History 126 Chassis

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Parts Directory 126 Chassis
Body
Interior
Air Conditioning & Heating
Brake System
Cooling System (engine)
Drive Line and Axels
Electrical, Switches and Cables
Engine (parts, seals, gaskets)
Exhaust, Vacuum and EGR
Fuel, Air and Turbo Systems
Ignition
Steering
Suspension
Transmission (automatic)
Transmission (manual)
Wheel, Hub & Tire
Wiper & Washer
 
 
126 Chassis 1979 thru 1991
300SD, 300SE, 380SE, 380SEC,
420SE,  500SE, 560SE, 560SEC.
 
 
 

Mercedes-Benz 126
Contents  
1, Model Designation  
2, Model History  
3, Models  
4, Engines  
5, Features and Options  
6, Dimensions  
 
 

Mercedes-Benz W126
W126 designates the flagship line of cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1979 and 1991. The W126 replaces the W116 line and was the second series to carry the S-Class or Sonderklasse (special class) designation. The W126 was offered in both 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe versions. The combined sales totaled 892,123 units (818,063 sedans and 74,060 coupés), making the W126 the most popular S-Class produced to date.

 

 
Model Designation
Model names are descriptive of engine size, type of engine and chassis type:
C for Coupé
L for Lang (long-wheelbase)
D for Diesel
E for Einspritzung (fuel injection)
       

 

 

     
History
Mercedes-Benz introduced the W126 four-door S-Class luxury car in September, 1979 to replace the W116. The new W126 series was unveiled at the international motor show (IAA) in Frankfurt Germany. There were seven models in the new line up the 280SE/SEL, 380SE/SEL, 500SE/SEL and the 300SD.

The S-Class W116 was the best selling luxury sedan of its time and the new W126 was designed to keep Mercedes-Benz in that position for years to come. The new series provided improved ride, better handling, more power and increased fuel efficiency over it predecessor the W116. Much of these advancements were due to the use of new lighter alloys and new design techniques such as wind tunnels etc.

In 1981 the 500SEC coupe version was added.

In 1985 the W126 line was completely redesigned yet it still retained the W126 designation. The styling was updated, changes were made to the bumpers, molding and wheel treatments. Two new 6-cylinder engines along with new 4.2 and 5.6 liter V8 engines were introduced. The balance of the engines in the line up were also upgraded with the newer technology. This new sleeker more aerodynamic style was to be carried throughout the 1980s line up, quite a departure from the traditional boxy Mercedes-Benz look of the past.

Features and Options

Four-speed automatic transmissions with a topographical sensor to monitor the vehicle and gas pedal position. The transmission was the first to reduce acceleration on a downhill and maintain position without the use of brake pedal after coming to a complete stop on a steep incline. The transmission also featured a limp mode in case of electronic failure.  The transmission was designed to start in second gear for a smoother launch and could be switched on and off in European and North American models with a S/W switch to allow for a more performance orientated response when needed.

Anti-lock braking system, ABS (introduced in the W116) was optional until 1986 in all models except the 500SEL and 500 SEC which came with ABS as standard equipment .

Self-leveling hydro pneumatic suspension (from the 6.9 W116) . There were two versions offered:  rear only hydraulic suspension using two nitrogen ballasts to automatically level the car, and a four-wheel hydraulic leveling system. The coupés were only available with the rear-leveling system. In the US, rear-leveling was standard on the 560 SEC and 560 SEL and optional on the 500 SEC and SEL.

Mercedes-Benz was the first to offer a traction control system (TCS) or acceleration slip regulation (ASR) to prevent wheel spin. Available only on European models until 1990, and then offered on the 560 SEL in the US market.

Mercedes -Benz offered the first cruise control system that self adjusted to maintain a constant speed regardless of incline or decline in the road surface.

Two-way powered, dual stage heated rear "Chesterfield" bench seat (pre-1990 SEL) with four-way manually adjustable rear headrests standard on the 500 and 560 SEL models.

Driver side airbags were introduced on the 1981 models. The passenger side airbag was introduced in 1986 as an option (standard from 1985 on 500 SEL and SEC) and standard on all models in 1991.

Eight-way powered, dual stage heated front seats, with two setting memory functions for both front occupants to retain positions of power adjustable steering column and seat position for driver; and seat position for front passenger. The seat heaters were standard on the 560 SEL/SEC, and an option on other models.

Crumple zones to absorb impact during an accident.

Seat belt pre tensioners that provided a loose fitting belt under normal driving conditions and tightened when the car sensed conditions that could lead to an accident such as sudden braking.

