[UPDATE, the thread has developed into an engine swap as it ended up being cheaper to do that, so there are wider topics also discussed around the gearbox as well as engine]
Finally it's time to start my top end rebuild. I have established already that I have virtually no compression in cylinder number 8 and suspect its a problem with the exhaust valve seat. I also have a tell tale blast of smoke after starting the engine indicating a problem with the valve stems and seals. Although the car is a 1979 450, at some point in the past it has had a 1976 350 engine transplanted into it.
The job is said to be beyond what a novice should take on but the cost to get it done in a shop is too high compared to the value of the car, I therefore decided to try it myself. I have collected the special tools needed and have both the Haynes manual and I have printed off all of the Mercedes engine CD. My experience so far has been basic car maintenaince, brake pads, rotors and a couple of 4 cylinder cam belts (but nothing in the last 10 years), so this job it massive compared to any previous ones for me.
First I removed the battery, air filter housing, radiator fan, alternator, wiring loom to the engine front end, spark plug leads and cam covers.
I am documenting each step, photographed everything and individulally bagged all the removed components.
So here are three of the pics. What are your thoughts on chain stretch
Left CAM (viewed from front of car)
Right CAM (viewed from front of car)