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Discussion Starter #1
The left bank chain broke and cracked the valve cover! I need some info on the double row chain conversion and if you know that the 116 engine will have the pistons hit the valves after chain failure?<br> Thanks,
 

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Joe,<br> <br> It's really unfortunate you have 116.96 and had not made the conversion as the V8s 380SL/SLC from 81 to 83 with engine numbers 116.96.. up to model year 1983 were fitted with simplex chain (186 links) and it must be replaced with the duplex chain together with all the sprokets in case of repair. The left-hand cylinder head must be removed for this purpose.<br> <br> The piston crowns are exceedingly tough and would sooner break the valves but when the valve head dislodges into the cylinder if it is cought sideways by the piston it will make a smiling slit on the piston head to remindyou that the chain should be replaced at due intervals. For the 116.96 engine there is no longer a simplex chain available and duplex conversion has to be made.<br> <br> If you are able to do the work yourself (and if the pistons have not been perforated) you will need the sprokets, duplex chain, all new duplex guides, ALL new valves (some of the valves would appear to be intact but there will be certainly some bent on them), valve guides and seals... etc. Parts may amount to $1200 (the job done at a reasonable garage $3500-4000). The economics would rather dictate an engine replacement unless you are confident of DIY.<br> <br>
 

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Re: '83 380 SL - Timing Chain- Engine replacement

Joe,<br>
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It's subject to one's situation & circumstances:<br>
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A) If you have the know-how, experience, time, tools and means then a DIY would seem a good option (it provides a great satisfaction once completed!)and saves $$$$. If you never have undertaken this type of job then option B.<br>
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B) Engine replacement gives you plenty of room to maneouvre in terms of choices as you might wish to replace with a 560 engine giving you a bit more of bite to the rear wheels. They can be gotten (reconditioned) for around $1500-2000 plus installation $600.<br>
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C) Full garage repair choice would need to identify first whether pistons & rods are needed and this can only be ascertain by dismantling at a cost of $800 before proceeding. If they are needed then total cost may exceed $5000.<br>
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Perhaps you let us know your level of expertise for option A) and many members would assist you with advice pics etc with your project.
 

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Re: '83 380 SL - Timing Chain- Engine replacement

I also have a 380SL that may need an engine replacement. The shop I have it at says that to convert to a 560 engine is difficult and they aren't willing to do it. Said it needs all new wire harness, dual fuel pumps, engine computer, ect. Is this true? How difficult is it?<br>
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My engine has a knock that we can't find. Pulling spark plug wires as its running doesn't lessen the noise, so its probably not a rod bearing. Everything looks good under the valve covers and it has the double chain. Shop says they have to rebuild to find problem. Odometer says 75,000 miles, but I don't believe it. Any advice on this?
 

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Re: '83 380 SL - Timing Chain- Engine replacement

Joe, Almost any small block US V8 will fit in your SL. In general the engines are cheap, strong, accept relatively cheap trannys, can be fixed by most mechanics, (if they can't fix a 350 Chevy they shouldn't call themselves a mechanic), and are available either from the junk yard, as factory rebuilts or from the hot rod mags. I don't know any company that sell a kit for this but I have never looked for one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: '83 380 SL - Timing Chain- Engine replacement

I too have a 380SL and looking at engine alternatives, Ford 5.0 or Chevy 350 both seem to have difficult problems, does anyone know if the Mercedes 300E engine who be an easy swap.
 

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Re: '83 380 SL - Timing Chain- Engine replacement

Doug,<br> I started this thread because I was looking for an slc. Most I found had well over 100K on them and from what I heard would be needing a timing chain soon. Quotes ran from $500 to $4,000 depending on who did it. I know that the 350 in a Jag was a commos swap but I couldn't find anything on the same for a MB. Because of the rear facing front cross member engines with rear oil sumps seem to be a difficult installation. Truth is there are front facing sumps for 350's. Other problems include ehaust manifold on the driver's side, steering box interference and auto trans hitting the trans hump in the floor. One conversion I read about was a 4.5 lt. Chevy Astro van engine in a 300D. He said that he did it for about $900 and it now gets better milage than the Diesel did. As a mechanic/welder/inverter, etc. I have converted a lot of things that really didn't want to be converted. All conversions are possible. It is only a matter of determining how much effort and dollars you want to put into such a swap. Get a tape measure and go to the local junk yard and start checking out 4.5 lt or bigger engines and see what you come up with. Them make a video of the process and sell it on the net. Good luck.
 
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