I recently posted about my purchasing of a low cost S63 AMG with the loved but dreaded M156 engine, and its recent turn towards demise.

So since today was Easter and I have no family within 2,800 miles of here I decided to take some time and work on the cars.

The first part was easy. Removal of the air intake system was a few screws and a handful of push clips.


Then came the daunting task of fitting a T30 torx between the strut tower and the valve cover (I also removed the coils, sparks, and harness prior).

Now having prior built motors of all kinds and worked in the tuning industry for some time, I was expecting to pull the cover, find 8 studs along the outside of the head, and have the ability to inspect these studs for wear to determine which studs were the cause of my burning-coolant-sensation...


Instead I found this...


A design like none I had seen before. Beltless cam gears with a dual wheel setup (look closely at the pic, each cam has a set of 2 gears, one thin, one thick), and all the studs are buried under the cams.

In order to complete this job I would need to remove the cams, and then swap each stud individually.


While this may not sound like a daunting task, and up to this point it is not, it is the re-assembly that is the “fun” part; and as you may guess, it has something to do with this funny cam setup.

To start, the cams must be taken out in a certain manner, if not, the little gear might move and the springs inside the contraption (technical term) may pop out, then you are SOL. If you successfully survive removal, installation must be preformed in such a manner that the cams are at “x”angle with the engine at 40 degrees past TDC (or something like that).


There are about 400 little things that, if not done precisely, can turn your fancy hand built motor into tin cans and marbles. Now I’m a fairly technical guy, but what I have found from instructions online are written by 3rd party DIY’ers or possibly ex-AMG techs, but nothing directly from the horses ass, so exact directions are a bit... fuzzy.

Ultimately I decided it would be in my best interest to pay someone else to do this, someone certified and warrantied by AMG, so that way, should my low priced AMG suddenly become an expensive piece of lawn art, I can let someone else pay to fix it.