Electrical question 75 240D (and timing)

Hello all! I am a new owner of 75 240D, and I'm having some challenges with her. The alternator (when removed) works fine, the battery will hold a charge and is relatively new -however the battery is not getting a
charged when running.
What's next - should I have someone that specializes in electrical work check it out? I'm at a loss with that stuff.
Any info will help. I was told when I puchased the car that the timing chain would need to be replaced. How would I be able to tell? I'm not sure what its supposed to sound like - i know its louder than my 90 volvo 240 - but that is to be expected, right? He (previous owner) said it rattled in the upper gears- but I haven't particularly noticed that. Should I just replace the engine? and what's a good price on changing the timing chain?
again, any info will help!
nicfaerie.
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How do you know for certain that the alternator is OK?
I may be incorrect but the alternator may have replaceable diodes. But, on the other hand, it's 30 years old and its brushes may have worn out. These too may be replaceable items.
Timing chains cannot be heard at high rpms. Forget that.
Timing chains wear and stretch. The chain should be replaced when the camshaft is 5 degrees or more behind the crankshaft. This is found by removing the valve cover and s/b done during a valve adjustment (needed every 15K miles).
There's a notched collar immediately behind the chain sprocket. Rotate the engine (in the correct direction) by the crankshaft (pull on the drive belts) until the notch is aligned with a groove cut into the driver's side of the front camshaft support. The cam is then at its TDC or 00 degrees position. Then read the crankshaft's angle down at the harmonic balancer and main pulleys. That's the governing reading for the chain's replacement; it s/b =< 5 degrees ahead of the cam.
The valves ought to be adjusted every 15K miles. If not done the engine loses some power, and becomes hard to start due to lost compression, especially in cold weather. You can do this adjustment, it's not difficult.
Otherwise, this is a very simple engine to maintain. Change the oil and filter every 5K miles, fuel filters 15K miles and air filter at 30K. The fabric covered bleed off hoses between injectors get heat fatigue, begin to leak and need to be replaced after a few years. That's another simple DIY job. Don't hesitate about any of this for the motor is designed for DIY owners.
Good luck with it.
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Ok so what's between the alternator and the battery? Wires? They aint working. Get a voltmeter and find out where the electrons stop.
Also, on any MB of that era and without looking it at I can tell you the grounds are fragged and that could be it too. Take them off, clean them to within an inch of their lives then a bit more, clean up where they attach then put them back with some dielectric grease slathered on the outside. Or vasoline.

Nah, it's easy, you can do it yourself. Ask here if you get stuck, operators are standing by.

You already know. If the previous owner says it needs a chain IT NEEDS A CHAIN. Whenhte fail the engine is a heap of smoking rubble, It's the one thing you don't mess around with.

It's 3-4 hours labour at worst, an an hour at best. Chain is about $75-$100.
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Alternator could also be about to fail. I know that they usually do a hard fail, but I had an intermittant one on another car. It would test as fine, but in the car, under load, it would get twitchy. I was able to watch it happen as my car actually had -gasp- guages instead of those &^%* idiot lights. Had to pay for the new one myself, as the store I bought it from would not replace it under warranty, since it tested good on their machine. But after I replaced it...guages steady as a rock, it actually charged the battery so that I could start the car w/o jumper cables...
Rochelle
P.S. Replace the chain. It's waaaay cheaper and easier than the engine.
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