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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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2,623 Posts
Thanks Jyuma, I was just hoping it could have something to do with it considering the timing chain wasn't fully stretched but i guess I was wrong. Well at least you saved me some unnecessary mounting to test my theory. I'll just change the chain.
There is no reason not to change the tensioner, in fact you should change the tensioner, I just didn't want you to think that changing the tensioner could solve cam timing mark alignment problems because it won't. When the tensioner goes bad you'll get excessive chain slap and when the chain itself is also bad from excessive wear, the entire problem becomes multiplied and the guides can break and that can lead to catastrophic engine failure.

If you're going to do the job then do the whole job... chain, guides, tensioner, sprockets (if they are badly worn) and don't forget the oiler tube connectors. Follow PanzerPuffs instructions in his excellent video and you'll get the job done right. (y)

Good luck.
 

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Registered
1998 ML320, 1975 280C
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69 Posts
Car has been running "warm" since I purchased it. Replaced the fan clutch and it now runs at the 180F of the thermostat. About one hour of labor, and $110 for the part(NOT Uro)
 

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1984 380SL
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63 Posts
So yesterday I got the new timing chain, guides and tensioner in, after 3 rotations the marks are still aligned even though the right side still don't line up perfectly. It lines up perfectly at about 4 degrees after TDC so better than before but not perfect. Should i maybe get a 2 degree offset Woodrow key to fix this? What do you guys think about the shape of the gap where the Woodrow key should be on the sprocket? It's not a problem what i can see since the sprocket is really tight on the camshaft but just wondering since I'm doing this for the first time.
IMG_9521.JPG
IMG_9517.JPG
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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2,623 Posts
I wouldn't do anything. That alignment is good enough and you will accomplish very little by using an offset Woodruff key. Of course if it will help you sleep at night, get the offset Woodruff key, but it won't do much for the engine.
I'm assuming you just didn't get around to putting the oiler tube back on. It scares me just looking at that photo.
 

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Premium Member
1987 560SL
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2,349 Posts
Is that the OEM sprocket? A new sprocket is about $20 and since you put in so much labor it may make sense to replace both sprockets at this time. That keyway is miscut, so who knows what else is out of spec on that gear.

I agree those timing marks are pretty close; if you replace the sprockets send another picture. The sprockets may not look worn but if they are they will cause wear on the new chain.

BTW, I purchased two 2-degree offset keys for $35 when I did my chain that I never used. Anyone can paypal $20 to [email protected] with postal address and I will send you both keys at half price. Here is my video including sprocket replacement just for grins:
 

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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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195 Posts
I had the same offset after changing the chain and cam sprockets. Figured it would just broaden the torque curve as I couldn't be arsed enough to do anything with offset keys that would take another week to arrive.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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2,623 Posts
I had the same offset after changing the chain and cam sprockets. Figured it would just broaden the torque curve as I couldn't be arsed enough to do anything with offset keys that would take another week to arrive.
And did you notice anything negative side effects due to the 2 degrees variation from dead on?
 

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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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195 Posts
No. Two reasons why I wasn't too concerned as we had a grey market '78 BMW 635 CSi that had apparently been a Motorsport development vehicle that had a greater offset key than what I would have needed and it could outrun 911s on the track. Second was that I mistakenly indexed the chain by one tooth and all it did was not able to keep up with a 5.0 GT Mustang.

Our engines are interference engines in that the valve can hit the pistons if things are really off, as in when the chain skips multiple teeth but a couple degrees are not a concern. With one bank a tad retarded it just means that peak torque is a bit lower but has a broader range. I don't recall if retarding the cam moves the torque higher or lower in the rev range.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
Joined
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2,623 Posts
No. Two reasons why I wasn't too concerned as we had a grey market '78 BMW 635 CSi that had apparently been a Motorsport development vehicle that had a greater offset key than what I would have needed and it could outrun 911s on the track. Second was that I mistakenly indexed the chain by one tooth and all it did was not able to keep up with a 5.0 GT Mustang.

