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Old 11-05-2007, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 19
Stuck Compensator/Lifter

Vehicle is a 1987 560 SEL with 169000 miles. New timing chain, timing chain tensioner, and top three guide rails at 167000 miles (6 months ago).

I decided to check the hydraulic valve clearance compensating elements (05-211) since I had cam/valve covers off. While checking each compenstor I was able to push down the compensator for the exhaust valve at cylinder #4 and now it is stuck down and the rocker arm is loose. The manual say's to replace any compensator that can be pushed down faster then the others.

Could this be causing the loud KNOCKING noise?

How do I get compensator unstuck? Can I turn engine over with the rocker arm being so loose?

Is the "hydraulic valve clearance compensating element" the same or another name for the "Cam Follower", "Hydraulic Lifter", or "Hydraulic Ball Stud Assembly"?

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Old 11-05-2007, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,318
It's not a lifter or a follower, because it is stationary in the head. "Ball stud" and "compensating element" are synonymous.

I personally would replace the element in question before starting the car. There is a chance that if you start it as is, the element will pressurize and be OK, but there's also a chance that it will not and that it will damage the cam.

And yes, if they are bad enough, they can sound like the engine is coming apart.

Several posts on how to replace/adjust the ball stud.

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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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