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Forum Administrator , RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
1981 380SL 151K: 2005 S500 116K
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39,253 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I popped the hood to take the cap off the master cylinder so that I could change the rear brake pads. I saw a puddle of oil on the front crossmember and started to look around to see if I had left the oil filler cap off or something.

Then I saw this.



No doubt about having a double row timing chain, now, eh?

I was able to reach in and lift the chain from the far side of the sprocket high enough to make contact with the rocker cover so I guess that chain slap beat the rocker cover into submission. Given that I drove the car into the yard to change the brake pads, I'm assuming that nothing catastrophic has happened at this point regarding the dangers of an interference engine but I doubt I'll even chance driving it to the front yard so that it can get rollbacked over to Claude.

Thoughts? Opinions?
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
Holy crap, Batman. The dark chain also rises, I think.

Perhaps you got off lucky and the tensioner failed; that cast metal doesn't take much to pop it, as you can see it's not terribly thick. Not strength there, just a solid cover.

I definitely agree with not starting it again. Hopefully it's nothing too awful to fix.

Good luck.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,490 Posts
Definitely do not start. Pay a couple of neighborhood kids to help push it out front.

I can send you a valve cover but it is black (560). Pulled it off the '84 parts car. Can't beat the price though.
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,669 Posts
My opinion? That's what I would call bad. But good, too!

Now, there is no question about a few things:

1. You have the double row chain.
2. It's time to replace guides, chain,etc.
3. Absolutely, don't start the car! You have apparently, and narrowly, dodged that bullet!
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,626 Posts
My opinion is that you need a new valve cover.

You just might need a new tensioner too.

Since the car is still running, I would also agree that there is no catastrophic failure.

The only comment of value I think I can make is...

I wonder where the metal went... hopefully out, not in.



It looks like you got off quite lucky. So many things could have gone so much worse.
 

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'71 250, '78 450SLC 5.0, '78 450SL, '81 380SLC 5.6, '89 260E, '15 Kia Sorento
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5,269 Posts
It sure is good you are observant. If you hadn't noticed the oil no telling what the outcome would have been. The good news is we can do our timing chains together.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,639 Posts
Don't start it -quit while you're ahead mate.Looks like the chain flapped up so the bits may not be down inside. My valve cover had scrape marks from jumping chain. I think you got VERY lucky Dig. Go buy a lottery ticket!
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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1,374 Posts
You must live a good life, Dig--cuz God favored you with that one. Did you get a little bug in your head about the brakes?

If you can drive into the backyard, why can't the two truck get it from there? They usually have a winch to pull it with, anyway.

Starting that car up would be akin to lighting a heater at night while taking a walk on top of the trench on the Western Front when you know there are snipers about.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,639 Posts
Starting that car up would be akin to lighting a heater at night while taking a walk on top of the trench on the Western Front when you know there are snipers about.
I don't think Dig's old enough to rememember the Western Front?
 

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1979 350 SLC (euro)
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327 Posts
:eek:

Listen: If possible you should try find the missing parts.. You could be looking at a major breakdown if some metal parts went inside the engine.
 

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Forum Administrator , RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
1981 380SL 151K: 2005 S500 116K
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39,253 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys. I'm calling Claude in the morning to see what he has to say and I'm definitely not going to start it. If it's too much coin for now, it'll just have to wait.

A rollback actually CAN get back there as that's how my containers were delivered.

Rowdie, I might be taking you up on that cover. Are the 560 and the 380 interchangeable?


LOL Werner!
 

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'85 380SL (155Kmiles), '82 240D stick, '80 300SD, '77 240D, '89 BMW 535i, 3 VW Diesels, 2 Triumphs
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1,553 Posts
How long ago did you change the guides and chain? If you can confirm the guides and chain are still good and it's just the tensioner that has gone bad it becomes a very easy ( but scary ) fix.

I hope that's all it is...
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,490 Posts
I removed the Cover from an '84 380 so I assume they are. I also assumed that because it was black it was off a 560.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,540 Posts
No such thing as a free car, eh diggity?


Pretty luck shit there.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,639 Posts
The 380 is definitely the same as a 420 but don't know about 560. My 380 covers are black.
 
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