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View Full Version : OM651 (2014 2.1l 4cyl) throwing timing chains?


owner
01-23-2014, 08:20 AM
The independent workshops in the UK are reporting this issue is common on om651 after they have around 100k on them...

http://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/showthread.php?t=127811

For those that dont know, OM651 is the new and improved 4cyl engine as found across the MB range last few years, and is new for US sprinters for 2014.

Seems to be related to the placement of the timing gear at the back of the engine.

wildimaginations
01-23-2014, 10:18 AM
So we should be hearing something from other members about their 2014 4cyl vans performance later this year. I just ordered mine and will be picking up next month. I'm concerned now. Should I cancel the order and wait it out for a couple years??

Eric Experience
01-23-2014, 10:32 AM
Another reason to remove the DPF then you can use the good oil that runs the same chain for ever in the early models. Eric

lindenengineering
01-23-2014, 12:28 PM
That's an old Toyota problem. Some folk never learn!:laughing:

The old 20 R 4 banger had a twin row chain a la 5 banger 2,7 MB engine. Totally bullet proof!

With the intro of the 22R Toy't went to single row. At 150K the chain stretches enough to rub through the timing case and dump the coolant into the engine pan or it breaks and does the "samba" through the front of the engine.
Dennis

Oilburner
01-23-2014, 01:31 PM
Eric, I don't know if oil has anything to do with it.. it is just crappy design, weak chain.. what a shame!

mean_in_green
01-23-2014, 02:54 PM
Have also heard about this issue. Less of a worry for those taking delivery now than others with two / three / four year old OM651s.

Sprinter SS
01-24-2014, 12:54 AM
As for me and my family we will stick with the OM642.

owner
01-24-2014, 01:44 AM
I just ordered mine and will be picking up next month. I'm concerned now. Should I cancel the order and wait it out for a couple years??
You could change the order to the OM642. Better the devil you know!

boardster
01-24-2014, 01:50 AM
Have also heard about this issue. Less of a worry for those taking delivery now than others with two / three / four year old OM651s.

So it's been addressed? Corrected?

mean_in_green
01-24-2014, 09:25 AM
Now that customers have given the early OM651s proper field testing! Parts get modified according to warranty claims issues. Many parts have two, three, four or more revised part numbers...

It's unfortunate that this particular issue is the timing chain as it's located at the back of the engine on OM651. Engine out to rectify. It's the most economical motor you can have in an NCV3 though, but doesn't have nearly as much character as say an OM612.

Daybreak Express
01-26-2014, 08:28 AM
If the DPF is removed, won't that affect the engine's computer and prevent it from running?

jdcaples
01-26-2014, 02:12 PM
If the DPF is removed, won't that affect the engine's computer and prevent it from running?

DPF delete kits include engine control module reprogramming to account for the physical modification.

Jon

sailquik
01-26-2014, 03:03 PM
Daybreak Express,
Driven correctly, maintained at the scheduled intervals with the MB BEVO specified fluids, there is absolutely no reason to
remove your DPF.
It's a self sustaining system.....lots of engineering in there....and it works, given that you use the low SPAsh oil that is mandatory
and that you drive in a lower gear some of the time to get some circulation through the engine.
Get the RPM up > 3200 in a high acceleration mode a few times a week and you should not have any issues with the DPF.
Had 2010/2011/2012 OM-642 Sprinters and never even knew that DPF was there, except it smelled a little hot during the
automatic self regenerations.
Why take a very clean Euro 6 spec. engine that's already been compromised to some degree by the EPA/CARB requirements (dumb in my opinion) and make it even dirtier when it's a completely invisible self regulating system?
And, it's under the OEM factory warranty for 100k miles!
Roger

mean_in_green
01-26-2014, 03:29 PM
Forgive my veering off topic momentarily but aother comment on DPF regeneration: when one is happening unless the engine is over 2,400RPM nothing productive is going on.

4wheels
01-26-2014, 04:26 PM
Back to the topic.
That UK thread , dated 01-20-2014 ! , says :
Seems
Mercedes have not resolved their recent M271 timing chain issues with the new OM651 diesel engine !!!!!!!!!!!!!

