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Smoke Silver '87 560SEC, Black Pearl '87 560SEL
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The cam gears can be left on. The key item is to not lose cam timing while the chain is being replaced.

Also, get a good tensioner, absolutely NOT a URO branded one.
 

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91 560 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The cam gears can be left on. The key item is to not lose cam timing while the chain is being replaced.

Also, get a good tensioner, absolutely NOT a URO branded one.
I am not replacing the timing chain. Just replacing the tensioner, tensioner guide and the 3 upper guides inboard and outboard
 

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1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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The cam gears can be left on. The key item is to not lose cam timing while the chain is being replaced.

Also, get a good tensioner, absolutely NOT a URO branded one.
mramay, are you sure about that? I've only done this once but it seems to me one of the left side guides couldn't be installed without pulling the cam gear. I've got this project coming up and if you can confirm that both upper guides can be done without removing the gear, I'm more likely to move this up on the list.
 

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1987 560 sec impala metalflake over cream
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I remember I changed the guides without removing the gears or chain due to budget, but regretted it. finally this year I got the gears & chain in. once you open things up that much its nice to get it all done, gives you peace of mind. also made a big difference, i would highly recommend to do it all while your there.
 

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I've done four cars without removing the cam gears. Mercedes makes a tool that sits on top of the gear, let's you connect the new chain to the old chain and just rotate the engine (by hand) to pull the new chain in.
Bayan - if you're going to do the chain guides, then I HIGHLY recommend doing the chain "while you're in there." Chain's stretch and end up slapping the guides, which break, which normally destroy the engine.
2634677
 
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1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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I've done four cars without removing the cam gears. Mercedes makes a tool that sits on top of the gear, let's you connect the new chain to the old chain and just rotate the engine (by hand) to pull the new chain in.
Bayan - if you're going to do the chain guides, then I HIGHLY recommend doing the chain "while you're in there." Chain's stretch and end up slapping the guides, which break, which normally destroy the engine. View attachment 2634677
Mike, the question is whether both top guides can definitely be swapped without removing the gear. Can you confirm this?
 

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Mike, the question is whether both top guides can definitely be swapped without removing the gear. Can you confirm this?
Yep. BTDT. I rotate the engine to get the master link over the guides you want to replace, split the chain, put a nylon (strong) line through the end of the chain, and drop it into the engine to get it out of the way. R&R the guides, pull the chain back up and put the master link back in it.
 
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Yep. BTDT. I rotate the engine to get the master link over the guides you want to replace, split the chain, put a nylon (strong) line through the end of the chain, and drop it into the engine to get it out of the way. R&R the guides, pull the chain back up and put the master link back in it.
I've done the two on the drivers side head before without manipulating the chain, it was difficult but I have small fingers. The tensioner guide is also fickle to do with the chain in place but I managed to get that one as well.
 
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Yep. BTDT. I rotate the engine to get the master link over the guides you want to replace, split the chain, put a nylon (strong) line through the end of the chain, and drop it into the engine to get it out of the way. R&R the guides, pull the chain back up and put the master link back in it.
Nice technique. Thank you.
 

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I'll join that club. Was a few very stressful minutes for this amateur.
Yep!! Which is why I hand rotate the engine two revolutions when I'm done to check the cam timing, that a valve doesn't hit a piston. Found out I can be one tooth off and still not hit anything.
 
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