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Old 01-27-2014, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Portland, OR
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1986 300SDL: How soon to replace the head gasket?

My 86 300SDL w/ 230,000 mi has a head gasket leak at the front left of the cylinder block that leaks < 1qt of oil every tank of gas. See attached photo that shows a 1" section of the gasket angling out.

There is no oil in the coolant, or any white smoke from the tail pipe after the car warms up. There can be lots of diesel smoke under heavy acceleration prior to warming up. Indy shop confirmed coolant looks good.

Here are the compression test results from 5 months and < 5000 mile ago:

1)308 2)318 3)268 4)322 5)324 6)343

How long can I safely wait before getting the gasket replaced and possibly engine rebuilt? What would be a reasonable price for an Indy shop to perform either of this options?

Any stop-gap measures that might be taken while I save up the $$$ to repair?

Thanks in advance
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1986 300SDL: How soon to replace the head gasket?-photo.jpg  
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:56 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shelbyville, Tn
Posts: 1,907
If you are using a quart a tank, the gasket could fully blow at any moment. That moment being as you leave home tomorrow or in 10 yrs.

#3 is the worst which means your head is probably gonna have to be surfaced when you pull it.
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"If you dont have time to do it safely, you dont have time to do it"

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Old 01-28-2014, 11:23 AM
is thinning the herd
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,272
You sure you're not burning oil? 268 on #3 isn't stellar.

My 87 has been leaking oil out of the front of the timing cover like that for about 75,000 miles. But it also is down 1qt per 6,000 mile OCI.
68 280SL - 70 280SL - 70 300SEL 3.5 - 72 350SL - 72 280SEL 4.5 - 72 220 - 72 220D - 73 450SL - 87 200TD - 87 300D - 90 190E 2.0 - 03 G500 - 06 E320CDI

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