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  #16  
Old 12-26-2003, 02:54 PM
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Aw come on, let's not be too hasty to kill this thread yet. I think we've hit across some interesting ideas here.
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2003, 03:15 PM
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Well after it makes it to the second page in the forum it is pretty well hopless to be revived unless something new is brought up so, what do you people think about the above questions?
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  #18  
Old 12-26-2003, 04:34 PM
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The biggest difference between the 116 and later 126 lies in the SRS - ABS, airbags and seatbelts that tighten under sudden deceleration. New engines and aerodynamics resulted in the 126s being more fuel efficient despite huge increases in engine power output. The big difference to me is that the ACC system is greatly improved in the 126. Manual AC in either car is still my preference. I don't think there's much difference in cabin size. The foam seat padding in later 126s lasts longer than the horsehair padding in 116s and early 126s.

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95 S420
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  #19  
Old 12-26-2003, 05:02 PM
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MB put a lot of effort into the 126, and it is quite different in a myriad of ways.

The 126 was designed with a strong nose toward improving safety and aerodynamics (for better performance and fuel economy) over the brick-like 116, while maintaining the basic exterior look of the 116. This was not an easy task and a testament to Bruno Sacco and his design team.

Early pre- and production 126s from around 1978-79 showed a 14% improvement in Cd over the 116, to 0.36. At this time, this was the lowest Cd available in a production car. ANY production car.

Weight reduction was also a strong consideration. This was achieved in a number of ways, including the use of all-alloy engines and lighter materials. The weight difference between the top-of-the-line 116 (the 450SEL 6.9) and the early top-of-the-line 126 (the 500SEL) was well over 600 lbs!

The 126 body is nearly 2 inches narrower than the 116's, but there was no sacrifice in interior room, and actually an increase in room as measured from front to rear.

Increased safety was a HUGE point of difference between the two cars. The 126 had an entirely new, redesigned front crumple zone and new A-pillars with improved strength. The doors of the 126 were attached in a new way that reduced the likelihood that they would be unopenable in the event of a crash. Stronger steel plating in the frame increased overall chassis strength, but weight less than the 116's. Bumpers were aluminum rather than the steel of the 116.

Road and wind noise were significantly reduced by the application of rubber more intelligently, in the rear suspension subframe, and around "wind catch" points such as the door frames and other body seams. A double bulkhead was employed (first time MB used this design) under the hood to isolate the engine from the passenger compartment noise-wise (aluminum engines are perceptibly noisier than iron-block engines).

Interior changes: larger door openings; reshaped seats (electrically adjusted for all seats -- electric adjustment was only available in the 116 as a Euro-only option and only for the 116 rear seat); more front legroom due to a front seat redesign.

New HVAC (ACC) system. Adjustable top seatbelt anchors. Airbag for mid- to late-models. ABS (only available in 1979 model 116s, as an expensive option and only in Europe). Redesigned steering wheel (smaller by 1 cm, and with a slightly dished shape on non-airbag cars) and redesigned steering linkage for better safety in the event of a collapse.

The 5.0L engine weighed 114 lbs less than the 6.9 engine; the 3.8L engine weighed 295 lbs less than the outgoing 4.5.

A new four-speed torque-converter transmission was used in the 126, which improved fuel economy and smoothness over the previous torque-converter automatics as used in the 116 chassis.

Rustproofing on the 126 was light-years ahead of the 116's.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Gerry

Last edited by gerryvz; 12-26-2003 at 05:07 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2003, 07:24 PM
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The 116 are more comfortable than the 123 or 126?

Wow thanks for that great post Gerry, is there anything that the 116 was actually better than the 126 in? What is the Cd of the later 80s 126s? I know my 123 has a horrible one around .44.
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  #21  
Old 12-29-2003, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheVirginiaDude
W116 chassis by my understanding are faster even though heavier.
Not sure what you mean by "faster" -- ? A chassis is only as fast as the drivetrain powering it. With the advent of the W126, there was almost a complete change in drivetrains with little to no carryover of V8 engines and transmissions -- the 3.8, 4.2, 5.0, 5.6 Liter motors as found in the 126 chassis were new-generation and wholly more modern and more efficient than the 3.5, 4.5 and 6.9 V8 units as found in the 116 chassis.

As such, they did their job much better than the 116 V8s, being smoother, more tractable, better gas mileage, more HP per liter, and lighter to boot. A Euro 500 or 560 engine powering a 126 chassis car was very very close to as fast as, or in the case of the 560 just as fast as, a 6.9 with far less displacement and far better economy. So much so that MB never felt the need to create a "big block" successor to the 6.9 -- the 560 did the job more than adequately with the corporate "small block".

As far as picking which chassis I'd prefer to go faster in, without a doubt it would be the 126. Better high-speed running characteristics and less noise. Perhaps the 126 is not quite as heavy in the materials department, but its USE and APPLICATION of materials was better thought-out.

Today, a 116 chassis car feels, well, old. There's no bones about this. It's a 35-year-old design. A 126 despite being 25+ years old,kept in good condition feels every bit as good as a modern car.

Looks of the two cars are debateable. Ask any 108/109 lover about the 116, and they'll stick out their tongue. Ask a 116 lover about the 126, and you'll get the same reaction. I think in reality, that there isn't too much difference at first glance between the 116 and 126 on the surface. Just refined and a bit more streamlined. Same layout and similar side profile, less chrome.

