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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I screwed up. I was replacing followers in a 560 and I was using a 1/4 in wooden dowel to check that the piston was at least part way down. When I went to the left side, I forgot the dowel in #1 cylinder and when I rotated the engine, I snapped off about 1/2 in piece of the dowel. It's in the cylinder. I can see it with an inspection camera but I cannot get it out. Making it worse, there is a small, thin plastic collar, maybe 1/4 x 3/8 from the inspection camera that has now joined the dowel.
Any chance they will just burn up? Am I looking at pulling the head??
Totally bummed out and kicking myself...
John
 

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1975 450 SLC
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29 Posts
I would try a small flexible tube taped to a vacuum cleaner and try to suck the offending bits out as best as you can. It will be tricky though. Good luck, hopefully you won't have to pull the head off.
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have tried hoses attached to vacuums, pickup tool, etc. I can't get anything in the port with the camera and without it you're just blind.
 

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1988 560SL 50K
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711 Posts
Dang! Maybe attach a wad of gum or something really sticky to a straw glued to your inspection scope to see if you can snag them? Would want to make sure that everything is well secured so you don't add a new object to the mix.

Might help to remove all the plugs so the engine is easy to turn to get the cylinder to the bottom to give you more room to work. Being said, not a problem I've ever had to solve but do not see starting the motor and hoping things burn up as an option.
 

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1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,151 Posts
One of those small diameter spider pick up tools that expand the jaws when you squeeze (like an injection needle) and grab when you release.? I think it might be better if the piston was higher so there's not too much up/down searching?
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The problem is that the plug opening is at an angle that is high and forward in the engine and is very deep. So it's like going around a corner to get to the 'bottom' of the cylinder. It's almost impossible to even see it with an inspection camera let alone get to it with anything to grab it with.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,151 Posts
Sounds like some sort of vacuum hook up via a plastic (vinyl) tube might be the best option or even putting a strong vacuum hose over the spark plug hole?
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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1,110 Posts
Sorry to hear about the trouble John, under no circumstances I'd start the engine as chances are high you'll end up bending the piston. I appreciate how tricky the situation is as I was recently inspecting my cylinders with a camera as well, it's a tight sport. 'd try some industrial strength vacuum cleaner and hope it gets sucked out, or maybe check with some decent engineering company in the area if they can advise anything?
 

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2007 E320 Bluetec, 2008 320ML CDI
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2,438 Posts
Can you try blowing compressed air into the cylinder? Probably piston at bottom and both valves closed. Still a crapshoot.
I’d work on getting the plastic collar first. Maybe hooking it.
I’m thinking a small diameter spring that you can expand the inserted end and twirl it once in the cylinder. The goal would be to screw the collar onto the spring.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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'80 450SLC Afro RHD Ikonengold
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2,796 Posts
Perhaps, failing all else, you could drop intake valve and try to blow air in, trying to blow out the content through the plug. I'd think it would be critical to have piston top be level with the plug hole to assist ejection
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
looking at a diagram of the M116, it looks like there is 'zero' clearance from the top of the piston to head when the piston is all the way up. Can anyone confirm this? If its true, then starting the engine would be a very bad thing.
2611055
 

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1955 300 SL
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673 Posts
Pull the head to do it the correct way. It's tough when we have no one else to blame but ourselves for a problem, but that's how some lessons are best learned.
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Do I need to put inserts in if I pull the head? i.e. the engine is coming out.
 

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1988 560SL 50K
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711 Posts
Hi John. Yes. They are in the class of "Interference" engines.

An interference engine is one that has insufficient clearance between the valves and pistons if the cam stops turning due to a broken timing belt. The result is usually catastrophic engine failure.

So there would be no room at the top of the stoke for much of anything.
 

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2003 s600
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14 Posts
Why not tilt the car some so the stuff moves where you can get it. Yes I know the angle is high but pull head or tilt the car but be safe about it.
 

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1989 W124 260E
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1,114 Posts
I did this some time back .Removed it with a small tube on a very powrfull vacuum cleaner to suck them out you will need to scale down the hoover suction pipe and this sucked each part out that i had droped in the cylinder
 

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'88 560SL '91 420SEL '73 280SEL '59 220S '73 450SL '74 450SL '86 560SL
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I got the pieces out!! I tried the vacuum and the 'spider tool' with no success. I put a hook on the end of an inspection camera and was able to get the plastic tube out. For the piece of dowel, I tried making a pincher with copper wire but it was not strong enough. Tried steel wire but also not strong enough. Moved to .025 music wire (spring steel) and finally .032 music wire. The piece was bigger than I thought. The biggest problem is that it had to rotate to come out of the plug port.
dowel from 560SL.jpg inspection camera with pickup tool.jpg
 

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1998 C280; 1987 560SL
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437 Posts
Persistence and patience has won out again. Well done! Without these two elements, owning an R107 would be prohibitively expensive for most of us.;)
 
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