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1987 & 1991 C126
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5,832 Posts
Today the 19th, I drove my 500SEC today for the first time about 3 weeks when it was dropped off to address a driveline vibration when pulling hard on acceleration, say 3-3500 RPM on up.
Flex discs, centering bushings, spline grease boot, a center bearing & support, etc.

On Sept 1st I got a call that the u-joint was bad & it needed a replacement shaft as u-joint was not serviceable, being staked in place at manufacture.
I drove north 90 miles to the shop for an eyes-on consult and was satisfied it DID in fact need attention.
Taking the old shaft to a d/shaft specialist farther south in New Hampshire I found the same news..

In their listings they could have one made up in a facility here on the east coast & shipped to the northern repair facility directly. Take about a week..

OK Ka-ching.... Ordered

Later, apparently the facility in Virginia survived torrential rains from Hurricane Ida and shipped it out on time..

Last Friday I called the shop & paid for the job.. Called a good friend 125 miles north of here & he collected & stored my SEC 'till today
when he drove the car south and we all met for a late lunch. I wish he had an SEC too. Life would be.....

This-afternoon I drove about 50 miles in various conditions including smooth highway... ON it hard.

There is NO vibration anymore, including in differing driving conditions where I had become apparently de-sensitized.

My SEC is soo tight ... a joy once again!

A grand day all around.

M



Wood Bumper Electric blue Auto part Metal

The OLD one, 60,000 miles just. So clean under that heat shield.

Automotive tire Automotive exhaust Vehicle Gas Jet engine

New install.
Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exhaust Muffler Exhaust system

Febi = SGF.
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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9,394 Posts
I figured I'd try here instead of posting a new thread over a question. I've looked all over the inter-webs and can't seem to find what I'm looking for with my Becker radio. It's the factory unit with the factory boot mounted CD changer (which neither is working) I found the Continental site with the recommended (?) TR7412UB-OR radio, CD not required because too easy to scratch the durned things. Anyway, back to the Becker, I found units that were close with having one DIN cable plug on the back but the one I have has two, guessing one goes to the boot unit and the other to the CD changer also in the boot. I'd have to pull my head unit to check but I don't think speaker connections are on the back of it as some older ones did. My question is this, could the DIN cable be used to connect the amps and speakers to a new head unit, the Continental without having spark flying everywhere (light shows ARE nice on the 4th of July but not from the dash). If Not I'm not against running new wires to the speakers, and no, not gonna hack up the existing wiring, I'll leave it as it is

I believe I've come up with a novel idea that doesn't require cutting anything and uses existing cables / wiring already on the car with the exception perhaps of the antenna lead, read this 'til the end and see the madness to my method. Using the DIN cable from the dash to the boot (8 pin IIRC) run L and R audio w/grounds (4 pins), antenna power and system ground (2 pins), and antenna signal w/ground (2 pins). This hinges somewhat on wire size (I haven't looked yet and may not work) Next the left and right audio w/grounds would be routed with jumpers out to the amps behind the seat backs and there they would be split (again using jumpers) F and R to / through the fader on the console and on out to the speakers. Again this is just an idea and should work depending on existing wire sizes, it won't have any additional amps boosting power and so far I've found that even relatively low power circuits elsewhere on the car having good sized wiring connected
 

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Registered
2004 CLK320; 1985 380SEL
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105 Posts
Not knowing any detail on the service history of the 380SEL I purchased a couple months ago, I got around to a few small jobs I had on my list.
After driving in a heavy rain storm a month ago I noticed some water leaking from the r/h rear of the sunroof into the cabin. Thinking I had a blocked drain I checked the drains with a few kettles full of water and all 4 drains were working, so I'll just put the leak down to bad weather conditions for now (since I can't replicate the leak).
The power steering fluid looked brown on first inspection and I thought it an odd color for a Dexron 3 ATF type fluid. Upon closer inspection I decided someone must have fairly recently replaced the fluid with a clear power steering fluid; as although slightly brown in color, drops of the fluid were clear and showed no signs of contamination. So no need to change that for the time being. I did take the time to paint the power steering fluid reservoir lid silver, as the alloy cover was pretty stained and didn't clean up with steel wool.

power steering fluid brown appearance
Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Automotive design


tidy engine bay, yet to be cleaned by me, so as it came from the car dealer (apart from the painted power steering lid)
Motor vehicle Car Hood Automotive design Gas


Then I got around to removing the transmission pan. The ATF was fresh looking, but I had no idea whether it had a new filter and/or whether the pan had been removed recently and checked/cleaned. It is a peace of mind thing. So I discovered it looked like it had been recently fully serviced (maybe someone like myself looking to see whether poor transmission shifting was a lack of servicing issue?) The pan was clean, fluid fresh, new looking filter and just a small amount of 'metal paste' deposits on the top of the filter. I fitted a new filter anyway, a new gasket and 3.5 litres of new ATF. There was no need to drain the torque converter, flush the transmission or add extra ATF. Good news is the transmission does shift well these days, although it remains slow engaging reverse. (As I've posted previously, the original harsh shifting appears resolved after I addressed transmission modulator vacuum line leaking). All transmission pans I've dealt with in the past had a magnet in the bottom. There wasn't one in the 380SEL pan, so I put one in before refitting the pan. Peace of mind achieved, for now.

transmission pan cleaned, new gasket and a magnet fitted ready for reinstalling
Rectangle Gas Automotive exterior Composite material Auto part
 

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Super Moderator
1986/1990 W126
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18,056 Posts
I spent some time this weekend cleaning under the hood. I found that 303 works wonders on the looks of the rubber and especially the false firewall. I also received my new World Upholstery floor mats, although I was hoping for a better color match. View attachment 2713204 View attachment 2713203
They look like they fit well, but they're for a cream interior aren't they?

