Author Topic: My first W116 here at last  (Read 103129 times)


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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #255 on: 17 November 2017, 12:45 PM »
Mine were always black. Whether that was a factory state, or the result of some years old underseal attempt I can't say. It looked stock though when off the car.

I personally prefer them black, but that raw look isn't bad either.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)


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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #256 on: 03 September 2018, 02:42 PM »
Liberté éclairant le monde

Seems strange that at one stage I used to do updates almost every other month, now it seems like it is annually.

Answering some questions posted last year about my sway arms: the aluminium colour was used as replacement arms come in that colour from M-B. The sway arms on our cars were overpainted in black on the production-line because from certain angles one can see them. I quite like the natural colour.

The replacement rear window demister relay and switch seems to have done the trick. I had occasion to use it when we made our early morning trip from Folkstone to the Channel Tunnel. You’ll see from the pictures that I don’t have compound rear glass it is merely a single pane with several horizontal gold coloured wires. The switch now lights up when depressed, and a quick flick to the left cancels operation if needed.

A new flasher relay was also installed primarily to increase the signal noise, but alas I still can’t hear the indicators (like a fair amount of you on the forum, I’m middle aged and rapidly getting absent minded, can’t read without my glasses, hearing is a little dodgy, etc). I’m not sure how to remedy this, but it’s looking more and more like I need to bite the bullet and install a modern three pin (31, 49 and 49a) relay. I could use some piggy-back wires to attach the new relay with spade terminals to the original round terminals that are in the car.

Perhaps someone can shed some light, I know Koan did a new to old relay transplant, I wonder if the new relays with flat terminals have a louder chime when the indicators are engaged?

I entered Mrs W in the annual M-B concours competition in Milton Keynes. I had to enter her in the the Master Class as I had won first place two years ago in the concours d’Elegance Class (2016). This put me in a totally different league… I realise that I will never really achieve a place, as there are a lot of failures on my car, but despite this, I was surprised and very impressed with my score. It must be remembered that I actually do use the vehicle, whilst not in winter because of salt on the road, she does still come out rain or shine in the summer.

The lowest score of the day was 60/300 for a S600 coupé in the Enthusiast’s Class, and the highest was 286/300 in the Master Class for a R107 420SL.
My results was 245/300, which left me in third place for sedan vehicles. Master class is divided into sedans (13a), cabriolets (13b) and coupés (13c) there being no age category per se, but the vehicle must be at least 2 years old and have over 10 000 miles. We were only 3 sedans in my subcategory: a pristine W202 which won first place with 281/300, and a W126 with 261/300.

I know I lost points because I couldn’t operate my radio, I couldn’t find the radio code and so couldn’t demonstrate that the electric aerial worked (more about that later). And obvious no points went to my W129 rims. My engine bay is also very tatty by concours standards. It is also very difficult to get the inner fenders squeaky clean compared to the newer cars with plastic fender liners…

So, next year will be a gap year (off to Europe for the weekend) but I will compete in 2020. Not sure if I want to compete in the concours Master Class, as I know it will be very difficult to eke out the lost points, that said I am aiming to refurbish my bundts, and get Michelin gold plated, platinum belted, diamond encrusted rubber on them (XWX’s), and I have now installed a period correct Becker 663 (washing machine knob) radio. I will have to apply more elbow grease to those wheel arches…

A part of me just wants to compete in the Exhibitors Class, as I know I can never get a place in the class I have to compete in. But then, I figure, what the heck, for the sake of showing other members of the M-B club UK and the public, that there is more to classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles than two door cabriolets. Mrs W did attract a fair amount of attention, being the only W116 entered in concours, although there were 3 6.9s on public display. So, I guess I will be there with my Meguiar’s and kitchen paper in 2020.

I finally bit the bullet, and decided to get a period correct radio for the car. As my vehicle is a 1979 model, the correct Becker isn’t the older pin-stripe Becker, but rather the “washing-machine” knob Becker. Only problem: this radio certainly don’t deliver today’s hi-fidelity. To that end, I spent a not insubstantial amount to have the radio converted by Tadpole radios. I’m in two minds about the conversion: I finally got the bluetooth to work, which is what I know we will usually use. In France I could get the FM frequency to work, but battled to get even white noise to ensue from the radio on the UK shores.

I need to contact Tadpole Radios to find out what I’m doing wrong or if there is a problem with my conversion. They do promise to keep your radio’s original functionality, but to that end, no more cassette player as the new radio innards occupy too much space… Also, the little green U LED doesn’t light up to say you’re on the FM frequency, and the side yellow LEDs don’t light to indicate you’re on AM,LW or SW (of course, now just FM and AM).

Still, the radio looks absolutely wonderful in place, like it was designed by M-B to be at one with the car (a bit like a Becker pinstripe in a W108 where the radio knobs match the auxiliary knobs perfectly). Pity I forgot to take a photo of it in-situ, but do see the attached photo of the radio itself. I also found that the universal ISO radio power connector has a loose connection, occasionally power is interrupted, which never occurred with the previous Audio10. Perhaps Tadpole’s connector is of inferior quality?

What can I say about the actual trip. Well, it was fabulous from start to finish! We picked up the car on Thursday evening, and winded our way from Guildford to Folkstone where we overnighted. On Friday morning early we made our way to the Eurostar, this time the electric windows behaving themselves. (Well, I did have a problem with the new driver’s side regulator on way to concours earlier in the year. It failed in the open position, no sure why, but I removed the driver’s door panel, (unfortunately breaking an older brittle clip up near the window opening  >:(  ), pushed on the glass, and it freed up nicely. Pity M-B did’t include a micro switch to cut the power at the top and bottom of the run, I think this would save our poorly constructed window regulators from over closing, subsequently warping and ultimately self-destructing.)

