380SL Timing Chain, Mercedes Benz -- we need you to talk to us ...

Gathering thinking about the Single Timing Chain in 1981-1983 380SL's, I have summarized the following: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------
- Doug Rugg says that at one time Mercedes did convert some of the early 380SLs, free of charge, to double row chain for some customers.
- Mercedes Service and Parts Operations Manager has verbally told me that a 75k mile replacement of the single timing chain is in order. Treat this like a 'maintenance item'.
- Steve Marx, qutoted in the Road and Track March 1994 article, "the conversion is unnecessary if the owner changes the chain and tensioner every 40,000 miles -- a $300 job. "
- Todd Knutson thinks a conversion is not necessary if the chain and guides are replaced at 50K intervals or less, and that perhaps 40,000 mile replacement is 'conservative'.
- My local independent Mercedes mechanic concurs with Todd Knutson and suggested that low oil/infrequent oil changes are related to timing chain failure.
- But we have other very knowledgeable experts whose opinion is that it is imminent and necessary to do a conversion to dual timing chain ASAP. Some say 380SL engines with single timing chains are even a "ticking time bomb".
- Another post states that Mercedes MBUSA Note in its Technical Bulletin (1991) that the single timing chain "MUST NO LONGER BE INSTALLED!!!!"
- A post that Mercedes no longer supplies the single timing chain. Consider third party alternatives - that scares me.
- Still we have 1981-1983 380SL engine failures due to timing chain failures and anxious owners like myself.
All this philosophy about what is the best way to deal with Single Timing Chain 380SL engines is confusing.
Should we contact Mercedes and get a 'Formal' position?
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I purchased a low miles 82 380SL and had the chain changed to the double chain at 65,000. The original chain was holding on by a "hair". It is not worth the gamble. Change the chain or sell the car.

have
------
380SLs,
a 75k

a
conversion
guides are

suggested
timing
(1991)
Consider
failures and

Chain
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Probably you should, this has been done to death here.

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i wonder what 'formal' position mercedes would tell you to get into before they give it to you. it's a 21 year old 380, your lucky it's still going, if the chain doesn't break first the valve guides and seals will go.
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..............End Of This Thread...............
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