Do I need to change my chain, guides, cam oiler keepers? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need to change my chain, guides, cam oiler keepers?

Hi all,

I recently purchased a 1988 560SEL. I checked out the chain, chain guides and cam oiler keepers. The odometer reads 325,000 kms. The odometer was not working when I purchased the car. Real mileage is more. The seller told me that the chain, tensioner and guides have been replaced by a previous owner. Could be just sales talk. The car runs fine but blows smoke because of worn valve guides/stem seals. PO has used Lucas Stop Leak additive to help with the smoking issue. Generally there is little smoke if the temp does not rise over 90C. Over 90C it gets progressively worse. There is also an issue that sometimes the motor suddenly winds down to idle only regardless of accelerator position. It recovers after a few seconds. A nuisance in traffic.

Anyway, here is a link to a video I took of my under the valve cover inspection. Do you think I need to replace anything? Your comments and advise is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 02:04 AM
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I'd say yes. Although a cheaper option is just the guides and tensioner. MB tensioner only though, it's not cheap but it's the one you can trust.

Probably those can sprockets are worn too, but how much you wanna spend.. On my higher mileage SEC I just did guides and tensioner as I was poor, and it runs beautifully.

That other issue is very odd. How can it suddenly not respond to the throttle. Does it have ASR?
Throttle linkage OK?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 07:53 AM
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I have spent the last year and a half or so creeping on this forum but not doing much in replies so here goes. I had the same issue with the smoking at startup and when taking off from a stop in my 85 SEC. It started to get progressively worse so i decided to take the plunge and do the valve stem seals two weeks ago. While I was there I did the chain, upper guides, and cam oilers. With the proper spring compressor and pin removal tool I was able to complete the job over the weekend. I would likely have moved a bit faster if I had done it previously. If you have some experience with valve keepers this is definitely a DIY project. There are many resources that walk you through the process. I would recommend a valve stem seal pliers as it made removal and installation much easier and they weren't flying all over the place trying to pry them out. I used 1/4" rope fed into the cylinder and compressed to hold the valves up and there will still a couple sticky ones. I have to admit this is one of the most user friendly keeper designs I have worked with. I had them all changed out in less than 3 hours. I used to do a lot of work on 5 valve Audi cylinder heads and even with the head on the bench I spent days reinstalling the intake valve keepers.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Apr 2019
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Thanks guys for your reply.

From what I have seen, there appears to be no problem with the chain, guides and tensioner. Correct me if I'm wrong. I guess the guides and tensioner may fail anytime because of their age. This is always a gamble when it is not known when and if they were replaced. The same applies to the cam oilers. They appear to be firmly seated. I could not dislodge them by hand. And of course the valve stem seals need to be replaced. But my mechanic says there is no guarantee that replacing the seals will completely stop the smoking. It will depend on how much the stems and guides are worn. He quoted me AU$ 2,090 for parts and labour doing the chain, tensioner, guides, oiler tubes and valve seals. I just paid AU$1,800 for the scheduled 100,000 km big service on my Subaru Forester XT which includes timing belt replacement. The price quoted for the work on the old Merc does not seem to be excessive in comparison.

"mcculsm" - did your seal replacement stop the smoking?

I'll be going over to Germany in a couple of weeks for a family re-union. Judging by Ebay pricing, Merc spares are a lot cheaper over there. I may just get all the bits I need while I'm over there.

The sudden stalling and recovery of the motor is still a mystery. Throttle linkage is fine. Cruise control is erratic and hence I don't use it. When I get a chance I'll pull out the control unit and re-flow the solder joints. But I don't think this is the cause of the stalling issue.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:04 AM
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In my case it did stop my smoking issue. When I first looked at the chain and guides they appeared to be fine but I knew it was a good idea to change them for peace of mind as you mentioned because I had no way of knowing when they were last replaced. It wasn't until I removed the guides that I discovered they were already broken in half. Thankfully I was able to get the pieces out from the oil pan and there was no damage.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Today, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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"ianrandom" I don't think the car has ASR. At least there is no switch for it.
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