they were with every component.
We talked about this only yesterday (Sunday) at Classic Cars & Coffee Meet where some 300-400 cars turn up as a minimum every month and as we inspect so many classic makes/models it is soon apparent how well built an 80's Mercedes is compared many other cars of the same period.
 

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It always amazes me how Liviu 165 chimes in with all the facts and the rationale behind them. Then he explains everything in a simple easy to understand manner.

KUDO'S to Liviu 165 and the many other outstanding contributors here on BenzWorld

The "machine" is live and well!
 

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Discussion Starter #147
I received my lower control arms back from @liviu165 last week. I took him up on his offer to press the new control arm bushings in with his tool and he did an outstanding job. They look like they were done at the factory. Thank you so much Roy! For anyone that is curious, shipping a pair of control arms and new bushings weighs 18.7 pounds.

With an open weekend in front of me I set about reinstalling everything that was left on the front suspension. Working with new and clean parts is such a joy and I knew all the tricks and order all the parts needed to go in. Don't get me wrong, after re-assembling both sides, I was whooped. New bushings for that connect the control rod to the control arm were installed. In addition to all the new parts I ordered, I picked up a set of nearly new OEM spec Bilstein front shocks from a fellow 560SEC owner that moved on to H&R springs and B8 shocks. Cleaning and painting the original shock piston covers took place last weekend and came out alright. If I ever have it apart again I will apply a few more light coats. Everything went together as expected with no drama.
 

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Discussion Starter #148
With the wheels back on the car and the car on the ground, I adjusted my lower control arms to line up with the marks I made when I disassembled everything. All of the weight dependent fasteners were torqued to spec, battery tray, and battery reinstalled. I woke up this morning to set about filling the transmission to spec. With 4.5 quarts poured in I started the car and back it out. After going over the center cable cover of my life and the lip of the garage floor, the front suspension settled. As I got out to look at the final result I was a bit surprised. I was not expecting it to be as low as it was and I am so glad I err'd on the side of caution and only cut 2 coils out of the springs. I went through the process of driving, checking, and filling the transmission to spec.

We were under the threat of rain most of the day and I also needed to work on my daily driver before the weekend was out so I snapped some quick pictures. The lowered front end changes the entire look of the car. Its actually a little too low for me but its growing on me. I still love the 16" BBS wheels and have no plans to change them out. I will adjust the threaded arm for the SLS valve to bring the rear down a little to make the car sit level. The driver side also sits just a hair lower than the passenger side and in my opinion, the passenger side is perfect. I have a new spring insulator and may pull the driver side spring and install it. The alignment is really close just the way it is but I want to resolve the driver side spring issue before getting it aligned.

Initial driving impressions are great. It feels like a new car. I did not drive it very far but did get up to 60 and it was rock solid. Once I get the driver side spring sorted, level the car out, and get it aligned, I will get some better pictures under better conditions. For now, the project is 99% done and I am digging the results. It is going to look great at Radwood!
 

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nice job. what is the center to wheel to fender height as it is on each side right now


why do you think one side ended up higher/lower?

you will enjoy radwood

one of the organizers, art has/had a dunkel blue 500sec with bbs
 

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With the wheels back on the car and the car on the ground, I adjusted my lower control arms to line up with the marks I made when I disassembled everything. All of the weight dependent fasteners were torqued to spec, battery tray, and battery reinstalled. I woke up this morning to set about filling the transmission to spec. With 4.5 quarts poured in I started the car and back it out. After going over the center cable cover of my life and the lip of the garage floor, the front suspension settled. As I got out to look at the final result I was a bit surprised. I was not expecting it to be as low as it was and I am so glad I err'd on the side of caution and only cut 2 coils out of the springs. I went through the process of driving, checking, and filling the transmission to spec.

We were under the threat of rain most of the day and I also needed to work on my daily driver before the weekend was out so I snapped some quick pictures. The lowered front end changes the entire look of the car. Its actually a little too low for me but its growing on me. I still love the 16" BBS wheels and have no plans to change them out. I will adjust the threaded arm for the SLS valve to bring the rear down a little to make the car sit level. The driver side also sits just a hair lower than the passenger side and in my opinion, the passenger side is perfect. I have a new spring insulator and may pull the driver side spring and install it. The alignment is really close just the way it is but I want to resolve the driver side spring issue before getting it aligned.

