63 Motorsports M156 Camshaft adjuster plate repair kit

Duff3103

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So after purchasing an e63 w211, the dreaded cam adjuster rattle has become apparent :rolleyes: not impressed only having it less than a week, pretty certain the car had been through a short heat cycle to disguise it but hey ho, so after reading the horror stories iv come across a company in Canada that sells an adjuster plate repair kit which consists of -

4x new adjuster plates fabricated from a harder steel to prevent wear
4x new adjuster pins to go with the kit

they come in 3 different kits (stage 1,2 and 3) 1 for stock and 2 and 3 for tuned applications

the kit delivered to me is around £420 delivered (stage 1) plus the cost of the tool to do the job

Has anyone used this companies plates and have any feedback? id rather upgrade than get shafted for another adjuster from Mercedes for it then to prematurely fail as iv read in several cases. The company so far has good reviews from different youtube channels and im praying this is the fix im looking for and hopefully can pass on the good news

Cheers
 

jasonh

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Sounds like a good price and a good solution. Having looked at this a lot on youtube the torque of the screws holding the plate (or adjuster together?) is not specified but it is critical so be careful.

How many miles on the engine?
 
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Duff3103

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Sounds like a good price and a good solution. Having looked at this a lot on youtube the torque of the screws holding the plate (or adjuster together?) is not specified but it is critical so be careful.

How many miles on the engine?
The Engine has 81k on it but it’s also had 10 services, so it just shows no matter how many oil changes you do they can still wear out.

yeah I seen there isn’t a torque for it although a dab of thread lock on each bolt wouldnt go a miss. At least then there’s no chance of them coming loose.

I think I’m going to order the set and do it tbh, why change one complete adjuster with a part that’s probably the same soft material and is likely to happen again when I could just strip them and replace all 4 plates and pins. The cel was a timing over retarded code so it’s defo cam adjuster issues. Fix it now while it’s still running right
 

Bobby Dazzler

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The Engine has 81k on it but it’s also had 10 services, so it just shows no matter how many oil changes you do they can still wear out.

yeah I seen there isn’t a torque for it although a dab of thread lock on each bolt wouldnt go a miss. At least then there’s no chance of them coming loose.

I think I’m going to order the set and do it tbh, why change one complete adjuster with a part that’s probably the same soft material and is likely to happen again when I could just strip them and replace all 4 plates and pins. The cel was a timing over retarded code so it’s defo cam adjuster issues. Fix it now while it’s still running right
Interested to hear how it goes
 

jasonh

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Good luck. I'm with you on the improved plates. It's hardly any more work to strip the adjusters down and replace the plates than to replace the whole adjuster. If you replace the whole adjuster it'll wear out again in 50k to 100k miles. If you replace the plate it should never be a problem again.

On those screws I think the issue is they are torqued really tight and people don't realise. I'd look up the standard torque specs for the type of screw (size + material) and go for the top end of the range and, as you say, use some permanent thread lock. If you do find a value out please do post it here.

My M156 has 63k miles so this is something that's on my radar, however I can see the cam covers have been off in past. The car has a full MB history but there's no evidence in that of any cam/adjuster work. I am hoping that actually the car is on its second set.

Thinking about why they wear, the pin engaging in the hole and wearing the hole, the wear only happens on start up. That means (like most engine wear) it's the number of cold starts the car has seen rather than the mileage. So a high miler used for long journeys could be good shape, a low miler that has done lots of short journeys could be done in 50k miles.
 
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Duff3103

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Well iv purchased the kit from 63Motorsports and I'm seeing more of them popping up on instagram with good reviews.

