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.

In the picture […]

560SEC Timing chain and valve stem seals

The Timing chain replacement is almost finished on the 560SEC. The new chain is installed, guides fitted and valve stem seals replaced. I stopped by the workshop to pick something up that I had left in the car and I was able to see it almost done.

The photo shows the new chain in place with all new guides. They are a much better colour than the old ones! My timing for this repair was good as one of the existing guides was broken. This car is now my third 560SEC, and the third one where I have sent […]

560SEC Upcoming Projects

I’ve been preparing for the next round of improvement projects for the 560SEC. The most important is the Timing Chain and Valve Stem seals. I’m not going to do this job myself and am hoping to save a little labour cost by having both the stem seals and the chain done at the same time. I had previously checked the Timing chain and while it looked like it had been replaced before, the guides were getting quite old.

The parts below are all that is needed to perform this job. On the top row from the left the first are […]

560SEC Major Checks

My two biggest concerns buying this 560SEC was the potential for rust being a UK car, and the condition of the timing chain. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked underneath the 560SEC and found that it was not a rusty car.

The other common W126 rust area is under the rear windscreen. This is also an issue in Australian delivered cars as it’s caused by rain. Rain gets under the rear window seal causing rust. The first evidence is that the rear windscreen starts delaminating at the corners.

As can be seen from the pictures, the rust has […]

Mercedes 450SE W116 – The car I almost bought

I have always admired the W116 model. However, since the introduction of the W126 in 1980 the W116 has lived in its shadow. My 450SLC has been my primary car for most of the time I have owned it, but with three children, this is no longer possible. As I needed something that could fit three child seats in a row, a W116 would fit the bill nicely. I found a car – this 450SE W116 and agreed to buy it. Unfortunately, the sale fell through after a major mechanical problem was discovered by the seller before I was going […]

450SLC timing chain check

The Achilles heel of M116 and M117 engined cars is the timing chain. As the engine is an overhead valve engine, the chain is used to make sure the valves open and close when they should. On the V8 the chain needs to go to both heads and down to the crankshaft and so it is very long. This exacerbates the potential problems compared to other engines.

Over time the plastic guides become brittle and the chain stretches. The most likely failure is either due to a stretched chain or brittle guide, the guide breaks and causes the chain to […]