Saturday, January 31, 2015

Driving the star - a W126 video

Weekend, at it's time to relax and to enjoy driving the star!In the past five years I've made so many short videos and I've collected so many good ones from others that I'd like to let you participate. Click on the video below to enjoy a ride in my W126. The video was made in Bremen and is a little tour from the shopping mall "Waterfront" to my previous garage. At the minute 8:45 you'll see another W126 that I "met" by chance.

I apologize for the bad sound. The movie was made with a normal digital camera that I jammed between the dashboard and the windscreen. HERE YOU GO!

Friday, January 30, 2015

More snow in Germany

Yesterday we had more snow in North Germany. And we are expecting even more the next days. Funny to drive the W201 and its rear-wheel drive.

Error of the oil pressure sensor, part 2

Well, the error is quite typical for these engines. Let's forgive them. They are sometimes older than 30 years and still many of them are just running fine.

The sensor itself is located next to the oil filter. It's this grey-white rounded thing just below the base of the oil filter. The oil filter of the M103-engine (and also the M102) is located on the driver's side just in front of the fire screen and behind the air filter box.

I combined the exchange of the oil pressure sensor with an oil change. Because it's easier to get to the sensor when the oil filter is unplugged. To unscrew the sensor the only thing you need is an end wrench. To protect the environment use some towels. There won't come much oil out of the sensor base.

That's the old sensor that was supposed to be malfunctioning. Well, the new sensor was there and at this point I didn't know that I wouldn't succeed.

This is the new sensor. To fix it to the base you also should take a new seal. For the M103-engine it's the OEM number N007603012113. On the picture above you can see the connector for the cable.

On this picture you see the other side of the sensor. On the top you can see a little hole. In this area the pressure is measured.

Here you can see the exchanged oil pressure sensor and the exchanged oil filter above. It's a very easy  DIY-task. If you have further advices please leave a comment here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Error of the oil pressure sensor, part 1

In May 2013 I noticed that my W126 showed an oil pressure in the display as soon as I switched on the ignition (motor not started). The oil pressure was something about 0,5 bar. Strange, it was supposed to show no pressure as the engine was not running yet. Watch the video and you understand what I'm talking about. I learned that this is a not unusal error, often shown by these youngtimers.

Here you can SEE THE VIDEO with a description of the error. In the video I tried different things: pulling off the plug of the oil pressure sensor, holding the contact of the plug to the mass of the car to see if the display shows a different value. Yes, it did. As soon as I was holding the plug of the oil pressure sensor to the mass of the car, the value dropped to zero. An indication that the oil pressure sensor was malfunctioning. Tomorrow I will show you the exchange of the oil pressure sensor.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Working creatively - build a W126 yourself

This is a funny thing that I found in the internet. If I violate copyrights here, please leave me a note and I'll delete it immediately. It's a W126 that you can build by cutting the paper and glueing the edges.

Click to see the patterns. You have an advantage if you own a color printer.

The outcome is... well, how to describe it nicely? Yeah, it has some similarities with the real one and in the end, it's just fun!

If you like, feel free and try it yourself. Would be glad to see the results here in my blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Heater core problems - a write-off?

In December 2014 my W201 experienced a very bad issue and reading in German W201-forums I found out that my problem seems to be a typical W201-problem. One day I saw some blue water dripping along the carpet at the center tunnel/driver's side footwell. Obviously it came from the casing of the steering wheel. I unscrewed the panel and saw the problem.

Cooling water came from somewhere behind the silver heating pipe (the heater core; is it called so in English?). Well, I was quite shocked when I found out that for the exchange of the heater core I had to get out the whole dashboard. I like working on my car but as I don't have the space to work without hurry and as I'm dependent on the car I was almost about to give up.

At the last moment I found a repair shop which was willing to exchange the heater core for "cheap money" (350,00 Euro, Mercedes wanted something like 900,00 Euro). To be honest there were other first signs like the fogged windows e.g. Fortunately I found out about this problem quite early I guess. The foot-carpet and below the carpet everything seemed to be dry but still it was a shock.
The mechanic did his job very good and eversthing is o.k. now. There's no loss of cooling water in the reservoir or anywhere else.

I have to admit that this is not DIY. But for this work you need a good experienced hand or at least someone who has done this before. You need some space and time. Many people in the forums said that the work is not so difficult. It's just a lot of work-time. May be, but I wouldn't recommend it to you doing it yourself when you don't have adequate ressources to do this job. Look how the old heater core looked like.

