W124, E220, M111 engine - question about VVT

Peter C1974

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I understand that the M111 engine is fitted with VVT (Variable Valve Timing). My recently purchased car has covered 6k miles in the past 5 years whilst in custody of the previous owner, mostly at low speeds (and probably at low engine speeds).

The VVT buzzes at approx 2,000 rev/min, mainly whenever I change gear (my car is fitted with a manual gearbox).

The noise is a bit like a hard rattle, but not particularly loud, at least not inside the car, although it is quite loud with the bonnet up, if that makes sense.

Would driving at higher engine speeds revive the lazy VVT actuator? On a couple of occasions when I revved the car up to 5,000 rev/min the actuator seemed to quieten down afterwards.

Any advice please?

Peter C
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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Quick update, drove the car 30 miles along the motorway yesterday at a steady 70MPH and by the time I got home the noise was gone.

This morning, when started from cold, the noise was back. It's not particularly loud or distracting but because it's there I keep "looking" out for it.

I remember my previous W124 E200 made a similar noise but as that car was fitted with an automatic gearbox the engine speed rarely increased or decreased rapidly at approx 2,000 rev/min, as it does in a manual 'box car.
 

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Could it be the hydraulic lash adjusters? I had a similar noise in a 230E but don't know if the 220E has them
 

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The cam adjuster can cause this, I have read that you can pull the plug to see if the noise stops
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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The cam adjuster can cause this, I have read that you can pull the plug to see if the noise stops

Yes, I've read about it and I am certain that the cam adjuster, or actuator as it is commonly referred to can cause this sound. Apparently it is a quite common fault.

People say that the buzzing noise has no adverse effect on the engine.

Unplugging the unit will cause the engine management light to come on, the engine will loose about 25BHP and economy will suffer.

The replacement part (not from Mercedes) is about £90 but labour involved with the replacement is a lot as the timing chain needs to be removed to enable the work.

Does anyone have any experience of this issue?
 

grober

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The cam adjuster is retarded from 0-2,000 rpm it is then energised [ advanced] from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm --- after 5,000 rpm it is once more retarded [de-energised] Sounds as if you get the noise when its advanced [ energised] There's a small internal spring [ replaceable] against which an internal plunger operates when energised - my guess this is broken.
 

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kth286

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there is nil engine management light to come on, when the plug is pulled, but a code will be
but a fault code will be generated.

that would be a good temporary test.
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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How do I pull the plug?

Where is it?
 

grober

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If you remove the black cover at the front of the engine by pushing it upwards you will see a cylindrical metal "can" where you would expect the end of the inlet camshaft to be [ nearside] there's a 2 pronged connector at its side- pull it off to disconnect the solenoid in the can
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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there is nil engine management light to come on, when the plug is pulled, but a code will be
but a fault code will be generated.

that would be a good temporary test.

Ok, so if I unplug it a code will be generated.

If I unplug it and then plug it back in, will that leave any codes or cause any lasting issues?
 

grober

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No lasting issues but fault code will be stored I think. Without activation VOLTAGE then if the noise goes away at 2,000rpm+ you have your answer. Replacing the solenoid "can" is a an easy DIY- Removing and stripping the MECHANICAL UNIT best left to the experienced due to engine timing being involved.
 

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As above, if you want to test it, unplug it - no harm will be done.
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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Done, I've unplugged the system as proposed.

I've taken the car for a drive around the village and it drives the same but the noise is gone. Perhaps the VVT comes into its own at higher engine speeds? Idle is steady, car drives ok, noise is gone, all sorted?
 

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Done, I've unplugged the system as proposed.

I've taken the car for a drive around the village and it drives the same but the noise is gone. Perhaps the VVT comes into its own at higher engine speeds? Idle is steady, car drives ok, noise is gone, all sorted?

This was for hard acceleration etc, for normal driving as you say you will never notice and a nice quiet car :D:D
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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Thanks guys.

I don't drive my cars hard so I won't miss the VVT system.

Yet again this forum has come up trumps for me.
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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To show my gratitude I enclose a photograph of my current toys, taken this afternoon:

1985 W123 230E, 5 speed manual
1998 W124 E220, 5 speed manual

2_zpsdeac1fcd.jpg


And this is a collage of all the Mercs I've had over the years:

MercedesCollage_zpscca0e15b.jpg


I miss the silver W126!
 

toby1

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Enough pictures there to make the old school MB lovers have a commotion in their underpants
 

grober

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Does sound as if its the internal spring part no A 1049930701 less than a fiver BUT the labour for rebuilding the adjuster- quite a lot more.
 
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Peter C1974

Peter C1974

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Does sound as if its the internal spring part no A 1049930701 less than a fiver BUT the labour for rebuilding the adjuster- quite a lot more.

Yes, I understand that the timing chain needs to be removed, to enable removal of the camshaft, to enable repair / replacement of the actuator.

I don't think I'm going to bother.
 

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Yes, I understand that the timing chain needs to be removed, to enable removal of the camshaft, to enable repair / replacement of the actuator.

I don't think I'm going to bother.

You leave the chain on and just remove the tensioner, the cam wheels just unbolt and move forward
 


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