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Old 11-06-2002, 12:06 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mancos, CO
Posts: 11
Lightbulb Timing chain/belt replacement

Just purchased a '90 560SEL and was wondering when the timing chain should be replaced. It currently has about 94k miles on it. I know that these are "interference" engines and would rather spend a few bucks now than a lot later. Thanks for the info.

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Old 11-06-2002, 12:58 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Sometime between now and 100K you definitely need to have the upper timing chain rails looked at. More likely than not they need to be replaced as they are probably beer bottle brown. Once brown, they turn brittle and break easily, once they break that causes havoc with the chain. Your mechanic should be able to tell the condition of the chain while inspecting the rails.

Some folks state the chain needs to be done at 100K on the V-8's, others say 150K, maybe longer, as long as the rails are changed. The chain on the V-8 is a good 6 feet long and makes numerous turns and double backs compared to the 6 cyl. For a DIYer, the chain and rail replacement is not too difficult and pretty durn inexpensive, really cheap insurance.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

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Old 11-06-2002, 09:51 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
timing chain

I would agree timing chain every 100,000 miles plus tensioner and tensioner rail. You can chage the chain at home but, for the piece of mind and the fact if anything goes wrong you can always go back to the shop. Should cost about $350 to replace at a good shop. Hope this helps. If you do it yourself I would recommend buying the service manual sorry CD now.
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