Totally agree on the 303 in the engine bay. Great isn't it.
 

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Registered
2004 CLK320; 1985 380SEL
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105 Posts
Are you missing a vacuum advance line?
Hi John, No, not missing a vacuum line. I also thought this, but further investigation and some expert advice confirmed that in this particular version there is another lower vacuum hose to the distributor advance mechanism, as well as this top one which remains vented to the atmosphere. Strange but true! Tony
 

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Outstanding Contributor
'17 GLS450, '14 GLK250 "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car, 350SDL (Sold)
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4,484 Posts
there is another lower vacuum hose to the distributor advance mechanism, as well as this top one which remains vented to the atmosphere.
Just when you think you've seen it all... I recall distributors with a vacuum retard function, in addition to advance, on early carbureted emissions systems, but it looks like yours would have only the retard function, unless the vacuum unit is backwards... Most are pull to advance.
 

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2004 CLK320; 1985 380SEL
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105 Posts
Just when you think you've seen it all... I recall distributors with a vacuum retard function, in addition to advance, on early carbureted emissions systems, but it looks like yours would have only the retard function, unless the vacuum unit is backwards... Most are pull to advance.
In another thread, (one I started about needing help with vacuum lines on my Australian delivered 1985 380SEL), MBL87560SEC posted this image. Interesting notation at the bottom about ignition retard function no longer installed on 1982 + models (Euro-Australia models?). I'm guessing my vacuum lines to the advance diaphragm mechanism are as they should be as the engine performs rather well in terms of no misfiring, no flat spots and good acceleration. Maybe I'll get a timing light and work out exactly what it is doing one day(?)

Font Material property Parallel Number Pattern
 

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Outstanding Contributor
'17 GLS450, '14 GLK250 "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car, 350SDL (Sold)
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4,484 Posts
The most noticeable thing about not having a working vacuum advance is an increase in highway fuel consumption.

What's the chance your advance line is just on the wrong port?
 

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Registered
85 500SEC (Euro), 87 560SEC (now sold)
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1,850 Posts
Let's see... Last week I had my 350 SDl detailed, including the paint buffed. It looks marvelous.

Recently I received some anodized aluminum instant polish and hope to try it soon.

Amazon.com: Aluminum Restore: Anodized Aluminum Auto Trim Instant Polish : Automotive

Today I dropped the 350 SDL off for an alignment, but the bloody buggers called and said they won't get to it until tomorrow.

So what is the point of making an appointment? 💩

Attached are pics of the 350 SDL. The rear of the car had years of nasty diesel spew buildup that I worried would not come out. It did. :)

Before...

Car Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


After detailing...

Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Car Automotive lighting Hood


Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Wheel Tire Vehicle


Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Vehicle registration plate Vehicle


Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Car seat cover Steering part


Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Window Car seat cover
 

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Registered
2004 CLK320; 1985 380SEL
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105 Posts
The most noticeable thing about not having a working vacuum advance is an increase in highway fuel consumption.

What's the chance your advance line is just on the wrong port?
Anything is possible. This is how it came to me. I haven't had it long enough + don't drive it often enough on the highway to know what the mileage is or should be. But the car doesn't appear to be running overly rich. There are so many iterations of the MB vacuum hoses around this period I've about given up determining whether they are correct on my vehicle. I have found a couple other engine bay pics of Australian delivered 380's with this top distributor vacuum port left disconnected, so I guess that's how it can sometimes be(?) We had a lot less emission controls in Australia at the time and cars like mine have no catalytic converters, which may explain the different vacuum lines configurations on some(?)
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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917 Posts
You are having more fun with this car than with the SEC. Who would a thunk it?

AR is good stuff; doesn't take out scratches, but shines nicely for six months to a year.
You can also use clear coat paint sprayed on a rag for nearly the same results (I thought the two products smelled alike).

The car looks nicer and nicer. Next time you come to Florida we'll put yours next to mine and maybe start a fad for white 126s.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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5,370 Posts
Let's see... Last week I had my 350 SDl detailed, including the paint buffed. It looks marvelous.

Recently I received some anodized aluminum instant polish and hope to try it soon.

Amazon.com: Aluminum Restore: Anodized Aluminum Auto Trim Instant Polish : Automotive

Today I dropped the 350 SDL off for an alignment, but the bloody buggers called and said they won't get to it until tomorrow.

So what is the point of making an appointment? 💩

Attached are pics of the 350 SDL. The rear of the car had years of nasty diesel spew buildup that I worried would not come out. It did. :)

Before...

View attachment 2713557

After detailing...

View attachment 2713563

View attachment 2713558

View attachment 2713559

View attachment 2713560

View attachment 2713561
You mentioned the wheels in the photos post. Refinishing is great but I soda-blasted mine (same wheels) years ago and they look great to this day. Might be cheaper?
 

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1987 560sec, 1989 560sel, 1982 500sel euro, 1991 sl500, 1999 s420
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11 Posts
Huge difference. I hope to do the same for my 350 SDL down the road.
Yes, both in how it looks and how it lights up the road at night. Completely transforms the car in my opinion. Definitely recommended.
 
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