So , we need to know if it`s been addressed and corrected ! It breaks after 100k ? Not a double chain in a diesel engine ? I guess it is all about a few more mpg . If so , then why not use timing belt , like on my VW TDI ? :lol: Use it ! And then report 2+ mpg ( on top of 18% better mpg) .
I am just not interested in this (18% better mpg ) if that chain will break on me after 100k .
I ll stick with my V6 3.0 with a lot of power , with a proven 600k engine , and still a decent mpg !

boardster
01-26-2014, 05:14 PM
I thought belts typically required replacement well before 100,000 miles.

Aqua Puttana
01-26-2014, 08:04 PM
I thought belts typically required replacement well before 100,000 miles.
It's not "required", but recommended. You can run the belts until they "demand" changing. They demand it by breaking (and often taking other stuff with).

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I have no love for timing belts.

To answer your question. I agree. I've not run into any timing belts with longer than a 100,000 mile change schedule.

vic

owner
01-26-2014, 08:48 PM
It can't realistically run a belt because the timing gear is at the back of the block, so its an engine out job to replace it. This is also the speculated reason why they've regressed to single row, so that the engine is still short enough to fit in the newer vehicles with low bonnet (hood) lines, which is why they moved it all way back there in the first place.

lindenengineering
01-26-2014, 08:55 PM
T/ belts are a great way of driving the camshaft(s) and other engine ancillieries like water pumps etc.

Their adoption reduces the cost of production and development of an engine. This makes the vehicle cheaper to buy.

Problems arise when the engine is an interference type; essentailly where the valves occupy the same space as the piston in the combustion chamber.

The VW Jetta both gas and diesel power, and the Landrover Freelander come to mind which has three belts no less to take care.

Providing maintenance schedules are adhered to (usually 60K miles is the average life of a T/belt then there is no reason why they are not a great way to drive valve gear.
Neglect the maintenance schedules and the repair costs can be prohibitive.

I have a Freebie in the shop at the moment which has ate its valves, the belts broke at 110K! No maintenance !
Bill estimate to fix $ 5500--Not cheap!
Dennis

showkey
01-27-2014, 01:21 AM
Many timing belts have a maintenance interval of 105,000 miles.

Timing chains have two areas that cause some concern with many makers........extended oil change intervals appear to be a major factor in chain life ( excessive stretch) and hydraulic chain tensions that seem to loose the ability to tension.....first symptom cam chain noise and things can ( will) get worse from there with time.

If I were to pick a DIY project the belt wins hand down. Generally speaking the belt wins on cost too!!!!!

boardster
01-27-2014, 02:13 AM
But if we wanted longevity the chain still wins, right?
I remember reading an article about auto engines that are converted to experimental aircraft engines in which the author stated that he would never fly behind one that had a timing belt rather than chain because the belt was so much more likely to fail.
Just his opinion or fact?

showkey
01-27-2014, 02:42 AM
But if we wanted longevity the chain still wins, right?
I remember reading an article about auto engines that are converted to experimental aircraft engines in which the author stated that he would never fly behind one that had a timing belt rather than chain because the belt was so much more likely to fail.
Just his opinion or fact?


I would not say the chain wins.........

Each design has it's merits and compromises most manufactures have both designs in production at the same time on different engine families.

boardster
01-27-2014, 02:48 AM
O.K., makes sense. I always thought that belts were an attempt to lighten the weight and decrease the cost at the expense of longevity, but as with most things, surely there are numerous other factors involved.

Daybreak Express
01-27-2014, 04:35 AM
I've had experience with engines using gears (marine Diesels, large truck & bus Diesels); they're by far the best. All of the gasoline vehicles I've owned have had timing chains; I had the timing chain replaced in my '91 Ford Aerostar at 250,000 miles because I didn't want a problem with it in Nowhere, S.D.; the mechanic said it showed some wear (which would throw off the valve timing a bit), but not in danger of imminent failure. Chains, in my estimation, are next best. My '83 Toyota Diesel pickup, on the other hand, threw the timing belt at 150,000 miles when the injection pump shaft bearing wore out prematurely; they required it be changed at 100,000 miles (I changed the original belt at 90k), so the new belt had 60,000 miles on it when it failed. A chain would not have come off; instead, the worn bearing and shaft seal would have caused the fuel system to airlock-which it did, once; I failed to realize what was happening. Luckily, when it threw the belt, I was parking the truck so I cut the engine before I could destroy the pistons, valves or head. I would never buy a Diesel engine which uses a timing belt, under any circumstances. I can't imagine flying in a plane which uses one, either gas or Diesel.

