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  #1  
Old 11-03-2012, 03:38 AM
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M103 Cam/ Rocker Arm/ Lifters Course of action....

Hey guys,

So my 300TE has 123k on her now and the lifters are getting pretty noisy now and she's sounding more like a diesel at idle. The noise disappears at anything over 800rpm...The noise was there at 70k as a tick tick and clattering at startup only on really cold mornings, but its slowly gotten worse over the last 50k miles. I run 5-40 Synthetic Mobil1 HD Diesel Truck right now, but I was using 15-40 Delo400 before and it was pretty much the same, so its not an oil issue.

I know the pre 89's had the soft cam and rocker arms and I can see some slight scoring marks on the cam lobes when peering through the oil cap (normal? Or should they be completely smooth?).

I would like some advice on the best course of action.

1) Replace lifters and leave it for a while?
2) Replace Cam, Rocker Arms and lifters?
--2a) New everything?
--2b) New lifters, used cam + rockers?

Any thoughts on what to do? Need some input since I figured for a Camco cam, Febi rocker arms and Ina lifters its about $1k brand new parts. I'm fine spending the money, but is it best course to take?

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  #2  
Old 11-03-2012, 03:43 AM
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Well first I think you need to post up some pictures of the cam and rocker arms - inspect them - take of the valve cover.

You might not need to replace everything...

...I found that the single camshaft for my OM617 was really quite cheap (even from the dealer) but rocker arms added up to lots and lots despite an encouraging per piece price - the other stuff adds up to quite a lot.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2012, 04:25 PM
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One or more of you hydraulic valve lifters may be worn.
If only one is worn you will hear 5 ticks per second at 600rpm
They are not that expensive:
1988 Mercedes-Benz 300TE Wagon - Cylinder Head & Valvetrain - Page 2

Rob
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  #4  
Old 11-03-2012, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ps2cho View Post
I would like some advice on the best course of action.
My advise is to get an accurate diagnosis of the noise and repair accordingly.


I'd go late version used parts assuming the worst case scenario.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:02 PM
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The noise is definitely coming from the top end I verified with my stethoscope. I'll pull the cover off tomorrow and get some closer shots.
This is what I have right now:


I don't know what would be considered normal though. Should it have any scoring at all or is it normal to have some level?
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2012, 07:20 PM
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Have you considered running a different grade of oil?

On my 93 190E when I had the 2.6 in there around 195k it got one lifter that was noisy. Running thicker oil seemed to help for a little while. Ultimately I had them all replaced.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxthe1 View Post
My advise is to get an accurate diagnosis of the noise and repair accordingly.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2012, 06:41 PM
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My '91 with 230K has lobes and rocker faces like shiny mirrors. I did have a lifter peck at about 150k, and changed all the lifters, all good since.

DG
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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ps,

I thought that the problematic cams were limited to the ''86 models, but my memory is not what it used to be.

If the engine is otherwise in good shape with good compression and oil pressure, the work you propose sounds quite a feasible and worthwhile project.
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:46 PM
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I changed the oil tonight back to Dino Delo 400.

While doing it I was doing more listening and it seems I have been fooled. The noise is coming from the tensioner shock. The bushing is completely disintegrated...there is absolutely nothing left at all!!

So I continued listening because I was SURE it was coming from the engine, and going back and forth it seems that I still have ticking coming from the cam. So probably in the long run I am still going to need to get it changed, but for now problem averted for a little. Phew!

I have a brand new tensioner shock in my parts box so I'll get that done when the engine is cold. I should be able to swap the shock without removing anything right?
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2012, 09:09 AM
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ps2cho, try Mobil 1 15W50 in your 300TE.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:48 PM
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I am running 5w40 rotella (for the last 33k) in my M103 and it only taps a couple lifters when very cold for maybe 6-8 seconds, then stops. 162k original on it. It is a November '89 engine.....

123k seems low for failing cams and lifters unless you drive the life out of it regularly. Admittedly ours doesn't see north of 3500rpm much.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ps2cho View Post
I have a brand new tensioner shock in my parts box so I'll get that done when the engine is cold. I should be able to swap the shock without removing anything right?
The lower bold may be a bit hard to reach (depending on the size of your hands).

I put a piece of rubber hose in mine, holds for 200K/mls

Rob

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