Happy that I could keep my old Baby-Benz!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The exchange of the Mercedes-Benz star (video description)

Here I'll provide you with a VIDEO ABOUT THE EXCHANGE of the Mercedes-Benz star. It's one of the easiest jobs. In my videos I'm speaking German but I think that I'll change that soon as it is quite a lot of work to subtitle everything :) Enjoy it anyway! For subtitle click on "CC"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nice self-taken video with a W126-beauty

WATCH THE SELF TAKEN PROMOTION-VIDEO HERE of my W126, 300SE. Some reward for all the work.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snow in Germany

Wow, today the first real snow this winter. About 3-4cm. Finally. A good day to check the ABS-system and to take nice snowy and dreamy pictures! ;)

Headlight revision on the W126, part 4

Welcome to the last part of my report about the headlight revision. I hope that you'll find the posts a bit helpful. For me it was always a big thing to do something myself and I was always looking for all descriptions and pictures I could get before I started with the work on my car myself. In some cases I didn't find anything. That's the reason why I provide you with many pictures in my posts. Now that the plastic frame was ready, we exchanged the reflector that I bought on eBay from a seller in the U.S.A. A funny thing that I rebought a Bosch part that was exported many years before to the U.S.A. Now after many years of lying in a storage it came back to Germany to be installed in the left headlight of my W126.

It is not very difficult to install it but you have to be careful as there are sensitive steering pins of the headlights height control. They brake easily.

The rest is easy. Put the frame back into its position around the reflectors, put the new rubber seal on the edge of the diffuser and fasten the diffuser with the clips to the headlight box.

On the left you see the left headlight before the revision. On the right you can see a fresh expression of the revised headlight.

Here you can see the difference in comparison to a W126, 260 SE (on the right side). I would say it was worth the time but this is something for experienced DIY's with quiet and patient hands.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Headlight revision on the W126, part 3

Today I'd like to show you how I painted the inside frame of the headlight. The most difficult part was to find the correct color that looks similar to the original color. On the picture below you can see the new-painted frame on the left side and the unrevised frame on the right side.

I was told that the color of the left frame is very close to the original color (anthracite gray, RAL 7016). Yes, it looks very dark but later on you'll see the big difference and the nice outcome. Another problem here: the plastic frame became hard and brittle over the years. So be careful a bit.

Now that you have taken off all indicators, headlights and covers, inspect the front car frame for rust and take care of it. I didn't find much, just a few spots. But I took the chance, made the areas rust-free and painted them with new 904U blue.

Tomorrow I will tell you in the last part about the new reflector and you'll see the final result of our work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Headlight revision on the W126, part 2

The diffuser is a bit difficult to open. When you have got the whole headlight out of its holder, you can see that the glass (the diffuser) is fastened to the grey plastic box with clips. See also the picture below.

The clips are holding the glass and as they are made of metal and as they have direct contact to the glass, it is very easy to break the glass when trying to take them off. And to take them off you need to bend and stretch them a bit. This is the tricky part and probably the most difficult.

After you have taken off the clips, remove the diffuser and check the inside, especially the reflector. Mine on the left side was rusty and I couldn't save it anymore. If the reflectors are just a bit pale and not shiny anymore, you can bring them to a specialist to get a new surface coating. This can be an alternative, because new reflectors aren't very cheap.

On the picture above you can see the rusty edge. Also the inner floor coating was not intact anymore. This reflector on this picture is upside down. Tomorrow, I'll talk a bit about the frame that is sourrounding the reflectors behind the diffuser.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Headlight revision on the W126, part 1

I've talked already about bulbs and the voltage regulator. These are advices to make the light a bit brighter and to save the alternator from its premature blackout. But after all these years (and in some cases the W126 is from 1979) also the headlight-diffuser or the -inside frame itself has suffered from the influence of dirt, wetness, sunlight, heat and ice. I some cases wetness got inside and ruined the reflector.

One day in May 2012 I and a friend took out the two headlights of my W126, 300 SE because 1) I thought that the grey color of the inside frame became pale and the most important point 2) the reflector of the left headlight was rusty. The rubber seal was obviously not intact anymore.

To get the headlights out you have to take out the indicators first. In this picture above you can also see the rusty reflector.

It is also necessary to take of cover below the headlights to get to the screws under the headlights. At the end of this procedure the W126 looks a bit faceless.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about the headlight-diffuser. This one is a little tricky. Because it's very easy to destroy the whole part.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A nice drive in a W126, 300 SE - let's take a break

Ready for a little break? Then watch the video and have a nice drive in W126, 300SE.

I thought it might be a good idea to show you from time to time some videos of some of my little cruising tours. I published them on YouTube already but probably you haven't seen them.

