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1991 560 SEL / 1991 300te 4matic / 2000 e320 4matic wagon
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363 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So the 560sel is sitting at about 128,000 miles and from what i hear, it is due for the timing chain service. I asked my Mercedes independent mechanic and he said that the timing chain is fine and he has seen them go 500,000 w/o being touched.:confused: He did admit that the single row timing chains need attention at this stage, but the 560's double would be fine.

What to do? I trust my mechanic because he has been working on mercedes since the 70's. His specialty is older benzes and he has done good work on all my mercedes for the last 5 years.

I really like the 560 and don't want the motor to blow up. Doing the timing chain myself is a possibility, but i would much rather have a professional do it (I'd probably screw it up and then it actually would need to go to the shop).

So is it really that crucial to change the timing chain now? If so, should i tell him to just do it, or find another mechanic or do it my self?
 

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2009 SL65, 1998 CL600 (sold), 1989 560SEL (sold)
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403 Posts
The timing chain probably would last 500,000 miles. But the timing chain guides need to be replaced ASAP. Along with the tensioner. The timing chain should be checked for stretch (search topic for amount of acceptable stretch). If it has stretched too much then it should also be replaced.

Perhaps it is time to look for an alternative mechanic. 560 motors with jumped chains are very common. It’s not a myth.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,145 Posts
The mechanic sounds mentally (or chemically) challenged, a la 'I tried reality, but I found it too confining.'
Cheers
 

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
Have him replace the chain guides and then check how much chain wear, AKA stretch, there is. That number will be your guide. You don't want the inner driver's side guide to break.
 

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Sport Package, 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500sel US Spec
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302 Posts
I understand the timing chain needs to be changed. I had mine checked out as well by 2 different german mechanics at reputable shops close to my house and said that the 500's could have them done around 120,000 miles. they also told me that most chains need to be done when the engine wears unevenly due to how it was maintained. They told me that keeping track of the tensioning and wear, etc. would be a good idea

long story short, i will do it when the mechanic says it needs it, especially before 120,000 miles but at the same time i think to myself do all of them need it or just the engines that weren't taken car of with regular maintenance?

I'm with Benz50602 on this...confuesed...to trust a mechanic or to jump on the first one that tells us what we have been told we want to hear--CHANGE THE BELT QUICK OR THE CAR WILL DIE!!
 

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1988 420 SEL
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160 Posts
So the 560sel is sitting at about 128,000 miles and from what i hear, it is due for the timing chain service. I asked my Mercedes independent mechanic and he said that the timing chain is fine and he has seen them go 500,000 w/o being touched.:confused: He did admit that the single row timing chains need attention at this stage, but the 560's double would be fine.

What to do? I trust my mechanic because he has been working on mercedes since the 70's. His specialty is older benzes and he has done good work on all my mercedes for the last 5 years.

I really like the 560 and don't want the motor to blow up. Doing the timing chain myself is a possibility, but i would much rather have a professional do it (I'd probably screw it up and then it actually would need to go to the shop).

So is it really that crucial to change the timing chain now? If so, should i tell him to just do it, or find another mechanic or do it my self?
You should get it done. Read through this thread for example:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd-sdl-class/1305472-timing-chain-guide-failure-anxiety.html?highlight=paranoid

Good Luck.

Matt
 

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I can kinda see his arguement...it's not the chain, but rather, the guides, which fail, resulting in a nice aluminum door stop with a 5.6L displacement.

The guides are a must-do, and I'd wager you could blow the chain off, while your in there, it's $200 well-spent.

Honestly, if you take your time, it's not particularly difficult to do, yourself. I did mine in a campground. Requires a Dremel-like cutter for the old chain, a new chain, new guides, and I needed an 8mm tap to put threads in the guide locating pins all the way to the bottom, as the OEM threaded area wasn't enough to remove them after 18 years. All in all, it's not difficult, but you must be very careful not to get the piston/valve timing out-of-whack.

There are damned good write-ups here in the DIY area.
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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3,570 Posts
My mechanic said the same thing when I asked him about my 44k-mile SL. "If it's not broke, why fix it?" mentality. Upon my argument of changing the guides, he agreed that it probably was a good idea if I didn't mind spending the money. I don't.
 

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Depends on the day!
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13,337 Posts
The chains need to be checked for stretch.. Anything more then a few degrees and I change them. Any M116/117 @ this point Needs to have it's rails changed @ the minimum..no matter the miles.

As the chain stretches timing retards...the engine will work Great up top but you'll lose low end grunt/efficiency.

I'd say time to find a new mechanic..and to anyone still running their original guides, get them changed ASAP!!!

Jonathan
 
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