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  #16  
Old 12-08-2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samiam4
I don't think it's the I-6 design,

Have you worked on the 80's BMW's with 4 cylinders? They are known for headgasket problems too! I think the sealing area in the gasket around the feed through just doesn't have the surface area as the gaskets age.

Gasket design changes have made improvements. V8's don't suffer the same failures but they have more meat around the oil-feed through in the block.


Michael
My neighbor across the street, who is a mechanic at Penske Mercedes Benz in West Covina, CA, is a former Jaguar dealer technician, and he tells me that Jaguar's 4.2 liter inline 6 engine also suffered from the same head gasket leaks as M104 engines, and in the same way, and in the same location.

He clains the Jag I-6 is a fantastic engine, anyway...

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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #17  
Old 04-03-2007, 07:40 AM
Pete Geither's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suginami View Post
When the head gasket on my 3.2 liter M104 was leaking, I let it get so bad that oil was pooling on the floor of my garage.

The exhaust manifold was getting so covered in oil that it would smoke a bit at start-up burning off the caked oil.

When I finally took it in for replacement, the whole undercarriage of the car was covered in oil.

The catalytic converter was also covered in oil, essentially ruining it. I failed the next smog test and had to replace it.
That surprises me Paul,,,, I always pictured you as being a lot more maintenence oriented than that.
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2007, 07:45 AM
ksing44's Avatar
1995 E320 SE
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Downingtown, PA
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When to get head gasket? Just for the mess?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
On the M104, you can let that leak go as long as you can stand the mess, it normally won't allow oil into the coolant or vice-versa.Gilly
I have a leak in the head gasket on my M104 and I have been thinking I should fix it before I get oil in the coolant. It looked like such a mess in my friendís 190E. After reading some of this thread, however, I am less worried about that same thing happening to me. That said, now I wonder when I should go for the repair.

I have the head gasket leak and the front timing cover leak, but I donít even loose enough oil to need to add any between my routine oil changes. What should be the catalyst to do the head gasket and front timing cover job?

I guess I should add that I have not replaced the wiring harness either. I was going to do that along with the head gasket repair, since I was told that there would be a significant cost savings by doing everything at the same time.

Finally, I would also like to know what does happen with the M104, if the oil doesnít get into the coolant. For example, at one time I started to think that maybe some of my coolant was getting into my motor. I didnít have any smoke or anything, but it seemed like I might have lost a little coolant and the upper hose was pinched, like from suction. Now I think those symptoms may have just been part of the aftermath of having the water pump replaced, but I am still curious about what should send me to the Indy for a new gasket.

As for my sucked upper hose, I simply topped off the fluid level and releasing the pressure in the system seemed to eliminate the pinched hose. I thought the pinch may have been caused by removing the cap when the motor was hot and that maybe I had air in my system from after the water pump was replaced. I think the air may have worked its way out of the system and now I donít seem to be loosing any fluid. In addition, the pinch thing has not happened again. I think it just had to burp or something.
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I just couldn't give up on my 1995 E320.

I think it might be like always going back to that same bad relationship with an ex girlfriend.
You feel you love them too much, or you are just too stupid to know any better.



Flickr slideshow of my 1995 E320
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24145497@N06/sets/72157616572140057/
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2007, 09:42 AM
engatwork's Avatar
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don't forget the diesels with al heads

For all you folks that like a graphic example.
Attached Thumbnails
M102, 103 & 104 head gaskets almost seem predictable!-leaking-head-gasket.jpg  
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2007, 11:09 AM
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Recently had the head gasket done on my M104-equipped W124.

I knew this would eventually have to be performed, but like Paul, I tolerated the "Valdez-sized" oil pools it left wherever parked, and kept a gallon container of oil in the trunk!

What forced me to do something about it was the loss of coolant. Thought it was the gasket breach, but it turned out to be a burst heater hose. That hose is a bear to access and replace with the engine intact, so it was at least a good thing that I needed the gasket repair performed anyhow.

I will admit, for all that has to come off, it's a GREAT time to take care of other issues as most components are easily accessible at that point.

I've read over and over how these M104 engines seep at the rear of the head...well, my seepage occurred at the front:

Now there's lots of room to work. Hmmm...what should I fix next?


A bit more evidence of the gasket breach on this shot...the left side of the cylinder bank shows where the oil leak occurred.


Finally, internals all cleaned up


If nothing else, it was worth the effort just to have the head reconditioned in this manner!
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  #21  
Old 04-03-2007, 08:36 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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I guess I got lucky in a way and avoided the mess on the floor - the two head gaskets I had done to the '94 wagon over 220,00 miles were done because I had the coolant leaking out the right rear section - not oil. Aslo had the head done when I bought the car witrh 66,000 miles. The head gaskets and the wiring harness are the only only things that have ever gone wrong with the engine (knock on wood ).
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1994 E320 Wagon (Died @ 308,669 miles)
1995 E300 Diesel (228,000)
1999 E300 Turbodiesel ( died @ 255,000)
2006 Toyota Tundra SR5 AC 4X4 (115,000 miles) rusted frame - sold to chop shop
2011 Audi A4 Avant (165,000 miles) Seized engine - donated to Salvation Army
BMW 330 xi 6 speed manual (175,034 miles)
2014 E350 4Matic Wagon 128,000 miles
2018 Dodge Ram 21,000 miles
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2007, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
That surprises me Paul,,,, I always pictured you as being a lot more maintenence oriented than that.
Yeah, I ignored the problem for so long because it just left a little oil on my garage floor and because it wasn't losing enough oil to cause me to have to add oil between oil changes.

It surprised the heck of me when he put it on the life and I saw for the first time how much oil was slathered along the underbody of the car.

Anyway, I sold the car two years ago to JCE's son, with a new headgasket w/ new valve guides and seals, and it's still in action.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #23  
Old 04-19-2007, 10:12 PM
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Posts: 2
Hi all!

I recently purchased a 1995 E320 and first things I noticed was the oil leak. It only has 109K miles. I found this site and for the last week and a half been glued to my computer screen soaking in all the knowledge on this board! Thanks btw!!

After reading about the usual headgasket problem I took it to a shop that we've been taking our cars to for the past couple of three years and the mechanic there said he's worked on Mercedes before and after checking the E320 out said it's the headgasket. He let me also know that at this point it's not a crucial repair but might be if put off too long.

After reading from this site, it sounded like.. well sound advice. So I felt good enough and asked him to go ahead with the job. He suggested that since they're in there they might as well recondition the head and that sounded ok too.

That was last week. He first said, it might take a week. I called him today to see how it's going, he told me they haven't got the head back from the shop they sent it to and it might take another week!!

Is that normal? Now, I'm not sure if I made the correct decision. He's not done us wrong in the past, but I'm wondering if he actually has the experience to work on the E320 etc

Anyway, maybe I'm just being a bit too anxious about all this but wanted to ask your guys opinion if two weeks is normal for a job like this?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.
-Ray
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  #24  
Old 04-19-2007, 10:23 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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Quote:
half been glued to my computer screen soaking in all the knowledge on this board
lol - welcome aboard

Give your mechanic a little time. He has limited control over the machine shop. If you have been using him for that long and have always been taken care of then I suspect you will be fine.
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  #25  
Old 04-19-2007, 11:56 PM
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Thank you for the welcome and encouragement. It feels real good to hear you say that! This is the first major type repair job I've had to have done.
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  #26  
Old 04-20-2007, 12:46 AM
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Took my indie 3 weeks to get everything back together...the head was away for two weeks!

Well worth it!

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