It will have to be a multi-part posting due to the size.
Any one who has a pre-owned W126 is likely to encounter this problem – the wood panel for the center console is loose at the front edge. It can be lifted up from the console or even shifts while driving. Or maybe you have found the perfect piece of burl wood at the salvage yard, no checking or clouding, but it too is broken at the front edge.
Here are the steps I took to correct this problem while resurrecting the 560SEL. The panel depicted in this write up is an extra I grabbed just for this purpose.
On the face, the panel looks good.
However, once removed you find the panel is now in two pieces.
First step is to remove the center console panel. To do this pull the ashtray drawer out and remove the ashtray insert. With the insert removed you will see two Phillips head screws, remove these screws and pull the ash tray drawer out of the dash. Now gently push the coin tray toward the front of the car until it is free of the center console wood. If your car is equipped with seat heater switches in the coin tray, disconnect the plugs and put the coin tray aside.
With the parking brake set, place the shifter in “N” and gently pry the wood panel toward the front of the car to free the two “L” shaped legs that cam the panel down tight. Once the legs are free you will be able to lift the rear of the panel and disconnect all the switches and remove the panel. You will now be able to also remove the piece of the panel that has broken off.
The first step in repairing the panel is to sand the appropriate places.
Notice how the broken off piece has raised areas? The raised area needs to be cleaned up with sandpaper to ensure a smooth, clean surface.
The panel itself needs to have the mating area sanded smooth. While working the panel you might discover that the wood has splintered along the grain.
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Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72
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Non illegitemae carborundum.