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Old 03-28-2001, 12:17 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 326
I have to agree with the others on this. I would suspect that a lot of the oil is being consumed via valve guides. If you are leaking that much you will have tremendous puddles every where you go, not to mention that all the oil that is undercoating your car, at least it won't rust :-)
Also it has been my personal experience that Mobil 1 gets burned very rapidly by older 103 engines. I would recommend getting rid of the Mobil 1 and get some real oil. I switched to Redline. You should also be careful not to assume that because there is no blue smoke that no oil is being burned. Six cylinders with worn guides can burn a lot of oil and not foul the plugs.

The best way to watch the leak is clean the area thoroughly and use an inspection mirror to see where the oil comes from.
Scott Diener
89 300E
93 300E
92 Volvo 740 Wagon aka "Mutt mover"
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Old 03-28-2001, 01:41 PM
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On aluminum head engines, such as MBs have, a valve job generally includes new valve guides and valve seals, replacement of any questionable valves or valve seat inserts, and grinding of all valves/seats. Sometimes valve springs, lifters and camshafts are also doscovered to need replacement, but generally it's guides, seals, and grinding.
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Old 03-28-2001, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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thanks colin...
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Old 03-28-2001, 04:31 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
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I was wondering how many miles were on the engine. And keep in mind oil coming through the exhaust guide doesn't get burned so it won't affect the plugs, it goes out the exhaust to ruin the cat.
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Old 03-28-2001, 05:42 PM
John CH
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Jim and Jeff,
Thanks for your response. Turns out that 2 leaks are verified at this point. Head gasket and timing chain gasket cover. I was able to slow the leak substantially by switching out the Mobil 1 synthetic and going back to Pennzoil. The leak is about 1 quart every 1800 miles or so at this time. Couldn't believe how the synthetic oil altered things. Also, there is no evidence of the car using oil. No smoke, tailpipe has no crud build-up, and the plugs are clean as mentioned before. Also, in relation to the head gasket, there is no coolant loss and engine power is unaltered. I've put off the repair of the two gaskets 'till the leak gets a little worse. The engine has about 160,000 miles on it and repair records show head gasket replacement at 35,000 miles and 96,000 miles. You'd think that it wouldn't crop up again.
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Old 07-12-2001, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
I just spoke to what seemed to be a very knowledgable MB tech about a possible blown head gasket with oil in my coolant, and he told me in his 10 years experience of working on 103 engines that very rarely is the head gasket that is faulty. He said that it most likely is the automatic transmission cooler that is leaking oil into the cooling system.

He said it very well could be the head but he'd bet money that it was the transmission cooler leaking.

Has anyone with the oil-in-the-coolant problem assumed it to be head gasket related, only to happily find out it was the tranny cooler instead?

Would like to know. This guy seemed pretty confident and candid.


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Old 12-16-2001, 01:24 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096
'91 300E head gasket?

I too have a 124 with some oil seeping from the front portion of the head. The car has 165,000 miles on it. The problem started to become very obvious right after changing the oil and pouring in Mobil 1. Since then I have changed to Vavoline MaxLife. The oil consumption has been significantly reduced.

I have also noticed that I loose some coolant over time, especially during hot weather. If these two symptoms are indeed related to the head gasket, would re-torquing make sense? Is this hard to do? What torque spec would I use?
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Old 12-16-2001, 04:12 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
mb uses stretch bolts in the heads so re-torquing won't do anything much. i considered using racing application head bolts for the head when having my hg replaced but couldn't find that much info on it.
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 12-16-2001, 08:34 PM
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Iím a recent owner of an 87 300e 127K. I have been watching an oil leak on the passenger front side near the timing cover. I have been using a quart ever 1K. Iíll check the oil every few days and it would be right between the red lines then the next day it would be down a quart. Has anyone experienced this type of loss? (Maybe someoneís steeling it)

Also the standard oil seems to be 5/40. In the pass when I had a engine using oil like this I would switch to a straight 30 for the winner and 50 for the summer. What do you guy think of this?
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Old 12-16-2001, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Smith Mt Lake Va
Posts: 119
oil leak

My mechanic, who has serviced my cars for 20 yrs, says that it is stupid not to do guides and a valve job on this motor if you have to do the head gasket. You will then have a motor which is almost like new, since the bottom end is almost unbreakable.
It all depends on whether you wil keep the car or not. $1k is not unreasonable for a comprehensive job
92 500e, 85k, silver/gray,all stock.
96 Club Wagon,Hypertech chipped( College Hauler)
97 320 SL 50k
1980 BMW e21 323 Baur conv.
1990 300GE 99k
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