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if you designed a w116 what would you change?

Author Topic: if you designed a w116 what would you change?  (Read 8080 times)

Big_Richard

  • Guest
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #30 on: 11 March 2011, 05:43 PM »
i'm pretty sure a 30+ year old w116 would still out perform the cheap Chinese cars today we are getting, such as the "great wall" and other such things flooding our market.

at the end of the day dollars talk and they're cheap and they sell - safety isn't really a consideration until its too late.

powerglide

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #31 on: 12 March 2011, 05:20 PM »
- 3 x Weber DCOEs for the 280S instead of that THING it comes with (one reason I don't own one)
- Door pockets that take a Melway and still let U use the window cranks (no fast glass, please)
- space to mount a decent pair of speakers (eg, 6" or 6x9 Pioneers) in the rear parcel shelf without having to vandalise it
- paint that doesn't decomose in the Australian summer
- compulsory MB tex interior (this alone is worth buying a Merc for)
- exhaust system that doesn't rust out every three weeks and with the crazy restrictors removed (can do it yourself - but why not from factory???)
- cruise control and radar detector as standard
- Nardi steering wheel as option
- 4/5 speed manual box as option on all models (imagine a 6.9 with a ZF!)
- stainless steel brightwork instead of anodised aluminium (if they wanted to save weight, how about starting on the seat frames?)
- alloy rear suspension arms on all models
- no rear self-levelling
- all coil suspension on all models - the 6.9 system is very good while it works, but costs SO much to renew every 5 years or so, and complicated
- rear sunblinds as standard (very rare option), probably more rare than a 350SE with manual box
- umbrella holder, NOT cup holder (coffee should be taken quietly in a cafe on Lygon street; like Tuco said in the G the B and the U: "if you have to drive, drive, don't drink coffee!"
- three baby seat mounts in the rear (there is only provision for one in the middle, and some folk including some Merc owners don't care about ZPG). Babies are lots of fun, and so is making them!
- ditch the dodgy pneumatic central locking (that and the ga-ga placement of the first aid box prevent fitting decent rear speakers and enough child restraints); even Fords have simple and reliable electric central locking with full-time manual override

I can have most of this (except the deletion improvements) if I just buy a W126, but note: no lovely chrome bumpers, friend.  Think I'll buy one anyhow, and then I can have perfect daily transport, and still have a W116 to drive for pleasure.  I prefer not to modify cars (except to improve performance and amenity with OEM options), but I can live with the nuisance options my W116 came with (why fit SL rear suspension to a short wheelbase model, for heaven sake?)
Powerglide

Mforcer

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #32 on: 12 March 2011, 07:52 PM »
I can have most of this (except the deletion improvements) if I just buy a W126, but note: no lovely chrome bumpers, friend.

This is my feeling on the matter. I do not think our cars are perfect, especially given 40 years of development but there is nothing I would be willing to give up for any of these "improvements".

(why fit SL rear suspension to a short wheelbase model, for heaven sake?)

Why not? I have self levelling on my SE. Why would it be any more practical on an SEL?
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

powerglide

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #33 on: 12 March 2011, 10:33 PM »
Tongue firmly in cheek, Mforcer! Like saying what I would like better in my wifey: of course it's "don't change anything!".  It's possible in another world I could come home to a Vogue house and  be fed gourmet dinner every evening, and be completely miserable.  I would rather stay delirously in love with my wifey who is the most wonderful chick on the planet, thanks.  Same with the W116.  It's just a fun topic.
Powerglide

oscar

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  • Location: Riverina, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #34 on: 12 March 2011, 11:19 PM »
my wifey who is the most wonderful chick on the planet, thanks. 

