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Old 22nd July 2015, 11:24   #1
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Default Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Finally after a lot a waiting, thinking and missing my W123 I bought a W126.

Q:Why did I dispose of W123 and buy a W126?
A: I don't know! All I know is whenever I see these old Mercedes it brings a smile on my face a big one!

A lot of people think I am crazy and I guess its true.


A year or so back I had sold the W123, the details of my previous ownership thread is here :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super-...-car-sold.html (Life with a 1982 Mercedes W123 300D. EDIT: Car sold!)

I was very close to swapping the W123 diesel engine with 280S petrol engine but sense prevailed and that engine went into a Tata Estate!

Now I was surfing the net casually and came across a W126 which looked good. Decided to take a look (no intent to buy) since it was in Mumbai at Vasai. Drove down saw the car and I was shocked to see a 1982 W126 with such a clean body. No rust anywhere no dents, a few scratches. I knew straight away that the car is a keeper. People living in Mumbai can understand how difficult it is to by an old rust free car.

I wanted to buy the car but the price asked was outrageous! On further checking the papers the car had changed hand twice in last 2 years which is a bit weird for such a nice car. I started her up and I immediately knew something was wrong. The car was missing, the rev built was quick the power was there but the idle was sluggish. I was disappointed and left.

However I could not get the car out of my mind. I told the dealer I don't want to buy the car since there is some problem with the engine. Next day morning the dealer called me and offered me the car at half the price. I called my trusted mechanic and went to see the car again. This is what we found out:

The compression was ok, Oil pressure was ok, no white smoke, no funny smell in exhaust, but when my mechanic opened the radiator he paused and gave me the 'oh no' look. The radiator was blowing exhaust bubbles, the head gasket had issues. We immediately checked engine oil which had no traces of water in it yet, no oil in the radiator. But the head gasket or the head definitely needed work. He asked me not to buy the car.

We decided to check the other aspects of the car, according to my mechanic the car has been repainted (was confirmed by the previous owner), it was painted at Mercedes workshop Millennium motors in 2009, I have the bill with me. There is a black colored coating on every exposed part of the body thats not visible from outside, like underbody, floor, trunk etc it feels like plastic but I don't know what it is. We peeled some of it from the floor board to check for rust and it was all clean. My mechanic (could be an actor if he wanted) told me out loud, free me milegi to bhi mat lena i.e. don't take this car even if its of free.

We walked out, sat in my car on the way back to mumbai. My mechanic told me negotiate further and buy the the car. Its rare W126 with all electrical working, sunroof working, electric seats working, clean body and if its at the right price we can fix the head.

So asked for further 25% discount as my final price and struck the deal.

1982 W126 280S now mine.

Last edited by tazmaan : 22nd July 2015 at 11:28.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 11:53   #2
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Default re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Got the payment made, got the papers signed through an RTO agent and drove the car back to Mumbai (Almost).

Why almost because the car broke down after driving for 50 kms. The clutch Slave cylinder failed and leaked all the oil out. Got the car towed and couldn't sleep that night. I kept asking my self, have I made a bad decision? What else need to be done to the the car? Hidden surprises etc.

I reminded myself this car is as old or maybe as young as I am thats 32 years. I can't lose hope. Anyways got the master and the slave cylinder both replaced.

Opened up the head where more surprises where hidden, more on that later.

Here are some pics of the car.
Attached Thumbnails
Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5910.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5865.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5856.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5864.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5857.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5852.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5927.jpg  

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Old 22nd July 2015, 12:12   #3
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Default re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Got the head opened and found out that its just not the gasket. The 5th cylinder has been corroded and water was laking into the cylinder. The pic clearly shows place near the 5th cylinder where it was leaking water.


Sent it to a Turner called Jay Motors at opera house. 1st question Mr. Pradeep the owner asked me if I owned this car in family or it was bought? I said bought and he had the same look my mechanic had while buying the car. He said the head will require cold welding post which he would check for warpage, leakage, mill the head if everything is ok it will be fit to put back in the car. Time required for the work he said 7 days. In all it took him 3 weeks, got the welding done, valve seals replaced, milled and got it back.

The 3 weeks waiting was not easy. I even visited the turner 3 times during the period. But finally got the head back 2 days before Eid. Being Eid the work on reassembling the engine started today i.e. 22nd July 2015.

Got a compete set of Gasket through Jay Motors. Its imported from Germany and has full engine gasket set. Pic attached.

Few WIP pics. I am hoping to get the car running soon.

I am unable to find the pic of the finshed head, its already assembled don't know where the pic went.
Attached Thumbnails
Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6175.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5931.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6464.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6462.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6467.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6463.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_5933.jpg  

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Old 23rd July 2015, 11:46   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Classics Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd July 2015, 13:59   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

That is one amazing car. Huge congrats Taz.