Daybreak Express
01-27-2014, 04:49 AM
P.S. On my Toyota, the dealer did the first timing belt change, I did the second one (as well as removing the injection pump and injectors to the rebuild shop). Based on what I saw in the timing belt housing, there was no earthly reason-other than penny-pinching-for Toyota to not have used a chain rather than a belt on their overhead camshaft.

lindenengineering
01-27-2014, 05:24 AM
Its not penny pinching, its overall production costs.

Making millions of engines every year the savings can be significant when using a belt.

Chains can only accept so much auto adjustment where applicable. Depending upon designs the result can be a disaster and on BMW M62/64 engines in 7 series Beemers and Rover L322s from 2003 to 2006 it was a service nightmare. Thankfully Ford introduced their variable valve timing technology to the new Jag 4,4 which made it much easier to service and maintain--at a price. At least few special tools only on the Ford /Jag engine, BMW read $2000 for the whole kit!


The belt and regular service allows for more constant valve timing adherence and can explain why many manufacturers use belts. Lets see:-
Audi/VW, Lots of UK stuff like Fords and Vauxhalls, quite a lot of Yankee iron and most Asian stuff and of course the "sob story" Saabs.:thumbdown:
Dennis

ReGULT51
01-27-2014, 05:07 PM
Having ordered a 2014 4 cylinder (awaiting delivery), this thread gives me some trepidation. Of course I *hope* MBZ has corrected this issue, given that this engine has been out in Europe for some time now but it still gives me concern that I have a ticking time bomb that'll go off in a few years. Fewer things more painful than having to shell out big bucks for auto repairs, esp. when it feels like you're the only one suffering.

Reminds me of when I purchased my 2007 Land Rover LR3. At the time, concerns abound about the complexity of the electronics in the vehicle, especially for a vehicle that you may rely on for expedition travel. Stories of suspension faults dropping the air suspension, which is dicey if you're deep in off road trails, and with (at the time) the only way to check and reset fault codes with an expensive manufacturer system, it's hard to know if you can rely on it. I can now look with hindsight on my specific experience and comment that it's been a pretty reliable vehicle. Of course, Dennis may have another angle on it!.The specter of high-priced service call is always around the corner, but i guess to minimize that risk, your best bet would be to go domestic.

Using a 2004 Sprinter as a work vehicle impressed me as to the comfort and durability of the platform, but the more I read on this forum, it sounds like the additional complexity of the newer models may be offsetting that durability. Touch wood that any problems will be minor...and that major problems will be under warranty :)

4wheels
01-27-2014, 05:47 PM
The 2014 2.1 L with a single timing chain that stretches (!) after 100k does not exist for me anymore .. The ticking bomb is exactly that came to my mind. I also did a drive test , and the power of that 2.1 L did not impress me . I guess we have to pay for those 18% better mpg by weak timing chain and having no assurance when you try to pass .

mean_in_green
01-27-2014, 08:28 PM
Context: I remember all this this talk about over complex systems at least once before - in 2000 when the T1N was launched!

lindenengineering
01-28-2014, 03:51 AM
Having ordered a 2014 4 cylinder (awaiting delivery), this thread gives me some trepidation. Of course I *hope* MBZ has corrected this issue, given that this engine has been out in Europe for some time now but it still gives me concern that I have a ticking time bomb that'll go off in a few years. Fewer things more painful than having to shell out big bucks for auto repairs, esp. when it feels like you're the only one suffering.

Reminds me of when I purchased my 2007 Land Rover LR3. At the time, concerns abound about the complexity of the electronics in the vehicle, especially for a vehicle that you may rely on for expedition travel. Stories of suspension faults dropping the air suspension, which is dicey if you're deep in off road trails, and with (at the time) the only way to check and reset fault codes with an expensive manufacturer system, it's hard to know if you can rely on it. I can now look with hindsight on my specific experience and comment that it's been a pretty reliable vehicle. Of course, Dennis may have another angle on it!.The specter of high-priced service call is always around the corner, but i guess to minimize that risk, your best bet would be to go domestic.
Using a 2004 Sprinter as a work vehicle impressed me as to the comfort and durability of the platform, but the more I read on this forum, it sounds like the additional complexity of the newer models may be offsetting that durability. Touch wood that any problems will be minor...and that major problems will be under warranty :)

Well thats me doing the expensive service call because we have specialized in fixing LR products for about 15 years now.
Frankly though these days I just send a tow truck and drag it into the shop.