Initial driving impressions are great. It feels like a new car. I did not drive it very far but did get up to 60 and it was rock solid. Once I get the driver side spring sorted, level the car out, and get it aligned, I will get some better pictures under better conditions. For now, the project is 99% done and I am digging the results. It is going to look great at Radwood!
If lowering the rear via the SLS valve actually does bring the rear down, don't be surprised if the front comes up a little. Don't understand why that happens but it does. At least on my SEC and SEL.
 

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Discussion Starter #151
Ever since I wrapped up the front suspension work I have been trying to get the driver's side raised up about a half inch. I did get the rear to drop down a little by lengthening the arm for the SLS valve. To help bring the driver's side up I installed some aluminum spacers made by Mr. Gasket. This certainly helped as now the DS and PS are less than a quarter of an inch difference. With the car parked in my garage and a level resting on the middle of the bumper, the bubble is dead on in the middle. Job done and off to the alignment shop. This was the final task to ensure the car was ready for Radwood Austin.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
For those that love the cars, style, and music from the 80's and 90's, Radwood Austin was the event to be at! I got there early and I was glad I did as those that arrived at the requested time of 9am did not park until around 11:30am. The parking organizers saw my car and flagged me over to a spot by myself on a corner. It got tons of looks, lots of photos taken, I fielded a good number of questions from people, and it even made it in to Bring-A-Trailer's gallery of photos from the event. The car did great there and back, cruising 80-85 on the tollway with no complaints. At the show I did some spot cleaning and really got to take in and enjoy all the hard work I have put in to the car. The weather could not have been better and it looked great on the track. If you live close to a Radwood event I highly recommend entering your car and being part of the show. Based on my conversations, these cars are well remembered and admired by many.
 

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Discussion Starter #153
With Radwood behind me I wanted to focus on some of the smaller projects that need to be done on the car. Several months ago I replaced the driver's side seat belt presenter gear and wanted to do the same for the passenger side. I took better pictures this time to help others taking on the same project.

First, lower the rear quarter window and remove the stainless steel trim plate. Slide the passenger seat all the way forward to give you some room to work and disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the lower and upper seat cushions. Using some small screw drivers you will need press the outer clips in and carefully pull the switch up. You will be able to lift it out enough to unscrew the small screw inside that holds the switch base trim to the top of the grab handle. Do not pull or yank on the switch as it has limited slack due to the length of the wires. Next, remove the padded panel, taking your time pull around the corners and in the middle as close to the clips locations as possible. You will be able to sorta work each clip out of its hole. If you take your time you should be able to remove it with no damage to the clips or rings. Now you can push the wires towards switch to give you more slack to slide the trim piece off the top of the handle and remove the large yellow zinc plated Phillips head screw. At the bottom of the handle is a little plug you will need to remove. With it removed it will look like you are looking at just a hole in the handle when in fact you are seeing the slot in the interior panel. Take your large Phillips head screw driver and push it through the slot and rotate it until it engages the Phillips head screw and then remove the screw and work the handle out. Don't worry about the screw falling, it will be there waiting for you when you remove the panel. Remove the Phillips head screw at the bottom of the panel holding it to the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #154
Now remove each Phillips head screw one at a time, disconnecting the top wire to the switch, and put the screw back in. Now you are ready to remove the interior panel. Pull it forward some to get the rear upper portion out from under its trim piece in the rear then push it back to the get the front edge out from behind the cloth covered trim piece in the door jamb. Then you will be able to lift it up and work it out of the car, pulling the seat belt out to give you enough slack to set it outside the car. To keep the seat belt from going back in you can use a chip clip or a binder clip with a thin rag on the jaws. Remember to locate and put the large Phillips head screw aside that goes in the lower hole of the grab handle.

