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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've read and read and looked and looked and - I'd like some advice on what brands to buy for this job.

I realize time passes and availability changes.

I see the OE for the timing chain is listed as IWIS according to FCPEuro. But a branded MB one isn't much more?

Timing chain tensioners are a different story! Hundreds different. Is a Febi or Swag reliable enough?

I see a big price difference in chain links too.

And on the guides - I caught mention of metal backed ones but can't find them anywhere.

Lastly the little oilers for the cams. Is there any known difference between brands?

I'm sure I missed something! All comments welcome. Thanks.

Pete
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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2,258 Posts
My advice to you is if you have a Benz dealer anywhere near you buy the chain/tensioner/links from the dealer.
I bought a tensioner on line and it was advertised OEM and it came in a mercedes box but it is not the same as what came out of my car and did not fit perfectly.
It was marked with the star alright but slightly different. So I ended up putting the original back in.

I have never bought a part from the dealer that was anything but a perfect fit. For those items it is not worth going elsewhere as the cost difference is minimal.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,059 Posts
plenty of online dealers that give u 25 percent off so almost matches prices from fcp and pelican

i bought from dealer the tensioner....thats a 100 mb part

iwis makes the chain but again i got mine from dealer, cant recall price difference

cam gears i got from swag, same as oem

rails, dealer

oiler tubes dealer
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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8,929 Posts
Yep, there are just some things that the dealers can supply, even at a higher price, that just can't be beat. Tensioner for instance, you don't want to put in the cheaper part and then have it wreck your engine, and in the end the dealer part is actually cheaper
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the input.

I understand the argument, I'm just having the 'costing-much-more-for-the-onceover-than-I-budgeted' angst.

So $350 for the tensioner, check, gaa! Lol

MB doesn't have the tensioner rail for the 116 available anymore but I did find one on Ebay. I suspect that if anyone's planning this job for the 116 find and buy one now. Heck if it wasn't for the solid gold tensioner I'd probably buy a spare.

It looks like Febi and Swag are both owned by Bilstein. When I put 420 SEL into Swags parts finder it comes up with Febi parts.

So.... I can't bring myself to pay for genuine MB cam sprockets. Does NOS Swag seem OK? Made in Italy.

I'll get 2 Febi master links and 1 real MB link to install when in. I'll get real MB for the chain oilers and other bits.

I also picked up a Baum 915-0734 pin puller, found it for $30 on ebay - at least I'll get a new tool out of the job :) Hopefully I'll use it again in 100k miles.

Pete
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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2,258 Posts
Did you list the Chain? If that is OE, which I would highly recommend, the links come with it for the other engines so I'm sure they come with yours as well.
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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8,929 Posts
I understand the argument, I'm just having the 'costing-much-more-for-the-onceover-than-I-budgeted' angst.
Like the Mercedes Benz founders said years ago "The best or nothing". It used to be with me that I'd buy the cheapest parts available UNTIL I found myself having to repeat repairs on my cars, that is until I bought my first Benz. The 91 300SE got the good gas (premium) and either dealer parts or OEM aftermarket parts recommended by many folks here and now my 91 560SEC still looks, runs, and drives like a new car
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Wook I understand and hope so :) It's why I bought this one! Hopefully it runs until it rusts :sad:

Heikkif the tool is probably China, new. I promise to report back on the tool once I use it.

Dol, I am using a MB timing chain hopefully including the link, I'll mention it when I get it. . Almost ready for the job!

Pete
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Bought all the parts

Swag NOS cam sprockets (made in Italy) A1160520601 $40 for both del'd (ebay) (the MB parts store below has real MBs for $244/ea)
"real' MB NOS Tensioner Rail 116-050-31-16 $64 (ebay) (discontinued from MB)
The balance are all real MB I bought from 'mercedespartshub' dot com (no aff). They had the best prices on the expensive parts overall, and their shipping was over half everyone else:
116-050-18-11​
Tensioner​
$317.40​
1​
$317.40​
000-997-75-94​
Timing Chain​
$97.11​
1​
$97.11​
116-052-17-16​
Slide Rail, Engine​
$5.08​
3​
$15.24​
117-052-03-80​
Gasket, Chain Tightnr, Metl​
$6.22​
1​
$6.22​
116-180-01-84​
Connector​
$11.43​
2​
$22.86​
116-070-00-77​
Guide Tube​
$2.03​
8​
$16.24​
117-070-04-55​
Cover, Injection Nozzle​
$3.68​
8​
$29.44​

As you can see, I bought the cam oiler bits ('connector'), and the 'guide tube' (grommets) & covers for the injectors (to be replaced 'soon'), and was still only charged $11.10 shipping.