So you're the lucky one! Mine must be second most wonderful..... in my street.  It's a short street too  :o

I'd like to add one more item to the wishlist.  I wish W116's had no flare nuts at all. 
None on the brake lines, none on the suspension.  Instead, all fluid joints would be banjo fittings.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

Big_Richard

  • Guest
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #35 on: 13 March 2011, 03:02 AM »
Banjo fittings suck balls - I dont like the idea of having to keep 50,000 variations of Cu crush washers on hand  8)

oscar

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #36 on: 13 March 2011, 03:15 AM »
Hehe, must admit I went and bought a bunch of different Cu washers from an engineering store ages ago only to find I've hardly used any yet because they've usually been the wrong size.  I've reused a whole bunch in the past and today on the one banjo fitting on the SLS valve.  One was copper, the other aluminium.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

Big_Richard

  • Guest
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #37 on: 13 March 2011, 03:59 AM »
be nice if they were all the same size and metal ;)

I've been meaning for years now to obtain new Cu washers for the banjo fitting on my suspension pump but never remember to get around to it.

I just deal with it dripping under load.

craigb

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #38 on: 13 March 2011, 04:42 AM »
The heater/air is my gripe but the rest i like or can live with happily. And if they have to have a heater with lots of complicated vacuum and moving parts then make it so you undo a couple of clips and slide it out so you can just put it on the bench and work on it.......... without screaming and yelling and increasing blood pressure and losing blood and and and.....

And maybe a vacuum lock system that doesn't ever leak!..... oh and window regulators that don't bend slightly and misalign the gears so they strip..... better stop thinking or will start thinking about selling it!
1980 280s

Big_Richard

  • Guest
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #39 on: 13 March 2011, 04:50 AM »
I think some of the complaints are slightly unreasonable given that the cars are 30+ years old and they have well and truly passed their designed life cycle.

carl888

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #40 on: 13 March 2011, 05:56 AM »
- 3 x Weber DCOEs for the 280S instead of that THING it comes with (one reason I don't own one)
- Door pockets that take a Melway and still let U use the window cranks (no fast glass, please)
- space to mount a decent pair of speakers (eg, 6" or 6x9 Pioneers) in the rear parcel shelf without having to vandalise it
- paint that doesn't decomose in the Australian summer
- compulsory MB tex interior (this alone is worth buying a Merc for)
- exhaust system that doesn't rust out every three weeks and with the crazy restrictors removed (can do it yourself - but why not from factory???)
- cruise control and radar detector as standard
- Nardi steering wheel as option
- 4/5 speed manual box as option on all models (imagine a 6.9 with a ZF!)
- stainless steel brightwork instead of anodised aluminium (if they wanted to save weight, how about starting on the seat frames?)
- alloy rear suspension arms on all models
- no rear self-levelling
- all coil suspension on all models - the 6.9 system is very good while it works, but costs SO much to renew every 5 years or so, and complicated
- rear sunblinds as standard (very rare option), probably more rare than a 350SE with manual box
- umbrella holder, NOT cup holder (coffee should be taken quietly in a cafe on Lygon street; like Tuco said in the G the B and the U: "if you have to drive, drive, don't drink coffee!"
- three baby seat mounts in the rear (there is only provision for one in the middle, and some folk including some Merc owners don't care about ZPG). Babies are lots of fun, and so is making them!
- ditch the dodgy pneumatic central locking (that and the ga-ga placement of the first aid box prevent fitting decent rear speakers and enough child restraints); even Fords have simple and reliable electric central locking with full-time manual override

I can have most of this (except the deletion improvements) if I just buy a W126, but note: no lovely chrome bumpers, friend.  Think I'll buy one anyhow, and then I can have perfect daily transport, and still have a W116 to drive for pleasure.  I prefer not to modify cars (except to improve performance and amenity with OEM options), but I can live with the nuisance options my W116 came with (why fit SL rear suspension to a short wheelbase model, for heaven sake?)


Done, here is most of it :)


carl888

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #41 on: 13 March 2011, 06:03 AM »
But seriously, there isn't much I don't like. 

-The one serious criticism I have is that they are just plain short geared.  Even a 280 could pull a 3.25:1 back end I think.  To do 3,350 rpm at 100 km/h is simply insane.

