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Discussion Starter #1
I've been utilizing the wealth of information on this forum restoring my 560SEC since purchasing it at the beginning of 2019 so I thought it was time I should give back. Ill start with a bit about my 560, I purchased it after looking for around a year or so with the intent to carry out a M156 engine transplant. SEC's are hard to come by in Australia so after seeing a few photos of this vehicle and talking with the owner I decided to purchase it sight unseen from 4000km away on the other side of Australia. The vehicle was originally imported into Australia from the UK and had been resprayed from green to black and had an interior makeover. Perfect I thought, something nice to cruise around in while I wait to eventually carry out the engine conversion. How wrong I was.
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When the car arrived I had an oh no moment, basically nothing worked inside the car, the interior job was awful with most of everything broken with the internal panels, the engine was running terrible and the car was all over the road. To get the car inspected and registered in my state there was a few items that needed addressing. To start with I had the suspension and steering completely re-bushed and fitted Bilstein B12 shocks and Eibach Springs. The was also a considerable amount of rust on the underside which is typical with UK cars, I also had this repaired. When repairing the rust it was noticed the car had had a front LHS accident previously and later on this showed itself again when I fitted a set of AMG 3 piece wheels which rubbed only on the LHS due to the guard being replaced with a 380, 420, 500SEC variant.

With regards to the M117 running poorly I fixed a bunch of vacuum leaks, performed the idle air valve screwdriver release trick and new plugs and leads. After this the engine still hesitated under full throttle at which point I ripped out the old rusty pumps, filter and accumulator and replaced the fuel system with a custom setup centered around a Bosch 044. The car passed registration and I was on the road.

I wasn't at all happy the the interior condition and started slowly fixing things. After a few months of this I was lucky enough to find an 89 560SEC as a donor car, at which point I decided to go all out and gut the interior and start again.

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I installed a Pioneer stereo system, new sound insulation, replaced most of the body seals, new leather seats and a custom Moman instrument cluster which is one of my favorite mods.

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I repaired the seat belt presenters, climate system including fan replacement, lighting, electric seats, mirrors etc. but by far the worst job and most time consuming was the jammed sunroof. Throughout the process there was many times I lost all faith and even considered welding it up. Basically everything in mine was broken to the point whoever had carried out the interior job had the sliding lining panel fixed in place. After pulling it all down I had to replace everything from the motor, to the cable, to the cable tube, lifting arms, air dam, the sunroof lid itself. My sunroof is now made up from 5 or 6 different cars and is working like new. I also head all the veneers re-finished. It's 95% there but a few small jobs to do still. Here is how my interior has turned out, black with saffron seats and black alcantara head lining:

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I took the car to my panel beater to have a few gaps fixed up and pull the chassis straight again due to the LHS impact. While this was done I also rolled the guard lips front and rear. Most recently I decided to step up my AMG 3 piece from 17" to 18", rears still use a 7" barrel and 3" lip, but the front I changed from the AMG 7" barrel and 1.5" lip to a 6.5" barrel and 2" lip to get more dish.

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So this is how she is rolling around now, I will cover the commencement of the M113K transplant next post before my computer likely crashes and I lose all this.

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1986/1990 W126
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Happy first post. Not a bad one either 馃榿

That interior is absolutely gorgeous, love the combo. I've often been tempted to do a split colour like that but never did. Love it.
Lucky SEC to have found the right owner after all that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The plan was originally to install and M156 or M157. As time wore on I realized this would be more complex than an M113K which were also quite a bit cheaper. I found a written off 2004 S55 with 130,000 kms on the clock. It was in great condition except for obviously the smashed front end. The plan has now became M113K engine which will be run by possibly a Haltech ECU, 722.6 transmission with OF Gear controller and 3000 RPM stall converter, custom single piece tail shaft, Wavetrac differential and custom drive shafts. I will either push the limits of the M113K blower or commit to a Weistec unit. I had also planned to upgrade with the AMG brakes but there has been an unfortunate development on that recently, pics to follow.