However last Saturday I did drop into a guy's private residence near my house to install a set of t /belts on a Flandie as my shop is the only gig in town (apart from the dealer) who has the special tools.

The LR3 was nice crap when BMW had the company's tenure and the worst had to be the L322. Junk!

Once Ford had control and the LR4 came out you could see Ford's influence and the L322 went through an enormous quality uplift. Contrary to a lot of US opinions, Ford has the highest ISO standards in the industry. When Ford sold LR & Jag to Tata the vehicles were much changed; the Evoke (Ewok) has a Ford developed engine and for 4 cylinders it very stout!
I have never been lover of BMW's, a fancy Triumph Sprint genre! Their LR renditions only confirmed my frown about their overrated stuff!
Dennis

4wheels
01-28-2014, 04:08 PM
Context: I remember all this this talk about over complex systems at least once before - in 2000 when the T1N was launched!

And the T1N had a single timing chain that stretches ? No !!!!!
I can be ok with EGR , or sensors , even with a driveshaft , but not the timing chain that is just junk .
Owning a VW TDI with their timing belt problem , I just can not imagine replacing the timing chain in a Sprinter . I also saw a damage that a broken timing belt can do and it is not cheap and not fun . I did replaced my timing belt by myself on my TDI . It had only 40k on it , but I did not want any surprises .
This problem is more serious than all of those Sprinter`s problems together.
Go to tdiclub forum and you will see that 70% of all threads is about timing belt .
You can not also sell the tdi if the timing belt was not changed .

lindenengineering
01-29-2014, 04:29 AM
MB have traditionally used chains and their systems are on the whole very good with the chain often outlasting some of the major engine components.

The use of a chain is a great alternative to gears which are very expensive to manufacture and require absolute precision on machine tolerances and cam lobe grind settings. Besides the use of gears is on the whole very noisy and not acceptable on a lux car.

Here's such a noisy bugger:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rny-xutum0c

The chain still requires precision machining but is much quieter:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJU5wl2Lidc

The belt drive has less demanding tolerance rigidity and as a manufacturer/ refurbisher machinist you can cut corners on machining and block /deck heights, cylinder head taper and alignment of sprocket wheels.
In short much less material gets thrown in the scrap to hold tolerances made worse by mass production.

MB products are premium components you can see that by the trained eye. As such these items are more costly to produce than other manufacturers. That translates into a more costly product, in the end you only get what you pay for!
Dennis

owner
01-29-2014, 08:36 PM
I agree Dennis, a chain setup should normally outlast the rings and bearings, otherwise there is no point. So there is no real point comparing chains to belts, they are different paradigms.

MB couldn't have used a belt on this engine anyway, the whole point of the change is that the engine is vertically shorter at the front (for the other/future less brick like vehicles it is also used in). So the timing gear is at the back, which is engine-out to service, which means it really needs to outlast the normal service wear parts in the engine. Like with the earlier mb designs.

But it seems they failed in this case.

Uncle Dave
01-30-2014, 07:41 PM
MB have traditionally used chains and their systems are on the whole very good with the chain often outlasting some of the major engine components.

The use of a chain is a great alternative to gears which are very expensive to manufacture and require absolute precision on machine tolerances and cam lobe grind settings. Besides the use of gears is on the whole very noisy and not acceptable on a lux car.

Here's such a noisy bugger:-


The chain still requires precision machining but is much quieter:-


The belt drive has less demanding tolerance rigidity and as a manufacturer/ refurbisher machinist you can cut corners on machining and block /deck heights, cylinder head taper and alignment of sprocket wheels.
In short much less material gets thrown in the scrap to hold tolerances made worse by mass production.

MB products are premium components you can see that by the trained eye. As such these items are more costly to produce than other manufacturers. That translates into a more costly product, in the end you only get what you pay for!
Dennis


Great post.