I am not very tech-savvy on Mercs but for now, I am so envious of you.
W126 is that one car that I wish to own one fine day.
As a kid, I was more fascinated by HEADLIGHT wipers than anything else.
The color again is of my choice & it seems to change shades under different lights.

JAY MOTORS is the best when it comes to engine turning. They did engines of both my FIATS and TOUCHE', I have had no issues with them ever.

The owner always offers parts from his shop and is quite OK if you choose to buy from some place else.

Wishing you many happy miles and as cheap as I may sound, you know whom to contact, if you ever think of letting her go.

Regards-Sonu
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Old 23rd July 2015, 16:37   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post
Got the head opened and found out that its just not the gasket. The 5th cylinder has been corroded and water was laking into the cylinder. The pic clearly shows place near the 5th cylinder where it was leaking water.
I am unable to find the pic of the finshed head, its already assembled don't know where the pic went.
Remember our conversation back in 2013? When I requested you to save the W126 which was sold for scrap? Eventually, the engine was salvaged, and was plonked into a Tata Estate, by you.

I was a bit disappointed.

However, voila! What do we have now?

A complete W126.

All said and done- the paint job is A+, and the body is in perfect condition. I'm surprised that the engine required (quite) a bit of work. Mercedes Benz engines are usually bulletproof. Nothing ever seems to happen to them.

How much does the car have on the odo?

Congrats on the car anyway! Love the clear lens indicators- they complement the car perfectly.

These cars could literally keep going on...on....and on....irrespective of the abuse you threw at them. True masterpieces of engineering- and of course- they were very reliable.

Very reliable- Something which my neighbours 2004 Mercedes Benz W211 isn't, sadly.

All said and done- nice car. It's not just any car, it's an S-Class- the W126 at that. Legendary, and rightly so.

All hail the Tri-Pointed star!
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Old 24th July 2015, 10:33   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
That is one amazing car. Huge congrats Taz.

JAY MOTORS is the best when it comes to engine turning. They did engines of both my FIATS and TOUCHE', I have had no issues with them ever.

The owner always offers parts from his shop and is quite OK if you choose to buy from some place else.


Regards-Sonu
Thanks Sonu! This is the first engine I have had to work on and my first experience with Jay Motors. Your experience seems assuring and I am hoping for the same. You are right Mr. Pradeep of Jay motors knew what parts I will require and suggested accordingly. I bought everything through him, during assembly there is not a single part I have had to go scouting for yet. Saves a ton of time and money. Even if one part is missing mechanics entire day is ruined and the momentum is lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
Remember our conversation back in 2013? When I requested you to save the W126 which was sold for scrap? Eventually, the engine was salvaged, and was plonked into a Tata Estate, by you.

I was a bit disappointed.

However, voila! What do we have now?

A complete W126.

All said and done- the paint job is A+, and the body is in perfect condition. I'm surprised that the engine required (quite) a bit of work. Mercedes Benz engines are usually bulletproof. Nothing ever seems to happen to them.

How much does the car have on the odo?

Congrats on the car anyway! Love the clear lens indicators- they complement the car perfectly.

These cars could literally keep going on...on....and on....irrespective of the abuse you threw at them. True masterpieces of engineering- and of course- they were very reliable.

Very reliable- Something which my neighbours 2004 Mercedes Benz W211 isn't, sadly.

All said and done- nice car. It's not just any car, it's an S-Class- the W126 at that. Legendary, and rightly so.

All hail the Tri-Pointed star!
Thanks Fintail, The W126 i got the engine from had practically nothing left except a shell and engine. Its registration was declared as scrap. Yes the engine is in Tata Estate and is running. Its not a reliable mix of machine but its running.

The odo on the car has been reset its showing a number which is too low. The problem with the head was the aluminum between the chamber that houses spark plug and water channel was eaten away (rot on aluminum). It literally looked like a decayed tooth which has been eating a lot of Pan! According to my mechanic this happens if the previous owners didn't use coolant and the car has been sitting for a very very long time.

As of now with the help of cold welding everything is set right, there seems to be no damage to the other parts of the engine since the car has not been driven much under this condition. The radiator was choked, the top and the bottom of the radiator was opened, cleaned, checked for leaks, treated and is as good as new.

Yesterday the timing chain was assembled, delco (or what do you call it) was set. Today we intend to turn the engine manually and check the timing. If all is well the engine can be closed.

Lets see how things go from here.

Oh did I mention anywhere that the first owner of this car is Kirloskar?

Last edited by tazmaan : 24th July 2015 at 10:36.
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Old 24th July 2015, 18:44   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post

Oh did I mention anywhere that the first owner of this car is Kirloskar?
........whose son, incidentally happens to be an alumni of my school.

