Many have been told if they have a single row timing chain on an early 380 engine they should convert to a twin row chain. I personally do not recommend this. Problem is most of the cars are just not worth the money and time required to make this conversion. If you love the car and just have to keep it here are three options:
- Find a good used complete 380 engine with a twin row chain and install the whole engine
- Upgrade to a newer model 126 or 107. I like the late 126 300SE or 300SEL
- Install a new single chain and replace it every 25,000 miles.
The last option is the cheapest way to go and can continue to work as long as you change your oil every 3000 miles and replace the chain every couple years (25,000 miles). This will help to greatly reduce the risk of having a catastrophic engine failure. List price is $130.00
RECOMMEND you also replace the tensioner every 100,000 miles. Look below to order.