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  #1  
Old 10-30-2006, 02:34 PM
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'87 300TD Needs new head, sources?

Hi all

I blew my head on my '87 300 TD (yes it is a Wagon). I was hoping that the head gasket was all I needed, wrong. Does anyone know of a source for these and how much they cost. I have been calling around but have not found one or they do not know the price.

Thank you
Gary T

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  #2  
Old 10-30-2006, 03:33 PM
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the head is the same on the wagon as it is on the sedan, the wagons were sold beginning in '86 and the 124.133 sedan only sold in '87. Later heads may need special step machined into the precombustion chamber opening, its not a big deal. The #22 head is I believe the latest version available.
Now, there is a statewide search place that I can't seem to find right now
I did a search using the words 603 head and came up with tons of stuff (including a dozen of my own posts made when I was looking for a head)

I ultimately gave up on the wrecking yards and bought a head fror Potomoc German http://mbpartsonline.com/ and had it pressure checked and rebuilt (new guides seals and skim cut) I can advise where to have that done. Or call Metric Motors and order one http://www.mercedesengines.net/

While your doing this job I suggest you be certain you have the new style vac pump, if not get one, and use a new timing chain and a Victor Reinz head gasket. Everything else is optional (water pump, belt tensioner, etc.)
Consider replacing your rings if the engine has over 250K on it, this is the time to think about that if you want to bring the engine up to top notch, look at the cylinder walls to see if there is any scoring if so rings are pretty cheap to so while the head is off half the labor is already done. I'm glad I did that instead of throwing a lot of $$ into an engine that was probably going to start using oil (the rings were worn severely)
Then you should be good to go another 250K miles or so.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2006, 04:15 PM
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A new #22 head will be $2000 list, $1600 wholesale, and comes bare (no valves, etc).

Used heads are typically $800-$1200, sometimes they include other stuff you may or may not need (valves, lifters, prechambers, cam, etc). If you buy used, ONLY get casting #17 or higher.

OE rings are about $600/set, aftermarket are cheaper, but I wouldn't mess with the bottom end if it was running OK prior to ths. The 603 has a pretty long-lived bottom end.

The OE/dealer gasket set when I did this job a few years ago was an Elring, btw. Photos of the whole process are here:
http://www.w124performance.com/images/OM603_head_replacement/

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  #4  
Old 10-30-2006, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions however still none that are affordable. Any one else out there??
Thank You
Gary T
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2006, 06:17 PM
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my #14 used head was $720 with cam and lifters. I needed all that because the PO allowed the mechanic to "lose" the entire head.
When I got the used head I threw out the lifters, that is something I wouldn't use as unknowns.
The pressure test and reman was about $375 and I supplied the guides and seals. So its at least $1200 w/ the gasket. doesn't anyone know what the online used part search web site is?
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2006, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomlinson View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions however still none that are affordable. Any one else out there??
Uh, I got bad news for you... there's almost no way you are going to replace a 603 head for under $1000 total, even if you do ALL the work yourself. The 603 is not for penny pinchers. (But it's still far cheaper than exotica like the M119 or M120 gasser engines...!) If you're the gambling type, you could try to send your head out to be welded, but who knows how long that will last. And that will still cost several hundred dollars.

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  #7  
Old 10-30-2006, 07:39 PM
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Better start to scour the boneyards. Deals are out there if you're sharp and know what to look for. Believe me.

And no, my last two updated heads are not for sale.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2006, 10:34 PM
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I can direct you to a used and warranted -16 head. Cost is 750.00 plus shipping. Elring and Victor were both oem gasket sets to the best of my knowledge. I have historically prefered Elring. MB now uses VR as oem. Be certain that you buy the later prechambers if you go for a -18 on casting or you will need to machine about 1mm from the new casting. Also, I would be certain to get any used head casting with the original to that head cam caps. Welding these heads is a total waste of time if the problem is between cylinders or within a chamber.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2006, 10:59 AM
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There is no #16 casting. The six casting numbers are 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, and 22. Casting numbers 14 and 15 are the 'bad' ones that are crack-prone. The others are reinforced to resist cracking.

Also, you can't just use the late-style prechambers for inclined (angled) injection with your existing vertical-injection parts. You also need inclined injectors, lock rings, and metal fuel lines. And, not all new heads have the problem with the old vertical prechambers not seating... Metric Motors said it's about a 50/50 chance. If it does happen, lightly machining the old prechambers is the easiest cure. BT, DT.

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  #10  
Old 10-31-2006, 12:05 PM
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Have a picture of an original 603 head that shows 16... Perhaps it was a casting flash error.
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2006, 12:10 PM
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Hi Sooty Past

I would be very interested in the head, please email me your phone number and i will give you a call.

Thank you
Gary t

gary@stowe.nu
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2006, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SootyPast View Post
Have a picture of an original 603 head that shows 16... Perhaps it was a casting flash error.


Cool, post a pic. I like to see weird parts!
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2006, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SootyPast View Post
Have a picture of an original 603 head that shows 16... Perhaps it was a casting flash error.
Sounds like you were looking at the wrong digits. I believe the casting number is 603-016-xx-01, where 'xx' is the number 14, 17, 22, etc. You may have just looked at the previous two digits and got them mixed up.

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  #14  
Old 11-01-2006, 03:25 PM
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car-part.com is a good place to look and includes Potomac German stock. It's hit or miss with any boneyard as Potomac sent me an unusable head first time around (they do generally guarantee no warps no cracks so i got my money back). The next one I got from a different supplier in NY was machinable but heading towards the spec limits.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2006, 03:36 PM
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Check out this thread re new 603 heads. Does anyone have an aftermarket 603 head?

Yet to hear back from anyone here who has one.

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