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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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I can only wish you good luck. at least you have a good driveshaft shop able to help and advise. I had the same U-joint issue with my Gen 1 and had to replace it with a Dorman driveshaft. So far, so good, although it was a tight squeeze to get in.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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17,662 Posts
Continued cleaning, once the bumpers were back on they needed a good polish to get all the rustproofing gunk off.
The rest only needed a normal wash and vacuum, luckily I done the engine the other day.
My insurance valuation pictures are overdue so this coincides nicely.
Do love the interior on this old beast, it's just how I want it.

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1991 500SEC Euro, 1987 560SEC Federal
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5,681 Posts
If your car is a 2nd gen, and if you are able and brave enoufh to afford it, the UJ and splines should be similar to the latest MB models. I almost considered buying a new propshaft for a W203,W204 or similar, just to have the UJ and splines cut off and welded to my 300SE’s spider ends. Alas, my purse protested, so I had to find 2nd propshafts instead and hope for the best…
Thank you, but the ‘Made In USA’ new W126 SEC complete shaft has been shipped to the repair shop and should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.
 

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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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1,033 Posts
I finally finished the ffw right-side insulation. On top of the already aHushMat (aluminum/butyl), today I applied the Carbuilders (AU) aluminum/needle-punched fiberglass cloth, and sealed the edges with ThermaShield silver foil (an aluminum tape-like sheet with fiberglass woven into silicon adhesive). It doesn't look as perfect as I envisioned, as the complex curves won't allow for a continuous, single piece all the way around. It still took me six hours non-stop, and as per usual finishing just before sundown. I needed a low-humidity day as to not risk sealing in moisture.

Also shown are several templates I made on a couple of trips to the car, and pre-cutting the night before to save time outside.
Air gun Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Trigger Table Toy airplane Aircraft Automotive design Wood Product Wood Textile Grey Luggage and bags
 

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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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1,033 Posts
Continued cleaning, once the bumpers were back on they needed a good polish to get all the rustproofing gunk off.
The rest only needed a normal wash and vacuum, luckily I done the engine the other day.
My insurance valuation pictures are overdue so this coincides nicely.
Do love the interior on this old beast, it's just how I want it.

View attachment 2710399 View attachment 2710400 View attachment 2710401 View attachment 2710402
Terrific Ian, I don't see room for improvement (unless you ever did body-color lower cladding, only my notion)!

Any problems installing the stainless door sills? Did you first clean the plastic and then firmly press/roll the metal/adhesive backing?
 

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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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1,033 Posts
If your car is a 2nd gen, and if you are able and brave enoufh to afford it, the UJ and splines should be similar to the latest MB models. I almost considered buying a new propshaft for a W203,W204 or similar, just to have the UJ and splines cut off and welded to my 300SE’s spider ends. Alas, my purse protested, so I had to find 2nd propshafts instead and hope for the best…
I thought the driveshaft was specific to the SEC, and not interchangeable with other chassis (I recently asked on the forum about a possible U-joint failure and if a low-mileage w126 sedan could donate the same part, and was told no). I'd be surprised if the later chassis would enable it if the sedan w126 isn't even compatible.
 

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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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1,033 Posts
Thank you, but the ‘Made In USA’ new W126 SEC complete shaft has been shipped to the repair shop and should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.
Malcolm, was the new driveshaft/splines/U-joint entirely fabricated from scratch? If you have an entirely satisfactory experience, could you please share the info for the shop in VA that made it? My bet is that if your lower-mileage car needed it, certainly some of our higher-mileage cars may be due as well.
 

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'86 W123 200, OM617 non-turbo, bastard 5-speed; '95 W202 C250 Diesel, OM605 non-turbo, 5-spd man
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I thought the driveshaft was specific to the SEC, and not interchangeable with other chassis (I recently asked on the forum about a possible U-joint failure and if a low-mileage w126 sedan could donate the same part, and was told no). I'd be surprised if the later chassis would enable it if the sedan w126 isn't even compatible.
I find it hard to believe that someone in your region can't shorten or extend propshafts. It's a regular thing here in South Africa, and not at all expensive.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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816 Posts
I finally finished the ffw right-side insulation. On top of the already aHushMat (aluminum/butyl), today I applied the Carbuilders (AU) aluminum/needle-punched fiberglass cloth, and sealed the edges with ThermaShield silver foil (an aluminum tape-like sheet with fiberglass woven into silicon adhesive).
@DrewPT

Apologies for the dumb question, but I'm still learning all the acronyms. What's ffw? and what are the advantages to adding the Carbuilders and silver foil tape?

p.s (edit) am in the process of slowly adding aluminum/butyl mats to the doors, trunk, front underfoot and rear underseat/underfoot.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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17,662 Posts
Terrific Ian, I don't see room for improvement (unless you ever did body-color lower cladding, only my notion)!