During our crossing I removed the old Audio10 and my iTranzit, and replaced it with my Becker 663 which is bluetooth enabled. As stated before, annoyingly the ISO power connector block (the terracotta one) seems to have a dodgy connection, as the radio will sometimes power down. I might try to tape the connectors together with self fusing tape or perhaps loop a cable tine around them?

The car performed flawlessly, averaging 130 km/h with the aircon running at ¼, any more than that and it gets way to Arctic! We stopped timeously to get some more fuel, once bitten, twice shy, I did not want to rely on the reserve light which failed to deploy last year, leaving us stranded at the side of the road in Thionville.

After stopping for a wonderful simple French lunch we found our way to Alsace. Our destination was a small village just outside Colmar. To my surprise, we encountered a Statue-of-Liberty! One of several around the world, and what a sight. (This replica of the Statue of Liberty is made from resin and stands 12 meters high. It was sculpted to commemorate the 100th death anniversary of the sculptor Auguste Batholdi, who was born in Colmar and created the "Liberty lightening the world” or “Liberté éclairant le monde”.)

Saturday and Sunday we spent, well, imbibing. I still cannot say that I get Gewurtztraminer but was quite partial to Cremant d’Alsace, but I did enjoy the Alsatian hospitality, food and surrounds, a curious mix of French and German. We savoured the local dish: Choucroute Garnie à l'Alsacienne a casserole of pork and fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) and not forgetting Kougelhopf or bundt-cake, where the nickname for our alloys was derived from. It was a feast for the senses. Sadly, on Monday it was time to return back home in a light drizzle.

Mileage wise, I passed yet another palindrome. Temperature wise at lower speeds: 90 - 110 km/h or 55 - 70 mph, the heat gauge runs a whisker past the ½ way mark, 80 ºC or 175 ºF, but increase that speed to  130 km/h or 80 mph, and the heat gauge rises to just under ¾ about 100 ºC or 212.5 ºF!  I think however that the new viscous fan clutch is doing it’s job well, as the temperature never climbed higher that ¾ either at high speed or bumper-to-bumper crawling traffic.

Fuel consumption figures revealed:
293 miles (471.5 km) - 72.12 lt = 15.3 l/100 km or 6.5 km/lt (18.5 mpg) mainly averaging 130km/h
250 miles (402 km) - 58.63 lt = 14.6 l/100 km or 6.9 km/l (19.4 mpg) mainly averaging 90 - 110 km/h
211 miles (340 km) - 43.92 lt = 12.9 l/100 km or 7.7 km/l  (21.8 mpg) mainly averaging 110 - 120 km/h

754 miles (1213.5 km) - 174.67 lt = 14.4 l/100 km or 7.0 km/l (19.6 mpg)

Keep 116ing
« Last Edit: 03 September 2018, 11:22 PM by gavin116 »


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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #257 on: 04 September 2018, 05:15 AM »
Well done on the concourse Gavin. It ain't my cup of tea, but I certainly can appreciate the effort required to prep for an event like this. Definitely a good call on showing those R107 guys who's boss ;)
It's great you continue to use the car regardless :)

Seems strange that at one stage I used to do updates almost every other month, now it seems like it is annually.

I can totally relate to it, and I've called it the curse of a restored car. My Goldie hasn't required anything in the last two-and-a-bit years, other than scheduled maintenance. Jump in, turn the key, drive 5000km, rinse, repeat. It's fascinating to drive, and "modern car" reliable to the point of being almost boring.

I've mostly switched my attention to the S124 now, as it - sadly - turned out to be a problem child in disguise. Doing a 2500km round-trip to Charente-Maritime in France with a failed idle throttle body was neither fascinating, nor boring :D
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #258 on: 04 September 2018, 08:36 AM »
When I see someone not post in a while, it makes me fear another W116 enthusiast has sold their car and moved on. I think I went through a period of a couple years where I was simply too busy to do any work on my own car, and fortunately it didn't need it mechanically. I have a long way to go before my car looks like yours.

It seems you got decent points for your car, and the changes you are planning to make will no doubt increase your score. It's really nice seeing someone put so much work into a W116 since most people only seem to bother with the coupes and cabriolets.

Great picture of the Universal. That's my dream car, and while I do own one, it's so rusty that I don't know if it will ever see the road.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan!

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+


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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #259 on: 04 September 2018, 12:07 PM »
When I see someone not post in a while, it makes me fear another W116 enthusiast has sold their car and moved on.

I was just thinking about this the other day - for the record, I'm still here  :) , but my car is now stored about 35km/22 miles from my house (previously, it was 3km/2 miles), so I'm not driving it as much (only 2-3 times per year).
Ironically, that's keeping the mileage low, and the maintenance requirements low (although I'm aware that some maintenance is based on time, rather than mileage).
In a few years, we hope to be able to move to a house where I can keep the car at home, so it will see a bit more use then.

Thread hijack over...

Wessel Badenhorst

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Re: My first W116 here at last
« Reply #260 on: 05 September 2018, 02:58 AM »
Congrats Gavin! Enjoy every moment
1979 280S Silver Green Metallic
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