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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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Discussion Starter #41
I plan on replacing all of the followers since many of them show 'breakthrough' on the surface. Should I worry about the cam? The engine only have 62K on it so what could have caused this? just age?
 

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Yep agree with above the knock must be that damaged follower but could only be because caused by oil starvation ... best resolve that first.


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1985 280SL
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Find some zinc additive for your oil before you fire it up after replacing the followers. Zinc is instrumental in preventing wear where there is metal to metal contact and the govt removed most due to issues with catalytic converters (at least that's what they told us LOL). No needed so much afterward, but break-in is critical.
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Find some zinc additive for your oil before you fire it up after replacing the followers. Zinc is instrumental in preventing wear where there is metal to metal contact and the govt removed most due to issues with catalytic converters (at least that's what they told us LOL). No needed so much afterward, but break-in is critical.
Oil thread! Rotella or zinc additive. Mobile 1 many say, but I’m skeptical. I buy Rotella in 5 gallon buckets.

The reality is that wear like that should never happen. Something went wrong in order for that rocker to get so bad. Does the valve move smoothly? I wonder if the hydraulic lifter is bad? How does the oil look in this car? What weight oil has been used? Is the Oiler tube clogged at that camshaft lobe?


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2015 ML250 Bluetec and 1987 560SL
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I'd replace the cam oiler while I was in there. It's cheap and easy.

Fundamentally, though, the rockers are designed to wear before the cam does. I'd replace the rockers and cam oiler tube and fittings and call it good.

One thing to note: the valve cover bolts are torqued to 22 inch-pounds. Don't horse down on them. The valve cover gasket is soft and easy to seal. Getting new copper washers for them is a good idea, too; they're very inexpensive.
 

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Nice trouble shooting guys. I am familiar with that average wear you showed on a follower from a neglected motor with only 100K on it. But your motor looks very clean. Along with your rather good compression, (by the way, learn to do a leak-down test. If you have leaky rinks or valves it will tell you exactly where and which.) the head looks clean. Yes the cam is harder than the rockers -a fail safely design. Since all look worn through the light hardening, I suspect an oil issue. Since one is exceptional, it is ether defective or the focal point of the oil deficiency. Check the balls too. I've seen them ground 0.020" to 0.030 having a post left on top, extending up into what I think is a an oiling hole. No other way for oil to get in that socket. Who knows the exact reason for wear, if you didn't cause it. Old oil, wrong oil, no oil in the right places. Your cam lobes look ok, no galling or flaking, no scoring, or ridges. Lets hope it is the oil delivery to that cam and the worst oiling is on that one rocker. Lucky it was making noise. Change the rockers on that side, but check the other side. If better, figure out why. Check the balls.
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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Discussion Starter #48
Replaced all of the followers since both sides showed pitting. It has to be from an oil issue earlier in its life. The knock is gone!!
 

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2015 ML250 Bluetec and 1987 560SL
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Replaced all of the followers since both sides showed pitting. It has to be from an oil issue earlier in its life. The knock is gone!!
If you didn't replace the oiler tubes and fittings, do that too. But yeah, that's one of the cheaper fixes.
You're supposed to use different thickness thrust washers to set the valve clearance, but I suspect it doesn't make a lot of difference.
Good going! See, working on these cars isn't that hard...
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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Discussion Starter #50
I replaced the plastic on the oilers. I checked the compensators with the go-no-go gauge. They were all within 1mm on the gauge.
 
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