Any problems installing the stainless door sills? Did you first clean the plastic and then firmly press/roll the metal/adhesive backing?
Ah I think I prefer all one colour cladding and body, but it's too much work and less original.
The good thing about this silver grey colour is it hides the dirt well, and the wavy surface of the plastic panels.
I had the bumper paint refreshed some years ago in the original colour, although more glossy. The front one has really severe road rash because the car sees high speed long journeys in all weathers. But you can't tell, it seems to hide it. Bonus! 😁

No the stainless sill trims were very easy, although I did end up taking the plastic sill trims off, bringing them indoors and using weight to bond the metal ones to the plastic, because they kept popping off. I ended up using Tigerseal or something strong like that to bond both together.
Those stainless trims are such a good invention. Stops the squeaky door trim a bit too.
 

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'86 W123 200, OM617 non-turbo, bastard 5-speed; '95 W202 C250 Diesel, OM605 non-turbo, 5-spd man
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I tried adjusting the front wheel bearings today, then took her for a drive. Unfortunately, it didn't work: I will have to replace the front wheel bearings sooner rather than later; right front is particularly bad.
 
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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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What symptoms in particular are you experiencing? Since you checked them out, was it a matter of they looked ok and you tightened the play?
 

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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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Ah I think I prefer all one colour cladding and body, but it's too much work and less original.
The good thing about this silver grey colour is it hides the dirt well, and the wavy surface of the plastic panels.
I had the bumper paint refreshed some years ago in the original colour, although more glossy. The front one has really severe road rash because the car sees high speed long journeys in all weathers. But you can't tell, it seems to hide it. Bonus! 😁

No the stainless sill trims were very easy, although I did end up taking the plastic sill trims off, bringing them indoors and using weight to bond the metal ones to the plastic, because they kept popping off. I ended up using Tigerseal or something strong like that to bond both together.
Those stainless trims are such a good invention. Stops the squeaky door trim a bit too.
Did you have to take pains to remove the two-sided adhesive on the back, then glue directly?

Yes, they are actually the older fashioned way of doing it (up until mid-late '60s). I'm looking forward to having mine installed, but cringe at the thought of them getting scuffed--at least it will polish out (short of something outlandish) vs the fake plastic plated ones on the newer models--the coating is so thin you're just sanding it off or the plastic is gouged/not repairable.
 

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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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@DrewPT

Apologies for the dumb question, but I'm still learning all the acronyms. What's ffw? and what are the advantages to adding the Carbuilders and silver foil tape?

p.s (edit) am in the process of slowly adding aluminum/butyl mats to the doors, trunk, front underfoot and rear underseat/underfoot.
False firewall (I only learned that one last year). The original insulation was a similar fiberglass cloth/aluminum foil that was somehow adhered to underlying rubberized foam (like what mainly covers the ffw). I needed a bare surface to attach anything to, so I sanded off with burgundy scotchbrite the white aluminum corrosion, and neatly cut back any foam residue. There is one spot, however, that is hollow in the aluminum shell and filled with the surrounding black foam--I left it and some of it that continues on the surface, as the added foils wouldn't hold up well on a hollow section. You can see an oval-type cutout on my paper templates; this is a relief cut (allows for doing away with bunching up of the foil/insulation) that sits right on top of the foam oval in the aluminum ffw.

In lieu of trying to add rubberized foam and glue something to it, it just made more sense to use a butyl-backed foil for a solid base (butyl basicallyperformingthe same role as foam for sound deadening and heat reduction). Let's hope it stays there permanently. I will say that when pressed/rolled hard, you can smell a tar-like odor. This I assume is a chemical bonding taking place.

