Timing chain - look at mine and advise - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Timing chain - look at mine and advise

I took off the RHS valve cover to check my timing chain, sprocket, guide and tensioner. This is what I found and I would like some suggestions about how to proceed. The vehicle is a 1983 380SEC with 239k miles. I have owned it for three years and have no maintenance record of timing chain work. It runs great. I previously asked for a how-to at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w12...ing-chain.html

I was able to lift a link off the sprocket with my fingers about 1 mm. So just a little bit of play. In the first photo I rotated the engine to 0 deg. The next photo shows the position of the cam. Then I continued until the cam marks lined up, and a photo of the associated crank position - about 7 deg off.

Continues on next post...
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some pics of the chain, sprocket , tensioner and guide. All seem ok, except some scoring of the tensioner. The oiler tube is securely attached (not shown).

Also the inside of the cover, which has some crud, but no marks.

My question: Should I change out the chain and/or the tensioner, guides, sprockets? Or, if it is not broken, not fix it?

I feel that doing all is too much of a stretch for my abilities and facilities. There is a local shop I would trust with the job, but $$. But ruining the engine, $$$$.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:10 AM
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Hi there nugent,

In your previous positing a month ago, you reported the previous owners had told you the car had the updated double row timing chain.
To state the obvious, that is not the case.

This one needs that update as you can see here...

That's the 'Full Monte' as it were.

From your description here, the chain sounds pretty stretched and loose...

The earlier timing chain tensioner tends to bleed down and when the engine is started again the loose chain can 'slap' the now brittle plastic guides,,, etc..
It can all cascade down hill in a heartbeat....

Thats not what you want to hear, I'm sure...

Malcolm.
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91 500SEC EURO Germany
87 560SEC USA 49 State Version

Last edited by MBL87560SEC; 02-26-2019 at 11:15 AM. Reason: damn autocorrect
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:13 AM
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You're running the single, not dual chain, so best insurance is to just do the chain/guides, your guides are getting up there was far as color, but it does look like they were replaced at one point already due to the lightness of the plastic color.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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I have enquired at a few local MB shops for an estimate to replace the timing chain and associated bits. Two have said they will get back to me. Will update when I get a response. Anyone have a $ number?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 10:13 AM
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Below a grand if you just change the chain, if you need to remove the timing cover and the water pump and sprockets and radiator to install a new front seal and the lower sprocket, lower guides and double row setup, I would say double that to 1800-2100


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:41 PM
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Youre on borrowed time. Kind of fun to see a chain that actually lasted that long.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nugent View Post
I have enquired at a few local MB shops for an estimate to replace the timing chain and associated bits. Two have said they will get back to me. Will update when I get a response. Anyone have a $ number?
Just do it yourself, youd be surprised at how relatively easy it is. Those guides indicate a need for replacement.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogi View Post
Just do it yourself, youd be surprised at how relatively easy it is. Those guides indicate a need for replacement.
The job is on a single row chain 380sec. Timing case needs to come off along with everything attached to it. Crank sprocket, cam sprockets, upper and lower guides. While you are in there items would be the water pump and gasket, Tstat, short hose, belts, reseal of PS if needed, crank seal and so on and so forth. Basic job for 560 is easy, but to bring the 380 up to MB TSB with double row, after all this time would likely encounter much more shop time by a pro or by a lay person.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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...but to bring the 380 up to MB TSB with double row, after all this time would likely encounter much more shop time by a pro or by a lay person.
Thank you and 1982sec380 and gogi for your thoughtful comments. Having done some research I have decided that due to my lack of a garage, some tools and general inexperience, I will either take it to a shop, or run it into the ground.

I had not heard back from the two shops I asked, so I called again this morning. The first gave me a ballpark $500 - $700. The second gave a ballpark $5,000 (!) to install a double-row chain and will get back to me on just replacing the single-row, which naturally should include the guides and tensioner. Apparently their approach is to replace single-row chains every 35,000 miles. Both are reputable Mercedes indie shops.

BTW 1982sec380, I can't imagine the chain is original, never replaced. But I have no way of knowing how old it really is.
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