recently had the opportunity to purchase a 560 SEL which had
been traded in on a newer car at a local dealer. Surprisingly,
with just under 200k on the clock, we found only minor repairs
were needed. The sunroof did not function, the power seats were
not working, the self leveling suspension did not function,
front brakes were in need of replacement and all the vehicles
systems were in need of a thorough service.
vehicle is a perfect example of the effects of delayed repairs.
The previous owner let small repairs build up until the cost
of the combined repairs was high enough to motivate the sale
of a wonderful vehicle and the purchase of a lesser vehicle
as a replacement. This 16 year old vehicle is timelessly stylish,
has most of the features of new vehicles and a build quality
which has yet to be matched by any contemporary manufacturer.
There is very little plastic, the interior is burlwood and leather,
the body is heavy gauge steel, the paint was of such quality
that even today it looks better than most new cars.
Mercedes W126 series has been an icon for luxury car builders,
Among other features premiered by Mercedes on the W126 were
ABS Brakes, Air bag, Automatic seatbelt tensioners and the
passenger safety cell - all have become standard features
on all luxury cars today. The W126 was actually the first
car to incorporate these features as well as being the first
car specifically designed to withstand offset crashes.
safety features mades the W126, when produced, the worlds
safest car. They and 2500 other inventions were the products
of Bela Barenyi, doyen of passive safety technology. He
was born in Austria and worked as a design engineer, in
passenger car development, for Daimler-Benz from 1939
until his retirement in 1972.
current safety standards in the automotive sector are
based on one of Barenyi's original ideas. Whether it be
the safety body shell, the crumple zone or the safety
steering system, more than 2500 patents bear the Mercedes-Benz
engineer's name - patents that have saved countless lives.
Nobody in the world has given car safety more thought
than Bela Barenyi. His specialty was "thinking ahead":
many of his ideas where so visionary that it took several
years for them to actually come to bear. They revolutionised
the car industry.
rigid occupant safety cell
multi piece steering column
safety steering wheel
protection against side impacts
design of the Mercedes-Benz W 126 S-class (1979-1991) dated
back to 1972, when the first S-class (W 116) made it debut.
Factory codenamed as project W 126, this S-class range was designed
with a mission to retain the title as the world's best luxury
car series for the next decade. After six years of numerous
research and dedicated hard work, the long-awaited W 126 saloon
range was successfully launched in 1979. The saloons' coupe
siblings joined the S-class family a couple of years later in
as its predecessor and successors, the W 126 S-class series
possesses Mercedes-Benz's every effort to shape and show the
world the future trends of the automotive industry, in both
styling and technological aspects. The aesthetic designs of
saloon (W 126 & V 126) and coupe (C 126) models are all-time
designer's masterpieces, a pair of true hallmark designs that
perfectly seam elegance, road presence and authority. Both designs
have captured numerous hearts of royal fans and highly praised
by people from all over the world, and the designs have set
a benchmark for later Mercedes models as well as opponents from
other makes for many years to come. In engineering terms, the
W 126 S-class had set a new record in aerodynamic efficiency
(0.36 Cd) in the late 70s, along with world's leading structural
construction and safety standard. It was the first volume produced
car range to offer the world's very first ABS and SRS Airbag
systems, which were available as optional features.
W 126 S-class has long been praised and highly recognized as
one of the the world's finnest and the most comprehensive lines
of luxury automobile. With a total sale volume of over 890,000
units sold worldwide and a distinguished production span of
more than thirteen years, W 126 is certainly one of the most
successful and ever-green luxury car series the Mercedes-Benz
has ever made. - Ian Dunross
560 SEL features the Hydramatic Self-Leveling suspension (SLS)
which, as the name implies, keeps the vehicle level regardless
of differences in the loading of the vehicle as well as replacing
standard shock absorbers with Nitrogen filled spheres. The system
is designed to maintain the vehicles ride height by use of a
hydraulic pump, a level sensing valve and twin hydraulic rams
and when working provides what is arguably the finest ride of
any large sedan. A diagram and description of the functioning
of this system is available here.
our 560 we discovered that the leveling valve actuation rod
had slipped from its brackets causing the rear of the car to
ride low giving the impression of a sagging suspension, in addition
we discovered that the gas filled "Accumulators" were
ruptured and providing no bump dampening. Once the leveling
system was readjusted and the accumulators replaced the vehicles
suspension performed faultlessly and provides the best ride
of any large luxury car I have driven. If your vehicle has Hydramatic
suspension I can not strongly enough advise that you repair
it or have it repaired rather than replaced (if, however,
you would rather replace the system, the 420SEL did not have
SLS and these parts may be used to replace the SLS on a 560SEL).
date the following repairs have been carried out:
of the window tint which had begun to turn purple.
Replacement of the Accumulators and suspension adjustment.
Replacement of the sunroof mechanism.
Repair of the seat motors in both front seats.
Complete detail including buffing, polishing and waxing of the
Leather treatment and repair.
Replacement of the Grille assembly.
Replacement of the headlamps and turn signals with European
Complete tune and service.
Complete transmission service.
Replacement of front brake rotors and pads.
Repair of wiring for rear power windows.
Replacement of several courtesy light assemblies.
Flush of brake system, refill with DOT4
of H&R Sport springs
of 18" AMG Monoblock wheels and Perelli tires.
Installation of UV blocking tint to windows
to protect leather.
Flush of cooling system and refill with German Phosphate free