This weekend, at close to 100k mi, I decided to do an easy timing chain replacement (preventative maintenance) on my super-trusty '85 190E. This was due to the parts for the job being given me as a birthday present so that I would have less maintenance woes when I quit my job and become a full-time (read as poor) law student this fall.
So, the job was quite simple...right?
Remove plugs, air cover, serpentine belt, valve cover, tensioner.
BY the way, the head on this car looked beautiful and clean and I was seriously doubting whether or not to worry about using the new gasket that came in the kit.
The chain kit I had also came with the plastic rails, but I was not about to pull the front of the motor off, unless I had to.
The rails looked good, the chain had some stretch, so dad (the retired/former ASE mechanic) and I ground off the link, attached the new chain, and started cranking her through.
After three links through, slack from nowhere came out of the back end of the old chain and we dropped her one or two teeth out of time. We stopped where we were and checked to see that the chain was still coming off and we backed her out maybe three links just to get a better hold on the assembly.
SO, proceeding onward and knowing we were going to have to break out the timing light...we continued to turn the crankshaft...for four inches of chain and she stopped cold. Now, the crankshaft will rotate four inches forward and four inches backward (inches of chain length). That is it. So, we marked our spot, marked the position on the cam and disconnected the chain from the top. The cam turns like a champ. What the heck did we do and what the heck am I going to do now? I have put all the parts back in (new tensioner, new belt, new gasket) and finger tightened everything.
Oh, and Donnie...maybe I should have waited till Spring or called you last week at MBS and driven her up there, when I would have gotten there just fine...now, a flatbed would be calling. *SIGH*
Any clues? Is the front of the motor going to have to come off? Do I really have to take the engine out to get to the timing chain case? Is this now suddenly a decent time to use the plastic guides I had not planned on installing?
My weekend could have been worse, I suppose.
John J. Meadows
'83 300D 3.0L 260k mi.
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.