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86' 560SL, 11' X5, 01' 330 Track
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Discussion Starter #1
Since browsing through here its obvious that the timing chain and guides are an important thing to address. Ive noticed on cold starts that it sometimes rattles and has a rough idle for about 30 seconds. Ive scheduled an appointment with my mechanic to replace the guides (hopefully that's all it needs) next week.

My question is, while I have it in for the guides, what else should I have done besides an oil change?

The transmission doesn't like to be shifted into reverse (car jumps backwards when it engages). Would changing the fluid help at all?

Other than that the car runs wonderfully and still pulls fine. I did search for a little while but I figured I would ask on here in case I missed anything.

Thanks for any advice. At the very least here's a couple pictures:

Baltimore



LOL



Annapolis



Baltimore



Annapolis

 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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22,841 Posts
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If you're hearing the cold start rattle either the tensioner is bleeding down, the chain has stretched, or the cam sprockets are worn. Or a combination of all three. In a lot of failures those do cause an upper guide to fail, but that is a symptom not a cause.
 

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86' 560SL, 11' X5, 01' 330 Track
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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If you're hearing the cold start rattle either the tensioner is bleeding down, the chain has stretched, or the cam sprockets are worn. Or a combination of all three. In a lot of failures those do cause an upper guide to fail, but that is a symptom not a cause.
Ah I see, well Im guessing if it ends up being one of those 3 things I might as well get the timing chain/components replaced. Or can they be addressed without having to taking everything apart?

Thanks for the response
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,990 Posts
Chain After market supplier is les expensive.
Tensioner
Tensioner rail or rail lining.
Upper guides
Cam Sprockets. After market again. MB is very expensive.
Cam oiler tube fittings. Inexpensive. A while you are there thing and they also get brittle with age.

Some discussion about also replacing cam rockers. At least have them checked for excessive wear.
 

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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
Chain After market supplier is les expensive
Yes, not to put words in Rowdie's mouth but what I think he means is buy IWIS, which is the same OEM that MB uses for a lot less. You may find a Beck-Arnley chain out there- I wouldn't trust that one.
 

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86' 560SL, 11' X5, 01' 330 Track
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Chain After market supplier is les expensive.
Tensioner
Tensioner rail or rail lining.
Upper guides
Cam Sprockets. After market again. MB is very expensive.
Cam oiler tube fittings. Inexpensive. A while you are there thing and they also get brittle with age.

Some discussion about also replacing cam rockers. At least have them checked for excessive wear.
Thank you for the heads up Ill make sure to mention them.

Yes, not to put words in Rowdie's mouth but what I think he means is buy IWIS, which is the same OEM that MB uses for a lot less. You may find a Beck-Arnley chain out there- I wouldn't trust that one.
Ill definitely keep that in mind. I'm hoping Tensioner's and guides will be a solution. If not ill probably end up taking the car off the road for a little and do it myself with some help.
 

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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
Thank you for the heads up Ill make sure to mention them.



Ill definitely keep that in mind. I'm hoping Tensioner's and guides will be a solution. If not ill probably end up taking the car off the road for a little and do it myself with some help.
I intend to do mine in the next two weeks. If I can do it anyone can. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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1989 560 SL - Signal Red & Palomino; 2011 C-300 - Black on Black 4MATIC
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1,153 Posts
Not familliar with the term IWIS, while the meaning is clear in the context above, can someone spell it out for me? :)

Thanks -
 

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'88 560SL, '19 AMG E53 Cpe, '15.5 Volvo XC60, '53 MG TD, '35 Ford Cpe and a few more
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189 Posts
I've heard that while you can use alternatives for most bits the tensioner should be MB. When I did the job I just went MB all the way. Price for chain, guides, rail, tensioner and gaskets was $379 from genuinemarcedesparts.com, a dealer back East. As I recall they weren't much more than AutohouseAz.
 

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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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I've heard that while you can use alternatives for most bits the tensioner should be MB. When I did the job I just went MB all the way. Price for chain, guides, rail, tensioner and gaskets was $379 from genuinemarcedesparts.com, a dealer back East. As I recall they weren't much more than AutohouseAz.
Thank you for the post.
 