The advantage I have is the green 560 donor car I used out the rolling restoration of my black 560. It is being used as the dummy to get the transplant right before the black one will be taken off the road and everything swapped over. First thing first, M117 and 722.3 out of the donor car:

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Step 2, M113K and 722.6 out of the S55, which was a bit of a mission due to the front end damage. Got there in the end though with the help of a slide hammer and grinder.

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Initial trial fit of the engine showed a few problems, I will start with the first and the biggest, the steering box. I have a few issues with it, firstly the starter motor was hitting it and stopping the engine going further back and down. Secondly it will be difficult to get a descent set of long tube headers past. Thirdly the OEM recirculating ball steering is sub standard. Right up I decided to address this by going R&P conversion utilizing a W210 unit which has been covered a little before but never properly detailed, I will cover this in my next post.

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Next issue was the engine was too wide at the front due to the 180A alternator and the steering/ABC suspension combo pump fitted to the S55. This I have already addressed by utilizing an E55 steering pump and smaller 120A alternator taken out of a C class I think.

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S55 alternator to the right, 120A alternator to the left, bolt pattern and electrical connections identical.

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It also seemed that the engine would need to be pushed farther back after the steering box issue was sorted, the RHS pipe to the M113K kompressor surge tank was getting closer to the false firewall than I would have liked. On to the W210 steering rack conversion.
 

Premium Member
1990 SEC
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You've embarked on an ambitious project.

Very nice to have a parts car to do all the modifications before you do the transplant in the keeper.

Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I decided to us the W210 rack as It was of course rear mounted and I had it on good authority that the geometry of the ball joints was very close to that of the W126 inner tie rod ends, also it offered very similar lock to lock. It had also been done before. I started the R&P pinion conversion by putting the car on stands and leveling it all out. Then I screwed a large piece of ply to the ground to use to shoot all the standard W126 steering geometry points down.

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I then removed the W126 system and compared it to the W210 R&P as seen below, notice the extra length overall:

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I was time to work out how to mount the W210 rack. The considerations where to keep it as close to the engine cross member as possible to make sure there was enough room for the M113K and 722.6 bell housing transition. Secondly to mount it no lower than the cross member for protection issues at the same time not too high as to make it too much higher than the cross member which the M113k sump would foul it. Thirdly to get it as close to the centre height wise as the W126 inner tie rods as to eliminate as much as possible the likelihood of inducing bump steer. I fitted the W210 mounting bracket to the rack and jacked it into place. I found the brackets bolting points to be conveniently lined up on the bottom of the cross member. In this position it was protected from underneath, sitting only 5 to 10mm higher than the cross member and also providing about 15mm clearance on the back side. The only foreseeable down fall was it was sitting around 25mm lower than the centre height of the W126 tie rods, but it couldn't go any lower regardless. I bolted it to the underside of the cross member, the nuts can be accessed easy enough through the engine mount bolt access hole:

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It seemed to flimsy for my liking so I decided to also fabricate some aluminium top mounts secured through the cross member using two M8 bolts each side, once again accessing the nuts through the access hole. Rack mounted in position:

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I then had to figure out a way to connect the W210 tie rod to the W126 steering knuckle. Both the W126 and W210 tie rods share M14x1.5 architecture. The inner W126 tie rod ends are RH thread and the outers LH. The W210 tie rod end has a large taper and attached using a RH M14x1.5 female thread to the male thread tie rod. To mock it all up to check for steering lock and tie rod angles I removed the inner W126 tie rod ends which have the RH thread and cut the corresponding female threaded tie rod enough that it could be used as a coupling and screwed to the W210 tie rod. I did this and set it back out to length as what I had marked on the board. It turned out that there was a 6.5 degree loss of steering lock on the outer wheel.The good news is that the tire rod angle only varied around 1 degree from the W126 system which is good news to eliminate the chance of bump steer. I worked out the tie rod end attachment point on the steering knuckle would have to be brought 30mm closer to the centre of the wheel to achieve the factory steering lock at which point I decided I would fabricate a new shorter steering knuckle. I also hoped to utilise the W210 outer tie rod end at the same time but cannot find a way to shorten the W210 tie rod suitably as it is thread formed and the W210 tie rod end assembly is far too long. I will shorten a W126 tie rod end (inner unit with RH thread) and utilize some hex bar tapped M14x1.5 and a locking nut. This will give only 1 point of tie rod length adjustment as per the W210 and opposed to the W126 which has two. Steering knuckle and tie rod end situation to be resolved.