A fully automatic climate control system that used an interior temperature sensor to adjust the interior heating or cooling.

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Models

Years

Model

Chassis

Engine

Market

Built

1979–1985

280 S

W126.021

M110.924 2.8L I6 carburetor

N/A in US

42,996

1979–1985

280 SE

W126.022

M110.987 2.8L I6

N/A in US

133,955

1979–1985

380 SE

W126.032

M116.963 3.8L V8

 

58,239

1979–1985

500 SE

W126.036

M117.963 5.0L V8

N/A in US & AU

33,418 (79-91)

1980–1985

280 SEL

W126.023

M110.987 2.8L I6

N/A in US

20,655

1980–1985

300 SD

W126.120

OM617.951 3.0L I5

US & CA only

78,725

1980–1985

380 SEL

W126.033

M116.963 3.8L V8

 

27,014

1980–1985

500 SEL

W126.037

M117.963 5.0L V8

 

72,733 (80-91)

1980–1985

500 SEC

W126.044

M117.963 5.0L V8

 

30,184 (80-91)

1981–1985

380 SEC

W126.043

M116.963 3.8L V8

 

11,267

1985–1991

260 SE

W126.020

M103.941 2.6L I6

N/A in US & AU

20,836

1985–1991

300 SE

W126.024

M103.981 3.0L I6

 

105,422

1985–1991

420 SE

W126.034

M116.965 4.2L V8

N/A in US

13,996

1985–1991

420 SEL

W126.035

M116.965 4.2L V8

 

74,017

1985–1991

420 SEC

W126.046

M116.965 4.2L V8

N/A in US

3,680

1985–1991

500 SE

W126.036

M117.965 5.0L V8

N/A in US

 

1985–1991

500 SEL

W126.037

M117.965 5.0L V8

N/A in US

 

1985–1991

500 SEC

W126.044

M117.965 5.0L V8

N/A in US

 

1985–1991

560 SEL

W126.039

M117.968 5.6L V8

 

75,071

1985–1991

560 SEC

W126.045

M117.968 5.6L V8

 

28,929

1985–1993

300 SEL

W126.025

M103.981 3.0L I6

 

40,956

1986–1987

300 SDL

W126.125

OM603.961 3.0L I6

US & CA Only

13,830

1988–1991

560 SE

W126.038

M117.968 5.6L V8

N/A in US & AU

1,251

1991

350 SD

W126.134

OM603.97 3.5L I6

US & CA Only

2,066

1990–1991

350 SDL

W126.135

OM603.97 3.5L I6

US & CA Only

2,925

                                                                                                                                         Saloon/Sedan Total

818,105

                                                                                                                                                     Coupe Total

74,060

Dimensions and weight

Body style

Wheelbase

Length

Width

Height

Curb weight

Sedan (short-wheelbase)

2,935 mm (115.6 in)

5,020 mm (197.6 in)

1,820 mm (71.7 in)

1,437 mm (56.6 in)

1,640 kg (3,616 lb)

Sedan (long-wheelbase)

3,070 mm (120.9 in)

5,160 mm (203.1 in)

1,820 mm (71.7 in)

1,441 mm (56.7 in)

1,670 kg (3,682 lb)

Coupe

2,850 mm (112.2 in)

4,910 mm (193.3 in)

1,828 mm (72.0 in)

1,406 mm (55.4 in)

1,610 kg (3,549 lb)

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Engines
In September 1985, the factory introduced two completely new six-cylinder SOHC engines, M103 (already used in the W124 series), replaced the 2.8-litre DOHC M110 engines. The carbureted version was replaced by a 2.6-litre fuel injection engine, while the 3.0-litre version replaced the fuel injected M110. Also new was a 4.2-litre V8 engine, designed to replace the 3.8 liter version used in the W126 sedans, coupés, and the SL-Class. The 5.0-litre engine was modified to receive electronic ignition and electronic-mechanical fuel injection in form of the Bosch KE-jetronic system. Performance was increased to 245 hp (183 kW). An ECE version of the 5.0-litre M117 V8 engine was also available from September 1987 with a power output of 265 hp (198 kW)

The largest new engine was the 5.6-litre V8 that was a further development from the 5 liter version. An increased stroke meant it could turn out a hefty 272 hp (203 kW). There was a higher compression version available, if required, that produced 300 hp (220 kW). This version was only available without catalytic converter. But even without the catalytic converter this ECE version, as it was known, would meet the emission requirements of the European community.

