Dual Timing chain '83 380SL - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Dual Timing chain '83 380SL

I am close to buying a beautiful 1983 380SL with 99,00 miles and no one can seem to determine from vehicle history if it came with single or dual chain. What sort of cost is invoved in converting to a dual timing chain. There is no noise and no indication of a problem and there never has been one. Do I do a preventive change now, or keep driving it until I hear the symptoms of a problem and, most important, how do I find out which belt it has without it costing a fortune to open it all up.

Many thanks
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 03:09 PM
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RE: Dual Timing chain '83 380SL

Do a preventive change. NOW!

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 03:57 PM
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RE: Dual Timing chain '83 380SL

Quote:
Bern - 10/31/2005 4:03 PM

I am close to buying a beautiful 1983 380SL with 99,00 miles and no one can seem to determine from vehicle history if it came with single or dual chain. What sort of cost is invoved in converting to a dual timing chain. There is no noise and no indication of a problem and there never has been one. Do I do a preventive change now, or keep driving it until I hear the symptoms of a problem and, most important, how do I find out which belt it has without it costing a fortune to open it all up.

Many thanks
Ike offers you very sound advice... regardless of single or double chain, if you do not know, or cannot trust the service history, spend the bucks now and change it, and the guides out. If you convert (unless already done, 1981-1983 were single when exported to US, all european were double)it, then you will be addressing the lower guides as well. The single chain is not as big a negative as some would have you to believe, so I would think twice before converting... I guess it would depend on how long you expect to keep the car. My opinion is time harms the guides as much, if not more than mileage... At least from the brittle failure mode. Incidently, I have seen conversions reported at $2500-3000, whereas a simple change of chain and guides is around $600-$1000.

Incidently, You can remove the oil cap and with a dental mirror and strong flashlight, you can peer into the chain area and determine if it is a single or double. You can't really see well enough to determine anything else; however. Another involved (or envolved, I can't ever remember)method to try and determine chain health is described in a post somewhere using the timing marks to measure the amount of stretch (requiring the removal of the valve covers...). E-mail me if you want the link, and I'll try and look it up.

Good Luck!

RM Smith www.rmsmithco.com

Where is it again that we are going... And why are we in a handbasket?
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