I have a 72 280SEL 4.5L with (presumably) 137k miles. I am the second owner, i have had it for 2 years. I bought all of the parts to replace the timing chain and guide rails as preventative maintenance. Upon pulling the injectors (replacing), opening up the valve covers and rotating the crank a few times, I noticed a master link....so this has been changed before. I looked at the guides, and they are NOT factory, though they appear to be in good shape.
I contacted the previous owner to see if he recalls when it was changed. He said that he followed the Mercedes recommended maintenance guide to the letter, so if it was in there, that's when he did it. I don't have the guide anymore, so I'm assuming it was changed at 100k miles. So far, no need to swap it out right now.
Timing guides (NON FACTORY) showing minimal wear, however they don't look anything like the factory plastic ones...http://i.imgur.com/7jEnrub.jpg
Master Link (can you tell the chain brand from this?): http://i.imgur.com/8t9TVxp.jpg
But there are a few things that bother me. I'm not totally convinced that they did the timing right when they replaced the chain. The master link is nowhere near TDC, which isn't necessarily bad by itself, but in the images below you'll notice that the 0 mark on the crank doesn't seem to match the TDC mark on the distributor, which doesn't seem to quite match the marks on the cams.
Crank Timing Mark: http://i.imgur.com/qsP4Vn2.jpg
Passenger Cam Timing Mark: http://i.imgur.com/J0f57F0.jpg
Driver Cam Timing Mark (slightly off the point): http://i.imgur.com/utu43PD.jpg
Distributor Timing Mark (off the point): http://i.imgur.com/1ovHdQD.jpg
SO, my questions are:
1) Is my timing jacked up between the cams, distributor, and crank?
2) If so, how do I correct this?
3) Why don't I have a clearly labeled "0" mark for TDC?
3) Where did these super thick non-factory guides come from? Is it just a different brand?
I don't want to change the timing chain and guides just to do it. These parts are expensive and I'd rather save them for when they're actually needed than prematurely replace the existing chain.
HOWEVER, I am concerned about those guides, and my timing. Should I pull the driver side gear off and adjust the chain seating by one link? Is the distributor way off? The crank isn't exactly at 0 when the cam marks are at 0, so is the crank timing off?
If you have any input here, I'd appreciate it!