I had several quiet gear drive systems for High perf BBC and SBC's they used helical rather than straight cut gears. For sure the old pete jackson gear drive sounded like blower whine.

As solid as the gear is they transfer harmonics to the valve train more than a chain, or belt and seem to be passť in high perf engine building today.

UD

owner
02-05-2014, 09:49 PM
Oh dear, new report of two more om651's biting the dust this week. 50k and 78k miles, both fully serviced by MB, both 2010 build.

The 50k one was only just out of warranty, and MB gave them the finger!

http://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/showpost.php?p=1146612&postcount=13

ReGULT51
02-06-2014, 06:12 AM
When did this engine come into production on MBZ vehicles? From what I've read, it's used in GLKs and C class cars in Europe, right?

mean_in_green
02-06-2014, 08:49 AM
You could order it 2009 Q4 in a Sprinter.

owner
02-06-2014, 10:05 PM
Yeah and 2008 in an C class. Its available in pretty much everything MB makes now.

http://us1.webpublications.com.au/static/images/articles/i1109/110964_2lo.jpg

Looking at the photo, it immediately springs to mind that this is a very short chain, given that its driven off one of the balancer shafts or pumps up quite high. That means the chain is going to be inherently wearing a lot faster than the longer old designs, in addition to it being single row.

jwp
03-11-2014, 07:44 AM
The LR3 was nice crap when BMW had the company's tenure and the worst had to be the L322. Junk!

Once Ford had control and the LR4 came out you could see Ford's influence and the L322 went through an enormous quality uplift. Contrary to a lot of US opinions, Ford has the highest ISO standards in the industry. When Ford sold LR & Jag to Tata the vehicles were much changed; the Evoke (Ewok) has a Ford developed engine and for 4 cylinders it very stout!
I have never been lover of BMW's, a fancy Triumph Sprint genre! Their LR renditions only confirmed my frown about their overrated stuff!
Dennis

I think you maybe mis-spoke on the LR/Ford years? Ford took over well before the LR3 (Discovery 3 rest of the world) (2005MY first version 3) and you can see all the ways in which it changed. The prior Discovery 2 was during the BMW tenure. The LR4 is hardly different aside from the engine and transmission. I have an 07 lr3 since new and have been "in" LR's since 1999.

I have a 96 Disco1, an 04 Disco 2, and this 07 lr3. Briefly a RR 2007 (first year after end of the bmw engines, first year to use the jag engine)

I was so worried about all it's technology falling apart but it's actually been quite dependable, well 100% "dependable" with no road side let downs but there have been "failures" of some parts that were all covered under warranty and usually with an upgraded part such as the more robust 3rd generation air compressor, etc.

I am leaning toward the v6 Sprinter after all the reading and my two 60 mile tests drives. I really like the "idea" of the higher mpg in the I4 but I'm getting to a point in life where I just want to see my investment last with less worries. Fuel cost is of course something to consider long, long term but I like mtns, winter, passing decisively and always seem to find a way to haul more weight than anticipated. Plus, ordering a 4x4 2015 sounds enticing!

mean_in_green
03-11-2014, 08:15 AM
Was chatting with a V6 owner here in the UK. He only does 20,000 miles a year, why worry about the fuel cost on that use?!

Daybreak Express
03-11-2014, 10:04 AM
MB have traditionally used chains and their systems are on the whole very good with the chain often outlasting some of the major engine components.

The use of a chain is a great alternative to gears which are very expensive to manufacture and require absolute precision on machine tolerances and cam lobe grind settings. Besides the use of gears is on the whole very noisy and not acceptable on a lux car.

Here's such a noisy bugger:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rny-xutum0c

The chain still requires precision machining but is much quieter:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJU5wl2Lidc

The belt drive has less demanding tolerance rigidity and as a manufacturer/ refurbisher machinist you can cut corners on machining and block /deck heights, cylinder head taper and alignment of sprocket wheels.
In short much less material gets thrown in the scrap to hold tolerances made worse by mass production.

