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Old 10-14-2002, 08:02 AM
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1986 190d

I have found a 1986 190 D 5 speed with a busted timing chain. Is there any way that I can determine if the engine suffered catastrophic damage when the tc busted?

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Old 10-14-2002, 02:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946

If the engine was running when the timing chain busted, catastrophic damage is pretty likely.

You could pull the valve cover and see what kinda damage's up there...I've heard that the towers holding the cam in will break before the valves will. AFAIK, the only other way to inspect for damage would be to pull the head...

One other thought would be to make sure the timing chain's clear of the crankshaft, and if the starter's still in place, try doing a compresion test...may show if the valves are seated or not. I don't know how well it'll work with the valves not opening up at all, but I don't see why you won't get at least a reasonable idea.

Just some thoughts...good luck!
2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:36 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
The 601 has hydraulic lifters, so that will limit damage to the head somewhat.

My brother blew the crank on his 75 300D while going about 60 -- broke the back two cam towers, didn't damage either valves or head any, didn't even break the cam!

If the cam towers are broken, I'd pretty much figure on a new head. These crack pretty easily anyway, and being aluminum, prone to damage. You might not, but be prepared.

If you get that far, check to make sure all four pistons rise to the same height -- if not, you have bent rods.

Typically a broken chain means cam towers and maybe valves -- since these go straight up and down, just cam towers. If the towers aren't broken, drag a new chain through and set timing, then check compression. If any rods are bent, it won't turn easily while pulling the chain. Injection timing will be seriously off, too.


1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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