560SEL further maintenance

Before I begin regular usage of the 560SEL there is further maintenance required.   Per a receipt I have, a new timing chain and tensioner was fitted around 20,000km ago.   This is obviously a good thing, but it was a shame that while this was done, the M117 timing chain guides were not replaced.

The guides (and ideally the sprockets) should always be replaced at the same time as the chain.   It is actually the guides that are the cause of most of the problems in the M116 and M117 engines.  A stretched chain just exacerbates the problem.

M117 timing chain guidesIn the picture above are a set of genuine M117 timing chain guides.   (bottom centre).   There are two inner guides (117 052 09 16), a left guide (117 052 08 16) and the guide rail that the tensioner pushes against.

To replace the guides, the sprokets must also be removed.   It makes sense to replace then while they are out.   I went with Febi sprokets.   At the same time the guides are replaced, the plastic camshaft oilers should also be replaced.   They are very cheap and simple to replace while the cam covers are off.   Obviously, while the cam overs are off, new gaskets (left) should be fitted.

Not related to the M117 timing chain guides, the motor mounts are completely collapsed.   I have purchased Lemforder mounts.   I recomend only Lemforder or genuine mounts.   Avoid cheap alternatives like Uro or Meyle.   Lemforder mounts are not expensive.    I also bought a transmission mount.  It seems that only Meyle is available but this is less of a big deal as it is much simpler to replace.     As well as rubber mounts, the M117 engine has two shock absorbers (in the Stabilus boxes) that are looking quite elderly on my car.   There are also mounting kits to fit them properly.

When replacing the timing chain, the distributor is removed.   I have a new cap and rotor if replacement is necessary.   If not, they will go on the shelf as spares.    The belts are looking a bit tired, so I have a new set of belts.    Finally, The car is running cool (60c above 80km/h) so there is a new thermostat to fit to the car.

I am not going to do this work myself.   The chain guides in particular are a fairly involved job.   I have the car booked in for mid June to have this work done.

As well as assemble all these parts, I also changed the air filter.   It wasn’t that dirty, but at least now I know how old it is.    As I plan to reinstate the self-leveling rear suspension, I changed its filter and flushed the fluid.   I outlined this job in more detail in another post.

Self leveling rear suspensionThe fluid should be clear, but it was coffee coloured in my car.   Not as bad as the fluid in the 560SEC or 300SE, but dirty nevertheless.   This flush also allowed me to verify that the pump is still working properly.   There would be no point putting replacement struts and accumulators in to fill them up with dirty old fluid.

All this work should make this 560SEL a really good car.   My experience is that there is always work required when you purchase a new classic car – even one that has been well maintained like this one.

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