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Old 01-13-2018, 11:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 3
om606: Metal in oil filter

Hey Guys,

I found the following in my oil filter last change. This is the first time i've ever cut up a filter so, I don't really know what i'm looking for.

pic explanation (for the first pic):

Towards the top is some sort of tan colored, brittle, plastic-like material. maybe some sort of sealant? (i also found some of this in the pickup tube)

in the center, some plastic material. I'm assuming this is some sort of tensioner/guide material but, the tensioners all look good (aside from what looks to be machining marks on the tensioner wear material (see last pic)).

toward the bottom, i *think* they're metallic (?). They're really small so, it's hard to tell if they're magnetic, or just sticking to my magnet based with the oil residue on them. I most concerned about these.

I'm open to suggestions here. I'm new to these engines so, what/where should i look? i plan on sending oil out to blackstone for analysis but, being that this engine was on the stand, i can't do the "proper" process to get a sample (run, warm up, drain oil, grab a sample halfway through).

Last edited by burgurboy; 01-13-2018 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 807
Give this a look:

Reading The Signs - Hot Rod Network
96 E300d
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 3
Nice. that was a good read.

It sounds like a bit of metal is "normal". I'm still not sure what constitutes "normal" though. I think I'll wait until I hear back from blackstone before tearing into anything.

Given how well these motors were built/put together, I'm a little nervous to start tearing it apart, inspecting bearing wear, etc. I don't want to create issues that never existed in the first place.

Should i be able to "feel" play in a bad rod bearing? i feel some side-to-side play, which i understand is normal... but, i don't feel and up/down play.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:35 PM
Control Freak
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 3,210
I would say the tensioner guide marks are not machining marks but wear where the chain has been traversing. That may explain the black flecks in your oil.

Tan is a common color for internal plastic parts. To the best of my knowledge about the only things plastic in the engine are in the chain path.

You’re right, these are built like tanks, so long as the engine has been properly maintained, and not mistreated, the main bearings should be fine. You don’t want to go borrowing trouble getting into the crank.

I would check the timing chain for stretch per spec, replace if necessary, and replace the guides and tensioner, since you’ve got it this far apart.

Bonus points, proactively replace the oil pump since you’re in the weeds down there.

How many miles on this engine?
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older son's college DD)
1998 E300DT (Younger son's college DD)
1987 300TD sold to vstech
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 3
good input! Unless the blackstone report comes back high on bearing material... i wont touch the bottom end.

Attached a pic of the "machining" marks i was referencing. they're on the side of the tensioner, not in the chain contact area.

Still working on measuring chain stretch... I've got to get creative finding crank TDC as my timing pointer is missing. any good recommendations for tensioner parts?

Oil pump is definitely on the list. Part of my swap will likely require me to convert me to a rear sump pan/pump so... that'll be in the works wither way.

The engine has 275k on it but, appears to be well maintained. Metal impeller WP, Glow plugs had been changed (bosch & they came out easy), new fuel lines, etc. So... who knows.
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om606: Metal in oil filter-screen-shot-2018-01-15-7.58.27-pm.jpg  
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