Our engines are interference engines in that the valve can hit the pistons if things are really off, as in when the chain skips multiple teeth but a couple degrees are not a concern. With one bank a tad retarded it just means that peak torque is a bit lower but has a broader range. I don't recall if retarding the cam moves the torque higher or lower in the rev range.
Thanks.
 

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Registered
1984 380SL
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63 Posts
I wouldn't do anything. That alignment is good enough and you will accomplish very little by using an offset Woodruff key. Of course if it will help you sleep at night, get the offset Woodruff key, but it won't do much for the engine.
I'm assuming you just didn't get around to putting the oiler tube back on. It scares me just looking at that photo.
Don't worry, haven't done the oiler tubes yet.
 

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Registered
1984 380SL
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63 Posts
Is that the OEM sprocket? A new sprocket is about $20 and since you put in so much labor it may make sense to replace both sprockets at this time. That keyway is miscut, so who knows what else is out of spec on that gear.

I agree those timing marks are pretty close; if you replace the sprockets send another picture. The sprockets may not look worn but if they are they will cause wear on the new chain.

BTW, I purchased two 2-degree offset keys for $35 when I did my chain that I never used. Anyone can paypal $20 to [email protected] with postal address and I will send you both keys at half price. Here is my video including sprocket replacement just for grins:
Thanks PanzerPuff! Where do you buy the new sprockets? Oh and by the way yes it's the original sprockets from 1984 but the car has only got around 80.000 km on it so only about 50.000 miles, which is why i hesitated to change the chain as well. I was just planning on doing the oiler tubes and the plastic rails.
 

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Registered
1984 380SL
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63 Posts
Is that the OEM sprocket? A new sprocket is about $20 and since you put in so much labor it may make sense to replace both sprockets at this time. That keyway is miscut, so who knows what else is out of spec on that gear.

I agree those timing marks are pretty close; if you replace the sprockets send another picture. The sprockets may not look worn but if they are they will cause wear on the new chain.

BTW, I purchased two 2-degree offset keys for $35 when I did my chain that I never used. Anyone can paypal $20 to [email protected] with postal address and I will send you both keys at half price. Here is my video including sprocket replacement just for grins:
By the way, what is it that you're holding in your hand just after mounting the chain tensioner? I haven't removed this part from my car?
thingie.JPG
 

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Registered
1992 500SL, 1988 560SL, 1977 450SL, 1999 E320 4matic
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780 Posts
Today I just finished converting a vacuum Euro Headlight to a non-vacuum light as the vacuum up and down connection was completely rusted. The Headlight was a mess. I recondition the complete unit, frame and also converted the side marker to both a turn signal and parking light. I used the wire plastic assembly from a US headlight that I already had. I had to make the side arm on the frame to make the up and down motion to become mechanical. The reflector was in great condition in the inside, just had to use the plate from an old euro headlight reflector, remove the previous plate and attached, as that controls the mechanical movement. It looks almost like new, please tell me what you guys think. Never done this before.
Euro Vacuum Headlight.jpg
Carls Euro Headlight~4.jpg
Carls euro Headlight~2.jpg
Carls Euro left headlight restored.jpg
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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,178 Posts
Wish I could take pictures like that! What sort of camera & lighting did you use?
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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6,784 Posts
Discussion Starter #276
@carltwo , that is an outstanding restoration.
Did you paint the frame? Looks exceptional.
 

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1992 500SL, 1988 560SL, 1977 450SL, 1999 E320 4matic
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780 Posts
Actually, photos taken on my iPhone 8 using its flash. Yes, cwmoser I did paint the frame with Rust-oleum Metallic aluminum and then SEM Low Luster Clear and the backside of the reflector color to mimic factory color somewhat as there was some surface rust..
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,178 Posts
Amazingly good phone pictures!! Also great restoration. Well done
 
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