So this is currently where I am at with the R&P conversion. I have also purchased a 3/4" rod end to fix the W126 steering shaft to the bulkhead and a 3/4" DD double universal joint to connect to the W210 rack, I may utilise the W126 17.5 mm spline to 3/4" DD coupling here to get it all to work but stayed tuned.
 

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'87 560 SEC, Pearl Grey/blue; 300,000+ mi; '07 CLS 550, Barolo/stone; 90,000+ mi
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Welcome, and what an incredible project! Do you have metal door lock pins, or is it the reflection? The interior looks terrific. Was the parcel shelf modified or changed altogether to accommodate the new speakers?
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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will watch this closely
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welcome, and what an incredible project! Do you have metal door lock pins, or is it the reflection? The interior looks terrific. Was the parcel shelf modified or changed altogether to accommodate the new speakers?
Thanks Drew. Yes the lock pins are metal. The parcel shelf is totally custom, it鈥檚 a piece of 10mm ply trimmed in Alcantara. I may flush the speakers down at a later stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After removing the steering box I trial fitted the engine and gearbox again. To get the engine to a height I was happy with above the cross member (settled on 30mm cross member to sump) I found the strengthening webs in the 722.6 bell housing were sitting a little close to the steering rack. To create more clearance the engine had to go back more, to do this I ended up massaging the false firewall where the M113K blower tube that goes to the surge tank was getting close to it. With enough clearance now I rotated the gearbox end so the angle of the crank and output flange was the same as the differential input flange. I then measured up to fabricate some engine mount brackets which I will complete this week. The mounts I have decided to use are aftermarket LSX items rated for 2000HP. For the transmission cross member I am using the S55 unit which I will cut and modify to get the required height to suite the mounting locations on the chassis of the W126 cross member.

I removed the engine and gearbox again as I wanted to sort out the steering knuckle issue which also meant it was time to check if it were possible to fit the S55 AMG Brembo brakes. Unfortunately there was no way to do this as they are way to big. The S55 has a front mounted rack and pinion and the calipers are rear mounted which means they have plenty of room. On the 560SEC the caliper and both the steering knuckle are on the back side of the axle/hub and the caliper clashes with the knuckle no matter how hard I tried to work a position for the Caliper. The only way to do this would be to front mount the caliper but would take a massive amount of engineering to get mounting points at the front of the axle/hub and I deiced it was too hard and look for a more straight forward brake swap. See below pics of the temporary tie rod end to steering knuckle adapter and the size difference between the W126 front caliper and S55.

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1977 W116 450SEL and 1988 W126 560SEC
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Amazing work, can't wait to see the finished result! What's the completion target time wise?
 

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Not sure what the difference between a S55 and a early E55 would be would a early E55 be any easier just thought you may know
 

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1990 300SEL, 2005 SL500
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Not sure what the difference between a S55 and a early E55 would be would a early E55 be any easier just thought you may know
The same engine just slightly different power mapping. As for the auxiliary equipment S got the ABC pump (which Brento already taken care of) for the hydraulic suspension. E has the pneumatic suspension and of course pneumatic pump to go with it.
 

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I am building a black on black 560 it鈥檚 been stripped to bare metal blocked out and painted I have two sets of wheels right now 18 amgs and a custom set of 19s but your wheels are really really nice one of the best I have seen I was also able to pick up a set of late model euro bumpers can鈥檛 wait to see your project done that is a lot of work but worth it
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not sure what the difference between a S55 and a early E55 would be would a early E55 be any easier just thought you may know
E55 would have been easier yes but I got the S55 for a price too good to pass up
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Custom engine brackets are finished and it is now sitting on Torque Master LSX mounts. I cut and shut the transmission cross member as needed and have a new mount on order from creative steel. Engine and diff angles are close to spot on. The W211 power steering pump and W203 alternator can be seen on the front of the motor now. Plenty of clearance now.
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After you get your project done did you ever think of making som kind of kit to sell to do this engine swap for the 560 SEC or maybe team up with a company to do this
 
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