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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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There is some debate about the tensioner. The Febi unit you can get is well made and German, but there are reports of it failing early, as in less than 50K miles. The Febi is perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of the MB unit. Up to you. I bought one but haven't used it as my MB unit still seems to have life left in it (turns out I chained my chain quite a bit earlier than I needed to). The cam sprockets you can get for $20 are by SWAG, also German and good quality. I see no reason to go to MB for these, and think this is worthwhile to change to get your timing closer to what it should be.
 

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1972 350SL
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441 Posts
Often repeated advice is not to worry about the lower guides. Perhaps that is because to change them you must remove the timing cover and lower the pan.... one thing leads to another. There is some danger in accepting that advice blindly.

Based on our experience, and only that, I would consider replacing the lower guides as well. Mine is a 1972 with 125,000K on it. Age may make a difference, but my lower guides were both quite worn and brittle.
 

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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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Often repeated advice is not to worry about the lower guides. Perhaps that is because to change them you must remove the timing cover and lower the pan.... one thing leads to another. There is some danger in accepting that advice blindly.

Based on our experience, and only that, I would consider replacing the lower guides as well. Mine is a 1972 with 125,000K on it. Age may make a difference, but my lower guides were both quite worn and brittle.
Please refresh my memory. If I remember correctly, you did the work yourself. How long did it take? I plan to start on mine in about a week and a half and I am trying to plan it around days off so I can complete it in a reasonable amount of time. I have seen your thread on the EG107 and I plan to re-read all posts prior to starting.
 

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1991 420 SEL
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145 Posts
Ditto what Maynardg said. I did my 420 at 142k. My first Benz. I've done tons of Detroit small blocks and you always replace the cam and crank sprockets with a chain swap. They wear "in" together. So based on that I pulled the cover and found the lower guides just as bad looking as the upper ones. Discolored, hair line cracks, little chips off the sides. Also replaced the crank sprocket and tensioner. You need to be very clean and careful to make sure the top of the front cover seals to the heads. I used black RTV. No leaks yet.

Good luck.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,990 Posts
Ditto what Maynardg said. I did my 420 at 142k. My first Benz. I've done tons of Detroit small blocks and you always replace the cam and crank sprockets with a chain swap. They wear "in" together. So based on that I pulled the cover and found the lower guides just as bad looking as the upper ones. Discolored, hair line cracks, little chips off the sides. Also replaced the crank sprocket and tensioner. You need to be very clean and careful to make sure the top of the front cover seals to the heads. I used black RTV. No leaks yet.

Good luck.
Do you have to drop the front subframe or pull the engine on your later, different model? If not then your input has no value.

Who can argue against what Maynard said. He is correct.

In the real world I do not remember a post about the lower guides breaking and causing destruction. It is always an upper guide or tensioner that causes problems. That is why the upper parts are recommended for servicing. My 2 pennys which cost 3.6 pennys to make.
 

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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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Since I have to replace all the rubber bushings on my car will I have to drop the sub-frame? If so, should I plan on replacing all the guides and the bushings at the same time?
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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Replacing the subframe bushings requires lowering the frame just enough to remove and insert them. Removing the oil pan to get to the timing cover means dropping the subframe. While Maynard's caveat is valid, I do have to agree with rowdie, his issue was an outlier. In the six and a half years I've traveled this and the various other 107 boards his was the first and only lower guide failure I can recall. Given what seems to be a somewhat limited budget and your self acknowledged lack of MB DIY experience I'd suggest you consider focusing on the guides that we do know are prone to failure. Ten or so years from now when it's time to start going through the major maintenance cycles on your then oh so much more collectable 026 I'll say yep, probably ought to do somethin' with those lower guides...
 

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1984 380SL, 1991 300E
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432 Posts
OT to OP

Since I have to replace all the rubber bushings on my car will I have to drop the sub-frame? If so, should I plan on replacing all the guides and the bushings at the same time?
My .02: I made an engine cradle and dropped the subframe, having never done anything like this type of work before. What seemed like it would be more work upfront turned out making access, and a lot of "little" jobs, a whole lot easier. I wasn't in any hurry to get the car back on the road and took a month or so to do it at a leisurely pace.

This also gave me the confidence I needed to tackle the timing chain and guides...

Edit: I should add that I didn't do the lower guides, re-reading my post I think I may have alluded to it. My SOW only included bushings, mounts, bearings, brakes, etc.
 
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