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Old 04-02-2003, 11:12 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vanersborg, Sweden
Posts: 99
1984 500 SEL Compression results strange

Hello again Friends,

I just did a compression test on my 1984 500 SEL. On the right bank every cylinder showed values of 180-185 PSI but on the left bank they were all 140-145 PSI.

When I added oil the values went up with 20 PSI which looks kind of normal to me.

What I think is a bit strange is that the higher values are on one side and the lower on the other.

Does anyone have any thoughts of this is normal.

I kind of suspects that maybe the valvetiming is NOK on the left side. I did change the cam chain and the tensioner and guides a couple of months ago and the timing marks did not line up as the should (when the cam timing marks lined up, the crank showed 14 BTDC degrees). Before I changed the tensioner etc the crank showed 28 BTDC degrees. I tried to offset the timing with one tooth and then the timing at the crank showed about 5 ATDC degrees but the engine hardly ran and was making a lot of valvetrain noise so I set everything back as it was timed before the parts exchabge.

Please advise.

Mikael Westerberg
1984 500 SEL
Vanersborg, Sweden
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Old 04-02-2003, 02:41 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
timing is off

Mikael, I am sending a pdf that may help one cog change on your cam should alter the system by 18 degrees.
I think you are right you are going to have to pull the valve cover and confirm your valves are opening when the should based on your engine and timing setting. There is something not right.
Martin Ingram
Colorado Springs
2005 320 CDI
2006.5 VW Jetta TDI
1991 560SEL (179000 Sold)
1972 280SEL 4.5 ('The Lead Sled' 320000 miles when sold.)
1972 220D (225000 when sold)
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Old 04-03-2003, 01:47 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vanersborg, Sweden
Posts: 99
Hi Martin,

Thanks for responding. By misstake I erased Your mail. Could You resend it?

The funny thing with the current valve timing is that the car is not working to bad. The fuel consumption is not all bad and the low end torque at take-off is good although it feels a bit powerless at road speed. The idle is also uneven. When I did the timing job the last time and changed one cog I guess I should have bought some timing keys to correct the small timing error that I had.

But I started the car and had this horrible sound and the engine hardly ran so I chickened out and went back a full cog instead and Im still running the car like that.

Now I will take care of it.

I really hope that with a couple of timing keays I wount ever hear that horrible sound again. What do You think?

Many thanks again,

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Old 04-03-2003, 11:37 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
when you install a new timing chain no#1 piston should be at top dead center on it's compression stroke. both cams (V8) marks should line up(sprocket mark, cam mark) and the crank mark should be a on 0 TDC the engine should be rotated by hand several cycles and marks should come up in that order valve timing and ignition timing are two different birds...........
William Rogers.....

Last edited by william rogers; 04-03-2003 at 11:43 PM.
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