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Date registered: May 2004
Vehicle: 1985 190E2.6(junked), 1995c220, 2000CLK430(totaled), 2001C240, 2009 CLS
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There is no lash( valve gap) the lobe of the cam replaces the push rod/rocker arm and opens/closes valves That system is old school, in fact the last car to win the indy 500 with a push rod engine was actually( if my memory serves me) was a MB, at what degree of cam rotation are you measuring the .036in. There is a point when the cam does not open or close the valve( depending on TDC of piston for that cyl). Another test , if your not sensitive enough to feel the positive pressure, is to put a pressure gage over dipstick tube, if you don't have one use a small baloon, if it inflates you got a problem, if not it's not blowby, run engine 10/15 minutes with baloon attached and see what happens.
Let us know what you find out, I'm sure we're all interested to learn what the problem is/was.