Thanks guys for the interest and responses. I can't stress enough how much I like this board. The information that passes through it is incredible. My wife thinks I am nuts, I just sit here sometimes for hours and learn. Anyway, first let me start with:
1. William Rogers- I had the dash off to replace the heater core. One day while driving a couple of weeks ago, coolant just poured out onto my leg. While it was in the garage I figured I may as well go ahead and start the imminent head work that needed to be done.
2.Machnumber 2- Don't know yet. I took it up the block and back and it was fine. I was sure it wouldn't start (just my luck) and the first time I turned the key it didn't. I forgot to tighten down one of the fuel lines. After I did that, within 2 seconds of the key turn it was purring. I couldn't believe it. I discovered another small problem which I am fixing before I let my wife drive it. I have posted some other little issues which have gone unanswered. No tach and oil level light is on. I am a little nervous about the oil light. Thing is, I had the dash off so it could very well be something from that as well. To answer your question though... Great.
3.Rodega- All the work was in the head. 8 new valves, new guides, seals, cam, lifters, and rockers. I took the head to a local machine shop where they cleaned it, machined the mating surface, re-cut the valve seats and re-installed the valves and springs. I lost track but with all that and a couple tools as well as a new belt, plugs and odds and ends it cost around $1,200. I think well worth it. I have the cd-rom manual as well as the Haynes book and a MB chassis manual. As far as experience, it was my first "head re-build" but I had taken a few engines apart in the past. I had a 258 straight 6 in a '79 CJ-7 (Jeep) that I pretty much completely tore down. It was comforting to know that if I did get stuck this resource was here. The reason I did it in the first place was cause I was burning about 1 qt. of oil every 3-500 miles, a nasty tap that was progressively getting worse and a loss of power. If you do decide to go ahead with it I would recommend that you use the Fast Lane. You can check some of my other posts for my experiences with them. Also, you need a good set of tools and don't forget to pick up that pesky #12 internal drive tool to remove the head. (you can get that at nearly any good automotive store) oh yeah and maybe a couple of real real good friends, they helped me out alot. Please check out the pix of my job at: http://www.users.fast.net/~effort/mb
and feel free to e-mail me with any questions.
Good luck if you decide to do it. All tolled I had about 15 hrs. in it.