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Old 04-20-2001, 02:55 PM
Gregg Bambo Jr
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Before I consider the expense and time of an engine swap, be it M130, GM or Ford, for my sluggish 1963 M127, I am thinking about having my cam reground. Advice from a friend stated that automakers cam grinds are a compromise and his cars performance was dramatic after having his cam reground by an expert. My problem is that my MBZ maintenance manual completely skips over a discription of cam removal and installation. In looking at the manual pictures it appears that after setting the engine up at #1TDC, it should be a simple procedure of just disengaging the cam chain drive sprocket and unbolting the rocker arm platforms. Is that an oversimplification or should I have an expert with special tools remove the camshaft? Although I have personally overhauled a 1964 Jaguar 3.8 six cylinder engine, I have never worked on a Mercedes engine before.

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Old 04-20-2001, 05:01 PM
cth350's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 4,197
With the engine in the car, CAM removal for any '60s benz straight-6 is as follows:

1. Remove cylinder head.
2. Cam is now off.

Not fun, but that's how it has to be done. The cam pedistals are held on with head bolts. Too many of them have to be removed to get the towers off. You CAN remove the cams on the v8s because of the difference in bolt patterns.

With the engine out of the car, the cam can be slipped off backwards; which would be through the firewall and into the passenger with it in the car.

Contact Elgin cams (they have a website I think) for regrind info. They have lots of vintage MB experience.

However, I don't anybody that has reground a benz cam, just to get more out of a suggish engine. If a benz engine is being a dog, it's either because it IS a dog, or it is in need of major overhaul. Is your compression OK? Did you use copper or platinum plug? Perhaps your fuel delivery system is in major need of help? What about your ignition system?

There are three versions of that engine, the "standard", "low compression" and "USA spec". Knowing your engine number can identify it.

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Old 04-20-2001, 05:35 PM
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R&R Camshaft

Removing and replacing the cam on a 103 engine does not require removing the cylinderhead.
It is instructed very thoroughly in the M/B Engine Service Manual.
If you anticipate renewing the Timing Chain at this time, a chain splitter is required. These can be rented from M/B parts suppliers.
If your cam is reground the heat treated surfaces would be removed and both the cam and followers would wear very rapidly if the cam were not re heat treated and this would require a very complex process.
Your cam is either case hardened or nitrided.
To go in depth as to the processes involved in the manufacturing would be 1 BIG BOOK.
There are after market performance cams available and they don't come cheap, how about $5-600.00. and cam manufacturers will not warrantee the came without new camfollows(lifter)12 req'd, 24 for 4 valve engines.
The costs just keep climbing and for a driver the end results may not give you what you want.
The cam may require improved exhaust.
I think you can see where we are leading.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston!!!
Don, El Cheapo
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Old 04-20-2001, 05:47 PM
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Location: Long Island, NY
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Perhaps, but a 103 engine is not a '60s straight 6.

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Old 04-20-2001, 06:50 PM
Gregg Bambo Jr
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M127.984 engine cam

Thanks for the helpful advice gents. I'll make contact with Elgin Cams and find out what their grinding/finishing process is and whether they have a lobe grind that will help me any. My fuel injected 6 cylinder engine only has 85,000 miles on it and runs as smooth as a fine watch in level cruise. Again the annoyance is a lack of performance going up a grade requiring me to downshift, to keep up with the traffic. By the way "dswnfrd", the manual illustration for my engine shows the only surface contact that the cam lobe has, is making contact with the off center top of a rocker arm and the rocker arms tip makes contact with a spacer and adjustment assembly as opposed to any type of lobe contact with a lifter. Now I'm off to the garage to take a compression test.

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