Yet another new old Mercedes Benz story...

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Hello to all once again, and Happy Holidays to you all.
I just returned home from a cross country drive in my new old '91 560SEL with 166K miles.
I've been driving W126's since I was reintroduced to M-B sedans 4 years ago.
To date, I've had one '85 300SD (Old Gray) and two '86 300SDL's (Black Jack and Jinx). I love the diesels.....but the wife doesn't, especially our latest that she named Jinx, for very good reasons, as it is the most unlucky / cursed car I've ever been associated with. My mechanic even agrees. (BTW, I'm going to sell it. Comes with a spare engine and tranny too....maybe it just needs a change of scenery).
I've learned alot about the diesels from this group. Now that I've got this big dog V-8, I have a few observations about my new addition to the family and hopefully some of the resident experts will weigh in.
First, I flew from Texas to Conn. to pick the car up and drive approx. 2000 miles home. I keep turning the key on and waiting for the glow plugs to get hot! Ha! Great handling car. Much better than my '86. Did they change the suspension on these from the previous 126's?
Got upper 18's when driving properly. As low as 16.7 when I was driving like an idiot with two other M-B's between Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN (we saw 100MPH often....lots of full throttle driving) Do these numbers sound right for highway driving?
The car has incredible power compared to my SDL. But I did miss the economy of the SDL on this trip. Big time!
It runs real smooth, except at start up and idle. It starts and idles like it has some injection / ignition problem. Feels rough. The instant any pressure is applied to the accelorator, it smooths out and runs great (to me).
Also, there is some type of bumping noise / feeling from the rear end under a hard acceleration from a stand still....just for a second.
This car (maybe all of the 91's) has heated seats. The buttons for the front seats are underneath the ashtray (bad design, considering ash tray / cigarette lighters are often in use for cell phones, radar detectors, etc.) with another button in the middle between them. The symbol looks like an old fashioned horn (best way to describe). I did not get a manual with the car. What is that button?
Oh. The Paint. I've never seen this. The clear coat is ruined. And from what I can see, it looks like a defect in the paint / clear coat. It looks like it is cracked, over the entire balance of the car. It's not scratched on the outside, but rather looks as if it was 'flexed' and cracked internally. 'Crazing'? Is this an accurate term, and is this a common problem? Was there a recall on these cars for paint / finish defects?
Typical rust bubles on the doors at the body panels, and on the trailing edge of the rear fenders. (Why do they always rust at the doors???)
The interior is absolutely cherry. The only issue is the wood facia on the ashtray has come off and I need to get some doublesided adhesive to reattach.
Any common issues with these cars / drive trains?
--
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Kevin L. Bray
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Bad form here, but I forgot two things the former owner told me.
First, the EGR (air pump?) has been removed / disabled? Could this be the rough idle / start?
Second, the exhaust has been modified .... he said the 'resonators' have been bypassed?
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Kevin L. Bray
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In the W116, you could choose a two-toned horn as an option (Zweiklang Fanfare. The button would than be to change between the electric horn and the air-horn. I have no idea if this is the case in your W126, but this is something you would never find out if you didn't flick the switch while using your claxon.
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I played with it today. In one position, which I'll call 'on', the horn works. Not as robust as my SDL horn, but it works. In the opposite position, the horn does not work at all.
Thanks for the tip.
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Kevin L. Bray
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Check the fuses...other than that I'm sure there are other things to check, I just don't know what they are. Richard

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Yes, 126 had this option: city/country horn. Very uncommon in US spec cars.
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These cars have no EGR. What he was probably talking about was the thing that pumps hot air into the engine when the engine is cold. It's just a bit of enviromental stuff that does absolutely nothing other than warm the engine up faster. No, it wouldn't cause your problems. Check the level of the water in the battery cells believe it or not, and then check the fuel mixture. Richard

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Thanks for the response.
So no EGR. Do these come with an air pump? That works is utilized only when the car first is started?
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Yeah, they do that. It's the pump I was talking about that pumps hot air into the engine when the engine is cold (you know the little hose going to the air filter housing, the one that has its own little square filter in the housing? That is for this pump, so follow that little hose back to the pump and if you see the belt has been taken off, that's how you know this was what he was talking about). This pump was for emissions reasons (hot engines bur cleaner than cold, so they wanted to get it hot as fast as possible), but it's pretty darn useless and not worth replacing. As far as you are concerned it changes nothing about the car other than on really cold days it will take another minute or so to warm up. Richard

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Thanks again. The seller told me that it was not really necessary to have the pump and that it was also an expensive fix.
He said something about resonators? Some type of baffles on either side of the underside of the car that the exhaust ran through to make it very quiet. I assume they were bypassed because they were bad. Are they pricey?
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Thanks.

