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Old 12-22-2002, 01:11 AM
Posts: n/a
Is there anywhere documented to when I have 2 change the timing chain?

Hi, Ive done the search in this site and I cant find anything about changing the timing chain. What I would like to know is, is there a certain time I MUST do the chain? Or is there signs when that tell me that I should do it soon. I would like to know so that I can prepare for it. BTW I have a 2.8L M104 engine in top condition with 105000kms or 65000 miles.

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Old 12-22-2002, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 700
It is recommended that you change your timing chain every 100,000km. Over time the chain can stretch and can eventually break, so what you want to do is change it before it breaks. Depending on how you drive the car, sometimes the chain will outlast the car without a problem but as a good safety measure it's good to check it every now and then. I just had mine replaced, it was 3cm longer then it should have been, and I could hear it rattling on a cold start and when the engine was running, on the 560SEL they call this the rattle of death, because if the chain breaks the engine will be killed. Start your car and and listen near the timing case to see if there is rattling coming from it, if so, then start thinking about changing the chain soon. Also make sure you get a good quality chain, some aftermarket ones can break very quick. You can also take off the valve cover and see if the chain is loose, this is how I realized that mine had to be changed.

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Old 12-22-2002, 09:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,486
Hi Chris, the 104 engines have had very few timing chain problems. It's easy enough to check to see if it's stretched. Removing the valve cover is all you need to do, and you can check it periodically, for instance when you're replacing spark plugs and you've got it halfway apart already. The 116/117 engines, and to a lesser extent the 603 diesel are notorious for their chain problems, but not the 104. If you're determined to replace the chain anyway, simply roll in a new one when the cylinder head is off during head gasket replacement! Good luck
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Old 12-22-2002, 09:24 AM
Posts: n/a
By whose recommendation should one of these chains be changed at 100,000 KM? This is NOT a BELT! If you are changing your oil frequently, you should never have to change this chain until time to service the engine for some other reason.

As said by ILUVMILS, check it if you are suffering from timing chain phobia, but there is absolutely no reason to change it for the heck of it. There are many people who have suffered catastrophic timing belt failure and some that have suffered catastrophic timing chain failure, but chains don't break due to normal wear like belts do.

Actually timing chains rarely fail on their own. They fail because of some other problem, usually a broken rail.

On the V8's you need to pay particularly close attention to the rails, and on some of the inlines you have to take some extra steps, but if you're properly maintaining your engine with frequent oil and filter changes, changing the chain at 100,000 km intervals will probably increase your odds of having a problem. Going in there and doing things introduces the risk of something not put together right, something forgotten to be tightened, etc., etc.,

I would not be surprised that more timing chain related failures are due to mistakes during replacement, than failure of an undisturbed chain, assuming again that the car is properly maintained.

Check it for stretch and inspect the rails.

Good luck,
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Old 12-22-2002, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
MB does not seem to worry about them very much... they even offer an offset key made to take up the slack produced by wear.... you should be checking the stretch because that effects valve timing...very important... once you can not take up the slack reasonably with the prescribed methods...then you need to change it...
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Old 12-22-2002, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Larry Bible is the man!

Really loved your reply! That's been my (not very well articulated) feeling for a while now. Should be telling us something that MB itself, the company recommending ITS OWN ANTIFREEZE and mandating every 2 year brake fluid flushes, doesn't have a specific replacement interval for timing chains.
'93 400E
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:58 AM
Posts: n/a
Thats cool....Well the only reason I ask is because I want my car to be kept in good condition. Ive been told many times that prevention is the best cure. But then again if it aint broke dont fix it! Mercedes dealers here charge an arm and a leg for doing simple things (500bucks for an o-ring, oil filter and Mobil 1 oil!!!). My local mechanic doesnt specialise in Mercedes so there is a posibilty of doing something that doesnt necessarily need it to harm other things by not doing the job right.

When I start the car in the morning, there is a rattle for about 3 seconds and thats it.....Im not sure if its cause for concern. My main argument for the the original question is, I only want the car to be in the best condition. Im already coming to terms with the inevitable head gasket and wiring harness issues. So far, so good.
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