Valve cover woes
With concours time now very close, I thought I would remove the valve cover (cylinder head cover, rocker cover) from my 190E and bead blast it to remove the remaining flaking black coating and repaint it. While it is off I can also fit new hydraulic valve lash compensators (lifters) to address the intermittent ticking during warm-up. A new gasket or seal would also address the oil leak from under the cover.
Great plan but it got de-railed. The cover leaks not because the gasket is faulty, but because the cover is distorted. OK I think, let's price a new cover. None in stock in Australia and price is over $700 AUD. Forget that plan. Let's chase a used one. Problem is they are all distorted like mine. Looks like I'll be re-painting mine and refitting it with a new gasket with some sealant. But that's not all. The oil separator for the breather under the cover is plastic. Heat has taken its toll and the plastic is all cracked and falling apart. Lets price the oil separator. That's available interstate at about $70 AUD but supposedly does not suit my car. They will get it in for me anyway but I suspect that the oil separator under my cover is considered part of the cover and not available separately. I won't know until I see the one they are getting for me. If that doesn't fit I guess I will have to get very creative and fabricate my own from sheet metal.
Why do they spoil these otherwise well engineered cars with such poor materials that distort or crumble like dry dog-do when exposed to heat and age. Have others had similar problems with their M102 (or M103 or M104) valve covers?
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.