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Old 10-16-2013, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 37
87 300SDL OM603 head bolt question?? Could this possibly be my problem???

OK, I'm an idiot sometimes let's just get that out of the way right up front, I get in a hurry to get a project done, and sometimes I cut corners.

I'm sure most of you that frequent this forum have read my threads about injection/timing problem driving me crazy, and my question about possible use of cooling system stop leak products.

Quickly, after doing a head gasket replacement I am now getting coolant in the #4 cylinder. I had the #14 head checked by a machine shop, no cracks or warpage, they did a valve job and new valve seals and cleaned it up.

On the commute home tonight I happened to remember something that could be key.

While reinstalling the head, I opened the box of new head bolts. It was sealed when I got it, so it must have been a mistake at the factory or packaging facility, but as I began to place a drop of oil on each new bolt and drop them in according to length I realized I was missing one of the longest bolts. Having had to mail order all the parts and wait, I decided I was not going to order just 1 head bolt. So I got the can of old head bolts and began to sort through them. I compared each old one to a new one and picked the one that was strectched the least. It was only about 1mm longer than the new one.

I then cleaned it up and decided to install it somewhere near the center of the engine, thinking that it would have other new bolts all around it to help it clamp the head down. I went through the proper tightening sequence.

I had totally forgot that I did that, but I happened to think tonight that I am getting coolant in the #4 cylinder and that's where I put the old head bolt.

So, do you folks think this may actually be my problem? or am I just grasping for straws?

The reason I never thought much about it is I had read of others reusing the old head bolts on several forums and some saying it was a waste of money to relace them, I figured at $54 or whatever it was, it would be cheap insurance. I believe the problem may be the combination of old and new, just a thought.

If it is the case, I sort of doubt ordering the one bolt and sticking it in and torqueing it down will solve the problem now, the new gasket is probably screwed where it didn't seal, and the head possibly warped in that area.

Any ideas or educated opinions would be appreciated.
I know my car has more problems than just this one, but I haven't totally given up on it yet.


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Old 10-17-2013, 12:05 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,807
I doubt that's the problem. You'd likely get oil in the coolant if it was a gasket problem.

87 300D

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