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Old 10-17-2006, 12:28 PM
ewenjo's Avatar
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380SL Timing Chain again

Help! I am anticipating the winter project of changing my single link to a dual link. (1982 380SL 68000 miles) Where is a good outlet for the parts? What parts do I need? Is there a procedure available in "simplistic" form to do the conversion? I am somewhat handy mechanically but am a little reticent since I have never changed a timing belt / chain.


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Old 10-17-2006, 02:51 PM
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I spoke to the head mechanic at the local MB dealer and a German master mechanic near San Antonio and both said that it is really not necessary to change the single row for a double row chain. Simply replacing the single row chain every 50-70K miles is enough and a whole lot cheaper.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:17 PM
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It seems like a "peace-of-mind" thing to me. Is there an audible symptom of a worn out timing chain or is it purely a matter of going by mileage that one knows to do this work?
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:16 PM
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Here's a timing chain replacement article:
It's for the dual-row chain, but the same basic principles apply.

As for parts, click on "Buy Parts" at the top of this page!
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:27 PM
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timing chain replacement 380

Check out the posts in shop forum under 380 SEC Timing Chain
I found when doing my 1983 SEC 380, 116 motor that, the left head (drivers side) also has to be removed on a 380 to replace the distributor drive gear (sprocket will not clear bottom of head) when converting to a double row chain.This info is in the manual also. Maybe check with a dealer familiar with 380/116 engines. The 117 engines are not the same and I don't think the head needs to be removed.

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Old 10-17-2006, 08:13 PM
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Chain replacement

I'm with Dee8go, I just had my chain, sprockets, guides, rails, tensioner, etc replaced. I spoke with a few INDIE's and there was a 50/50 split - change all VS changing just the chain.
Any comments?
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:56 PM
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This issue has been beaten to death many times, and many people have split opinions, ask 100 people and you may get 100 different answers as to why to go one way or another!

To replace EVERYTHING it is a costly job. If you're going to replace everything then, IMO, you might as well pop out the weak 380 engine and put in a more powerful engine. But that's just my opinion! Personally, I'd feel more than comfortable with a new single-row chain and upper guide rails, and replacing them every 5 years or 30k miles for the sake of my own assurance. It's overkill perhaps, but I wouldn't think twice about having the single-row chain in that instance.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:15 PM
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I think that conversion is a lot of money for not all that much gain. The parts might run $600 alone, and the labor is MUCH more than replacement alone.

You MIGHT be able to save a little if you can find a 380 junk engine for the gears; but even REMOVING the old parts if the engine isn't out would be darned difficult.

My $0.02, I'd leave it single, and change every 50K mi. This would represent some good number of years to many SL drivers.

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