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  #1  
Old 10-26-2000, 10:52 PM
dacia's Avatar
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The car is an '86 300E with about 250K miles on it. It is burning about 3 quarts of oil per 3000 miles (I am not the first owner, I wish I was). Talked to my Benz Pro, quoted me $800.00 US for a head job or $200US for changing the seals only. My question is how much of an improvement could I expect in oil consumption from changing the seals only as oppose to going for the full headjob?
By the way the car does not smoke not even at start-up so I am wondering where does the oil go? It is not in the coolant, not under the car so I guess it is in the catalic converter? I am not planning to keep the car for many years to come meaning don't really want to invest into that headjob unless absolutely necessary. And yes, I will buy another 124. Best car I ever had!
Thanks
Alex
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2000, 06:08 AM
WDurrance
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Hi Alex,
At that mileage, I'd get the head done. The guides are going to be worn. I don't think the stem seals would improve things very much (or for very long). The 103 motors seem to burn the oil well enough where you won't see much smoke.
Regards,
Randy D.


------------------
W.R.Durrance
ASE Master Tech
Mercedes Tech 21 Years
68 250SE
68 SAAB 96 Ice Racer
69 300SEL 6.3
70 300SEL 3.5
81 300TDT
W.R.Durrance Engineering
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2000, 06:18 AM
LarryBible
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First of all $800 sounds very reasonable for a valve job on one of these cars. Ensure that they are replacing the guides for this price.

Secondly, if it were me, with this high mileage engine, I would do a compression check, record the numbers and check compression again after squirting oil in the hole before putting in the compression guage. This will show if there is any compression loss past the rings. If the rings are tired, and the valves need grinding, the additional compression from the fresh valve job will possibly push more oil past the rings.

The infamous valve seal problem on these engines was corrected in the early portion of the engines life by changing valve seal types. Since you did not buy the car new, and it sounds like you don't know the engine history, the seals were PROBABLY replaced previously. Replacing them would be a "pig and a poke".

i'm glad you're enjoying your 124. There are plenty of relatively low mileage well cared for examples available right now. Maybe it is time to think about finding another. One quart in 1,000 miles is not so bad that the car has no value.

Best of luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2000, 11:13 AM
makakio
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I agree with Larry - if you want to keep it another 100k spend the money to have a tech tear it down and really check it out. Amazing quote BTW - guides and seals run about $1800 in my neck of the woods...
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2000, 11:14 AM
makakio
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WOW! AND you're talking CANADIAN DOLLARS! This might be worth the drive to Toronto someday...
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2000, 05:17 PM
rabbit
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If you are burning oil and want to take care of that only. I think the valve seals should take care of that. I have seen many more posts where W124 M103 owners were burning a quart every 500 miles and the valve seals fixed this. My old 86 had this done at 123,000 and it didn't burn a drop after that. Mine also burned about a quart every 1000 miles. I think I paid about $350 US for that as he did not have to remove the heads for this.

Hope this helps.

MW

93' 400e
86' 300e (sold)
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2000, 08:12 PM
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You can change the valve guides as well the stem seals without removing the head. Done all the time by good mechanics working to save customers money and keep their business. Expensive way is to remove the head. If the valves are not leaking compression, have him check stem play and replace the worn one along with the seals. Check the stem shims to be sure they do not have a groove worn in them that willcause side load son the valve stem and wear guides real fast.
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2000, 09:39 AM
LarryBible
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I am intrigued. How do you replace the guides with the head on? Since the valve must be removed for this operation, how is this possible? If you can perfect such a process, I expect that you could be wealthy.

Additionally, the original post indicates a very high mileage engine. I doubt that valve seals alone will do much unless the head has been off before.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2000, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I am still thinking about the best course of action. I may just leave it as it is and buy another 124 in the spring with low milage so I can take care of the engine as it should be (oil changes at every 3000 miles!) taken care of.
By the way the car seems to have power, accerelates very well so compression should be OK, and the price quoted for the repair is in US dollars. I've been going to this mechanic for the last two years and so far have no reason to doubt his honesty or workethic. The people I have referred to him have the same opinion. So far so good.
Thanks again

Alex
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2000, 12:24 PM
edbardzik
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Dacia,

1) With all due respect to Kebowers, it is NOT possible to replace valve guides in an M103 engine without removing the cylinder head.

2) $800.00 US is a BARGAIN for a complete valve job--as long as your mechanic is doing the job correctly--and you seem to have alot of confidence in your mechanic. So, if you do elect to have this done, it is money well spent.

3) Your mechanic can very easily determine whether your engine has worn valve guides and seals, or simply worn valve seals alone. All he needs to do is remove the valve cover, rocker towers and valve springs, and the guides can be tested for play. If the guides do not have play, then replace the seals alone, especially if you are only planning to keep the car another year or so. If the valve guides do have play, they must be replaced and in this case, putting new valve guide seals alone on will not cure the oil consumption problem. It would be like putting a bandaid on the worn guides.

Good luck with your decision.

Ed
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2000, 01:24 PM
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edbardzik,

You are right, I have checked the manual and the head has to come off for that guide change. I may just live with the oil consumption and buy another 124 when the wheather lets up in the spring. I love the car in any other aspect though.
Thanks for your input.

Alex

[This message has been edited by dacia (edited 10-29-2000).]
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2000, 08:10 AM
djenkins2
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Valve seals yes.....but valve guides with the head in place? I don't think so.

Concur. I've replaced guide seals like this...it can be done....you pressurize the cylinder with air to hold the valve in place, then using a tool that depresses the spring you can get at the keepers and seal. But the guide itself? Don't believe so.

I was faced with this decision myself with a burner recently (kids car). The problem is that if the seals are brittle and losing their ability to seal, (they are an elastomer that don't survive past 100-150K miles due to the heat mainly) the guides themselves may be so worn, that the seals are only part of the problem. You could change the seals, but what can happen is that the movement of the valve in the guide bore (if worn) can allow oil past the seal anyway. Depends on the clearance. Quite a gamble. Not worth the trouble or money..besides, if your quote includes guides and seals, it is a good one. I would never change guide seals alone, unless I knew for sure the guide history and that it were certain to solve the problem. Anyway....if they install new guides...it makes sense to replace the valves at the time....I don't know how expensive MB valves are, but while the head was off I would just have the valves replaced and your standard "valve job" done. Especially if the car is a keeper.

I just had my sons 4 cylinder apart for this reason, and just replaced the guides, valves and seals. My philosophy is: If the head is off, might as well use the opportunity....I don't want to repeat the exercise.

dave
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2000, 10:22 AM
LarryBible
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I'm very anxious to here the procedure for changing valve guides without pulling the head(s).

If we can perfect that procedure, we'll be rich.

Please share this method with the rest of us.

Good luck,


------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #14  
Old 09-12-2005, 04:55 PM
Altinger
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(Bump!)

Please do! My 260E is sucking oil like theres no tomorrow at only 138,000 miles.
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2005, 06:17 PM
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You do realize that you brought back a 5 year old thread, don't you? Don't hold your breath waiting for that magic valve guide procedure.
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1989 300 SEL that mostly works, but needs TLC
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