It's a composition of many different videos. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The voltage regulator

Let's talk a bit more about light. You know probably that to the alternator is attached a so-called voltage regulator. Its task is to regulate the varying voltage from the alternator to a consistent level. This transistor controller is found at the rear of the alternator.

If the charging voltage is low and the battery is no longer getting charged properly, this can be an indication of worn carbon pins of the controller. It is very easy and cheap to replace the whole voltage regulator. Some say that the light was turned bright again after having changed the regualtor. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

This is the view from the back of the alternator. Good to see the alternator regulator and the connector above. This picture is from my W201, M102.

Procedure: Disconnect the battery by pulling of the mass(minus)-cable. Secure the cable from not-intentioned reconnecting to the mass. You can simply remove the two Phillips screws and pull the regulator gently. Don't worry, the regulator has a bit of tension because the carbon pins are sprung. Inspect the regulator. The pins shouldn't be shorter than 5mm. If they have less replace it with your spare part.

The new regulator - here for a W126, 300 SE

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Make it a little brighter on the road - light tuning with Osram Night Breaker Plus

I read in some forums that many people complained about the fact that the light of these old cars is kind of not bright enough. Some of them talked about exchanging the whole light system and to integrate a xenon light. Xenon and W126 or W201 for me is an absolute taboo. These are classic cars with the character of the 80's and 90's. Xenon destroys this classical appearance of these old Benz's.
But there's something you can do.

I changed the bulbs of the headlights to "Osram Night Breaker Plus", the second generation. They should last longer than the first generation, that were broken after a few months. So I think that the difference can be even seen at daylight.

Before the replacement

Ok, a nice gadget, maybe not strictly necessary, but it looks better. The light has some slightly bluish areas, but not like xenon. Xenon doesn't fit to the W126 or the W201 anyway.

Driver's side changed, the other side still with the old bulb
There's no further work necessary. Just change them and feel the difference.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Brake fluid change

O.k. guys, sometimes it's easier and cheaper to go to a shop. E.g. the change of the brake fluid. It's only 39,50 Euros total here and it has to be done now because I don't know when it was changed the last time. But I promise you that most of my stories will be DIY-stories.

By the way, brake fluid is highly hygroscopic and should be changed every 12-24 months. The more water gets inside the system the lower the boiling point becomes. This is dangerous because it can cause vapor bubbles and the break pedal becomes useless.

Greetings from the shop!


Friday, January 16, 2015

A comparison between the W126, 300 SE and the W201, 190 E

If I was asked to compare the W126 with the W201, I had to admit that the W126 is the far more comfortable car that gives you the feeling of driving a lot of steel with a lot of safety around you. A feeling that is difficult to describe. You have to try it yourself. The W126 hasn't lost anything of its souvereignty in all its years of existence. Its little brother, the W201, tried to follow its big brother, and it succeded. In this smaller masterpiece you still have the typical Mercedes-feeling. You feel that it is different, but you recognise it, you feel the relation between these two relatives.

The slogan "Welcome home" from 1990 is kind of true. In this commercial a tourist is travelling to a far country, the airport is loud, he gets the keys for his rented car, outside the airport it's also noisy, he gets into the car, closes the door and: silence!
This was right in the 80's and 90's but these old cars kept this feeling of safety and cosiness, a feeling of "coming home".

That's why I'm not disappointed that I sold my W126 in 2013. I lived the dream and I kept a little piece of it. And I'm happy to tell you guys much more stories about my experiences with the W126 and the W201! I'm looking forward to your comments!
Yours Nils

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oil-, oil filter- and air filter change for the W201, M102.910 from 1990

I remember that it was very difficult just to think of an oil change doing it on my own. But my fears were unfounded. It is actually a very easy job and provides you the good feeling of having done something good to your engine. It's a job for beginners, for those who still have a lot of respect of doing it themselves. It's a good opportunity to get to know your engine a little better.

- 5 liters of semi-synthetic motor oil for gasoline engines (if you have used mineral oil before, you can change to semi-synthetic but don't do it vice versa). I'm using 10W40 here in North Germany.
- 1 oil filter, I prefer the MANN FILTER W719/13 (see the photo below) because the cartridge is bigger than other products, OEM A1021840501
- 1 air filter, I prefer the MANN FILTER C 41 121 (see the photo below), OEM A0030945804
- 1 oil drain screw M14x1.5, OEM A1119970330, optional, you also can use the old one with a new seal
- 1 seal for the oil drain screw, OEM N007603014106
- 1 oil filter wrench OCS1 SW21
- 1 collector box for the old oil
- 1 torque wrench, you'll need 20 newton meter torque for the new oil filter and 25 newton meter to fasten the oil drain screw.
- 1 ratchet box with an extension
- 1 car jack
- 1 pair of well-fitting work gloves (optional)
- 1 or 2 drop boxes

oil filter, I prefer the MANN FILTER W719/13

oil filter MANN FILTER W719/13

air filter, I prefer the MANN FILTER C 41 121

air filter MANN FILTER C 41 121


- make sure that the motor is warm. This way the oil will get out easier and more complete.
- take on your gloves.
- lift the car on the driver's side with the car jack to make it easier to reach the oil drain screw.