Now you are looking at what we came to work on. At this point, before you do anything, take pictures and some measurements. Record the length of tension screw and if possible, record how much space is in between the gear carrier and the micro-switch on the bottom. This will help ensure proper operation once it is back together. I made marks on each side of the switch but they did not help much as its movement is not left to right, just up and down. Before you loosen the tension screw you will need to cut the black tie wrap directly in front of it. As you loosen the tension screw you will need to hold the square capture nut as it will want to rotate out of the sheet metal of the mechanism. With the screw backed out enough you can remove the spring. Use a blade to cut away the blue paint and loosen the micro-switch screws allowing it to be removed. Now the gear carrier simply swings down and you can pull the gear out and replace it. Re-assembly is the reverse. It does take a leap of faith when pushing the Phillip's head screw in to the lower hole of the handle but trust me, it will locate its hole and go in.

My apologies for not getting any pictures of the new gear in place. My wife was helping test everything and I just forgot to snap a few pics before I put the panel back on. I am happy to report the presenter works just as expected and restores another unique feature of the car.
 

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Ever since I wrapped up the front suspension work I have been trying to get the driver's side raised up about a half inch. I did get the rear to drop down a little by lengthening the arm for the SLS valve. To help bring the driver's side up I installed some aluminum spacers made by Mr. Gasket. This certainly helped as now the DS and PS are less than a quarter of an inch difference. With the car parked in my garage and a level resting on the middle of the bumper, the bubble is dead on in the middle. Job done and off to the alignment shop. This was the final task to ensure the car was ready for Radwood Austin.
I used these, too, to get the left side higher. I had read that a new diff mount would fix the lean but it didn't (MB part).

I learned that at least on the front springs, it's easier to pry the coils apart and just place the spacer straight in, rather than trying to twist it in. Put both of them in the same place, then use your prybar to spread the coils slightly to slide the second spacer around where you want it. SO much easier.
 

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By the way, the switch in the handle can be turned 90 degrees and pushed through the handle to avoid having to remove the other end of all the wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
I crossed off another to-do item on the 560SEC. When I bought the car, the previous owner had removed the windshield washer tank as he had recently installed a new battery and never put the tank back in. I did not blame him as it really is a "shame on you MB" design. Additionally, he had joined the two coolant hoses together that originally went through the washer tank heating element. Several months ago I purchased a very nice used heating element and cap as the PO had sealed some plugs in to the original cap. Feeling confident the battery is going to be in the car for awhile, I wanted to fill the void of the missing windshield washer tank and re-instate most of the system. I chose not to re-instate the fluid heater as I did not want to mess with coolant should I need to pull the battery. The element will stay with the car so a future owner can re-instate if they like.

I cleaned up the tank really good inside and out. I was able to remove the plugs the PO sealed with orange gasket maker and clean up the lid. I tested the pumps as they were original MB pumps and they "whizzed" to life. I also tested some VDO pumps I had on and hand and they sounded awful compared to the MB pumps. I installed new pump grommets and a new level sensor grommet. I cleaned the float in the level sensor several times to get it to float and work again. To plug the holes that the element would feed through, I used some rubber corks that worked perfectly. They seal up but can be easily popped out should the element need to be installed.

With everything back in place and the tank filled with all-season washer fluid, I pulled outside to do a test. Unfortunately only the passenger side nozzle sprayed but to its credit, it put out a lot fluid. I will have to investigate the driver side spray nozzle and test the headlight washers and wipers now that I know the headlights have to be on for them to work. It's getting there, on piece at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #159
Over the last several days I have been troubleshooting my dome light. I have a separate thread for it at the link below. As of today I am 95% there as I now have a working front dome light and seat belt strobe. Ended up getting a replacement dome light from a local salvage yard. I am still working to get the rear dome light working as I have discovered the power for it travels through the driver's side seat belt extender control box. This will require removing the rear panel which I will work on later this week. For now, let there be light!

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd/3018908-troubleshooting-dome-light-1988-560sec.html
 

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I'll agree with you on the removal of the rear window switches, they ARE a PITA to get out, but no other way. I recently got my right side presenter working again (read the PO's repair tickets to figure out what was needed) by replacing the control box. While I had the panels off I replaced the crumbling "sails" with those from the parts car
 
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