Minor annoyances:

-would love the central locking to work from the passengers side door with the key
-would love XWX's to cost $100 each instead of $500.  I know this is not MB's fault, but I have three cars that use them.  Grrrrrrrrr

That's about it,

Happy days.

roseynose

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #42 on: 14 April 2011, 08:16 PM »
I've already made a couple modifications! I was scared of making these modifications because other MB owners would more than likely call it blasphemous, but, according to the owner's manual of the 450 SEL, an MB owner can customize their vehicle to fit their needs (it's somewhere in the book. If I had it with me, I'd quote it in full instead of verbatim with page numbers).

Because I have to constantly drink liquids while I'm driving and got tired of my soda pop bottle rolling all over the place, I bought one of those cup holders that you put in between the seats and marine velcro strips so that way I could secure the cup holder without making holes and be able to remove it in case of a spill, etc. Of course, there wouldn't be a spill since I only allow travel mugs and soda bottles. I still walk into the restaurant when I eat...it seems to keep the car clean.

Second, I had to update a few electronics. I got one of those HD Radio/Satellite/iPod hookup/cd mp3 player/bluetooth (so you can hook up up your phone) radios. I have also added GPS (not in dash version) to my car, but the only place I could put it was by opening up the ash tray and let it sit there. I didn't want to destroy the dash and I can't reach the window to set it up.

As for improvements, I wish my car had a mirror on the passenger side, cup holders (front and back), and a better designed heater/ac unit that only a rocket scientist can figure out (2 pages in the owner's manual on how to work the a/c - 2 pages!). Better gas mileage would have been a plus, but it was the sound of the V-8 that won me over. One accessory I wish I had was a bug guard on the hood (bonnet) to prevent gravel from hitting the windshield. If the car had more room between the ground and the undercarriage, then I wouldn't be scraping the car on those large humps no matter how slow I go over them (<5 mph). It would have been nice if there were ash trays with lighters in the back seat area (still thinking 1970s technology and the fact they would have never guess the ever increasing set of electronics that we have now).

As for the other stuff, I'm amazed daily of the technology in the 1975 450 SEL: electric windows (working), electric sun roof (working), cruise control (not working), central locking system (not working), fog lights (working), automatic antenna (working), electric rear window defroster (working), child proof windows (don't care if it works or not as long as I can roll them down), and intermittent windshield wipers (better be working: I depend on them!)
« Last Edit: 14 April 2011, 08:21 PM by roseynose »

powerglide

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Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #43 on: 29 April 2011, 10:30 PM »
Carl888: good one! A W126 is on the wish list, but do I sell the 350SE or the 280SE? - hard one. Promise to wifey I sell one before buying another. And she is asking for a MANUAL shift! - where do I get one of those?  Seen manual W116s,  but never seen a manual W126. Have been thinking of converting the 350SE, but the tranny runs perfectly, so why throw that away?  Maybe a Cosworth - they go pretty well and there are some manual versions around.

This has been a good post as it shows just how good are these W116s that have survived.  Most gripes amount to "my car is 35 years old and some systems are failing", or "why does it not have all the bling that comes with a 2010 Korean bean can?"  There are also a few things that did not convert to RHD all that well, so...?  You get space, around 1bhp per cubic inch, massively good brakes and handling for a 2 ton car, seats you can sit in all day and still feel your feet, and a ride that lets the ankle-biters sleep as you power slide around a shallow curve in a gravel road. Oh, and 6.5" wide alloys light enough for wifey to change, and chrome bumpers, my lads - note always the chrome bumpers, two stackes high, no less: now there's real value.
Powerglide

Casey

  • W116 Addict
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  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: if you designed a w116 what would you change?
« Reply #44 on: 30 April 2011, 11:07 AM »
On the side of each seat between the seat and door, there is some adjustment knob.  The plastic handle is broken on both side of mine.  When I had a W114, it had a plastic pull-start knob that broke off and I had to replace.

I think any of the handle/knobby things that could have been made out of durable steel or brass or something, should have been.  Including the seat belt parts.

The glove compartments in these as well as the W114's always lose alignment with age.  It would have been nice if there was a latching mechanism on the left and right sides of the lid, rather than at the center, to keep this warping from happening.