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  #1  
Old 08-19-2002, 01:05 PM
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Upgrading early W124 to 94/95 bigger brakes?

Hi all,

I've been searching the archives for information on this upgrade and have only gotten sketchy info. Most older W124's, from about 1986-1993 (with diesel or M103 gas engine), use single-piston calipers up front with a funky caliper carrier. This is what I have on my cars. The later models with M104 or M119 engine, use a fixed 4-piston ATE caliper with a thicker rotor (25mm thick instead of 22mm, from approx 1993-up). However, someone posted (with no reply) that after attempting this upgrade, the rotor hit his lower control arm! My questions were:

1- Has anyone done this personally, if so, can you post your comments (how did it go, do you like the upgrade, etc.)

2- Are there issues with clearance at the control arm or ball joint? There are different lower control arms used on the later cars (1993-up) and I'm afraid these may be required for clearance...?!

3- Does anyone know the exact diameter of the old & new style rotors? All I could find was the thickness difference, as mentioned above.


Any info would be appreciated... thanks!


Update: New information posted below - please read the rest of the thread!
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!

Last edited by gsxr; 03-15-2009 at 09:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2002, 08:22 PM
Manuel 300CE
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Re: Upgrading early W124 to 94/95 bigger brakes?

Quote:
Originally posted by gsxr
Most older W124's, from about 1986-1993, use single-piston calipers up front with a funky caliper carrier. This is what I have on my cars. The late '93 models, and all 94/95 E320/E420, use a 4-piston ATE caliper with a thicker rotor (approx. 25mm instead of 22mm).
Can you provide more info on the "late 93 models" ?
How can you tell if you have the newer setup on a 93 car? Please post pictures of your car.

Thanks -- Manuel
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2002, 09:30 PM
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Hi Manuel,

Well, one way to tell is to look at the Mercedes EPC (dealer parts catalog). For your 1993 300CE, see if your VIN is above B-862122. The VIN cutoff will be different for sedans, etc. Another way to check is to pull a front wheel and look for the min thickness dimension stamped on the rotor. It may be hard to find if they're rusty, a wire brush will help clean them up. If it says "min thickness 19.xmm", those are the older thinner discs. If it's 22.x those are the later discs. I guess you could also measure the thickness, if above 22mm that would indicate the newer/thicker rotors as well; but if less that could just mean you have really worn out new style rotors. Better to find the min thickness stamping or check with the VIN.


Photos of my cars are at these URL's. (They're a little out of date, I now have 500E Euro lights and will have 94/95 marker lights installed shortly. I'll update when I take some new photos):

http://www.benzworld.org/gallery/showlink.asp?CatID=502&parentID=35&subname=1987_300D_Sportline_(Dave_M.)&parentname=W124_E,CE,D,TD_Class

http://www.benzworld.org/gallery/showlink.asp?CatID=503&parentID=35&subname=1987_300D_Sportline_(Dave_M.,_#2)&parentname=W124_E,CE,D,TD_Class



Also, more assorted MB related photos (engine work, etc) are here:

http://www.W124performance.com/images/



Best regards,
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!

Last edited by gsxr; 03-15-2009 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Corrected URL
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2002, 10:02 PM
Manuel 300CE
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VIN check

Quote:
Originally posted by gsxr
Well, one way to tell is to look at the Mercedes EPC (dealer parts catalog). For your 1993 300CE, see if your VIN is above B-862122.
Last 7 digits of my VIN are B9040xx -- does this mean I have the newer setup ?

Another way to check is to pull a front wheel and look for the min thickness dimension stamped on the rotor. It may be hard to find if they're rusty, a wire brush will help clean them up. If it says "min thickness 19.xmm", those are the older thinner discs. If it's 22.x those are the later discs. I guess you could also measure the thickness, if above 22mm that would indicate the newer/thicker rotors as well; but if less that could just mean you have really worn out new style rotors. Better to find the min thickness stamping or check with the VIN.
Will try that too

More details on my 300CE at www.geocities.com/mcantoria/mc-mbz.html
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2002, 10:08 PM
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Yep, sounds like you have the good stuff. Lucky you!
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:28 PM
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Here's an update on the brake upgrade project. I've done some more research on the EPC as well, comparing parts used on all 124's from 86-95. I made a spreadsheet with full details, it is now posted on my website at this URL (PDF file). Here's the latest information:



1- I will need the larger splash shield up front, which should be fairly easy to bolt on. The calipers & rotors on the E320 (same as E420) use the same knuckle, hub, and steering arm as my '87 so there should be no problems bolting everything on. Only question would be the lower control arm but I suspect that will be OK. Update: The original splash shield can be used, it will just be smaller than the rotor.

2- The rear splash shield is almost impossible to R&R for a DIY, and paying a shop would cost a fortune (more than the whole brake upgrade itself!) So I'll be cutting the rear shield to make room just like "2phast" did on his 190. Update: I replaced the entire rear hub instead, with one from a late 124 that had larger brakes.