- cover the floor to protect the floor from dropping oil.
- open the oil inlet cover and lift the oil dipstick a bit.

- take the ratchet with a 13mm-socket and the collector box
- get under the car and unscrew the oil drain screw with the ratchet. Not completely, just make it loose. Be careful because the oil pan is made of aluminum. It does not resist for long. If the screw is too tight, try it with silicone spray or rust remover spray and give it some time.
- get the collector box in position, put it a bit more to the left side of the car because it comes out with some pressure.

- when everything is in place, unscrew the oil drain screw completely and make sure that the oil doesn't drop anywhere else. Note that the oil is hot or at least quite warm! Put the screw and the old seal in the drop box.

- now get to the oil filter and put a work towel around and under the oil filter because it may happen that some oil gets out.
- put the extension on the ratchet and the oil filter wrench on the extension and put your tool on the oil filter.

- if you have the feeling that the filter wrench is sitting a little loose, give it a hearty, little shock.
- unscrew the oil filter, take it off and put it in a drop box.

- now let all the old oil get out of the oil pan. This takes a while, so get to the air filter box to change the air filter.
- Pull all the spring clips around the air filter box and unscrew the four nuts on the box.

- now you can see the old filter. Get it out slowly and make sure that no dirt gets in the air flow sensor.
- Inspect the box from the inside and clean the inside surfaces carefully.

- put on the new air filter and make sure that it fits well.

- close the box in reverse order.
- take the new oil filter and lubricate the rubber seal with some old oil before screwing it on the filter base.

- tighten it with your hand and you either give it a quarter turn with your tool or you take your torque wrench and fasten it with 20 newton meter maximum.
- remove the work towel

- if the oil hast stopped dropping out of the drain plug, take a new oil drain screw seal and put it on the old (or the new) oil drain screw.
- screw it into the socket and tighten it with 25 newton meter maximum.
- get the collector box from under the car.
- lower the car and remove the car jack.
- take the new oil and pour 5 liters into the oil inlet.
- close the inlet with the cover and put back the oil dipstick into its holder.

- take off your gloves and start the engine. Let it run for a couple of minutes.
- check if the new oil drain screw seal holds.
- turn the engine off and wait for approximately two minutes.
- check the oil level and if necessary correct it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Story of my W201, 190E 1.8, part 3

3 ... 2 ... 1 ... ... mine!
I continued to follow the eBay-auction. There seemed to be only one or two bidders, which bid, however, in small amounts. My-felt maximum was 1000.00 -1200.00 Euros. Oliver said that 1000,00 Euro should be the maximum. The end of the auction was on January 02 at 02:12pm. Well, at the last moment I could not contain myself and finally offered 1285,00 Euros. No bargain, but also not very expensive. That same evening I went with my Suzuki scooter UH-200 to the owner, doublechecked everything in the car, signed the contract and got the keys. As the car was already signed out (not registered anymore), we agreed that I could pick up the car the next day, after I have been with the documents to the Admissions Office.

On 03 January, I held the license plates in my hands. It was another license plate with HB NC 975, which I used on my S-class at the beginning. A good friend drove me the district Grambke in Bremen where I installed the license plates on the Benz and I finally took the car for its first ride under new ownership. Now it was really mine! And again, I thought. "Well Nils, you  managed three months not to drive a car with a star on the grille!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Story of my W201, 190E 1.8, part 2

It's a Mercedes
The Benz was really good at first glance. It was still registered and was waiting for my test drive. The seller sent her husband to me; obviously she was afraid of special "car questions". Her husband, who was talking with a Dutch accent, waited while I had a closer look to the exterior and interior of the carthe first inspection. Outwardly it looked really passable. The interior was ok, "Only dusty, and the cushions need a little cleaning.", I thought. The mileage told me 198 000 km. We went forward to the engine. The first glance fell on all kinds of leaves that lay on the ventilation slots. The engine had obviously not been cleaned for a very long time. On the first and fourth cylinders valve cover could be seen some oil. The Dutch just said: "We have the car since August and my wife uses it. The car got only its inspections at the shop...." I looked under the car. The front axle told me that the car was actually 23 years old. The steering, the front axle and the springs had some rust. I was a little disappointed at this time, because the seller had advertised the car rust-free.

