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1985 380SE
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Discussion Starter #1
Got an 85 380SE, has a ticking noise, which gets louder at intermittant times, and sometimes gets to the point where it is barely heard. In general, the noise makes it appear to sound "diesel like".

Got 202000 on the odometer, had the noise since I bought the vehicle. Noise is coming from the RH side, as you are looking at the car. Noticed a small hairline crack on the valve cover right on top of the area where the timing chain runs.

A person on Ebay is willing to sell a used, good cam, towers, and rocker arms for 190.00 plus 50 for the valve cover. goes by the ebay handle of tunero3.

I've got a CD copy of the tech manual for the 380SE, but the pictures are grainy, and hard to make out. I really need to fix this issue, but I need to make sure of what the issue really "is" before I funnel more money into this car. Any assistance on diagnosing the problem would be greatly appreciated, also, if you have dealt with this ebay seller, let me know. I surely don't want to be buying parts from a ripoff artist, and NO, I cannot afford to buy direct from MB. Sorry, I am disabled, and on a VERY limited income, but love my car.

Thanks!
John.
 

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1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
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1,993 Posts
Are you sure it's not the right side of the engine, as when you're sitting in the car? I have a 1985 380SE that makes the same noise as yours. Apparently, through a search of this site, I found out our cars are particular 'tough' on the cam shaft on the side of the car I'm speaking of.

Changed the oil, and adjusted the fan shroud, and most of the racket went away. I'm not really prepared to go throwing (any more) expensive parts on it right now, and my car has about 130K Gram driven miles... so I'll wait til the next timing chain swap to see what is up under the valve cover, as the current shop I bring the cars to is not very alarmed by the noise, and it is not that pronounced (now that I adjusted the fan shroud, which was part of the problem due to weak motor mounts...

When was your timing chain last changed? If you're car sounds "diesel-like," I'd get it sorted ASAP.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,084 Posts
Got an 85 380SE, has a ticking noise, which gets louder at intermittant times, and sometimes gets to the point where it is barely heard. In general, the noise makes it appear to sound "diesel like".

Got 202000 on the odometer, had the noise since I bought the vehicle. Noise is coming from the RH side, as you are looking at the car. Noticed a small hairline crack on the valve cover right on top of the area where the timing chain runs.

A person on Ebay is willing to sell a used, good cam, towers, and rocker arms for 190.00 plus 50 for the valve cover. goes by the ebay handle of tunero3.

I've got a CD copy of the tech manual for the 380SE, but the pictures are grainy, and hard to make out. I really need to fix this issue, but I need to make sure of what the issue really "is" before I funnel more money into this car. Any assistance on diagnosing the problem would be greatly appreciated, also, if you have dealt with this ebay seller, let me know. I surely don't want to be buying parts from a ripoff artist, and NO, I cannot afford to buy direct from MB. Sorry, I am disabled, and on a VERY limited income, but love my car.

Thanks!
John.
In our U.S. cars, the passenger side manifold runs behind the engine to the drivers side into a single down pipe. The right (pass side) bank of the engine is being a bit strangled, and usually goes bad long before the drivers (left) side.
Try a throughout forum search, the pdf files should be in there.
If you can't find them, let me know.

Welcome, to take advantage of all the forum features, please re visit the 'Welcome to the Forum' tutorial sticky on top of the W126 page, as well as the two DIY stickies.
It will show how to search the forum (3 words min.), and has a link to the Russian MB site where you can run a VIN#.
Cheers
 

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1985 380SE
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Clicking noise.

No mistake, it's the driver's side that's making the noise. Very pronounced clicking noise. My first thought is a partially plugged oiler, as the noise tends to be louder at start, and will settle down (a small bit) after the engine has reached full temp. Oil pressure is over 3 bars when running down the road, lowest I've seen it is between 2-3 bars at idle. Temp is fine, good power overall. If you think it would help, I could do a video, and post it to YouTube.

The guy I bought the car from gave me a copy of the W-126 Factory Service Manual on CD, it has a nasty index. ALL of the pictures are in B&W, and have a checkered effect to them, which makes it VERY difficult to make out detail.

I hit a deer with my son's Pontiac 6000 last week, and until I get a grille and headlight for it so I don't get pulled over for a fix-it ticket, I've got to keep the Mercedes together. Gotta have a car to get around, so I can't even pull the valve cover till the Pontiac is road worthy again. arrgh!

Teutone, I'll look for those PDF's today. I still have to find a source to get the valve spring compressor and the other special tool I'll need to change the camshaft. I'm afraid that the special tools will cost as much as the parts.

One other thing I found, There appears to be a "tiny shock absorber" by the engine mounts. The passenger side one is missing. Not sure what they are called, but I wanted to make sure this is not a critical item. I will attempt to replace at a later date, but I know it is a Mercedes specific part, and most likely will cost an arm and a leg to buy, and add that to the 100 mile drive to OKC to get it.
 

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2004 S500 4Matic, 2018 Ford Expedition Max, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S, 2016 BMW 750i
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507 Posts
Since the noise is on the left bank, check the EGR valve for proper operation. This may have absolutely no bearing on the ticking noise, but it can damage the valves if malfunctioning. Best of luck-
 

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1982 300CD|1998 GMC Sierra 2500 6.5 Turbo Diesel|2008 Chevy Cobalt 2.2L DD
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2,003 Posts
The lifters are going on mine and they tick like nothing else. maybe your problem lies there.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,084 Posts
I would guess lifter(s) too.
I would get a new set of oilers (cheap), after you cleaned the tube.
The lifters I would only buy OEM (in the pic they get a 24hr oil bath before install).
You'll need new valve cover gaskets, plus new copper crush washers for the bolts (make sure not to over tighten).
Unless a lobe is worn down, you may not even need another cam.
Cheers
 

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1985 380SE
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Discussion Starter #8
I would guess lifter(s) too.
I would get a new set of oilers (cheap), after you cleaned the tube.
The lifters I would only buy OEM (in the pic they get a 24hr oil bath before install).
You'll need new valve cover gaskets, plus new copper crush washers for the bolts (make sure not to over tighten).
Unless a lobe is worn down, you may not even need another cam.
Cheers
I agree, I think it is the lifters, also. If the valve spring compressor is needed, where can I find one online, or is there a substitute that I could use?
 

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Premium Member
1987 560 sec impala metalflake over cream
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1,093 Posts
Since the noise is on the left bank, check the EGR valve for proper operation. This may have absolutely no bearing on the ticking noise, but it can damage the valves if malfunctioning. Best of luck-
iv got somewhat the same problem, & believ me iv searched trying to find out which side the noise is coming from, its elusive! finaly i did deside it might be an exaust noise, even though i used a stethascope to listen to the motor & can here a ticking sound in 1 valve cover. is some of this not normal?
 
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