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Old 12-26-2001, 05:17 PM
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pmizell pmizell is offline
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Tackling M103 head cyl gasket (need expert tips)

The head gasket on my '91 300E is leaking in multiple places (have oil in the coolant, etc.) and it's time to replace it.

I have an official MB service manual that gives a great run-thru on how to remove/replace head and gasket on the 103 engine -- thus I'm pretty confident I can do this myself but I know it won't be done without a hitch.

Any chance a tech could chime in with some common mistakes/pitfalls that are encountered while tackling this job?

The procedures that appear to be difficult are removing the slide rail bolt from the timing chain guide (need an impact puller it says) -- and re-installing the chain tensioner (manual says that it must be disassembled prior to installation, unlike removal)

Some questions:

1. procedure says to lubricate head contact surface and head bolts prior to installing gasket -- sound correct? (instead of lube, clean sealing surfaces on valve cover, timing chain housing cover, and head front cover)

2. sealing timing chain cover involves placing sealing compound inside groove, then install the gasket in groove?

3. re-mounting the front cover radial seal requires a special tool p/n 103 589 00 14 00 (looks like a small round grommet) ?

4. disconnecting bowden cable -- difficult?

From what I can tell I'll need the following parts to do job correctly:

1. new head gasket - duh and head bolts w/washers
2. new timing chain cover gasket
3. sealing compound (loctite?)
4. new front cover rubber o ring seal
5. valve guides and seals

Engine has 205,000 on it, and is not burning oil, so I'm inclined to just replace the valve seals/guides.

Any input would be appreciated!


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