Timing chain - look at mine and advise - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:45 AM
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You bet! The chain change and upper guides is not hard at all. It can take a few hours for a first timer. You can do this yourself with 125 in parts and a Saturday.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by nugent View Post
The second gave a ballpark $5,000 (!) to install a double-row chain
Actually I am not very surprised to hear that price because in your case is a lot of work. In addition to what is usually done if a double chain is already installed, you'd have to have the front timing cover removed so you can get to the sprockets, because you can't use single-row sprockets with double-row chain. To get the timing cover off you need to remove the alternator and the P/S pump too (with their holding brackets), the crankshaft pulley, the AIR pump and the A/C compressor with their brackets (they bolt through the timing cover). All that includes draining the coolant system and to have room to work is best to remove the radiator too. Now we talking about transmission fluid too, in addition to coolant. If you happen to have SLS ... well, then things just add up, unfortunately.

To make things worse, to get the timing cover off you need to loosen up and drop a bit the front of the upper oil pan too. Last but not least is also the parts involved, including the tensioner shoe, crankshaft sprocket and the other sprockets that would have to come from Mercedes (total of 5 sprockets involved) and I am assuming that they would want to buy new parts because of the warranty they would offer you, instead of using used parts. The gaskets add up too and is also a good time to replace the water pump (probably extra @ $100, so that's not a big deal) and the front seal.

So, as you can see is not the usual chain replacement and 5k doesn't surprise me. Probably half of the money would go on the new (MB) parts, the rest on the labor (an that is a lot). I don't think this can be done correctly in two days.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 11:05 AM
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And for 10k, you can buy a mint 1991 SEC from a friend in Norcal @10k .


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 01:01 PM
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at that rate? based on the look of those guides (not excessively dark)? If it were me? Id simply..continue driving. You may get another 100k miles out of it..
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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The 380 is a notoriously bad motor, I'm sorry to say.

What would I do?

1. Drive till it breaks. Probably will last longer than you think
2. Motor swap. If the car is in good shape otherwise, honestly I would go find a US 500 motor, it will literally drop right in. I just did this swap and it's really not that hard, plenty of room to work, plus with the motor out you can easily refresh a lot of stuff yourself (vacuum lines, intake, etc.)
3. Just get a better car. You can get newer 560's for not a ton more than you're talking about for a chain.

Just my $.02
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 281lxm View Post
You bet! The chain change and upper guides is not hard at all. It can take a few hours for a first timer. You can do this yourself with 125 in parts and a Saturday.
Isn’t that what I said, who in their right mind would convert such an old car to dual chain. It wouldn’t be worth it.

Last edited by gogi; 03-07-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 05:41 PM
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My interpretation that-you were claiming the dbl row retrofit was easy.


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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 07:09 PM
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My interpretation that-you were claiming the dbl row retrofit was easy.
Yeah, but he also moved his hand differently
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:21 PM
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My 380 has a double chain, done under warranty or dealer goodwill. Was told it was a $5000 job if you pay for it. Not worth it unless your car is super special. Do a single chain, unless a 500 motor drops in your lap. Lasts as long as you have the car for $1500ish. Unless the car is a $2000 car, then I would just drive it to the hammer falls.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Time to close out this thread. I resolved to let sleeping dogs lie and drive on. But my resolve faltered and I took the car to Eurospec in Fletcher. Their feedback was that the chain and guides look great and recommended that I not replace anything. I took the advice and they buttoned it back up, using the new valve cover gaskets and washers I bought.

The further advice was to bring it back if I hear rattling on start-up. Otherwise, if everything looks ok and lines up, there is no point in replacing the chain, guides and tensioner as breakages are random, new and old.

I'm sure there will be many opinions on this. But I am happy with the advice, because it comes from a trusted shop, and while it is a nice car, it is hardly a valuable collectible.

Thanks again for all your considered comments.
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