3- All the V8 rear brakes use the same calipers (E420/E500, 92-95) however the 500E/E500 has a different hub (from the R129). It also has a different (SL) rear rotor. The 400/500 rear rotors are the same size, and are basically identical except that the 500E rear rotor hat is 2mm thicker than the 400E rotor hat.

4- The V8 master cylinder has a 1/16" larger bore, from 15/16 to 1.0 inches compared to my 300D. I don't expect that to cause any problems with feel or front/rear bias. Update: I tried 4-5 different M/C and booster combos before finally settling on one that provided the best feel with Porterfield R4-S pads. This is highly subjective, and many people have been happy using the stock/small MC and booster.

5- My stock brakes, which are the floating Girling style, are used on almost all 124's from 1986-1993, as well as all diesels and wagons (86-95). These only have a wear sensor on one brake pad. Therefore I will also need the 94/95 style wiring harness from the chassis to the caliper, which will accept the "dual" sensors from the pdas in the E420's 4-piston calipers. Cost for the cables is fairly cheap, I think ~$30 for the pair (L+R).

5- The weight penalty is documented in my spreadsheet, for the calipers and rotors. An increase in unsprung weight is always a bad thing, but necessary as your power level increases. I figure a few pounds per corner ain't much considering my current wheels/tires weigh a good 10 lbs (each) more than stock (45 vs 35)!

6- The 294, 295, 320, and 334mm diameter rotors all are 6mm deeper than the 284 and 300mm rotors. Therefore they WILL NOT bolt up, as the 6-7mm clearance from the 284 (or 300) rotor will be reduced to 1mm or less. To use any of the "deeper" rotors, you must either install the late-style LCA's with welded ball joints (aftermarket OEM are typically $200-225 each), OR you can swap on the R129 knuckle+hub. Either of these mods will create an additional 5mm clearance or so. Yes, I know a couple of people have claimed the deeper rotors fit, but if you interrogate them, you will find out they either cut the dust shield out around the ball joint, or have used rotors (which are thinner), and either way the clearance from rotor to BJ wll be 1mm or less - NOT good. Done properly there should be a minimum of 5mm from BJ to rotor.



Last edited by gsxr; 03-15-2009 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Updated information
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2002, 04:21 PM
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FWIW I have a set of 300mm 500E front calipers for sale. Will be delivered with fresh dust boots & mounting hardware
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2002, 04:47 PM
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On my upgrade, I just used a single brake pad sensor at each corner (like the OE 190E brakes) I don't see why you would need to go to the hassle (and expense) to upgrade the harness so you could have two sensors at each corner.

I chose the inner brake pad to use the sensor in, as that one is not really easy to see for visual inspections.

Anyway, good luck with your upgrade and nice follow through with the data.
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2002, 07:20 PM
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Rik,

You are correct about the sensors, I don't *need* do update to the proper type. But once I found the front outer pad almost down to the lining when the rear pad (with the sensor) had lots of life left. In that scenario the idiot light wouldn't have warned me before the out pad damaged the rotor. I figure for $40 in parts I'd prefer to get both inner & outer sensors working. However, IF it looks like a huge PITA to install the new harness, I might skip it. (I'd really like to use the E420 rear brake wear sensor capability, but since my car had no rear sensors stock, it would be a significant mod to add that! Oh well.)



Regards,

Last edited by gsxr; 03-15-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2004, 10:19 PM
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Exclamation UPDATE!!

I finally got a round tuit and started messing with my E420 brake upgrade. Someone on the MBshop forum tried this and said the bigger front rotor hit the lower control arm, d'oh. But Rick (2phast) had no problems with his 190E, so I figured it was worth a gamble. Anyway, they don't fit - yet. With the stock font rotors, there is about 3mm air gap to the splash shield, and another 3mm from the back side of the shield to the ball joint / LCA (lower control arm). The problem is, the bigger front rotors are 6mm deeper! Translation - no air gap, no fittee. If the shield was removed entirely, the rotor would probably be at most 1mm from the LCA, way too close.

There are two solutions. The obvious method is to use the correct, late model LCA designed for the bigger rotors. The bad part is that the BJ is not replaceable, it's welded in place. If the BJ goes bad, you have to buy another control arm. It also means buying used ones is risky. They're $200-225 each for OEM/aftermarket (Febi).

Another option is to swap the 500E/R129 hub, knuckle, and steering arm. This will push the hub (and wheel, and tire) outward approx 5mm, which could cause clearance problems if you are using wide wheels/tires. But it will allow the brakes to fit.

The 278mm rears are fine - they will bolt up with zero problems once the splash shield is cut or replaced. Some new photos of the parts & current brakes have been uploaded to my website, and there is also a spreadsheet there with all the part numbers for the brake parts, LCA's, etc etc...

http://www.W124performance.com/images/W124_brakes/


Best regards,

Last edited by gsxr; 03-15-2009 at 09:26 PM. Reason: Corrected URL
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