My 560SEC restoration

1979-1991 280SE, 300SE, 300SEL, 380SE, 380SEL, 380SEC, 420SE, 420SEL, 420SEC, 500SE, 500SEL, 500SEC, 560SEL, 560SEC
Post Reply
SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

The initial inspection
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Left hand boot sill
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Jacking Points
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Doors particularly on the passengers side rusted through
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
John Green
OZBENZ Admin
Posts: 6536
Joined: Mon 20 Jun, 2005 3:49 am
Model you own: w112
Region: Australian Capital Territory
Location: Canberra-center of the known universe
Contact:

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?
Inaugural OZBENZ national meet this September, all welcome to attend. https://ozbenz.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=25165

M.B Spares & Service 14-16 Lyell St, Fyshwick ACT. Ph 02 6239 1099

http://mbspares.com.au - Supporting Australia's Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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"
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Fabricated part
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Rear window sill repair.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Once again new metal welded in!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Dean 560 SEC
Ponton
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue 15 Sep, 2015 7:28 pm
Model you own: w126
Location: Perth Western Australia

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.
Current Garage
1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Dean 560 SEC
Ponton
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue 15 Sep, 2015 7:28 pm
Model you own: w126
Location: Perth Western Australia

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.
Current Garage
1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Dean 560 SEC
Ponton
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue 15 Sep, 2015 7:28 pm
Model you own: w126
Location: Perth Western Australia

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.
Current Garage
1987 560 SEC (ECE)
1982 XJ6 Jaguar
2007 E90 BMW 530i
2004 E46 BMW 318i

Honey500
Pagoda
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:32 am
Model you own: w126
Location: Adelaide

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
It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!

1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

SW4
C Class
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 06 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Model you own: w126
Region: Queensland
Location: Sunshine Coast

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.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Honey500
Pagoda
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:32 am
Model you own: w126
Location: Adelaide

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
It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!

1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

hents99
E Class
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat 15 Nov, 2008 11:07 pm
Model you own: w126
Location: Estonia
Contact:

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.
560SEC, C55, W201 (2.3-16T + 2.5-16)

Honey500
Pagoda
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:32 am
Model you own: w126
Location: Adelaide

Re: My 560SEC restoration

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

Yep my 500 has the last option on that list!
It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!

1985 500sec aka Sadie (current project)

Post Reply

Return to “W126”