The kit should be arriving on tuesday from Canada (not bad considering it was shipped out on the 31st) the car is stripped down, all timed up with the locking tools all ready awaiting the delivery of them, the drivers side bank adjusters are off ready to be stripped and replaced when they arrive and once these are back on ill tackle the passenger side

Having the cam covers off means i can get a look at the condition of the camshafts and hydraulic tappets and thankfully both seem to be in good condition. The only issue iv come across is the head bolts are still original so im toying with getting the adjusters done, flushing the oil and filter afterwards and using the correct spec 5w40 oil as it is less prone to bleed down than the 0w40 oil apparently. Also means i can tackle the small oil leak i have at the steel sump pan (looks to just be needing removed, cleaned and resealed) and whilst in the area im going to replace the crankcase breather and the oil cap seal.

I think ill try just get the summer out the car and once the winter comes in, whip the heads off, change the head gaskets, any gaskets and seals in the general area and replace the head bolts along with a set of INA hydraulic tappets, another service and fresh oil, coolant etc ready for the spring/summer.

Iv got a tendency to change my cars quite regular but this is a different ball game as i can see myself keeping it for a few years as long as it plays ball with me :p

As for torques apparently investigated by another individual the 5 adjuster bolts going by their length and thread etc they should be torqued to im sure its 14nm which to me sounds a little low but ill probably have a look myself ie measure and find out the correct info. ill defo be using thread lock if they are only to be 14nm this for sure. i don't want any mishaps with loose bolts finding their way into the front timing case and destroying the engine

Ill be sure to put a review up once i have them installed. I have taken a before video of the startup so will be interesting to hear it once they have been fitted and its all back together again.
 

jasonh

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I have a theory that the cams wear more in hot countries. You see a lot of cam wear on youtube (particularly UAE and USA) but don't hear of it much in the UK. Perhaps the wear happens at high engine + high ambient temperatures?

I prefer 5W40 for that reduced drain down and thicker oil coating at start up but when I researched it there's loads of conflicting info and in theory 0W40 will circulate round the engine faster on a cold start. I think I still prefer the 5W40 because my experience (not on a C63) is that you tend to get less cam\tappet rattle on cold start with a thicker oil.

On the cam adjuster screws, I agree 14Nm is nothing and could be a disaster. I've seen a youtube (XF Motorsport) where he was repairing the engine after someone did the cam repair and didn't tighten the screws enough. There's another youtube where someone was I think flipping the plate (which didn't last) and I got the impression those screws were really tight. He marked the screws before he undid them so he could tighten them back to the same point (not sure about that but it's an extra precaution, you would want to at least tighten them to that point when refitting).

On the head bolts, some garages definitely swap one head bolt at a time. You still need to remove the cams but not the head. However if one shears then he head has to come off but it's not a definite.
 
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Duff3103

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I don't think id even chance doing the head bolts one at a time as once the gasket is crushed its a throw away job, by the time your down to removing the bolts you only really need to remove the intake and exhaust manifold or unbolt it from the downpipes and lift the heads off, for the sake of £100 for the 2 head gaskets it would be a no brainer to change it at the same time and not have to worry about a potential compression issue if the gasket fails due to the head bolts being loosened. When the head bolt head shears off coolant can enter the combustion chamber and hydrolock the engine and potentially killing it so id rather spend the £100 than spend a few grand

Marking the bolts also doesn't do it for me as they can stretch if overtightened or even shear and id rather just torque them to a specific nm going by the size of bolt. thread lock if 14nm will make sure they don't move

To me 0w40 is alright on maybe a brand new engine but over time things wear as were finding out so i find an oil which is better specifically when cool protects the engine better. id rather not have the clattering cams and adjusters on startup. I wonder if when new they used 5w40 oil instead of the 0w40 there would be as many issues? The INA lifters are a better design as well over stock apparently so to me there's you weak spot for cam wear alone

I reckon its more heard of in the USA compared to here due to sales. The USA is a much bigger country so in theory they will have sold thousands more M156 cars than over here I'm sure they still use the same oil as we are also.
 

jasonh

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Looking at all the standard torque guides, if the bolts are M6 and 10.9 then around 15 Nm is the number. That doesn't seem much to me but it seems to be the number. However both the M6 and 10.9 are guesses on my behalf so don't rely on this information at all.
 
