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Old 08-14-2003, 06:53 PM
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gsxr gsxr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
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...and here's that post on the chain crimp tools. Someone mentioned they use a chisel to remove the old link. I personally would not use anything that gives impact shocks to the cam & sprocket and don't recommend that. A Dremel would be much nicer. Using the ball peen hammer to "rivet" the new link is acceptable IF you use an anvil or sledge on the back side to absorb the shock, so no impacts are transferred to the cam & sprocket. These things have aluminum heads & cam towers with no separate bearings, definitely not something to beat on!!


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Hi again,

OK, here's the scoop on the timing chain tools. I've posted this link ad nauseam in the past, but for those just tuning in, here it is again. It applies to both diesel AND gas engines btw:

http://www.meimann.com/docs/mercedes/OM60x_Timing_Chain.pdf

The problem is that the document is rather obtuse, and contains one glaring error. It shows a part number for "diesel swage jaw" with one part shown, but "gas swage jaws" - note that's plural! - with two pieces shown. So do you get one or two pieces with the diesel jaws? Hmmm. Well I gambled & bought the part anyway, and was lucky - you do get both items. (whew!) Note to anyone buying the MB chain crimp tool(s). EACH piece is sold separately! You buy the "assembly tool", which is just a hunk of metal with a threaded shaft, then you buy the swage jaws (different for gas & diesel) separately! Ditto for the retainers, the clip-type "assembly" master links, and the "assembly" swage jaws. And the plastic case.

OK, so what's the deal with the assembly swage jaws? Reading the document made no sense until I actually got my hands on the the tools, AND the Genuine MB rivet-type master link. The OEM master link, in the Iwis chain box, has a "floating" center plate. It slips on & off easily. The Genuine MB link has a PRESSED on center plate! I guess the engineers really wanted a safety in place, if the outside link falls off somehow, the center pressed link would probably suffice to hold the chain together for tens of thousands of miles. The sucker goes on TIGHT. And THAT is what the "assembly" swage jaws are for (02-63-00). They neatly press the center plate on the link. Then you swap over to the separate rivet jaws, neatly press on the outside plate with the magnetized jaw, then flip it and rivet the pins. It was so neat you could barely tell the new master link apart from the rest of the chain links. VERY nice.

Anyway, I was very impressed with the quality of the OE tools (all made by Iwis, btw). They all worked perfectly. SirTools sells a chain crimper which is similar, but NOT identical, for a lot less $$$. The ST unit is about $175 on sale from IMPCO for gas OR diesel (you can buy the jaws for the other for an extra ~$50). I have not seen a ST crimper in person. However it uses the same "crimp" bit for both gas & diesel. And after seeing both side by side, I don't know if I like that idea. They are very different in size. Also, I suspect that the ST crimp bit does not press on the outer plate with a neat magnetized recess - you're expected to use pliers, I guess. Hmmmm.

The OE stuff is NOT cheap. The prices in that document are dealer COST and are several years old. Tack on an extra 10-15% for 2003 prices, then tack on another 20-40% for dealer profit depending on where you buy them. Check with Rusty and Randy, but also call your local dealer. R&R have to buy from a dealer themselves so there's less margin to go around, unfortunatley. My local dealer, who is normally a ripoff on all parts, actually wasn't bad on the tools! For the basic tool plus the diesel (or gas) swage jaws, figure ~$300 or so. Tack on another $25 for one of the two OM60x retainers, another $40 (!!!) if you want the clip-type links, and ~$125 for the press jaws to assemble the factory master link with the pressed center plate. Oh, and ~$35 for the nifty plastic case. Why yes it DOES get expensive in a hurry! You noticed, huh. I skipped all the chain breaker tools, opting to go the angle grinder route instead. Obviously not a cheap proposition, probably not worth buying IMO if you're only doing one chain. I got my original tool and gas swage jaws used, very cheap, in mint condition. I figured I'd just get the diesel jaws, and well that snowballed into something way more than anticipated (d'oh!!) I figure it was still cheaper than paying the dealer to do the job, and not much more than paying an indy shop.

And before y'all get too excited, I'm sorry, I don't rent or loan tools out. However I will happily help you do the job in my shop, provided you get car to Boise first!


Photos of the tool(s):

http://www.meimann.com/images/mercedes/W124_stuff/chain_tool1.jpg
(nifty plastic case)

http://www.meimann.com/images/mercedes/W124_stuff/chain_tool2.jpg
(inside the case - plus other non-chain MB tools in there too)

http://www.meimann.com/images/mercedes/W124_stuff/chain_tool3.jpg
(top is diesel, bottom is gas - and yes, I'll re-take this photo!)


Best regards,
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Dave
Boise, ID

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