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  #1  
Old 12-05-2009, 07:55 PM
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Retrofitting 126 rear headrests

I have a 1983 300SD with no rear headrests. Why anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me. (I have one friend who refuses to even ride in the back seat lest we get rear-ended!)

I tried to search online but the only headrest kit I could find was for the 201 (190D/E). Is there one for the 124?

Alternatively (and cheaper) I have a 124 parts car lying around. The upholstery is a different color in the parts car so I don't want to just swap over the seat back (not to mention it's an SDL with a reclining rear seat so that's probably not possible anyway). Before I go tearing things up, can anyone tell me if the headrest mounts could be swapped from one seat back to the other?

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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81Wagon View Post
I have one friend who refuses to even ride in the back seat lest we get rear-ended!
I've got the same problem, only they just complain. I've been trying to find rear headrests for my W123.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEBalles View Post
I've got the same problem, only they just complain. I've been trying to find rear headrests for my W123.
I kept telling him I'm going to do something about it, but it's been about a year now . Yesterday my friend's sister got rear-ended at full speed while at a stop*, so I decided I shouldn't keep pressing my luck.

I might head down to the dealership and ask them if there is a kit and what the part number is. I hate even going in there though!



* The lady who hit her tried to take off with bits of her engine falling off and fluids leaking everywhere. She made it a couple blocks and tried to hide in a parking garage, where my friend's sister blocked her in. The lady then proceeded to beg her not to call the police... All the while refusing to hand over any insurance information. Niiiice.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2009, 08:28 PM
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I'm reasonably sure it's possible, I think that pwogaman has done it on his '84 300SD.

I'll be able to tell you for certain soon- I found a cash for clunkers 420SEL in the junkyard with a mint palomino interior, including rear headrests, which my 300SD does not have. I pulled the rear headrests, then removed the rear seatback and pulled the 4 rails that the headrests attach to. Needed to bend them a little bit with needlenose pliers to get them off the seat frame, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to bend them back and get them secured to my rear seat back without too much trouble. Then I'll just need to poke holes in my mbTEX, and install the plastic rings I took from the SEL.

My assumption is that the rear seat back frames are all the same and it's just a matter of putting on the rails. I haven't bothered to check this on EPCnet, but I'll find out within a few weeks once I get around to installing them. I'll let you know!
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainlair View Post
I pulled the rear headrests, then removed the rear seatback and pulled the 4 rails that the headrests attach to. Needed to bend them a little bit with needlenose pliers to get them off the seat frame, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to bend them back and get them secured to my rear seat back without too much trouble.
How exactly were they attached to the seat back? I was worried the stock headrest attachments might be welded to the seat frame or something. If they're bolted on I'd be almost certain they'd be reattachable to another seat back. Like you say, the frames should be identical.

If they were just bolted on I'll probably just pull the rear seat from my parts car tomorrow and give the swap a try. Unfortunately, that means I'll have to clean out the garage enough that I can reach the parts car, first...
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2009, 10:13 PM
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They're not welded, and aren't even bolted. Each of the 4 rails is about a foot long, and is crimped on to the seat frame at 3 locations. (or two? can't remember precisely) This is easily undone with needlenose pliers, or perhaps even a flathead screwdriver. I just used the tools I had on hand to get them off, I'm sure that there are also more elegant ways to do it.

Frankly, the rails and frame are about perfect- the metal is thick enough that I wasn't worried about doing permanent damage accidentally, but thin enough that it was pretty easy to remove them. You won't have a problem.

*edit* I think the hardest part of this job will be getting the locations for the holes you poke in your seats just right. I'm not trying to say it will be hard, just that the rest of the job is really easy .
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2009, 11:28 PM
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I have just the chrome headrest frames (no headrest pad or mounting hardware for seat back) from a W126 1985 500SE.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:15 PM
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This might be a good reference to you. It is for a w123, but the w126 is similar. Only thing different is the frame support rails as mentioned above.

My passengers are way more confortable now!




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  #9  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:36 PM
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The 124 headrest swap probably won't work because 124 headrests are attached to the rear deck, not the seat. It would be major work to cut the rear deck out of the 124 and weld it in your SD.

I second getting a seatback with headrests from a wrecking yard or parts car. Any 126 without reclining rear seat is 'functionally' a donor.

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  #10  
Old 12-06-2009, 05:20 PM
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If you decide to install them to the existing bench back. Here some part numbers for the rails and eyelets. You will need to check the part numbers to see if they are correct.

#6 on both pics 126 970 00 00 = MOUNTING KIT

Or individual parts.
#18 pic one and #8 pic two 126 988 01 82 EYE UPPER PART
#21 pic one and #11 pic two 123 914 03 23 STIFFENING MAT. BETWEEN EYE AND COVER
#40 pic one and #14 pic two 123 988 03 82 EYE LOWER PART
#62 pic one and #17 pic two 126 970 00 42 HEADREST GUIDE/RAIL






You will still need to get the Headrest posts.

worldimpex has the mounting kit for $40 bucks.
http://www.worldimpex.com/parts/mercedes-benz-mountinghea_712436.html



.


.
Attached Thumbnails
Retrofitting 126 rear headrests-126rearheadrestmountingmaterial1.jpg   Retrofitting 126 rear headrests-126rearheadrestmountingmaterial2.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:15 PM
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That is cool! I have the rear chrome posts for sale if anyone needs them. You would have to transfer a set of upholstered parts from a set of front headrests.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiggle Dog View Post
That is cool! I have the rear chrome posts for sale if anyone needs them. You would have to transfer a set of upholstered parts from a set of front headrests.
Amazingly, your news hasn't changed since you last mentioned it 22 hours ago.


I did the swap today. Like brainlair described, I was able to pull the rails off the seat back from my 500SEL parts car by bending back the crimped tabs, and they went right on to the same spot in the 300SD no problem. 10 minute job, really.

The only problem was with making those holes in the seat for the headrest. I tried to cut the holes perfectly so there weren't any tears or potential for tears, but I think I made them a bit too small and the eyelets tore it a bit going in. It wasn't visible at all so I wasn't too worried, but it didn't take more than the movement of reinstalling the seat back for one of them to tear far enough to be visible (just a couple mm but now it'll probably keep creeping). It's a good thing my 300SD is in craptacular shape over all anyway .

brainlair, when you do it, make sure the holes are big enough (but obviously not too big) and (I wish I'd had this idea earlier) you could probably put some strong duct tape or something on the inside portion of the MB tex before you cut it; I would think that reinforcement would help keep it from tearing.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2009, 10:12 PM
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When I did this to the SD I used the mounting rings from the SEL that I got the head rests from. Take a small piece of pipe and slide it up the backrest until it hits the seat cover, mark it, take one of the rings and trace around it, cut out the opening a little smaller than needed, clip in the rings and trim to fit. Also a little glue around the hole before you put the rings on keeps things from ripping.

This is a nice upgrade to the short wheelbase w126.
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2009, 10:25 PM
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I added headrests by just swapping the entire interior of a 350SDL into my SD.....
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2009, 12:05 AM
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Entire interior? How'd you get the door cards to fit

-J

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