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Old 04-21-2003, 03:11 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Purchase advice on a 500E

I have a good friend who is looking at a 92 500E for purchase. It has approx. 67k miles. Pretty good shape.

Questions- The seller has a RO from a dealer stating that the engine has chain stretch. The symptom was a rattle at startup. The dealer stated the cams were 2-3 degrees out.

-Is this common?
-Does this indicate chain tensioner problem?
-Can the cams be adjusted via woodruff key?

Any other suggestions considerations for a pre-purchase inspection?


'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
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'91 300E-Went to Ex
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:33 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
If the diagnosis was correct, it would seem a bit premature for timing chain issues to crop up at 67K.

Extremely infrequent oil changes would assist in the wear and tear of the timing chain and tensioners.

And most if not ALL MB engines are interference chain stretch or cams out of sync is a recipe for severe engine damage if any of these components should fail...
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
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Old 04-21-2003, 07:07 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
G-Benz is right. There are two things that can lead to premature chain wear. One is lack of oil changes. Combine that with a driver that uses the throttle in a snap-open and snap-closed style, and the two together can wear a chain out REAL fast.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:00 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
It obviously depends on the price. Tell him to get an aftermarket warranty. I would slobber all over a 500E with those miles on it for around $20g's.

Alright, I went to autotrader and found what I think is the car. Is the seller Doug? That car is beautiful. Great colors. What are the estimates for repair?

Last edited by 95E320cab; 04-22-2003 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:10 PM
gsxr's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 8,033
I think the chain wear problem is fairly common, but usually at 100k+ miles. It wouldn't scare me away as long as the price was decent. Switch over to synthetic after you buy the car to clean out the innards, in case it was the victim of infrequent dino oil changes. Also, post this in the "Hot Rods" forum, that's where all the 500E owners hang out.

Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
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