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  #1  
Old 05-07-2008, 01:46 AM
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1983 380SEL - changing to double chain?

Hey again guys... I found a local 1983 Mercedes 380SEL, which I think has the single row chain. The PO is unsure of if/when the chain/guides/rails were changed, so it definitely needs changed. The car is worth "saving", its nice and runs good and its cheap. Runs smoothly and quietly, transmission shifts perfectly, NO rust!

I have heard were people change these to double chains? About how much more work is involved in converting these to be like the engines (double chains) on the 1984-85s?

Thanks!

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Old 05-07-2008, 03:25 AM
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Didn't Benz retro fit all the single chain engines? I thought they were well and truly gone after 1981.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:47 AM
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I am not sure about when the change was made, but I have a 1983 380SEL that has the single row chain. I have heard that the single row chain and guides are no longer available and that conversion to double row is required. I know that the changeover requires removal of the front cover which makes the job a lot harder.
Paul
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:27 PM
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From what I have learned here, it did not change to double chain until 1984.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:43 PM
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from 1981-83 USA & Japan got M116 engines with the single row chains.

MANY (most) have either died OR were converted to the normal double row chain.

YOU can look thru the oil cap & see if the holes in the cam gear are round OR oval.

IF you see oval holes then you are seeing a converted engine.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:40 PM
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My 380 SE was MFG. 2/84 and has a dual row timing chain. I was told that the change was made for the 1984 Model year. Hence I just had to replace the chain and guides. My Indy also told me(before we knew that it was a dual row chain) that single row chains are OK if they are changed out Around 70,000 miles. Had mine been a single row I would have just changed it and the guides out and then kept an eye out over 60,000 miles.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:16 PM
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It's definitly not cost effective to convert one now. I did mine about 6 years ago and it was over $1000 in parts alone back then.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:31 PM
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WOW !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhef View Post
it was over $1000 in parts alone back then.
Thanks MB Doc.... I will have them take a look inside of the oil opening. He claims that it belonged to the president of MB during that era, then the mans wife drove it for a couple of years - then she sold it to a family friend that had it for years and years.

Unfortunately, all I have is a photo of the engine....

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