My 560SEC restoration

1979-1991 280SE, 300SE, 300SEL, 380SE, 380SEL, 380SEC, 420SE, 420SEL, 420SEC, 500SE, 500SEL, 500SEC, 560SEL, 560SEC
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SW4
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My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:45 pm

Hi Everyone,

I just thought I'd start this thread about the restoration of my 1986 560SEC. It is a UK delivered car imported into Australia in 1999. My Uncle was the only Australian owner of the car until I aquired it in 2012. I knew the car well and it's always been mechanically maintained but on closer inspection once the car arrived from interstate I was disheartened by the amount of rust I found in the car. I parked it in my shed and didn't look at it again until 2017. Since then the car has had some major body work done, transmission completely rebuilt and is on its way to a full restoration.

Below are some photos of the progress so far. I wanted to start this thread to not only document the progress of the car, but to encourage other Mercedes enthusiasts out there to never think hope is lost. I took the car to many people and businesses to get a rough idea of where to start and the general consensus was to scrap the car. I was told that this model was made in high volume and would never be worth much into the future. Anyway enough of that. I dont care what the future value of the vehicle may be, this is all about me getting to drive and own the car I admired growing up as a child.

I'll upload some more photos in this thread once I master the uploading process. It seems to want to rotate the pictures 180 degrees.
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:50 pm

The initial inspection
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:56 pm

Left hand boot sill
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:57 pm

Jacking Points
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:59 pm

Doors particularly on the passengers side rusted through
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 06 Apr, 2018 11:14 am

Most of the rust was isolated to underbody, sills, jacking points, boot and parcel shelf
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by John Green » Fri 06 Apr, 2018 1:02 pm

13 years of UK roads when driven in the winter will do that. Is this the car that is at Ray's place?
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 06 Apr, 2018 5:14 pm

Hi John, yes the car is down with Ray in Ballina. Bodywork is all done except for inspecting of the sunroof but we will do that just before painting. The less times we touch that area of the car the better. Im quietly confident it won't be too bad. The parcel shelf condition surprised us all with how minimal the rust around that area was. Next step is to move the car to Brisbane to get some mechanical things done, then back to Rays to drop the engine, strip paint and prepare to go back to its original colour tone!

Thanks for the doors too. That has saved an enormous amount of time and money!
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 7:28 am

This is the after the new piece of metal was tacked in ready to weld
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 11:49 am

Very true what they say. "These cars rust from the inside out"
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 7:27 am

Fabricated part
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 7:30 am

Job done. The whole car will be resprayed back to its original colour later in the year.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 12 Apr, 2018 6:46 am

Removed the rear window to treat the usual rust prone areas of the C126. Not as bad as originally though. Mobile sandblaster was used to treat under the parcel shelf.
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 12 Apr, 2018 6:50 am

Parcel shelf surface rust removed and treated with rust preventative paint.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Thu 12 Apr, 2018 6:55 am

Rear window sill repair.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 7:24 am

Progress is happening on the car albeit slowly. Once the windshield was removed more rust was found on both sides of the firewall due to poor maintenance clearing the drains.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 7:26 am

Once again new metal welded in!
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 7:30 am

The engine was removed yesterday in order to prepare the engine bay for painting. You forget what an enormous engines these are. The engine will go in for a top end rebuild and while that's out the front suspension components will be all changed to new.
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 7:36 am

The true size of this monster. Transmission was completely rebuild last year so just need to get the heads looked at and this engine will go on forever!
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Dean 560 SEC
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Dean 560 SEC » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 10:13 am

Great progress.

Have you removed the battery tray and checked for rust under there? My battery tray came out in about 6 pieces and required a bit of a tidy up under there. Luckily I managed to source another rust free battery tray.

Have you removed the crash pad/ dash? If you had rust under the front screen and firewall i'd be looking behind the dash - I had to replace large sections on both sides rough behind the 'buckets' on the firewall. It appears that once rust starts getting into the seams on the bulkhead unfortunately it spreads without detection.
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1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar - (6.0L LS V8 and 6L80E 6 Speed conversion)
2007 E90 BMW 530i
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2012 Hyosung GT250R

SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 2:11 pm

Thanks for the heads up Dean, the battery tray is okay (salvageable with some POR15). I haven't removed the dash and didn't really want to if I can avoid it. Is there any other way to detect this potential problem without doing so? How many hours work to remove the dash?

Cheers
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Dean 560 SEC
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Dean 560 SEC » Mon 06 Aug, 2018 4:13 pm

It takes less than an hour to remove the dash/crash pad and about the same to refit - Ive done several times with various 126's on my own.

With another set of hands it may be even quicker.

Like everything on the 126's its very straight forward and well engineered so nothing to be afraid of.
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1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar - (6.0L LS V8 and 6L80E 6 Speed conversion)
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i
2012 Hyosung GT250R

SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Mon 06 Aug, 2018 9:07 pm

The doors in my coupe like a lot of areas around the lower chassis in the car have rust issues. The passenger door is particularly bad. Nothing that can't be fixed but the time and money to do so has made me look for other options. John Green came to the rescue with two good rust free donor doors from what I think was a Gen1 380SEC. They have been sanded back a little and some of the small dents filled in. Now they wait until the painter starts with the body work.