Wow- Just imagine this car in all it's glory- in Poona of the mid-Nineties.
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Old 6th August 2015, 11:03   #9
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Default Update

UPDATE:

The work was completed but the cylinder no:2 took on water. Yes something had gone wrong. We had to re-do the entire process again. The problem was later diagnosed to a hole (channel for water circulation) which was welded during the process of cold welding but was not reopened (drilled).

Anyways the entire process has been redone. The car was started last evening and the engine was kept running for few hours. No water in oil, exhaust is clean, timing is spot on, revs well, no oil in radiator. Things said about head work is if it runs for 2 hrs it might well run for years.

Attaching a Pic of the head under pressure test. No leaks, no drop in pressure which was taken upto 50 units (I think it was marked PSI) and kept over night. Thanks to Pradeepbhai of Jay motors on correcting the problem at no extra cost. Although I feel the hole should have been drilled in first place. But we are only humans and mistakes happen, its about how we handle them.

Meanwhile, brakes are to be serviced today, wiper and horn is not working which will be done today as well. I'll run the car for a week before re-installing the AC. The car has an after market exhaust (looks original) which sounds delicious.

It took a lot of time and effort to source these timing chain Pins attached in pic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
........whose son, incidentally happens to be an alumni of my school.

Wow- Just imagine this car in all it's glory- in Poona of the mid-Nineties.
It was registered to M/S Kirloskar. Son/Daughter of Ms. Electric Company Ltd in Karnataka.
Attached Thumbnails
Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6606.jpg  

Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S-img_6600.jpg  

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Old 4th September 2015, 11:34   #10
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Default Re: Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post
UPDATE:
It was registered to M/S Kirloskar. Son/Daughter of Ms. Electric Company Ltd in Karnataka.
Hi Taz,

What's the UPDATE on her?
Trust she is on road & running or the work has been stopped due to monsoons?

Regards-Sonu
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Old 1st October 2015, 10:18   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

The update is not so good.


The symptoms are still the same. The cylinder no 2 still taken on water.

The following things were done.

1. To remove all possibilities we even rebuilt the engine block. The over sized pistons were corrected to original size with correct cylinder sleeve.
2. After rebuilding, the engine is still taking water in cylinder no 2 and water is thrown out from exhaust.

I am back to where I was!

There are only 2 things now either I scrap/sell the car as is or buy the new head listed below.

http://www.german-spob.de/start.php?...tikel_id=13039

After investing so much time and money I am a little discouraged and lost at what to do.
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Old 1st October 2015, 18:03   #12
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Dear Tazmaan,
Really sad to hear about the latest developments. I have been following your thread for a while.
Strangely, I was in talks to buy this very car and the seller sold it off just a day before I was booking my tickets to Mumbai to see the car. I did not give up and continued my search for a w 126. A little later, went to Pune and bought one.
It has very serious mechanical issues and I am in the process of trying to sort it out. Will probably start a thread soon.
Anyway, please don't be disheartened so fast, if you fix it, the car will be worth all the effort. It is an expensive car and spending serious money to get it to a great condition is justified I think.
All the best.
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Old 3rd October 2015, 02:21   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-W11...item2593c79794
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Old 3rd October 2015, 08:50   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

The part is costing 1 lakh. Its a very tough decision that you have to make. The part also, would it be unused or used? It has to be shipped from Germany. There were not many cars in India so searching for a used head in India is going to be like the proverbial needle and haystack story

All the best, hope it finally works out in your favour and the car gets to stay with you
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Old 5th October 2015, 10:43   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes: From a W123 300D to the W126 280S

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Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
The part is costing 1 lakh. Its a very tough decision that you have to make. The part also, would it be unused or used? It has to be shipped from Germany. There were not many cars in India so searching for a used head in India is going to be like the proverbial needle and haystack story

All the best, hope it finally works out in your favour and the car gets to stay with you
This is reconditioned part. The vendor has good reviews of providing with such parts. I spoke to one of my clients in Germany and according to him its safe to buy the part. The seller has offered 10% discount and I have requested to throw in the head gasket with it.

I am in talks with one agent who is willing to to ship it at INR 150/kg door to door. I am just discussing how he manages customs at these rates. Delivery period is 10 days.

I have most certainly decided to by this head along with camshafts and top cover. My mechanic says we can use the existing cams but my gut says if I wanna do it I go all the way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by a_nan View Post
Dear Tazmaan,

A little later, went to Pune and bought one.
It has very serious mechanical issues and I am in the process of trying to sort it out. Will probably start a thread soon.

All the best.
Thanks please share some details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shardul View Post
This looks run down. It will require to be repaired which is a gamble and not to mention money and more important time. I am in no mood of going through the process of refacing, doing leak tests, changing valves etc again. Plus its very hard to get professionals in Mumbai. I did a trip to Pune to a Tuners place who's name is Sachin. He has latest machines which are hard to find even in Mumbai. I wished I know about him before.

Wish me luck!
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