The Carbuilders Peel and Stick Heat Shield product looks just like the original, and may even be better 30 years from what was in the car originally. I used the thinner version of the two, to accommodate the complex curves. Aside from the oval cutout following the original pattern I mentioned earlier, I was thrilled it layed down against all the convex/concave curves. I just had to measure/trial fit numerous times before committing. There may be perfectly fine alternatives here stateside, but after Kim recommended them and they thoroughly answered my questions/emails, I wanted to do business with them for their great communication/service. Their videos are very helpful as well. Louis was the main person I emailed with, I don't know if he is the gentleman in the videos.

I also wanted to avoid the water-logged insulation that was there previously (and the lower section of the left-hand side ffw under the hard gas lines was too, but I cut it out and will do a mini-version of how I handled the right side). This mean sealing off the edges. You can clearly see the exposed fibers in the edge of the insulation once applied. I haven't read any stellar reviews of any heat tape product, but I believe it was AxelWulff who pointed out ThermaShield products for wrapping. They have SilverFoil which is rated for 1,200 degrees (I know overkill for our applications), but I think any ol' heat tape right above the downpipes has a high likelihood of failure, and you won't even be able to see it. If it can withstand such temps, I imagine it should hold up well. Most vendors only sell it in large yardage sheets at hundreds of dollars, but WireCare will sell a couple of feet for $24.95, and you will still have more than enough left over. Also, sheet form allows you to cut odd shapes more readily than rolling out tape (even if lined) and then cutting specific shapes.

So, I wanted to have a comparable product to the original (at least as good if not better performing) and I wanted to ensure it lasts. Would the Hushmat (Hoodliner version rated for high temps) by itself have been just fine? Maybe, but no harm in the extra padding from the Carbuilders heat shield insulation.
 

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'17 GLS450, '14 GLK250 "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car, 350SDL (Sold)
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Old rule of composition: never use an abbreviation until you've introduced it. Your first post should read "I finally finished the false firewall (ffw) right-side insulation." Otherwise all we have is a bunch of TLSs no one understands.
 

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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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Old rule of composition: never use an abbreviation until you've introduced it. Your first post should read "I finally finished the false firewall (ffw) right-side insulation." Otherwise all we have is a bunch of TLSs no one understands.
This makes total sense, I just slipped into the same habit I've seen on the forum many times where I would see an acronym in a post (without it being written out), and I'd either ask or over time I figured it out.
 

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'86 W123 200, OM617 non-turbo, bastard 5-speed; '95 W202 C250 Diesel, OM605 non-turbo, 5-spd man
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What symptoms in particular are you experiencing? Since you checked them out, was it a matter of they looked ok and you tightened the play?
That.

I am experiencing is droning sound on the car since I've bought her. And from previous experience with my W123 I reckoned it was worth tightening the wheel bearings to see if I can compensate for the wear of 420 000km. The left wheel bearing was adjusted without a hitch, but the right wheel bearing is not worth bothering (not that I didn't adjust it anyways) because it has what can be best described as "a bump in the road" every revolution. This is symptomatic of a bearing that has experienced brinelling. It is also the sole source of the droning.

But one never replaces one wheel bearing; at the very least replace the bearings on both wheels of the same axle. I can replace the front bearings myself, but I may have to let MB do the rears for me.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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False firewall (I only learned that one last year).
Old rule of composition: never use an abbreviation until you've introduced it. Your first post should read "I finally finished the false firewall (ffw) right-side insulation." Otherwise all we have is a bunch of TLSs no one understands.
this makes total sense, I just slipped into the same habit I've seen on the forum many times where I would see an acronym in a post (without it being written out), and I'd either ask or over time I figured it out.
Ha. My guess was front foot well (ffw). Almost, but not quite. I made the same plea when I first joined. Its a continuing exercise (ce).:)

many thanks guys. John, sounds like something from Strunk and White; and Drew also for the complete description. I will have to consider adding the "extras" to sound deaden mats. It's a ce:)

p.s. (edit) What's a TLS? :)
 
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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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Ha. My guess was front foot well (ffw). Almost, but not quite. I made the same plea when I first joined. Its a continuing exercise (ce).:)

many thanks guys. John, sounds like something from Strunk and White; and Drew also for the complete description. I will have to consider adding the "extras" to sound deaden mats. It's a ce:)

p.s. (edit) What's a TLS? :)
Sure thing, I'm afraid it was way too long after seeing it, but the process was long (investigation, planning, research for materials, and finally installation). Hopefully it helps someone having to deal with this tough area.
 
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