MB products are premium components you can see that by the trained eye. As such these items are more costly to produce than other manufacturers. That translates into a more costly product, in the end you only get what you pay for!
Dennis



Love the video of the Gardner-one of the finest marine Diesels ever made. What a shame they don't make them anymore. If I had a boat of such size as to justify it, a used Gardner would be my first choice. (Love the older Perkins powerplants, too!)

owner
02-08-2016, 10:51 PM
The latest line of thinking out of the UK is that its related to the Eco stop/start feature. The increased engine stop/start is causing the cam chain tensioner to fail, taking down the whole engine. This also explains why it only happens on some om651's and not others. Is Eco stop/start an option on sprinters?

gulum1804
06-11-2016, 08:20 PM
Hello guys,
To Any one that might have concerns regarding the timing chains on these engines, just wanted to share my two cents, as i thought this info might provide some insight or maybe not to some regarding the chain failures.

I Recently took my 2012 sprinter with om642 engine to service for a thrashing/rattling noise. The dealership kept it over night. Next day i got a call From the service advisor, he informed me that the chain had stretched. Being that its only at 90k you can just imagine the shock i had gulp down. My van has always been serviced at 5-6k intervals at mercedes dealership, so quialty of oil and filter are out of the question, and the noise had started around 70k.

Thankfully though everything was covered under the warranty. Some might say Indodged a bullet on that one right? Now the good part, as i snuck my way in to the shop to have a chat with the technicians as they were workig on my van, one of the techs i started talking to said that some of the pre 2008-2013 batches of these chains have been manufactered in china. Not all but some. And then he went on to tell me that the the majority of the chains that are failing are these very same chains.

He also mentioned that majority of the chains now being installed have all been updated and they are indeed being made in germany, but to what extent no one really knows. Geez i think The part where i really lost it is when he showed me the 4 sprinters, 2 GL's and one ML with the om642 sitting out back all waiting on timing chains, some with low milage. Crazy right? Some not so fortunate as they were out of the 100k warranty so they have to pay out of pocket.

Now coming back to the om651, who is to really say if these chains are failing because of crappy design flow or maybe that some, if not all of these chains are still being manufactured in china?
What ever it is, at the end the little man is always left with the short straw.

Khon.

lindenengineering
06-11-2016, 10:44 PM
Hello guys,
To Any one that might have concerns regarding the timing chains on these engines, just wanted to share my two cents, as i thought this info might provide some insight or maybe not to some regarding the chain failures.

I Recently took my 2012 sprinter with om642 engine to service for a thrashing/rattling noise. The dealership kept it over night. Next day i got a call From the service advisor, he informed me that the chain had stretched. Being that its only at 90k you can just imagine the shock i had gulp down. My van has always been serviced at 5-6k intervals at mercedes dealership, so quialty of oil and filter are out of the question, and the noise had started around 70k.

Thankfully though everything was covered under the warranty. Some might say Indodged a bullet on that one right? Now the good part, as i snuck my way in to the shop to have a chat with the technicians as they were workig on my van, one of the techs i started talking to said that some of the pre 2008-2013 batches of these chains have been manufactered in china. Not all but some. And then he went on to tell me that the the majority of the chains that are failing are these very same chains.

He also mentioned that majority of the chains now being installed have all been updated and they are indeed being made in germany, but to what extent no one really knows. Geez i think The part where i really lost it is when he showed me the 4 sprinters, 2 GL's and one ML with the om642 sitting out back all waiting on timing chains, some with low milage. Crazy right? Some not so fortunate as they were out of the 100k warranty so they have to pay out of pocket.

Now coming back to the om651, who is to really say if these chains are failing because of either just plain out right a design flow, or that some if not all of these chains are being built using low quiality material's while being built in china?

Makes you wonder what it is that they really built in Germany, if not the engine that makes the car what it is.

Khon.

Please bare in mind that motor vehicle production is a world wide active with multiple supply sources including China.
Its hard to state what is the low quality part without being able to do a QA. Its all hearsay from Tech chatter !
There are a number of dynamic factors involved here including that of the individual items making up the chain assy and indeed the sprockets.

I suppose be thankful it is covered by warranty and no doubt your van will be restored with the latest and greatest chain arr.
In short its nothing to do with you!
Its an MB service issue to resolve to their satisfaction and ultimately yours.
If the thing is fixed "ad infinitum" then really nothing to worry about!
Dennis