Cheers,
Gerry

P.S. Qualification: I have owned a 450SEL 6.9 since early 2000, having just sold it. And I have owned a 1983 380SEL and currently own a 1989 560SEC.
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  #22  
Old 12-29-2003, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BoostnBenz
The 116 are more comfortable than the 123 or 126?

Wow thanks for that great post Gerry, is there anything that the 116 was actually better than the 126 in?
I don't really know what the 116 was actually BETTER than the 126 in. My guess is little to nothing -- that's why MB developed the 126 as the next-gen platform, because they wanted to better the 116 in every way possible. And I think they did a pretty good job.

For its time, the 116 was head and shoulders above the competition. But it was designed and developed in the mid-late 1960s, using the best technology available at the time. That's not to fault MB or the 116 product as the fruit of their efforts. All of the mags in 1973 when the 116 came out, hailed it (and very rightfully so) as the quantum leap it was over the outgoing 108/109 platform, which employed 1950s technology. (The 108/109 were essentially further-developed Fintails with larger engines).

I don't see the 126 as being quite the quantum leap over the 116 that the 116 was over the 108/109 cars. The 116 did (help) introduce and establish some characteristics that have been carried on many S-class and other class MBs since -- I'm talking about things like the dashboard/center console design, basic interior layout, introduction of many modern interior & safety creature comforts (seat heating, ABS, motorised rear seat, padded dash, etc.), the rear subframe suspension design (finally doing away with the rear swingarms), elimination of the old-technology front subframe, and so forth.

The 126 simply carried on these themes and refined them. But the 126 got the new generation of engines with far better technology going into them. Much of this was forced by the oil glut and US economy regulations. The 116 carried over the old 2.8 I-6 and 3.5 and 4.5 V-8s, albeit updating the V-8s with K-Jet injection in teh 1975-1976 time frame from their original D-Jet systems. In the case of the 6.9 it was an updated 6.3 motor with K-Jet injection, hydraulic valvetrain, and dry-sump oiling system to fit under the low 116 hoodline.

So the 116 deserves a lot of credit for establishing the modern chassis foundations that broke from the old-technology that MB had employed since before WW2, and putting it on a path to modernity which the 126 and 140 and now 220 have continued.

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #23  
Old 12-29-2003, 02:07 PM
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Having tended to more the powerful MB V-8s, I have no experience with MB Diesels but certainly the 116 was the pioneer in bringing the turbodiesel to the MB line. Too bad it wasn't earlier than it was. Interesting that the 300SD in the 116 was higher-performing than the 126 version, despite being in a heavier chassis. Why was this?

The 126 rustproofing, while not perfect, is indeed light years ahead of the 116's. The biggest threat to pre-126 cars these days is not mechanical, but rather rot-related. Luckily here in the Northwest MBs do tend to survive very well, with little to no rust. Thus one sees daily on the roads, everything ranging from Pontons to Finnies to 116s in the 300SD and 450SEL variety. I think I have yet to see a rusty undercarriage on a 126 car, though occasionally I do see rust at the edges of panels such as on the trunklip edges.

Does the diesel form of the 300SD in the 116 offer greater durability than the 126 variety? Is there less complexity or is it roughly the same? Is there a discernable chassis refinement? Do things like the 116's climate control and cruise control systems come into play in purchase decisions vs. 126 or 123 cars?

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #24  
Old 12-30-2003, 12:35 AM
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I would agree with Bill and VA Dude that the 116 (diesel) is quicker from standing and more agile. My folks have a 126 300SE and I'll take my 116 300SD any day. Gerry is right that there is something more "modern" about a 126....less chrome, more noise reduction, etc. more sloped windshields, more power options, but I'm still taken by the classic look of the 116. Also, having a 107 and a 116, I can see the similar styling queues referred to and they DO offer similar driving experiences. Funny, I think the 300SD is faster and more nimble than my 450SL.....:p

Gerry, we need to submit some of your posts to MB here in AL...you could market for those guys!!!!

TC
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  #25  
Old 01-01-2004, 07:17 PM
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Actually, the chassis can be faster...... with shorter final drive ratios such as the 3.60 pumpkin i had in my 116/280SEL. And the longer wheelbase makes the car a land yacht compared with the pedestrian 123. Interior space is outrageous and its honestly more car than crowded highways can accomodate.

And with beefier ball joint suspension than 123's it outhandles them in every manuever. For sure, there is nothing anbody say against the 116 - except they were plagued by crummy sheetmetal on account of German steel workers strike that spanned the 70's.

Just how many 116/300SD's were exported to the USA?? Anybody who owns one these cars should probably think on it as irreplaceable if it ever gets taken off the road.
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2004, 01:58 PM
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I have both. 123 wagon and 116 sd I like the 116 better. That ball joint thing may be why a kissed a tree with the wagon. It was more like a french kiss. The 116 is in my opinion the best car that mercedes ever made. Those classic looks. The 116 is faster handles better and is kind of rare. I have put 110000 miles on mine and it still runs good at 240000. Seems like you could get them cheap for awhile now they are going up. I have seen 116 cars sell on ebay for 7-8 thousand.

Dieselman
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