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It could have been armored by an outside company which would not be reflected in the mb data. If you are certain it was armored and that Russians came to take the armored parts , to swap with regular panels , maybe you can contact the Russians
 

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1977 W116 450SEL and 1988 W126 560SEC
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The Russians! Of course they would exchange stock W126 parts for armored ones, while trying to sell nuclear subs to the Colombian drug cartels in the early 90s.

But seriously, can you really return an armored car to original just by swapping parts? And by doing that in a non-factory environment, leave no obvious marks? I am thinking mostly about the laminated front and rear glass, floor and roof armor plating, additional fuel tank protection and the list could go on depending on the armor protection spec.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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I know it can be done, there's a place near here that told me they had a small fleet of armoured W126 in years ago to have the arbour removed. They did the job and then apparently all the cars needed new springs as went 4x4 style high.

Dunno about the glass question though, have wondered before. There was an armoured one over here for sale for about £20k I think it was but the windscreen was crazed so bad it wouldn't pass the roadworthy test. I did wonder what on earth you could do with that. You could have a new screen custom made apparently but imagine the huge cost. So cheapest would be retrofit of a stock screen, but what about the channels it would sit in etc, different thickness must have meant adaptation I thought.

420's were used as armoured versions plenty although I'd guess not as much as the bigger engines. I saw a 420se armoured version once with cloth seats, and other very cool options like a microphone in the glove box to address people outside the car.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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OP has your car got any other interesting features? Evidence of a PA, odd switches, two internal rear view mirrors or anything?

I do wonder what they meant by special upholstery too. I don't think the colour is a special order. (It's awesome though)
 

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1991 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL Diplomat, 1983 Mercedes Benz 500 SEC
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Discussion Starter #26
I know it can be done, there's a place near here that told me they had a small fleet of armoured W126 in years ago to have the arbour removed. They did the job and then apparently all the cars needed new springs as went 4x4 style high.

Dunno about the glass question though, have wondered before. There was an armoured one over here for sale for about £20k I think it was but the windscreen was crazed so bad it wouldn't pass the roadworthy test. I did wonder what on earth you could do with that. You could have a new screen custom made apparently but imagine the huge cost. So cheapest would be retrofit of a stock screen, but what about the channels it would sit in etc, different thickness must have meant adaptation I thought.

420's were used as armoured versions plenty although I'd guess not as much as the bigger engines. I saw a 420se armoured version once with cloth seats, and other very cool options like a microphone in the glove box to address people outside the car.
OP has your car got any other interesting features? Evidence of a PA, odd switches, two internal rear view mirrors or anything?

I do wonder what they meant by special upholstery too. I don't think the colour is a special order. (It's awesome though)
The Russians! Of course they would exchange stock W126 parts for armored ones, while trying to sell nuclear subs to the Colombian drug cartels in the early 90s.

But seriously, can you really return an armored car to original just by swapping parts? And by doing that in a non-factory environment, leave no obvious marks? I am thinking mostly about the laminated front and rear glass, floor and roof armor plating, additional fuel tank protection and the list could go on depending on the armor protection spec.
So I had another long chat with Pops reminiscing and trying to pick up details of the story of the car
Heres what I got
the armor that Pops remembers seeing them pull out of the car were:
  • All the glass
  • There were mats in the actual doors themselves (im guessing kevlar??)
  • The fuel tank blast plate
  • Underbody skid plate (i dont think this was part of the armoring, i think they just pulled a fast one on my dad and didnt tell him they're taking it)
  • Flag pole
Thats all he can remember for now he says, but hes going to dig into his cabinets again and see if theres anything else he can find

The mysterious missing rear shelf box:
So on the rear shelf where the speakers are, you have those 2 storage boxes... the one for the first aid kit is there and intact, but the one on the left (if you're behind the car looking forward), is empty and that was something that was taken out

what are things that would have/could have gone in there? cus the only the lid is there, the whole compartment and everything is missing. Pops said he never messed with modifying anything, so it had to have been something that was removed when armoring was taken off.
any ideas on this??

maybe the "Special Upholstery" is either that its an "extended" leather package in the Burgundy Red??
...or possibly that the Burgundy Red as fabric was normal, but then if you wanted Burgundy Red "leather" then that made it "special"
???
no idea, any insights on that would be helpful!

I will be starting a complete resto-thread for this 420SEL, and also the blue on blue interior SEC w/gen-1 AMG "dog ears" kit on it!
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,754 Posts
Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the interesting back story. You should have no shortage of assistance in your quest to bring the car back to it's former glory. Also, the stickies on top have much useful information.

Btw, one time a former Saddam Hussein fleet fully armored car popped up here, and one of the forum members bought a white 560SEC (black interior) that originally was delivered to Pyongyang North Korea. One of the not so common options it took some time to figure out was a raised drivers seat.

While German production of the W126 stopped in 1991, Daimler Benz South Africa build the W126 until 1993, and assembly plants in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India may have done the same or even longer (UK's Morris Oxford III was proced until 1959, the identical Hindustan Ambassador was build with few changes until 2014, and the under Irans Shah founded Cadillac Seville (called Cadillac Iran) assembly, and the car was made until 1987).
Cheers. .

.
 

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I would suspect that the heavy duty suspension and heavy springs were in PREP for armoring and that it was never actually armored. there are a lot of things welded in place and most armored vehicle do away with operable windows and those are not ballistic windows.... doesn't make a lot of sense to add half a ton of steel plate and shoot out the windows.
 

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1991 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL Diplomat, 1983 Mercedes Benz 500 SEC
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
Ok so here’s the latest update.
I’ve been having an issue with not getting any sound out of the rear speakers.

after searching, I found that the common culprit is the fader switch
So I popped apart the plug and direct connected what I thought was the radio’s signal output wires (left and right), and I direct connected them to the rear speaker wires going into the fader
Still only sound from the 2 fronts.
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So next step was to check the amps
I went and pulled apart the rear of the car... no amps and it has Pioneer component speakers??...

So I’m assuming because this was an armored car, it was setup with the Gen 1 stereo from factory??
It would make sense since then there would be no speaker obstacles in the doors for armoring

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does anyone have a Gen 1 Stereo Wiring Diagram handy?
Need to start figuring out how all this works now before i dig into anything.
Doing my best to not just rip into stuff in fear of disassembling things that need not be disassembled... please excuse my being a novice with this car!

All help is greatly appreciated!
 

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1991 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL Diplomat, 1983 Mercedes Benz 500 SEC
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Bump!
Anyone have any idea about this^^^

or have a Gen1 Stereo wiring diagram?

Many thanks!
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,158 Posts
Hmm, the standard stereo doesn't have amps. The US cars were sold as set packages, unlike the rest of the world. So I believe they usually had the optional extra speakers and that set up had amps.

If you still have that fader switch, its best bypassed at this point in time. Cool feature, but it can only degrade the sound quality.
 
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