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Always Remembered RIP
1991 560SEC AMG
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10,146 Posts
I am told the Mercedes Benz metal 117 guides are now here !

A few weeks ago, my Mercedes Benz mechanic (who knows the 560SEC/SELvery well and in fact drives an '86 560SEC to work daily) has told me that Mercedes Benz has now just come out with a METAL guide rail that replaces the former white plastic ones, and that so as a practical matter, once you put one in, you will NEVER need to do it again.

Unfortunately I don't have more specifics (such as a part number) than what he told me last month, and while it is hearsay at this point, he had utterly no reason to lie to me. He mentioned it when we were talking about 117 engines at his shop

I already did the chain tensioner and guide rails and injectors one time already, too, at 100,000 miles in about 2002, and since then, it's been about 9 more years passed, and almost 80,000 miles, so whenever 200,000 comes, or maybe in the next year or two, I will be addressing this again, perhaps fairly soon.

Probably might as well do the cam oilers too, this time They are still the originals.

No rattle on start up, yet, though, so I think I am OK for now.
 

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'83 380SEC AMG'ed euro, '92 500SL, '91 190e 2.6 5-speed
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2,389 Posts
I think you may be referring to the Meyle version of the guide rail. Its not completely metal, the surface which touches the chain is plastic. Not very expensive, running at about $20-30 a pop. I'd stick with the conventional all plastic bits. I do not consider failing plastic guides after 20-30 years flawed. I've also heard mixed things about the reinforced guides, if they really were a vast improvement they would have created them years ago. I think its more of a marketing thing to make more money.

Though I could be wrong, maybe there is yet another solution...
 

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1984 500SL (RHD) 160k miles
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186 Posts
I would be very interested to hear about an uprated MB part. Please keep us all posted!

as far as I'm aware the meyle guides don't fit the 117.962 but please correct me if I'm wrong?

Cheers.
 

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57 190 Ponton , 89 560 SEL , 560 SEC , 420 SEL
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312 Posts
Those "Meyle" guides are the same style as were used in my old gull wing back in 1955. Don't know just when MB started using them but I'm getting some for my '89 560. My mechanic said mine were still looking good but with 133k I don't want any surprises.
 

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w201,w124,w126
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2,318 Posts
I just ordered the guides last week from MB and they are still plastic. You could probably interchange the guides from an older engine but its not a big deal to change these things anyway.

Well at least in my case, the rail pins were seized so I had to split the chain. Going to let the machine shop deal with taking the pins out now.

If there should be a reason to get tougher rails it should be for the lower sliding rails that you can't reach without taking the timing cover off.
 

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2000 SLK230-LE
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375 Posts
Metal Rails

Used these on my 420. What I noticed was the metal part was just as thick as the plastic rail. The rubber on top of the metal added to the size.






 

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1982 500 SEC, 1980 280S, 1972 280SE 3.5, 1969 280SL, 1968 280S, 1950 170S
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123 Posts
my 500 SEC with the AMG '+50hp' engine has had one in there for about at least 6 years or so and that included some fairly gruelling treatment including the east coast targa and laps around the Bathurst (when my mate outpaced a swag of cocky M3 drivers!). I say 6 years because I must have had it for 2 years now (son was 4 at the time and had the big plane trip and 'roady' home to collect it) and then PO who was my best mates mate had it for 3 years and then James had it for 3 years before that and I reckon he did the targa fairly early in the piece. I spoke to the guys who fitted it (and I believe manufactures them) when I bought it just to check when I should actually replace it and they very confidently said never - never had one break ever after huge mileage cars and performance cars. If ever I had it apart of course I would replace but they seemed very confident and no fly by night company. That was Alan Lennox motors in Melbourne but I gather John at MB spares looks like he is the same price - cant confidently say who manufactures what etc but look the same and called the same material. John is probably better set up for all the export thing and as a great supporter of Ozbenz etc i don't want to steer business away from him - just sharing my personal experience.
 

