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Old 10-24-2005, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 127
Exclamation Almost busted timing chain

A few weeks ago, I changed my timing chain because I knew it was stretched and there was a ticking sound coming from the camshaft sprocket area. As I rolled out the old chain, I found the master link part almost totally disintegrated. Only the middle link was still holding the chain together. Here are some pictures of the timing chain master link area after I removed it from the engine.

The top picture shows the front view of the master link which is missing the circlip part.

The middle picture shows the rear view of the master link with a (busted link)

The lower picture shows the master link part along side the center link that held the chain together for I-don't-know-how-long. Notice the oval holes worn in the center link part. The wear in these parts allowed the chain to flop outwards on the camshaft sprocket about 1/8", which explains the ticking sound I heard.

The chain pins have worn heads showing that they have been wearing on something (maybe the chain guides), preventing them from sliding out. It seems like this master link is the kind with the circlip end, not the peened end type.

I didn't see any damage to the upper chain guide, the banana tensioner slide or the tensioner. All seemed to be OK. The ticking sound is gone. I guess this is what these chains look like just before they disintegrate.

Had I known that the master link was this bad, I could have saved the hassle of grinding a swaged link away to get the old chain apart. I could have just pulled the master link out with my fingers.

1979 300D with 120k mi, but I suspect the odometer has been rolled back.

Attached Thumbnails
Almost busted timing chain-chain6.jpg  
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Old 10-24-2005, 04:12 PM
Old300D's Avatar
Biodiesel Fiend
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,883
Damn! You got lucky, nice find.
'83 240D with 617.952 and 2.88
'01 VW Beetle TDI
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD
'89 Toyota 4x4, needs 2L-T
'78 280Z with L28ET - 12.86@110
Oil Burner Kartel #35
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Old 10-24-2005, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: RI shore
Posts: 2,937
heckuva good reason for not using the clip type retainer!
'82 300SD - 361K mi - "Blue"

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

listen, look, .........and duck.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:40 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
Wow, you are fortunate.

I just checked the 617 for stretch over the weekend after reinstalling the chain.

2.5 using the mark on the tower. Not bad for 185K. Probably the original chain.
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Old 10-24-2005, 10:27 PM
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Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frederick, Md
Posts: 4,540
whats the link to that page for how to check chain stretch on 60x and 617 engines? I lost it when my old comp died.

1980 500SE/AMG Euro
1981 500SEL Euro
1982 380SEL
1983 300TD
1983 500SEC/AMG Euro
1984 500SEC
1984 300TD Euro
1986 190E 2.3-16
1986 190E 2.3
1987 300D
1997 C36 AMG
2003 C320T 4matic

past: 1969 280SE 4.5 | 1978 240D | 1978 300D | 1981 300SD | 1981 300SD | 1982 300CD | 1983 300CD | 1983 300SD | 1983 380SEC | 1984 300D | 1984 300D | 1984 300TD | 1984 500SEL | 1984 300SD | 1985 300D | 1986 300E | 1986 560SEL | 1986 560SEL/Carat | 1987 560SEC | 1991 300D 2.5 | 2006 R350
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:01 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
Originally Posted by Johnhef
whats the link to that page for how to check chain stretch on 60x and 617 engines? I lost it when my old comp died.
I don't have a link, but can advise on the 617 if you need it. You can do it the fast way using the tower marks or the proper way using 2mm lift on the #1 intake valve.

The fast way requires no tools and you can get a quick read in minutes.

LMK which way you want to go.

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