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  #1  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:57 AM
elchivito's Avatar
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Here's a strange one

How on earth does a camshaft "break"?? From craigslist. They're asking 600, no pics.

We have a 1982 240D Diesel Mercedes in great exterior and interior condition. Many people have complimented us on it and wanted to buy it with avid interest.
Recently the camshaft broke. The car has only 170,000 miles on it. The paint and the body is in great condition and so is the transmission. .
This is an extremely economical car as well. If you are interested

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84 Euro 240D 4spd. 220.5k sold
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:23 PM
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It's not common but it happens. I couldn't tell you why for sure, but if it's broken it's likely that it wasn't being lubricated properly, which probably means the rest of the engine wasn't being properly lubricated at the time either. For $600, if the rest of the car is really in as good as shape as they say then it would probably be a good buy. Find a running engine in a wrecked car and your set. Perfect opportunity to put a turbo 617 in.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2009, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
How on earth does a camshaft "break"??
It typically follows very closely (like 3 milliseconds) behind a broken timing chain. It has something to do with an upward force being applied to open valves.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
It typically follows very closely (like 3 milliseconds) behind a broken timing chain. It has something to do with an upward force being applied to open valves.
Pretty succinct tongue in cheek answer there tangofox007

And yes, when a timing chain breaks and pistons hit open valves, the upward force transmitted to the cam can break it. Of course that's usually only one of MANY things broken under those circumstances. Things like valves, piston tops, head castings, even crankshafts and connecting rods can be damaged.

As Biodiesel300TD said, only buy it if the rest of the car is really good and plan on the engine being a big paperweight. A good donor engine would then need to be inserted to make it a nice car.
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1984 300 Coupe TurboDiesel
Silver blue paint over navy blue interior
2nd owner & 2nd engine in an otherwise
99% original unmolested car
~210k miles on the clock

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Charcoal & blue two tone paint over burgundy interior
Banks turbo, DRW, ZF-5 & SMF conversion
152k on the clock - actual mileage unknown
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2009, 01:58 PM
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Besides the Camshaft breaking secondary to some other parts failure; They some times snap all on their own due to a defect inside when they were made, a mistke during the hardening and sometimes poor design. Like the "Rod Benders" sometimes even the best efforts come out poorly.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:07 PM
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I was thinking it might make a nice parts car for the Euro if it's in as good shape as the seller says. Hoping for a blue interior with (dream on) good front seats. We'll see.
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84 Euro 240D 4spd. 220.5k sold
04 Honda Element AWD
1985 F150 XLT 4x4, 351W with 270k miles, hay hauler
1997 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4
1993 Toyota 4wd Pickup 226K and counting
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 02:45 AM
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I though of this later. If the Engine gets over heated to the point that the Head warps this can bow the Camshaft. It may still function bowed but it can also fatigue and break (Camshafts do not like to act like U-joints).
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:04 AM
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I remember reading not too long ago that they can sometimes break due to something like low fuel presure, and #1 cyl gets regular amount, and others get less . . . not sure if it was even on here somewhere, but I think so . . . I'm kinda foggy on it . . . somebody was complaining about loss of power . . .although I don't quite understand how uneven power could effect a camshaft, but maybe a crank . . .
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 01:25 PM
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I have to agree with recounts and others. There is a 99% or more chance that there is some serious other engine damage. It's a shy way to write his add. Anyone that knows cars will look and ask and find the "rest of the damage" anyone that doesn't know cars will think hey how much is a cam shaft and can I change it and go off happy with their purchase until they dig.

My son and I were called to try and retreave a Blazer that had quit running some 3 hours in some serious rough country. The kids swore it had blown a timing chain. We went in and they tore the front off the motor and everything was intact.

I figured from the start they had blown a rod. My plan was to pull the pan, clear the wreckage and have them drive it out on 7 with one hole missing. So we dropped the pan and sure enough one rod had let go. Well good. No holes in the block, we had saved the old oil, so now all we had to do was clear the wreckage. We started hammering and prying to clear the rod and piston and sure enough out it came. Problem was out thru the bottom came a 2 inch chunk of the CAM.

Dead in the water. I thought it would be a cool story to drive it out on 7 but not without cam. We had to leave it and send heavy enough tow rigs in to get it out. Oh well we tried. August in Tucson in the desert. It was warm. Thanks
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:39 PM
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In fact I just picked up an '84 190D 2.2l because of a bad timing chain. 173,000 miles, the body and interior are great!

Car-part.com found many engines with ~200,000 miles near me for less than $1000...

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