BWB: Thanks for that advice. I will probably buy 2 new head bolts and re-torque them down, just for peace of mind.
Carolina: the machine shop said that the guides were "falling out" of their chambers when they pulled the valves
, and he said the seals were in pretty bad shape as well. The guy asked me if it was visibly burning oil (blue smoke) and I told him no, that it ran just fine actually and he couldn't believe it. With so much oil pouring into the coolant I could never tell how much, if any, the engine was actually burning. The head was warped slightly, but not enough to be thrown into the oven to repair -- resurface is all that it needed. Feel free to email me with any questions if you decide to tackle this job. It is not difficult if you have a good set of tools and know the minor pitfalls to avoid. I had the luxury of having the official MB shop manual AND 124 CD set to guide me and I might
do a how-to on this job if I get the time.
Dennis: Thanks! Yes indeed it was the system just burping itself. It seems now that the coolant system is much more sensitive to the exact coolant level. Previously I would fill it over the high mark with no problems. Apparently the ebb and flow of the coolant was not very significant having oil mixed with it. Now there's an exact level that I must keep it at. Regarding the head bolt washer, I left it in there.
After finishing, I manually cranked the engine a few times via crank bolt to make absolutely sure it was not near any gears or chain -- then I pulled the coil and hit ignition a few short times to try and manipulate it down further if it was still caught on something. Then I started her up and I've had no problems so it must be in the sump:p As far as power goes, absolutely an improvement. It seems I've gained more torque at less RPM's and kickdown is ALOT faster to respond. I haven't really driven it hard yet however as I don't want to mess anything up .... yet.
Jackd: I know what you mean by the increased power and smoothness. I can actually feel and hear the increased compression with the engine completely sealed now. It is amazing.
'91 300E, 208k miles