I did have one question about these. Will the cladding that fits to the bottom of the door still be able to be fastened to these Gen1 doors? Is there any significant difference between a Gen1 and Gen2 door?
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Dean 560 SEC
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Dean 560 SEC » Tue 07 Aug, 2018 9:59 am

The lower door holdings should fit okay - the one difference that i'm aware of between Gen 1 & 2 doors is the shape and fitment of the rubber conduit for all of the wiring and vac lines (top inner door jam)

The Gen 1 is round and the Gen 2 is oval. This will need to be modified to fit the Gen 1 doors to a Gen 2 vehicle - i suggest this gets done before painting and fitting.
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1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar - (6.0L LS V8 and 6L80E 6 Speed conversion)
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i
2012 Hyosung GT250R

Honey500
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Honey500 » Tue 07 Aug, 2018 10:39 am

Informative as always guys. Good luck with the restoration.

Can someone clarify in the pic of the motor comming out is it fitted with 'twin dumpers'? Or are they tri Y's?

Cheers
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1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Tue 07 Aug, 2018 7:13 pm

Thanks again Dean, I had a feeling something was different between the two door styles. To make the 'round' and 'oval' is it as simple as cutting the metal to that shape or is there more fabrication work involved than that? Is cutting out the Gen2 shape and welding that into the Gen1 doors advisable?

Here is another picture of the engine including the headers on the other side. I think they are tri-y's as it is a UK delivered car with #822 option on the build sheet but there are a lot more experts on this forum them me who can confirm if they are Tri's or Euro logs. I'm going to get them cermic coated when I pick up the engine next month.
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Honey500
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Honey500 » Wed 08 Aug, 2018 2:10 pm

Looking at that pic could be try y's. Not sure on the difference but noted twin dumpers mentioned in another thread. Sure some one here will know
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1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by hents99 » Wed 08 Aug, 2018 6:22 pm

These are tri-y’s... 4 pipes down from manifolds.
Euro logs has 2 pipes down....some has only 1 pipe down from manifolds... very restrictive.
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Honey500
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Honey500 » Sun 12 Aug, 2018 11:16 pm

Yep my 500 has the last option on that list!
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1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 1:29 pm

Progress is slow but steady on the old girl. It's great to see two of the doors finally in undercoat and the body work on the car is almost complete too. Should see some undercoat on the chassis soon too. Engine bay has been extensivley scrubbed and cleaned. The engine will be dropped off at the engine shop sometime in the New Year.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 1:39 pm

The doors are on their way
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 1:45 pm

The engine bay is immaculately clean and ready for primer coat. Here you can see its original colour #199 coming through this hack of a paint job. The abuse these cars have recieved over the years is criminal.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by T-Modell » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 6:04 pm

Hats off to your efforts ... you're doing it thoroughly!

Good luck for the rest!
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 7:07 pm

Thanks Thomas this project has morphed along the way into a complete restoration. As we have gone to this level now the car will returned it to its original showroom condition. It will be lowered slightly and have AMG Aero 3 piece rims but that's all. It should eventually be one of the nicest ones in the country. There isn't a place in the world I won't search for parts to make it beautiful again.


One that note does anyone out there have a right hand window metal 'channel' in good condition for a Coupe? This is the part the glass sit in then gets attached to the regulator. One of mine has rusted through and is no good. I have found one in the US but it's easier to get one locally if possible. There is a picture below.
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 7:09 pm

A closer shot
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Bartman4800 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 7:56 pm

Are you sure that cannot be fixed with Phosphoric acid, a Mig welder, and a visit to the zinc plater?

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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 9:47 pm

It can be fixed there's no doubt but I'd rather a good second hand one. The time and effort involved in my opinion isn't worth it.

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Dean 560 SEC
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by Dean 560 SEC » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 10:29 am

I'll have a look at my spare right front window later and see what condition its in and get back to you.
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1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar - (6.0L LS V8 and 6L80E 6 Speed conversion)
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i
2012 Hyosung GT250R

SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 8:16 am

Thanks Dean much appreciated

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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by CraigB » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 11:36 am

Not sure how i have missed this thread - great work! I'm sure with both doors there you have worked out best way to modify that hole and i am sure just making it bigger with a drill and dremel would have worked fine. I think that was confirmed they are tri-ys. From what i can see it doesn't seem like a straight forward transition, but on the sedans they went to those window channel parts being aluminium. Great if you can find a good one but sure you can repair that if needed. I would suggest something like kbs paint after repair though because these things always seem to rust.
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 6:24 pm

Well this happened today. A new chapter in the cars life has been started.
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 6:25 pm

A few more
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SW4
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 6:28 pm

and more
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Re: My 560SEC restoration

Post by SW4 » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 6:29 pm

Rear view
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