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Old 06-08-2003, 01:38 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Mustang, OK
Posts: 509
Did cooling service: good news/bad news


My 190D 2.2 was running a bit hot (100 deg C and it's only in the low '80's here) so I did a cooling service and have some good news and some bad news. I better preface this by saying that the previous owner had the head gasket replaced--I've got the receipts--and I hope that was the only thing wrong.

Good news: Valvoline Zerex is available at Pep Boys--yeah, no trip to the dealer. Had an overheating problem, now I dont. The basic problem was that pieces of paper or head gasket were lodged in the thermostat. Replacing it fixed the problem. Didn't have to burp the system, although I filled in some of the water from the upper radiator hose.

Bad news: I shorted the fan clutch temperature switch to ground and it didn't run. Furthermore, it's burned (but not vaporized) two fuses. There was oil in the overflow resevoir. Furthermore when I took the thermostat out, there was a oily covering in the thermostat housing. This was AFTER I ran a can of cooling system cleaner and some Dawn dishwashing detergent through the system. Probably need to repeat the deoiling exercize. All those little bits of head gasket/paper, if they clogged the thermostat, what are they doing to my radiator?

So in summary, I guess I'm waiting to see if more oil accumulates in the overflow resevior. Also, I need to fix the fan clutch. I probably just replace the radiator at this time as I don't know how old it is (plastic tank).

If I have cracked the head, would there be any other symptoms other than overheating/oil in coolant? I do not have any coolant in the oil nor am I consuming coolant or oil.

What else, '73 MB 280 SEL (Lt Blue)
Daily driver: '84 190D 2.2 5 spd.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
Since no one else has replied, I'll take a stab at it. The oil could be left over from the previous problem with the head gasket. I would not worry too much about that at the moment, just keep watching.
I doubt that there can be enough paper in the system to cause serious problems with the radiator.
Don't know anything about the electric fan clutch.
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596

The auxiliary fan is susceptible to damage to the bearings over time. They sit in front of the radiator/airconditioning condensor and are subject to being bumped, pelted by water and debris from the road, etc. There are some threads that describe taking them apart and replacing/repairing the bearings. I just looked on Fastlane and the auxiliary fan for your car is $273. It might be worthwhile trying to take it apart as you have nothing to lose. When they have a bearing problem they typically won't move by pushing with your hand either, or if they turn they are very hard to turn.

Try a citric acid flush like the MB manual suggests. It may clean the rest of the grease and oil out. Good luck, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chicago native-W.MI transplant
Posts: 278
Make sure the electric fan is working. On an 84, the engine fan is electro-magnetic (not viscous). Make sure that it engages at about 100-105 degrees. If it does not, it is most likely the contacts that are just above the water pump, behind the pulley and fan -- clean those.

These cars generally do not have a cracked head problem, and, it woudl depend on any over-heating in the past.

i am confused as to where the paper is coming from, the only paper gaskets are the where the thermostat housing bolts to the block and where the upper hose bolts to the head. I am not aware of others (the head gasket, as you know does not have any paper elements).

Keep an eye on the oil, it could very easily be from the head gasket repair previously done.

The aux fan is certainly a bearing problem as indicated in the last post.

'84 (11/83) 190D 2.2 5-Speed; Silver/Blue; Motor No. 00354, 402k mi (340+kmi mine)

'89 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe; Black/Black; 45kmi
'05 BMW 530i 6-Speed; 215kmi
'10 Range Rover; 30kmi
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Old 06-09-2003, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Mustang, OK
Posts: 509
Thanks for all your input. Cooling is still holding well, but I'm sure I'll need to degrease again. I just didn't get enough of the old coolant out before I put in the degreaser.

The problem was when I flushed the "green stuff" out, I didn't remove the thermostat. I flushed by continually draining the radiator and filling with fresh water. It says RIGHT THERE in the CD-ROM manual to take the thermostat out--DOH!!!!

I'll repeat this in a month or so. With all that oil, I probably should replace the rubber hoses. Maybe the oil was what damaged the thermostat anyway. The new one is working like a champ.

P.S. I've tested the aux fan and it is working OK. The problem is the electromagnetic clutch for the engine driven fan. I can't get it to engage and it is burning fuses. It seems like the thermo switch is switching OK, though I haven't taken it out and put it in a hot glass of water yet.

I may need to do some more troubleshooting with this one. It is possible that there is a grounding issue that is causing a voltage drop.

What else, '73 MB 280 SEL (Lt Blue)
Daily driver: '84 190D 2.2 5 spd.
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