Well, let's have closer look. The car started immediately, the engine was quiet! After that my main focus was on any noise. But the W201 impressed. No strange noise. WellI had to get used to the gears. Also, the W201, 190 E 1.8 is not known as an agile car. Altogether it seemed a bit hesitant, as if it did not really move. Have later learned that the W201 is exactly known for this behavior, at least the 1.8-liter engine. But it worked. Circuit o.k., o.k. everything, all displays normally. The friend of the seller was sitting next to me, but did not really have much to say, because obviously he did not know much about cars. Back at the house, he showed me the accessoriesMercedes alloy rims with summer wheels and a roof rack. Well, that was enough for a first impression.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Story of my W201, 190E 1.8, part 1

As I sold the W126 in October 2013 I tried to relax a bit and not to follow the hobby anymore. I thought that I could satisfy my mobility needs with the local car sharing project "Cambio". You book a car via internet, you go to the parking space in your district, you open the safe to get the keys and you rent the car for a couple of hours. Quite a good thing, but after only three monts I got bored. The cars were too new. Too much technical non-sense and everything was too functional and just boring.

The unconscious search
So I started unconsciously to look around on eBay and other auction sites. One thing was clear: W126, not again, not now. This dream was lived. But Jörg and Oliver of the "Benz Friends Classic" advised me to lookout for a W201. "The W201 is more economic and not that much in need of care and high costs." And so I did. By the way, I already knew the driving characteristics of the W201 and did not find it bad; as long as you are the driver and not the rear passenger.

Benz in exchange for motor boat or trailer
After Christmas 2013 I discovered on eBay a W201, standing in Bremen Grambke. "Mercedes E 190 in top condition in exchange for motor boat or car trailer". The seller advertised with the additional information: clean visually and technically top 190, 109 hp, sunroof , summer tires on aluminum rims , winter tires on steel rims , roof racks, engine and transmission run smoothly, rust does not exist, non smoking vehicle and full service history. The images showed a 190 in pearl gray. Outwardly, it appeared o.k. I began to bid ; more or less with no real buy intentions. But then the car more and more aroused my interest. I wrote to the seller and agreed a meeting on December 29, 2013.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

A little walk-around my W126 300 SE

To make it a bit more alive, I want to give you a little tour around my 300SE. Unfortunately I explained some details in German, so you won't understand that much. But still I think it's a nice tour to get an impression of the condition when I got it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Story of my W126, 300 SE part 6

Initially the "Blue" received the logical license plate number HB NC 975, so my initials with three digits of my birth year. Then one day I saw again a wonderful legendary sketch from the German comedian Hape Kerkeling in which he dressed up as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and as such he drove in a W126-Trasco-stretch-limousine to Bellevue Castle to have some "lecke Mittachessen" (delicious lunch) with Richard von Weizsäcker, the then-President of Germany. The people there were waiting for the real Queen and got a little confused. Yes, and when I looked at the sketch again my view suddenly fell on the license plate of the Trasco sedan. HB UA 95. "Hey, a Bremen license plate! ", I thought, and for fun, I looked on the website of the road traffic office if the car registration number was still assigned.

I was convinced that it was. But I was surprised. It was free! I reserved it for a few months, and on November 07, 2011 the 300 SE got the license plate number of Trixie's sedan! If you like to watch the sketch, have a look here! Even if you don't understand the language, it's still funny because the situation is not a fake and the German security forces were something between amused and unpleasantly surprised at the same time.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Story of my W126, 300 SE part 5

Well, then it was up to me to get some temporary license plates for the transfer (the car was not registered in Germany and had only French license documents), a flight to Memmingen booked at Ryanair and on 03 April 2010 we flew there to pick it up! We took a train to Neu Ulm, and finally we arrived there. The seller picked us up. On the parking space was also waiting the 300SE. Outwardly, he was as described, so the paint was not one hundred percent, but still good enough. The seller didn't mention the oil leaking problem before and that the car made ​​abrasive noises during extreme left or right steering.

Well, I thought, the car is not new, and for the money you can't get anything better. The test run was very good and convinced me after all. We made quickly the purchase contract and then my friend and I drove to Regensburg to do some sightseeing there. The distance from New Ulm to Regensburg and the next day from Regensburg to Bremen was then, let's say so, my and our common maiden voyage. And the 300SE did it well.