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  #1  
Old 05-27-2005, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 24
Dealer wants $3,000 for Hydraulic Compensator Fix - HELP!

I have a serious problem and am getting shafted by the Mercedes Dealer here I think. My ’97 S-500 (V-8 engine of course) has the tapping from the problematic hydraulic compensators on one side of the engine that so many have described in other posts. The tapping noise developed and got louder and louder over the last few weeks, and while it is not always present, it is now almost constant. When I took the car to the dealer it wasn’t making the noise at first when we put the hood up, but after 2 minutes of idling the tapping on one side came back.

I am an American diplomat living in Moscow, and I took the car to the most reliable Mercedes dealer here (“most reliable” means almost nothing however), and they are going to charge me $3,000 to fix the car. They want to replace all 32 hydraulic compensators and want to charge me $1,000 for these parts alone. They say at the same time that the timing belt and rails are worn and will replace them as well, and the main fan belt that connects all the pieces together, and the total labor for all of this will be 15 hours and another $1,000.

This seems like BS to me pretty obviously, but I need facts and informed judgment from you please. They have already had the car for 3 days, and they say that they can’t tell me which hydraulic compensator is bad, and “their policy is only to replace all of them.”

They also refuse to give me the part numbers and claim this is their policy. They are going to order the parts from Germany which will take ten days to get here. They are charging me the following for parts, and I need to know how far out of line they are, since I can order parts from America and have them sent to me duty-free. If anyone can tell me the part numbers for my car it would help: WDBGA51G8VA351677

- Hydraulic Compensators: 32 at $32.10 each or $1,027.42 total
- “Oil Bridge” is the Russian term used for what I think carries the oil to the hydraulic compensators, and each one should serve two compensators it seems since they want me to buy: 16 at $17.85 each or $285.71 total
- “Valve Fillers” in Russian and since there are 2 listed I assume there is one for each side: 2 at $47.78 or $95.57
- Timing Chain at $373.78
- “Silencers” supposedly for the timing chain: 2 at $10 each or $20 total
- Main Fan belt $73.25

There are a bunch of other parts listed, but all are much cheaper and I haven’t had my staff translate them all.

HELP!!!!
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'97 S-500
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2005, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 365
What engine does the car have, M119? This is the 32 valve engine, and would seem to be logical given the need to replace 32 compensators, whatever the heck those are.

It sounds like you might just need the camshaft oiler tubes replaced, which would be the "oil bridges".

"Valve Fillers" are probably valve cover gaskets, given that you need 2 and the price is right.

I JUST did this job over the weekend. Forget about the hydraulic fillers or whatever they call them, and you certainly don't need a timing chain unless you're in 200k mile territory. Just ask them to replace the camshaft oiler tubes, the top timing chain guides (2 pieces, both sides, each aprt approx. $10, so $40 total). also have them replace the rubber breather hoses that attach to the valve covers - they get real hard over time and need replacing - about $100 MAX in parts.

This repair should cost you in the $1000 range - including parts. maybe a bit more if they replace the fan belt (which you might indeed need).

Forget the "hydraulic compensators", which are probably the metal cups that the camshaft lobes actuate. Mine were fine at 94k.

Any more help - don't hesitate to ask.

Troy
1995 E420 94k
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2005, 11:34 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Washington, DC
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Any Part Numbers So I Can Talk to The Russian @#$@%!@#$!

Do you have the Mercedes Part Numbers available? I need them to show these clods what to do.

the camshaft oiler tubes
the top timing chain guides (2 pieces, both sides, each aprt approx. $10, so $40 total).
the rubber breather hoses that attach to the valve covers
the fan belt

With that maybe I will get my car back some day.

Thanks,

David Foley
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'97 S-500
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2005, 11:50 AM
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Mein Name ist Dieter.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pearland, TX
Posts: 174
Talking Hope this helps.

