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  #1  
Old 12-01-2001, 10:09 AM
asuen
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Unhappy Reimbursement from MB?

Yesterday was a very sad day, my mother's '87 420SEL w/135,000 miles had its timing chain rail snapped shortly after it started (now the car does not start at all). I wish I had found this forum earlier, then this whole thing could have been avoided. Now, I'm getting really angry because the car has been serviced & maintained by the local MB dealer (Competition Imports in Smithtown, NY) since new, they had never once mentioned that the TC rail should be replaced at around 100k. Even after I telephoned the service adviser yesterday inquired on any "preventive maintenance" that could have been done, he simply stated that there wasn't anything to do excepted sometimes it just breaks!!! Obviously, it must just be my bad luck! Now, I have gone back & looked over the entire MB maintenance booklet, there was no mention of the TC or TC rail replacement interval.

I've kept all of the service records since new, the car is flawlessly maintained according to the dealer's & MB's service booklet. Judging by what I've read in this forum, so many people have suffered from this cheapo plastic TC rail, it looks to me like a common problem. Does anyone think I have a chance to get any type of reimbursement from MB or should I even bother to go through Better Business Bureau? And also, does anyone has any recommendation on what to do about this car now, I think the car is only worth 6 or 7 thousand dollars, but this repair could easily cost almost that much...

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2001, 01:06 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
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Sorry to hear of the loss. Good news is it is repairable.

Don't know where you're located, but in Sunny So. Cal. a similar 420SEL with low mileage of 135K and well kept, would fetch at least $4k more. You need to start shopping for a good independent MB Tech in your area, one you are comfortable with and can trust. A quality independent can do anything the dealership can do, cost less and they will tell you the little things, like change the timing chain AND rails around 100K.

Hopefully you only tried to start it once. Any further attempts to start the engine could cause more internal damage. You likely have a few bent valves, so you're looking at a valve job plus chain and rails now.

Wish I could be more help.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2001, 02:34 PM
Saguaro2000
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How about new timing chain + rail on other MBs?

Sorry to hear about your loss, and hope you are able to find good indie to handle it for you.

I have a '90 300CE with M104 engine, 140k. Should I be thinking about the timing chain and rail replacement on my car? I know that there is a lot written about this, but does anybody have a quick summary of the situation. TIA
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2001, 11:31 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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The 6 cylinder engines did not have this problem. I have seen engines with original chains go over 300k miles on the 6.

On the other subject, sorry for the failure. The dealer/factory will not help in this matter. They would argue the car went well over 100k mile with no major problems.

I would get an independent to look at it and give an estimate.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2001, 12:12 AM
Saguaro2000
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Thank you very much, Benzmac

Saved me a lot of grief thinking about it. I think that I have read where people have suggested replacing them as preventative maintenance even on my M104. Now that I have read your post, I will forget about it for a long time.

In a very short period of time, I have come to appreciate the great public service you are doing here, and want to wish you well with the new facility. Wish I was closer to you!
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2001, 02:50 AM
asuen
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Thanks guy. I'm located in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. I don't know any good Independent shop around, I don't know if looking through the yellow pages at this point is such a good idea?

Yeah, I guess it's just as well, since we found out it needs valve seals last month, was planning to sell it next month, so much for that plan. I see that this place www.adsitco.com is selling rebuild cylinder head with a valve job, new valve guides & seals for $895. What should I be expected to pay for the timing chain repairs & valve job?

Sorry to hear that MB is not going to defer the cost of repair, I kind of expected they wouldn't, but my belief is that I don't expect any company to sell me a car that will never break but in this case the factory & the dealer should be well aware of this problem, and should make the recommendation to their customers for TC rail replacement instead of wait for them to fail to cause major damage so they can make more money off you. I just thank God this didn't happen while my mother was driving down the highway... It's just unethical in my view.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2001, 03:09 AM
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For a good independent in your area, try searching through the "Good Shops" forum. There are a number of MBShop members in your general area, and several indies have been mentioned.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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