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Duff3103

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I done a bit routing around last night and there was a torque spec of 23nm for the 5 torq bolts while using a dab of blue loctite which sounds a bit better.

120nm for the main camshaft bolts

I also got the email this morning Iv just been shafted £111 for import tax 😩 so that’s just added to my Monday feels
 

Crustyclam

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I had all 4 adjusters replaced on mine, still got the old ones. Would be interested how this pans out. Been looking out for torque specs on the plate bolts before I opened them...could never see an exact value.
 
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Duff3103

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I had all 4 adjusters replaced on mine, still got the old ones. Would be interested how this pans out. Been looking out for torque specs on the plate bolts before I opened them...could never see an exact value.
I’m going to email the company and ask the question as due to them not actually being a serviceable item from Mercedes there was no torque setting. Iv seen a few fit these plates and I’m hoping it’s going to be a straight forward job and resolve the rattle. Looking forward to not grittong my teeth when it first fires up 😂
 
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Duff3103

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So I have finally got the adjusters stripped, rebuilt and back on the car and what a difference it has made, I don’t have an after comparison video yet, I’ll hopefully do that tomorrow but after doing the job I took the car for a run and so far no cel light and it’s driving spot on

Iv attached some photos of the nee plates and what the condition was on the old ones
 

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jimjamiejames

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Great job. I've been following this thread and it's nice to see someone working on their own car/engine. I reckon you've got many happy miles of motoring in front of you now.
 
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Duff3103

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I had all 4 adjusters replaced on mine, still got the old ones. Would be interested how this pans out. Been looking out for torque specs on the plate bolts before I opened them...could never see an exact value.
The company replied and they have been torqued to 18nm and a dab on blue thread lock and allowed to dry before installation
 
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Duff3103

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Great job. I've been following this thread and it's nice to see someone working on their own car/engine. I reckon you've got many happy miles of motoring in front of you now.
Thankfully I used to be in the motor trade although left it for pastures new 3 years ago. Still have access to ramps etc etc but this job I tackled on the driveway with nothing but a basic tool kit 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2”, couple of torque wrenches, the timing locking kit, some oil and rags for rebuilding them as you don’t want them going in dry and thread lock

turned it over by hand re pinned the cams etc making sure it was all lined up

once it was built back up I left the coils unplugged and cranked it over to get oil pressure upto the top end, plugged them in and fired it up with my fingers crossed 😂
 

jasonh

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Wow you don't hang about!

I was just about to post a link to the youtube I've just seen from 63 Motorsports themselves on on fitting the plates.

Your old plates don't look that bad at all, the problem must have been a fairly recent occurrence on the car. So if it got to 81k miles on the old (soft) plates you should be set for life on the cam adjusters now.
 
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Duff3103

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Wow you don't hang about!

I was just about to post a link to the youtube I've just seen from 63 Motorsports themselves on on fitting the plates.

Your old plates don't look that bad at all, the problem must have been a fairly recent occurrence on the car. So if it got to 81k miles on the old (soft) plates you should be set for life on the cam adjusters now.
All going well, all 4 plates had some wear, inlets more than exhaust as it seems to be most common. You get new plates as well as new pins for them also and they are definitely harder material even just by tapping each plate you can hear the difference in material.

Next on the agenda is flush and change oil spec to 5w40 (Mercedes 229.5 spec) and looking to get liquid moly lifter additive to add to the oil also. But while the oil is drained the lower sump pan is coming off for resealing and I also have a new crankcase breather and oil cap seal to fit. Might get this all done on Saturday but will just need to see how it goes and if I can get use of a ramp
 

Spider10

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You will get bombarded now you have mentioned liquid moly addetive
 
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Duff3103

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You will get bombarded now you have mentioned liquid moly addetive
With what? Negative comments 😂 I haven’t made up my mind completely yet tbh plus it’s not on the shelves around me so I would have to order it if it was the case
 

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