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1989 Mercedes Benz 560 SEC
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Put aside a couple Grand
3 grand? 5 grand? more/less?
I bought the whole car years ago for 15 grand. So 5 grand would already be 1/3th of what i have paid for the car.
And then this is not a completely rebuild engine.
I can get a NEW chevy 350 small block crate engine for that price or less, probably even installed (of course not in this car). :D

Anyway i will take it to the dealer and see what they will say. :)
Hopefully its just a lifter.

The car only has 130k miles on it.
That should be nothing for this engine as far as i know.
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,481 Posts
Don't go to MB. An independent specialist would be way better.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
350SDL, '17 GLS450, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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Before you jump to any conclusions, get a look under the valve covers. (Without rereading everything, I'm assuming you have located the noise to the top end of the engine. If not get a stethoscope, or even a long screw driver and move it around on the engine to pinpoint the source.)

Lifters operate by trapping a bit of oil inside to allow the lifter to expand enough to eliminate any "lash" between the valve train components. There is a check valve that keeps the oil in place. Any contamination in the check valve will cause the lifter to collapse and make a ticking noise. This leakage will vary depending on the viscosity of the oil, which is dependent on the oil temperature. Cold oil, after the first start, often takes longer to refill the lifter. Once the lifter is "pumped up" the noise goes away. If the oil gets thin (hot) enough, the lifter may start to bleed down between each valve opening, and the noise returns.

So, thinner oil may help with the cold start, and thicker oil may help with the hot behavior. Also, sometimes, these "flushing" products can help by cleaning out the check valve so it seals better. Bottom line, you need to get a look inside before you do anything else.
 

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1989 Mercedes Benz 560 SEC
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Problem is i've already been to three different shops and they all just do foolish work.
One idiot even screwed a spark plug in wrong (dont know how that is even possible), anyway it got pushed out while driving 140mph and ruined the thread of course.
Car made sounds like a tractor but i was still able to get home. :D

This gives you an idea what kind of idiots those people are.
This is why i now avoid independet shops.
Not saying the dealership is all that great, but i havent had such problems with them yet.
 

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Premium Member
1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,353 Posts
If it were me I would take the valve cover off just to look at the cam lobes to see if something is amiss. If you see wear you have your answer and should avoid running it. Of course it could be normal wear or a collapsed lifter, which also would be obvious.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,453 Posts
Problem is i've already been to three different shops and they all just do foolish work.
One idiot even screwed a spark plug in wrong (dont know how that is even possible), anyway it got pushed out while driving 140mph and ruined the thread of course.
Car made sounds like a tractor but i was still able to get home. :D

This gives you an idea what kind of idiots those people are.
This is why i now avoid independet shops.
Not saying the dealership is all that great, but i havent had such problems with them yet.

where do u live?
 

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I am frequently on the SLK World site; many of the contributers there recommend Techron fuel additive as a first step. It is a MBenz-approved product, and cheap. Any parts store has it.
 

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1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,353 Posts
Guys, before I put any additive in, I emphatically believe you should remove the valve cover and look. These valve trains have a way of breaking the oil caps on the cam oil delivery rail, which results in excessive wear on a cam lobe. So what I am trying to tell him to do is see if a cam lobe is in bad shape. You can tell visually, and if you move the rockers by hand, and find a loose one, then you will know. Driving it with a bad lobe/lifter will send particles in the engine, which makes things worse. Replacing a cam is not terrible, but if you continue, and it is that, well things just get worse. Also why you have the valve cover off you can look at the timing chain. Taking the valve cover off, cost about $10.00 for a new gasket. Good luck
 

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1984 500SEL
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129 Posts
If it were me I would take the valve cover off just to look at the cam lobes to see if something is amiss. If you see wear you have your answer and should avoid running it. Of course it could be normal wear or a collapsed lifter, which also would be obvious.
I got some pretty good close up pics of my cam today. What would "normal wear" and "not normal wear" look like?
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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why not post those pics?
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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1984 500SEL
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129 Posts
nevermind, found them
I've actually got closer pics tonight with a new bore scope, but am having technical difficulties downloading them to my computer to post. I need to walk away from this thing and relax on my deck with a beer. Been a long day and I don't have the energy to deal with techy stuff right now. I'll try to get those uploaded tomorrow.