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W123, W116 Wagon
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60 Posts
How many pieces?

Hi,

Sorry...I just purchased a 560SEL and read this thread.

I would like to know how many pieces of the rails that I should replace regularly.

I believe some are located further down of the engine and can not be access from the top(valve cover removed).

Thanks in advance.

NPK
 

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2004 SL500, 1993 S420, 1990 420 SEL, 1985 500SE, 1994 Toyota Supra Aerotop
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749 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
Hi, I think it's just four including the chain tensioner rail and also replace the tensioner itself. Nobody tends to do the lower rails that I have noticed on the forum. Since you have a M116 engine, you can use the metal backed guides.
 

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1982 500 SEC, 1980 280S, 1972 280SE 3.5, 1969 280SL, 1968 280S, 1950 170S
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123 Posts
My understanding is that the factory doesn't state when to replace any of these but they can get brittle and sounds like different ones can break up, so replacement is a good idea. But some of these can break up, be a bit messy and probably get noisy. The biggest issue though is when the inner LH one breaks up, the piece is right in the wrong place to get taken up between the chain and sprocket, which in turn can push the chain up to break the rocker cover, jump teeth on the cam and put valves into pistons etc and cause huge and expensive damage. So common for this to happen. If one of the others goes it is not great, but better chance that the motor wont go into self destruct mode and you have a cheaper repair. if they break the chain carrys the bit down towards the sump rather than into that cam gear. The RH one on the side travelling over the cam gear is on the outer side with the tensioner and therefore wont jam in either. That is the theory about that pactene one replacing that inner LH. But if you can fit the metal ones same theory, wont break up and cause the damage. Hope that makes sense - good maintenance to replace all of them or more importantly the top ones but suicidal for your engine to ignore that inner lh one. Sorry if that sounds a bit obvious to some of you but it took me a while to pick up this detail so just thought i would share with a new owner.

Just noticed though if you are 560, that is M117 not M116 and as i understand it metal back ones wont fit. I like the peace of mind of the pactene ones but obviously if you change them enough there are a lot out there running fine on the standard ones.
 

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1988 560SEL
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63 Posts
It does exist! I've just purchased a heavy-duty chain guide for my M117 from my Mercedes parts specialist. It's CNC machined green plastic and much, much thicker. The price was pretty high but for peace of mind it's worth the $90. I'll post a pic later today. Apparently you only need it for one of the guides, the one that fails the most.
Any more info on WHERE we can get it?
 

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Premium Member
87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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4,231 Posts
MB Spares & Service in Australia
Australia's leading Mercedes-Benz website
Last time i spoke to them they did not have any left in stock though as they are an aftermarket special order supplier who makes them for MB Spares.
Shoot them an email as may have them back in stock by now - piece of mind on that top left guide rail though that usually cracks from chain slap if tensioner is not doing its job.
 

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1982 500 SEC, 1980 280S, 1972 280SE 3.5, 1969 280SL, 1968 280S, 1950 170S
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123 Posts
As I had it explained to me, I think the key to it all is not the tensioner etc, while of course that can be a problem. The thing is that all the other guides are on the outside of the chain - so if they break there will be crunchy noises, rattles etc, but the chance is that the chain will stay on the wheels until you stop the motor. On the other hand that top left one is on the inside of the chain, so when a bit breaks off, in a heartbeat the chunk is wedged between chain and wheel, throwing the chain off the cam wheel and then valves into pistons etc. I have heard of the standard ones breaking well before the 100k km and you can't see it or anything. We all work out our risks we are prepared to take on stuff but a clear decision for me.
 

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Two '87 570SECs, one '87 560SEL
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4,448 Posts
The key IS the tensioner. Once it starts failing, it lets the chain slap on the plastic guides, which they don't like and subsequently fail. This is why it has been recommended several times here to only buy the expensive Mercedes ($200 USD) tensioner rather than a tensioner from anyone else.
 
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