Yes, I replaced the tensioner rail and chain rail -- the chain itself was in perfect condition with almost no stretch. With cam and crank both at TDC, 2 full turns back to TDC and only was off like 1 or 2 degrees.
Yeah, the hanger wire was put there so the chain wouldn't slip down into the timing cover and lose timing. As it went, however, I had to remove front cover anyhow to retrieve a head bolt washer that fell down the well. (I did this TWICE btw, first one fell into the sump, second one fell square onto the bottom cam crank -- as noted earlier, I couldn't fully torque down the front two head bolts so I took BWBenztech's advice and topsided the oil out of the holes and retorqued with new bolts and made the same exact mistake)
NEVER work on your car when you're tired, in a hurry, or agitated, especially when doing this type work, 'cause you'll do something stupid like I did:p
Took two days to complete job (one and half to remove head, half day to put back on). Once you know exactly what to do to remove it, putting it back in is easy.
About a full day to remove timing cover and it's clutter and put back on.
I'm actually glad that I had to remove the timing cover because it was leaking anyhow. The sealant that was in place was a joke -- looked like yellow Elmer's wood glue, and there was hardly any of it.
Special tools needed: counterholder to remove fan clutch (some have made their own, but I bought mine from performanceproducts for $10 I think), I also bought the small 5mm socket to remove clutch bolt -- comes in handy when you don't want to remove radiator, 14 and 17mm hex socket to remove chain tensioner (simple hex key might work for you since you don't have an AIR pump), 27mm socket to turn crankshaft, get a set of hex key sockets (4mm to 9mm or so - $10 at Autozone) if you don't have any -- you'll encounter alot of hex bolts that are easier to bust loose with a ratchet. That's about it I think.
Engine runs like a top now, as smooth and powerful as ever, and completely sealed.
Good luck if/when you decide to tackle it! Feel free to email me with any questions.
'91 300E, 208k miles