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Old 03-13-2008, 09:18 PM
Vaden85SEL's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12
500 SEL Valve Job / Timing Chain

I have a 1985 500 SEL and I am afraid the timing chain has slipped one of the plastic rails and trashed my engine. The car will turn over fine, but there is no compression in any of the driver's side cylinders. Other than the engine, the car is cherry and I want to save it.
Assuming that my camshafts are still okay, what sort of job am I looking at? I have heard that the valves will sometimes get bent -- which I think mine are since there is no compression on one whole side.
I guess I am just looking for advice on the best way to attack this issue. Should I yank off the head and rebuild it myself? Or take it to a shop? A new timing chain and rails/guides and tensioner are a given. But what other things are likely to be broken or be in need of replacing? Since I will be so deep into the engine, I may as well go the whole nine yards. I know tons of the vacuum lines will likely snap from being brittle, so I plan on just getting a bunch of fittings and line to replace brittle hose as I go. But what else?
I am in Seattle, and since this will have to be done in an open carport, I plan on waiting until the weather gets a bit better before cracking open the engine -- probably in May or June. Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

1985 500 SEL
170K - Near perfect condition!
---my MB is my baby!---
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Simple job, 25 hours of labor, unless you have to drill a few bolts. Replace four exhaust valves maybe some intakes, all the guides use genuine MB for the guides as they will be a couple of thousands of an inch bigger than what comes out. maybe some rocker arms, the upper rails and the chain. Of course freshen up all the hoses involved and injector seals and air pipes.

Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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