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Old 03-14-2002, 10:15 AM
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pmizell pmizell is offline
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Head gasket replacement a success. (sort of)

Well, I finally finished this task. Let me just say that this job is not for the casual DIY'er -- you WILL run into a snag or two along the way that will test your patience. Some that come to mind are reinstalling the chain tensioner (trying to screw it in with the spring behind it is a pain), mating up the 2nd exhaust manifold with the pipe was difficult, gaining access to the intake manifold support brackets is tough, replacing head while inserting it into the small coolant hose was a pain, and doing the two 90 degree torques on the head bolts was a workout in and of itself. (my arms are sore!) Also, if your car is somewhat older like mine ('91) you WILL break a brittle plastic piece or two along the way, guaranteed.

Now to my problems -- while my engine is not overheating, the coolant overflows from the overflow tank when I turn the car off. I don't think it's the radiator cap because I just replaced it about 6 months ago, so I think it's keeping pressure in.

Also, as I suspected I actually had oil leaking from two places prior to job, the head gasket and somewhere up front -- now more pronounced since extra pressure is being diverted there. I sealed the front cover very well, what else is left besides that and the timing chain cover? How likely is it that this area would bust a leak? One caveat: I COULD NOT do the complete second 90 degree torque on the front two head bolts for some reason -- they simply would not budge after about 15 degrees or so.

Thanks again to everyone who lent their advice on completing this job! ($350 for valve job (guides and seals, grind), resurface, clean, remove and replace cam and rockers)

**edit -- the front oil leak was located: apparently I rolled over the front U-shaped gasket on front cover. Going to try to seal it from outside with the black sealant, if not then I'll remove then reinstall.


'91 300E, 208k miles

Last edited by pmizell; 03-14-2002 at 11:09 AM.
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