Thanks for your help!

Jason
 

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1989 Mercedes Benz 560 SEC
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
where do u live?
Germany.
One would think they should know better, but they dont.
But i think its not about they dont know better but simply doing crappy jobs on purpose. (They just dont want to take the time end effort to do it right)

Anyway the car is at the paint shop right now because i have a rust spot on the trunk lid.
After that i will take it to a shop.
Well i will look again, maybe i find some good independent w126 shop but im not to confident about that.
 

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1990 300SEL, 2005 SL500
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221 Posts
Michael,
Proper inspection is the key and you can do it yourself. If you can change the spark plug you will be able to do this as well.
Valve covers come off very easy and new gaskets are very reasonably priced even at MB dealers.
You will be looking for an excessive/abnormal wear and other signs.
Post some pics and arm yourself with knowledge before you take the next step.
 

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1984 380SE 182k miles Lapis Blue / Palomino
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56 Posts
What oil are you using? I have found that Mobil 1 makes the lifter noise vanish.....

Fred
 

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1965 220b and 2011 GL450
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You should follow STUTZ advice first and physically look at it to rule out damaged components. With used vehicles a lot of times the maintenance isnt done properly and the oil has been allowed to break down and varnish will build up in the lifter passages. This makes the check valve stick and you get ticking. Its usually intermittent based on temp and engine rpm. Ive cured it with oil changes with quality oil. There are additives that will help but they also tend to soften the oil seals and can lead to leaks. As far as damage goes, if its a sticky lifter then its more of an annoyance than anything. I drove a Mazda with a noisy lifters 120k after it started making noise. Not a Mercedes but not near as sturdy or well engineered.
Or you suck it up and replace them. Just use quality parts or you will be doing it again.
 

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1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,353 Posts
I have a couple of things to add to John's suggestion. Search the forum for a "hammer test" Its easy and might show you a worn lifter. LIfters on Mercedes are different than American cars in that they really don't have a lot of movement. As such they don't pick up a lot of slack. Maybe that is why they are called compensators, not lifters. Second, if you are replacing compensators, and rockers, please keep the little pucks in the same place you take them out. New lifters and rockers will alter the clearances and you might have to do some adjusting. Also when you install the new rockers, use some break in lube on them and then make sure your oil has the correct balance of metals (zinc). Most times I have read they want you to replace the cam with new lifters but if the cam is good I would try it, Those compensators are in their tight so expect to use some muscle on a long breaker bar. Its not really a hard task just time consuming. Your shop should know all this if they work on Mercedes,

The trouble for us on the forum is we can't really judge if you have to do much at all. It could go a long while if its just a little off, but then again could get worse. Sorry for the ambiguity but I am not there to hear it.
 

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1984 500SEL
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129 Posts
I have a couple of things to add to John's suggestion. Search the forum for a "hammer test" Its easy and might show you a worn lifter. LIfters on Mercedes are different than American cars in that they really don't have a lot of movement. As such they don't pick up a lot of slack. Maybe that is why they are called compensators, not lifters. Second, if you are replacing compensators, and rockers, please keep the little pucks in the same place you take them out. New lifters and rockers will alter the clearances and you might have to do some adjusting. Also when you install the new rockers, use some break in lube on them and then make sure your oil has the correct balance of metals (zinc). Most times I have read they want you to replace the cam with new lifters but if the cam is good I would try it, Those compensators are in their tight so expect to use some muscle on a long breaker bar. Its not really a hard task just time consuming. Your shop should know all this if they work on Mercedes,

The trouble for us on the forum is we can't really judge if you have to do much at all. It could go a long while if its just a little off, but then again could get worse. Sorry for the ambiguity but I am not there to hear it.
I just ordered some liqui moly 10w40 from mercedes source. As for break in lube: what brand do you suggest? I wasn't aware there was any adjustment required for the compensators and rockers, but it makes sense there would have to be. How do i get them adjusted properly?
Sorry for all the questions. This is probably the most involved repair we have had to do to date on this car, so I really want to make sure we do it properly.
Thanks!
 
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