Kevin L. Bray
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Yeah, that pump is VERY expensive and worthless. As far as resonators, they are in the muffler. Some guys take them out for nicer sound (well, guys who put on performace exhausts). I don't think it's possible to fix them without getting a muffler, though if you decide to do the muffler remember that there are aftermarket places better and cheaper than benz. Richard

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Not normall unless he botched it.

Yikes. The resonators are to smooth out the exhaust. The mufflers deaden the sound. It's nor surprising it seems to run rough, this could do it (but may not be the only culprit)
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the
Yeah, but you don't need them. I think his rough idle is more of an injection or ignition or maybe timing thing. Richard
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like
This has happened with my 380 3 times over the last 18 years, and could be the result of any number of things.

under
Bumping or vibration?

etc.)
the
Probably the country/city horn switch.

from
looks
scratched
Sounds a bit bad for a 91...must have been parked outside all it's life.

No idea, but get that taken care of, you don't want the rust to spread.

the
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It bumps, under hard accelerating from a stand still. You can feel the car pitch back as it takes off and you can feel the 'bumping' behind you. Let off the gas pedal and the bump goes away. Once you're up and going, you can floor it and not get the same bump. I think it's related to the car pitching back and 'squatting' down in the rear under fast starts.

I think you're right, except on my new old car, it's actually acting as a on/off switch. One mode does not seem to work.

I believe it's bad for any Mercedes I've ever known. It is a one owner/family car, that was garage kept according to the previous owner. Who knows?

I say that because this is my 4th W126, and they all rust at the doors. Funny thing is, the only one of them I've purchases that lived it's entire life south of the Mason-Dixon line with no road salts is the car that had the worst rust on the doors.

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Mine did that until I changed the diff mount. Big ole hunk of rubber. At this age most of the rubber needs replacing - I've changed most of mine out with only shock pads and thrist rods to do. It make a BIG difference, with new rubber the ride is indistinguishable from a car 20 years newer.
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I've gotten the car into the mechanic. He drove the car about 30 feet and stopped the car and said that the motor mount was broken. The bumping in the back was due to the engine raising up in the front. Sure enough, he popped the hood open, put it in drive, stood on the brake, and pressed the gas pedal. The motor mount on the driver's side is broken, and the engine raised up about 6-8".
I'm going to have him change both and the transmission mount as well.

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The horn: the horn button gives a choice of 2 sounds city and country The 1991 has heated seats for front and back seats with 2 temps 2 lights is the warmest it will cut back from 2 to 1 then off automatically
Mileage is about correct Use contact cement to adhere the wood just remember with contact cement there is no adjustment so get the position right
The clunk in the back is probably a suspension component problem 3-400 Check the hydropneumatic fluid level near the front of the engine on the drivers side use the correct fluid only from MB
Real rough idle could be injectors or any number of sensors Have you checked the spark plugs and wires These are the best Mercedes try to get the best specimen/cost ratio and you will love it Paint: maybe it was resprayed with a new clear coat Al
Kevin L. Bray wrote:

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The seats are great. It was cold here today/tonight and I quite enjoyed the heaters.
After reading the replies, I played with that horn switch. I think I may have a problem based on what I've read, because the horn works in one position and does not work at all in the other.

I've already repaired today with a good double sided adhesive.

Ok. I'm very interested in this. What is 'component prblem 3-400' mean? I'm delivering the vehicle to my mechanic later this week so I'll get him to look at all fluids...

Haven't checked anything yet. Will do though, or my mechanic will.

It seems to be an awesome vehicle.

One owner/family car that was garage kept so I was told. Original, factory paint. This defect is over the entire painted surface.
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Kevin L. Bray
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Kevin L. Bray wrote:

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