A 3.0-litre inline-five cylinder turbo diesel was offered from 1981–1985 in North America. In 1986, the 300SD was replaced with the 300SDL. It was part of the second generation of W126 model lineup. The five-cylinder engine was replaced with the new inline six-cylinder engine and the engine was only offered in long-wheelbase. The new engine had 148 hp (110 kW) compared to 125 hp (93 kW) of the previous version. California specification 1986 and all 1987 cars were the first diesel cars to have a DPF. This early implementation did not hold up under normal use, and was replaced by a standard diesel oxidization catalyst in the course of a recall.

 

Engine

Cyl.

Power

Torque

0–100 km/h

Maximum speed

Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gasoline

2.6 12V

I6

166 PS (122 kW; 164 hp)

228 Nm (168 lb-ft)

 

205 km/h (127 mph)

From MY 1986

2.6 12V*

I6

160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp)

220 Nm (162 lb-ft)

 

205 km/h (127 mph)

From MY 1986

2.8 12V carb.

I6

156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp)

223 Nm (164 lb-ft)

11.0s

200 km/h (124 mph)

MY 1980–1985

2.8 12V inj.

I6

185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp)

240 Nm (177 lb-ft)

10.0s

210 km/h (130 mph)

MY 1980–1985

3.0 12V*

I6

180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp)

255 Nm (188 lb-ft)

 

210 km/h (130 mph)

From MY 1986

3.0 12V

I6

188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp)

260 Nm (192 lb-ft)

 

210 km/h (130 mph)

From MY 1986

3.8 16V

V8

218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)

299 Nm (221 lb-ft)

 

215 km/h (134 mph)

MY 1980–1981

3.8 16V

V8

204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp)

315 Nm (232 lb-ft)

9.3s

205 km/h (127 mph)

MY 1982–1985

4.2 16V*

V8

204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp)

310 Nm (229 lb-ft)

 

210 km/h (130 mph)

MY 1986

4.2 16V

V8

218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)

330 Nm (243 lb-ft)

9.0s

218 km/h (135 mph)

MY 1986

4.2 16V*

V8

224 PS (165 kW; 221 hp)

325 Nm (240 lb-ft)

8.3s

218 km/h (135 mph)

From MY 1987

4.2 16V

V8

231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp)

335 Nm (247 lb-ft)

8.1s

222 km/h (138 mph)

From MY 1987

5.0 16V

V8

223 PS (164 kW; 220 hp)

365 Nm (269 lb-ft)

8.0s

220 km/h (137 mph)

From MY 1986

5.0 16V

V8

240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp)

402 Nm (296 lb-ft)

 

225 km/h (140 mph)

MY 1980–1981

5.0 16V

V8

231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp)

405 Nm (299 lb-ft)

8.1s

220 km/h (137 mph)

MY 1982–1985

5.0 16V

V8

245 PS (180 kW; 242 hp)

400 Nm (295 lb-ft)

7.6s

230 km/h (143 mph)

MY 1986

5.0 16V*

V8

223 PS (164 kW; 220 hp)

358 Nm (264 lb-ft)

 

220 km/h (137 mph)

MY 1986

5.0 16V*

V8

252 PS (185 kW; 249 hp)

390 Nm (288 lb-ft)

7.5s

230 km/h (143 mph)

From MY 1987

5.0 16V

V8

265 PS (195 kW; 261 hp)

405 Nm (299 lb-ft)

7.3s

235 km/h (146 mph)

From MY 1987

5.6 16V*

V8

242 PS (178 kW; 239 hp)

390 Nm (288 lb-ft)

7.6s

228 km/h (142 mph)

MY 1986

5.6 16V*

V8

279 PS (205 kW; 275 hp)

430 Nm (317 lb-ft)

7.2s

240 km/h (149 mph)

From MY 1987

5.6 16V

V8

272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp)

421 Nm (311 lb-ft)

 

250 km/h (155 mph)

MY 1986

5.6 16V RÜF

V8

299 PS (220 kW; 295 hp)

456 Nm (336 lb-ft)

 

250 km/h (155 mph)

From MY 1987

5.6 16V ECE

V8

299 PS (220 kW; 295 hp)

455 Nm (336 lb-ft)

6.9s

250 km/h (155 mph)

MY 1986/87

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diesel

3.0 TD

I5

125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp)

245 Nm (181 lb-ft)

15.0s

170 km/h (106 mph)

MY 1980–1985

3.0 TD

I6

150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)

273 Nm (201 lb-ft)

13.0s

195 km/h (121 mph)

MY 1986/87

3.5 TD

I6

136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)

310 Nm (229 lb-ft)

11.8s

175 km/h (109 mph)

MY 1990/91

* = Catalyst version


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