CLS63/E63 Timing Chain Issues (M157)

Discussion in 'AMG Lounge' started by Adamccc, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So I finally get to pick up my car on Thursday, after it going in for a sensor change on the 9th May... Yep, you heard that right, 2 months and 18 days at the dealer. Granted, about a month of this is due to the dealer being absolute dog****e and taking forever to get to even start work on the car and going back and forth with AMG HQ, but I thought I'd share some info as it may be helpful to other owners experiencing the issue.

    So a month or so before this saga, I noticed the car being ever so slightly rougher on idle and on random and rare occasions the right bank would misfire (Error codes would show cylinder 6,7,8 + multiple random misfires detected). As you'd expect, I thought this was due to the plugs and had them changed along with a major service shortly after. The car felt better but not perfect and then started to display 'Camshaft Sensor position error' the day after. I called Mercedes, had the sensor replaced which worked for a day or so before it came back and went straight back to the dealer.

    Long story short, this went all the way down the line - having sensor, solenoid and camshaft replaced before determining that the chains had stretched. (Not sure if they should have been determined beforehand - but the classic dealer line is "we have to go down the line to determine what is wrong rather than starting at the deep end" - even though it's kind of common knowledge that the chains are the weak part of this engine).

    Anyway, the important part, the chains that have been replaced are a new part from the factory which comes with chain guides and uprated links (the previous part were just chains and used the guides already on the block). Mines all fixed now with no issues and running smoother than ever, but thought I'd give owners and future potential owners a heads up.

    The car has 35k on the engine, I've owned it since 8k and it always allowed to warm up, kept under 1.5rpm until temperate reaches 80, serviced regularly, only ran on Vpower and spends most of its life at a 70mph cruise on the motorway down to London and Oxford. So, I guess this could really happen to anyone.
     
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  2. AlexM

    AlexM Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Interesting - which timing chain was replaced? one side, both or the whole set of three?

    I didn't know that timing chains were a problem area with the M157 - first time I've read about it. Is there a TIPS case? maybe you were just unlucky, or there was a uncommon fault?. I have had a tensioner replaced, but no other issues.
     
  3. st13phil

    st13phil MB Club Veteran

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    What year is the car? Is it in the range of the earlier engines with the oil drain-down issue, or later than that?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    All 3 replaced - primary, left & right. Mercedes say that if one is stretched they have to replace all 3, which if they're upgraded I guess is the right way to go especially with how labour intensive it is to replace one. Not sure about cases but I've heard a good few people on here and other forums mention the issue.

    Mines a 2011, so one of the first W218's to be released - not sure what year the uprated part came out and if it has been included in facelift models etc. I can try chase Merc to see if they know. What was the oil drain issue? Not heard of that one before?
     
  5. st13phil

    st13phil MB Club Veteran

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    Early M157 engines (pre some time in 2012) had an issue with oil draining down from the cylinder heads which meant that the camchain tensioner was starved of oil on initial startup. This was fixed by adding a check valve to an oil gallery in the cylinder head, and revised camchain tensioner and guides were fitted at the same time. Later engines had the revised parts fitted as standard.
     
  6. OP
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    Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Was there a recall or TIPS case on this stuff Phil?
     
  7. st13phil

    st13phil MB Club Veteran

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    Yes, I have a Xentry document about it, and my first E63 had the work done under warranty in 2014. Interestingly, there was a bit of a delay when the dealership did the work on mine because once they had it apart they found out they needed to order in some single-use magnesium bolts that weren't on the list of parts required.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. OP
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    Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks Phil, I'm going to investigate as the car has always been at dealer centres so if they haven't carried this work out I'll be pushing for the work to free of charge.
     
  9. OP
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    Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've contacted my dealer and he's said:

    "Having looked at the history of the car, I can confirm that this vehicle has never been subject to any such notification of any service measure /re-call notification at any time in the history of the vehicle’s life."

    Does anyone have the document or any info where I can find this? Seems strange that mine didn't get a recall with it being an early car
     
  10. RickMM

    RickMM Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Phil may be able to answer this, but was there actually a recall for this item or was it just a case of fixing those cars that developed a problem? (I presume most haven't had an issue)
     
  11. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    Isn't your car mapped and tuned etc? Have Mercedes been funny at all with you with regards warranty work?
     