For starters, you should check FastLane (hosts of this website) for a comparison of parts costs for your car (link below):

http://catalog.eautopartscatalog.com/mercedesshop/sophio/part.jsp?partner=mercedesshop&clientid=catalog.mercedesshop&cookieid=1IQ0T506Q1J20N4DS7&baseurl=http://catalog.peachparts.com/&year=1997&make=MB&model=S-500-003&category=A&showChildren=false

The cam oil tubes is below:

http://catalog.eautopartscatalog.com/mercedesshop/sophio/wizard.jsp?partner=mercedesshop&clientid=catalog.mercedesshop&baseurl=http://catalog.peachparts.com/&cookieid=1IQ0T506Q1J20N4DS7&year=1997&make=MB&model=S-500-003&category=A&part=Cam+Oil+Line+Fitting

If push comes to shove, ship the car to somebody else outside of Russia.
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2005, 10:39 PM
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Location: Phoenix
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The part number on the hydraulic lifters should be 104 050 12 25. A hydraulic compensator is something else entirely - a suspension part. I too would suspect you problem is with the oil bridges. The optimal strategy here would depend to a degree on how long you plan to be in Russia.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2005, 04:02 AM
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Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 24
Can I Drive It With Lifter Tapping Noise? + Parts Order

Is it dangerous to drive the car back and forth to work (8 miles each way)while I find someone else to fix this and while I wait for the parts to arrive here in Moscow? I can't take the car to another country, and I will be here for another year. Life without a car is pretty difficult, so I would like to keep driving the car, but wonder what the risk is with the tapping noise coming from one bank of cylinders? Any thoughts?

Also, I need to buy the following parts (going to replace the timing chain anyway) and have them sent to my US APO address:

3 hydraulic lifters in case they need replacing (#? 104 050 12 25)
8 camshaft oiler tubes (going to do one side only)
1 valve cover gasket (for left side of engine-left side of car)
1 rubber breathing hose that attaches to the valve cover (left side)
1 timing chain
all the chain guides and other parts required
1 main fan belt

First person that has all the parts at a reasonable price and can send them NOW to my US APO address will receive my order. Just send me an e-mail (foleydb@hotmail.com) with the part numbers and your price and your phone number. I will call you to finish the transaction. I will post here again the minute I place the order so you won't waste your time if I already ordered the parts.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2005, 07:59 AM
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Posts: 365
You'll need more parts than this, I believe, for the timing chain replacement. How many miles are on the car? I know that many replace at 100k as a preventative measure, but many are at 200K on their engine with no problems.

As long as you're doing the job, it makes sense to replace the oiler tubes on both sides of the engine. Not that much extra time, only about $100 in extra parts (4 oiler tubes and a valve cover gasket), and lots of piece of mind. If one side has a blown tube, the other side could have one go at any time.

You'll want to replace the rubber breather rubes on the driver's side of the engine as well. They get just as hard as the passenger side.

Passenger side breather tubes - there are actually three of these suckers, but one is routed down deep into the throttle actuator, and a real pain to get at. It's a clamped on hose, so you may (as I did) just buy the 2 hoses that connect to this hose and replace them. Of course, I was racing against the clock (imposed by my wife) to finish my repair, so i decided to forgo complete replacement. You may have more time.

I doubt that there's any damage given that you've only had this problem for a week. But ordering the valve cups might be a good idea, just in case.

You can order all of these parts by e-mailing Phil at fastlane, I'm sure he could figure out how to mail to an APO address. These parts (except timing chain) don't weigh much, so shipping wouldn't kill you.

Troy
1995 E420 94k
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2005, 05:24 PM
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Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
If you're just talking about a ticking noise that comes and goes it shouldn't be a problem to drive it with light use. If I were you under the circumstances I wouldn't do the timing chain - but would do the upper guides and perhaps the tensioner, but not the chain itself (although we still don't know how many miles on the car). I'd also settle for doing just one side if you know that's where the noise is coming from. If parts suppliers won't ship directly to you get someone in the US to receive the order and forward it.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2005, 11:10 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Great White North!!!!
Posts: 400
take a holiday!!!!!!

as soon as i started to read this thread my thoughts quickly turned to telling you to get the car out of russia proper and take it somewhere(preferably germany).it sounds like the car can be driven and i would think about getting back to the fatherland.how long did it take hitler?the fact that you've had it at the dealership for a few days now makes me nervous about getting it out in the shape you brought it in.if you could concoct some story where you need to take it on bussiness for a few days and will take care of the matter when you come back or just tell them to bill you for work done and that you don't want to have them go any further at this time.then plan a trip to germany or somewher else.
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