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  #1  
Old 03-26-2002, 05:39 PM
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Timing Chain

What are the SIGNS of a bad timing chain? Noises, etc. What is the expected lifeOf the chain? I have no idea how old mine is. I have my lst MB and trying to figure out a noise. The car has 154,000 and immaculate condition with service records. The person I bought it from said the chain had been checked at the last oil chain 1500 miles before I bought it. It is a 1989 300SEL>A noise that happens at times worries me. It sound like a soft grinding noise almost like wind blowing. It stops if I touch the break. I am trying to eliminate something simple before the mechanice. I will be new to the MB mechanic and heard many stories about costly repairs! Don't want to drive on any long road trips until I make sure it is nothing.
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2002, 06:22 PM
Mtrdoctor12
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To me a grinding noise that stops when you step on the brakes is more of a wheel end problem.I would look at having the front wheel bearings checked and repacked,along with related brake components. My personal experience with timing chains at 150k I would replace it. A timing chain is far cheaper than a ruined head or block due to the chain breaking.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2002, 11:34 AM
moedip
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Changing the timing chain at 150,000 miles is like buying house insurance. You won't see any difference - BUT YOU SURE SLEEP BETTER!!!
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2002, 12:10 PM
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Very tired,

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the chain is tight and the tensioner is not at the end of it's travel, the timing chain is OK.

You might check the timing of the camshaft in relationship to the crank shaft. If it is not off by more than 3 degrees, the timing chain is OK.

If you start replacing parts just because you worry about them, the process will never end. The idea of a MB is that they last a long time, many miles and don't need a lot of parts replacement.

I also agree that the noise you hear is wheel related and nothing to do with the engine.

P E H
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2002, 09:46 PM
Mtrdoctor12
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Angry This is wrong!

NEVER will I swap out parts just to throw at a problem. I also would not recommend this to anybody. Mr. P.e. Haiges if you would ever say to someone that at 150 k on a motor that there isn't some stretch in a timing chain and this doesn't come under routine maintenance I would be the first person to stand up and say you are wrong! All the Mercedes techs in this forum have said they don't replace a timing chain until it breaks. Now, I know what it costs and know how hard it is to find a aluminum head on a Mercedes diesel engine after the timing chain has broken and a piston has come up and slapped a valve and ruined the head. It would have been extremely less expensive on the owners part to have done the routine maintenance of changing the timing chain. I am not a full time Mercedes mechanic but rebuilding Mercedes engines in my spare time is what I do and I do it with a passion. I would NEVER recommend to anyone if it aint broke don't fix it! This can lead you to a larger cost from your pocket than doing the routine maintenance. How else do you think Mercedes engines last so long?
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2002, 11:22 PM
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Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 485
This engine is a 103 , I have never seen one go bad , never seen one stretch even at 250k miles. Now if you want to change it to make yourself feel better do it. The 103 motor is one of the most bulletproof motors built by mercedes ( the bottomend) yea the head has to come off every 150k miles but thats ok. Rule of thumb is with this motor , keep it full of oil , change it on time , dont overheat it , and change your coolant every year or at least every 30k miles whichever comes first. This motor is not rocket science it is simple and dependable . And as for heads I have 2 laying around here gathering dust , the older the cars get the more used parts come available and cheaper they are.
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Old 03-28-2002, 09:13 AM
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""This engine is a 103 , I have never seen one go bad , never seen one stretch even at 250k miles."

The chain on my M103 broke at 218k miles. I suspect that it was stretched quite a bit before it broke. Bent most (all but two) of the valves on my motor.

Wish I'd have seen this forum before the break and had the advice to change it.
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Old 03-28-2002, 09:38 AM
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First time I have ever heard of one breaking or even stretching that bad. Like I said before if it makes you feel better replace it. I have 256k miles on my motor and timing chain is not stretched at all. Now when I go to do the turbo upgrade on my motor I will replace it since I will have pistons and everything out ( doing rings) . But until then I will not worry about it . And for a note I change my oil every 3000. miles and I run royal purple synthetic. I dont believe for a MINUTE ABOUT THESE 5-7000 mile oil changes . Oil breaks down under heat and where I live thats all it is is heat and humidity.
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2002, 10:32 AM
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I recently had my front and timing chain cover off so I had a good look at the chain.(M103) Absolutely no stretch in my chain -- was in perfect condition at 208k miles. Guide rail was brittle though, so I changed that along with the tensioner rail.

From TDC back to TDC with 2 cranks and it was virtually right on.

~Paul

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  #10  
Old 03-28-2002, 12:46 PM
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Mine at 240,000 miles was stretched almost to the limit of the rachet tensioner. I'm putting all new stuff in there, including oil pump chain. Anybody that doesn't think a chain will stretch is wrong! Why do you have to periodically tighten your bicycle, motorcycle and chainsaw chains? They streeetch, that's why. Waiting until something breaks is called repair. Catching it before it breaks is called maintenance.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2002, 02:09 PM
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This is the first time I am ever hearing all these complaints about timing chain problems on 300e engines, maybe its the weather ( lol) Are you also replacing oil pumps and oil pump chains, they wear also right. I hhave asked people in this field for over 20 years and they even admit that the 103 chains dont wear like the other cars ( v8 ,104 , 119 ) . In fact they have never seen one break. Well it all goes back to maintenance and how often people change their oil is my guess.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2002, 12:20 PM
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Cap'n C,

Well the chains don't actually stretch like a rubber band. The pins wear on one side and the holes become oval shaped and thus the chain becomes elongated. It is unlikely that a chain will break but if gets too long, it might jump a tooth or 2 and then the valves meet with the pistons for disasterious results.

This has happened to me. The cam towers are designed to break to prevent damage to the engine but it doesn't always work. I had one camshaft break completely in 2 in the middle of a cam lobe on a 190D. I figured that was the highest stress area when the piston hit the valve.

P E H
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2002, 08:39 AM
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I broke (intentionally) my timing chain Saturday and placed a long pin through the end of both the old one and the new one and secured them to a point where they hung side by side. Any stretch would be evident, right? Well low and behold!! They are exactly the same length. Uh OH, now I've have to go on the forum and eat crow!! I was surprized to say the least!! Had I known that I would have left it in and just replaced the tensioner and guides!! Oh well , live and learn!!
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2002, 09:39 AM
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If you want to comparison check your old chain, you turn them sideways and hold them outright from the end . They will support themselves and the wear will be noticed by the amount of sag on the further end...
Clean the oil out with gas for true wear indication.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2002, 05:49 PM
Sicangu Oyate
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When the timing chain went on my 190E at about 85K, the engine made a distinctive "clickity-clack" rattle noticeable at idle speeds. The engine sounded like an old "Chevrolet Vega" with the warpomatic aluminum block. The noise will not go away either. Sometimes you can open the oil filler cap and check to see how tight the chain is...if it is stretched, it will have the feel of a bicycle chain that is loose.
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