Advice on changing single row chain? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on changing single row chain?

Been hearing the death rattle last few startups and my chain is indeed loose and there is scoring on the covers. I know some of you have very strong convictions about this subject, but for me and my situation (no garage, limited finances) it makes the most sense to just change the chain, tensioner and guides, so that’s what I’m doing. And no, I will NOT attempt to start it up again until it’s done

I have watched panzerpuff’s video on timing chain service probably 15 or more times over the last few months preparing myself and read many threads here and elsewhere. I have not seen much about single row chain service, though. I think one of you guys mentioned somewhere that the single row is “more difficult because it has a way of jumping teeth on the cam gear”, but that’s really all I could find.

So, anything I should look out for, or is specific to my model year? I’ve ordered the Febi kit which includes everything. Got the stud puller for guide rails. Does the single row need to be riveted? I think I read somewhere that the master link does not use circlips.

I’m honestly very excited for this job! It was a mere three years ago that I was proud of myself for doing a tune up!
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:52 PM
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Panzerpuff's videos are always good gouge - never heard of riveting a new chain, circlips are what I had when I did it. I highly recommend a helper on this. My son pitched in and helped me keep everything moving nicely.

I still remember my engine running rough after this job - I thought I had done it wrong. I quickly found #1 and #2 spark plug wires crossed and was happy after I figured it out.

Brad Cushman
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by frazierfrazier View Post
I’m honestly very excited for this job! It was a mere three years ago that I was proud of myself for doing a tune up! [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/BenzWorld2/smilies/tango_face_surprise.png[/IMG]
From tune ups to chain replacements. We really are an asylum.

Any reason why you won't go for the double chain upgrade if you're DIYing? Anytime I've cheaper out, i found myself having to go back and do it again.

Get the FSM article on this. Also, your friendly local library will have access to Alldata on the computers. I would pay them a visit and see if they have this job in there. Color photos and better English explanations are always a good thing!
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:15 AM
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I did a chain replacement on my old 240D several years ago. The chain I bought had rivets (I think that was standard then - probably 2001). There is a tool that I rented off Ebay that was supposed to do the job, but I ended up using a hammer and some punches to finish the job. I drove it for several years after without issue.

Nothing wrong with the single chain, but you will need to change it sooner than with a double row chain. My double row chain went 154K (that's when I bought it). Most recommend changing a single row chain every 25K. That would be a lot of years for me and my SL.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:58 AM
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Although it's not optimal, there's no reason not to stay with a single row chain if that's what you decide, but make sure you stay on top of the required maintenance. Regular oil changes with top grade oil and check and replace the guides certainly at the time you change the chain and every 5 years thereafter. Tensioners do go bad so replace it along with the guides.

When I bought my 380 new (in '83) it had a single row chain. I was an idiot and went way too long between oil changes... the chain let go at about 30K. You'd think I would have learned my lesson… nope... the second chain let go at around 80K. The moral being... even with an idiot like me who never changed the oil, the single row chain still lasted 30K to 50K miles.

Pay attention to the oil... that's #1, and pull the covers every year or so and take a look. Chain stretch is a myth... chains don't stretch but the connections between the links wear out and each little bit of additional play adds up and the overall length of the chain increases over time, not from stretch but from wear. Oil, oil, oil, I can't stress it enough and it doesn't matter how many rows your chain has, if you don't change the oil on a regular basis you will have problems with your chain and sprockets... and above all, don't try to get an extra year or two out of your chain guides because you don't put that many miles on the car. Chain guides become brittle and break due to time far more than use.

Whatever you decide... good luck.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okyoureabeast View Post
Any reason why you won't go for the double chain upgrade if you're DIYing?
Isn't the upgrade to a dual-row chain a pull-the-engine job?

"Engineered like no other car in the world." That's both a bug and a feature.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymaynard View Post
Isn't the upgrade to a dual-row chain a pull-the-engine job?
You need to remove the timing chain cover which means pretty much everything needs to come off the front of the engine. When I had everything off the front of my 380 it looked to me like I could have pulled the timing chain cover without lifting the engine but I wouldn't swear to it. There might be a few bolts in the oil pan that get in the way... I'm just not sure.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jaymaynard View Post
Isn't the upgrade to a dual-row chain a pull-the-engine job?
I didn't think it is, but considering the amount of removal of the front accessory components it might be easier to do just that.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymaynard View Post
Isn't the upgrade to a dual-row chain a pull-the-engine job?

When I had my 1983 380SL converted to dual-row timing chain, it was an
Engine out procedure.

Some photos of the process:
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"You have chosen to drive a MERCEDES-BENZ, a car in whose construction and production we have taken great pains because we believe that quality is not a matter of chance." -- page 3, Owners Manual 380SL
Timing Chain, Subframe, wiring harness, Climate Control, Rust prevention, etc.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:09 PM
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Conversion is either pull the engine or support it and drop the subframe.
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