I will report back on their shipping time etc

Pete
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Got all the way to 'ready to put the chain on'. The dealer I bought the parts from send me an open dirty box chain - for the money and amount of work I want to be sure I'm getting a real one. Stay tuned for dealer review update.

If there's a kind of 'main' timing chain tutorial thread somewhere here I'd be happy to add to it - please point it out!

First Heikkif that little pin pulling tool is awesome, for $35 or so a real timesaver. Watch to be sure it's pulling straight out though, I did manage to bend a threaded part a little bit. Still worked great.

Second the big timing chain video on YT (thank you autosick!) doesn't mention this really and I wonder if it's different on his 450 engine. The 420 timing tensioner guide rail (the 'banana') pin, the pin that holds it in place - isn't threaded and isn't obvious. After some minor panic I read here and elsewhere that there's a little hollow pin under a plug. Did I say it's not threaded? You have to stick something through it and catch the edge of it, then pull it out. Apparently the manual calls for a 'cant bolt' - but I couldn't find one :doh:

What worked on this clean vehicle - I took a 16 penny common nail and ground the head down a little to fit. If it hangs up going in, don't force it, I suggest grinding it down a little more, just in case it doesn't work you'll want to be able to remove it! Then bend the last 3/4" or so of the pointy end at a 90 to have something to pull on. Worked like a charm.

Man, when that pin came out I was so relieved. If I was a machinist, and had a lathe!, I'd turn a pin out of a bolt that fit the plug threads. Maybe they thought it might break from fatigue? I don't know.

Sidenote, on this expensive vehicle the 4" gear puller I used on the cam sprockers was a gift from my dad some years ago. Still had the price sticker on it - $3.99 new from Big Lots :)

Last comment - it sure is a bigger job than I thought.
 

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1990 420 SEC
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103 Posts
As the tensioner itself feels a bit expensive is there a need to replace it? The car has only 160 000 km on the clock and I replace the upper guides and tensioning rail because of age. I will check chain stretch based on right hand side bank timing. If timing is ok then no need to replace chain. Distributor will need a new seal ring.
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't know Heikkif, see the comments regarding the tensioner above. I suspect MB is inflating their price a lot but it is still probably better quality.

Something that occurred to me, I've never heard of catastrophic tensioner failure, it usually gives warning. If I'm wrong someone please say so! But that would mean you could wait until it starts going. I changed mine with 70k miles (117 km?) just to be thorough - she's an old car. My old one seems fine though. I'm keeping it as a spare. For $100-120 I would change the chain but to each their own, this car has me flinging money out of my wallet! :)

The dealer I bought the chain from is being extremely unhelpful. I'll wait until (if?) I get my refund and tell everyone all about it.
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Chain received, rolled on, car together and running.

Yay. Amazingly I didn't forget to do anything that made me go back and take something apart again :) . Well except I forget to set everything to TDC before putting the valve covers / spark plugs in, to install the distributor, but figured I was just past it, so turned past 0 and stopped at the next one - wa'la! Success. Minor anyway.

Also Wooky's issue with pinching an AC wire made me more careful around there (thanks!). It would've been easy to do.

And a sidenote - I have found I thank God a lot more when I'm wrenching than in other pursuits. Like, I found a dropped teenie spring clip - thanks God! Or, all the timing marks line up - thanks God! :thmbsup: :-D

Lol anyway a couple more comments. I used the ziptie method vs messing with the cam. I used 150# reusable zipties off Amazon. They say 150# but there's no ASTM test reported on them, so they might as well say 1000#. I also just unbolted the alternator and PS pump and moved them aside, I did not remove them completely. I did not remove the belts from the A/C and air pump.

When the chain jumps do not reuse the ziptie closest to the hole where the chain goes down - upon examination they can be damaged. If they get oil on them they can slip so replace those. I ended up replacing any of them for any reason throughout the job, and all of them halfway though. They're certainly cheap enough.

I also kept at least one ziptie on the drivers side sprocket too. Do anything? I don't know, but for a couple extra minutes work it was worth it to me.

I ended up putting real sealant on the pins too.

All in all I'd say it's a fairly challenging / interesting job for a mid-grade backyard hack.

Since many apparently checked out this thread because, parts, it's reported elsewhere that Swag has stopped making camshaft sprockets.

Pete
 

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1991 420 SEL
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks. It ended up being a many - Guinness job :-D

I JUST realized, after I read it was self timing I completely put it out of my mind and: I never checked the timing!

No relation to the first sentence lol

Pete
 
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