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Old 10-15-2007, 11:53 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
m113 V8, noisy, timing chains?

1999 SL500
M113 motor
Currently showing 142k miles

Hi everyone,

I have just fired up my SL500 and it started dreadfully. At first it didn't run on all 8 cylinders, some smoke/steam came from under the bonnet, and it runs with a loud and fast clack, clack, clack from the front of the engine, both sides.

The car has never done this before and I would have noticed the noise previously. The car was last run yesterday (albeit only from my yard into the garage, perhaps 20yards at most) and before that was driven at length the previous day.

The car is very well serviced (Mobil 1 oil changes ahead of scheduled intervals, just had second set of new MB cats, obsessive servicing) and generally does long journeys in free-ish traffic (30miles plus would be the average journey length).

Any ideas what this clack, clack, clack could be? Timing chain at this age? I thought these M113 motors were unburstable. Should I drive it to my mechanic (25miles)? He says it is safe to drive in and that they never have any trouble with timing chains... but then they don't often get 142k miles cars in their shop.

Thanks for your help.
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
By the way you describe the clacking noise, there's no way in hell I'd drive it in.

A $50 towing fee is a lot cheaper than a $5,000 top end rebuild.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:43 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Posts: 1,150
Don't run the engine! First check around the fan belt and look for anything loose or out of place. But the nasty noise is quite likely the timing chain, although it may just be that you've broken one of the plastic chain guides. It was a broken guide on my car. I'd have it towed to the shop.
Resistance is Futile.
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
The mechanic I deal with insisted that the car was OK to drive, so on his head I drove it into the dealer. They will take the cam covers off to inspect. Because the clacking noise subsides after about 45seconds and because they reckon the timing chains are absolutely bullet proof, they suspect that "the little holes in the rails which squirt oil onto the chains are blocked". I assume this means the oil feeder tubes.

If they have to have the timing covers off, should I have them change the chain, rails and tensioner anyway? they might as well if they are going in there, right? What are we looking at, 2hours labour and $500 parts?
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:29 PM
Bob's your uncle
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 76
Not sure about the price. Check this out: Timming Chain Granted, is was on a 107.
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