  12. st13phil

    st13phil MB Club Veteran

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    There was never a recall on this, rather the work was done if the owner reported an issue with camchain rattle on startup. I've always wondered what MBUK's position would be regarding a car that didn't have the remedial work done under warranty, and subsequently encountered an issue: maybe this case will provide an answer to that question.

    If you pm me your email address I will email you a copy of the Xentry document. It may take a couple of days as I'm away on business at the moment.
     
  13. AlexM

    AlexM Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My car was remediated under warranty (additional oil check valve installed, timing tensioner and guides replaced) while in the dying days of the factory warranty period.

    The main difficulty I had was getting the start-up rattle to manifest itself to demonstrate to the dealer. Interestingly, my engine number is supposed to be unaffected by the problem, yet it was!.

    Phil, here's the link to your thread:

    M157 & M276 Camchain Tensioner - Heads Up - MBClub UK - Bringing together Mercedes Enthusiasts
     
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  14. FateSynchro

    FateSynchro Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Interesting....

    Is this something that will affect later facelift M157's such as my own E63?
     
  15. WG M-B

    WG M-B Auhorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    It's the secondary chain tensioner. A check valve is fitted in the head to prevent the oil draining back and the chain stretching. The tensioner and check valve can be fitted by removing the top timing covers. There are a few engine variants affected by this.
     
  16. AlexM

    AlexM Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My car is a facelift model, and was retrofitted. The affected units and the fixes are as follows:

    Engine 157:
    1) From engine number 157 9xx 60 009368 up to engine number 157 9xx 60 017984 install check valves and chain tensioners

    2) From engine number 157 9xx 60 017985 up to engine number 157 9xx 60 022333 (December 2012) install check valves (optimized tensioners installed in this production range)

    Note:
    When performing repairs and only the check valves are supposed to be installed, the tensioners must still be checked according to WIS documentation. If optimized tensioner is found to be defective it must be replaced

    Note:
    Check valves were installed in the factory in the engines above the ranges provided above. In case of 157 engines either A 278 050 40 00 or A 278 050 33 00 check valves were installed. In engines 276 and 278 check valves A 278 050 33 00 were installed. It is important to measure the oil supply opening in cylinder heads to install correct check valve.

    My engine number is 028822 - from the notes above, it seems that the 'optimised tensioner' installed at the factory was defective as it was replaced. The check valve was also added according to the dealer, so it was either missing or the spec had changed?. Anway, the tensioner or the check valve can seemingly go bad and need to be replaced anyway.

    Cheers,
    Alex
     
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  17. FateSynchro

    FateSynchro Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Worth getting my car into Merc? i'll have to check engine numbers and stuff when i get back to the car on Friday.
    I've just clocked 32k
     
  18. st13phil

    st13phil MB Club Veteran

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    Do you experience the rattle on startup? If not you'll just get told "Nothing to see here, move along".
     
  19. OP
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    Adamccc

    Adamccc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Response from my dealer when bringing up this document up:

    "I dont know what you are trying to achieve with any of this. If you put on line about any problem, there will always be people who respond and react to a reported problem. All cases are individual and taken on their own merits. We have reported all our findings in the correct manner and have continued to involve the manufacturer and the amg specialist in this area. We have applied for goodwill at your request and have been open and honest with all our findings.

    In conclusion we have effected the repair authorised and ask you collect your vehicle and settle the invoice. Please speak to MBUK in instances regarding recalls as i have mentioned twice already, your vehicle is not subject of any of the recalls you mention in your previous correspondence.
    As AMG have already stipulated to you on more than one occassion, if you are unhappy with the way you have been treated, then you need to contact the SMMT who will be happy to help."


    Safe to say I'll be selling up and going back to Audi. I highly recommend avoiding Listers dealers like the plague - never experienced anything like it.
     
  20. JattAmg

    JattAmg Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Stop wasting your time with the dealer slim, get the Amp Pl involved.
     
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