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  #1  
Old 01-17-2001, 07:42 PM
John CH
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It's time to bite the bullet and replace the head gasket in my 1992 300E (103.983 engine). The oil leak is at the rate of 1 quart every 3-500 miles, but, coolant seems to be staying at a constant level with no overheating. My trusted independent is quoting $1000.00 to fix it. Does this seem to be a realistic price. If any of you out there have done this I'd sure like your feedback. Thanks in advance.
John CH
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2001, 09:52 PM
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Don't dare do this without doing a valve job. Most of the oil is being consumed by the enigne through the valve guides. I know this from years of servicing these.
It will bring the price up a little, but if you are to keep the car, do the job right and you will be happy.
Thanks
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2001, 09:57 PM
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That seems a bit steep for just a head gasket, but who knows,(maybe Steve B. or Donnie D.)BTW, with that rate of oil consumption, are you sure it's the head gasket??Any signs of increased pressure in the crankcase, ie, oil in the air cleaner or the front cover leaking. make sure it's not one of these before you jump into tearing the head off. That's pretty hefty oil loss.
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1989 300e
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No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2001, 10:55 PM
pfphipps
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This should give you a good guide: I just picked my car up today after having the head gasket replaced on my 93 300E2.8. It was done by Premier Motors, the Albuquerque Mercedes dealer, for $896. The price included a new radiator cap and an oil change. Since the car only had 64,000 miles, it did not need a valve job but last week I saw gobs of oil in the water and I knew it had to be done. It was leaking a little on the floor but I could never detect any change in level between oil changes every 3000 miles. I saw the old gasket and there were two or three areas where the material was just falling apart although I could not really tell where the actual oil to water leak was at.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2001, 12:13 AM
John CH
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Donnie, Jeff and PFPHIPPS,
Thanks for your sage advice. I've taken it to heart and have, accordingly, decided to get a second opinion and will go for the valve job as well. Thanks.
John CH
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2001, 09:18 AM
LarryBible
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On this engine, under these conditions, I believe that replacing the head gasket without doing valves and guides, would be like washing your feet and then putting on dirty socks.

Good luck,
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2001, 02:06 PM
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Another thing to consider doing is to replace the lifters. My '88 300TE had one or two that were intermittently making noise (indicating that they were leaking down) so I replaced them. I just did the entire deal at 165k (head gasket had begun to weep a little oil out the back of the motor, and there was a tiny bit of oil in my coolant expansion tank), so I'm speaking from recent experience. And assuredly do the valve job while the head's off!
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2001, 01:15 PM
Johnson Chan
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You know it wouldnt be a bad idea to have a valve job done at this point, is blue smoke coming out the tailpipe? Oil consumption is an indicator as well.

If you have a bad or leaking head gasket, how is your compression? Also inspect or replace the timing chain while your in there. Its better to change this kind of stuf f while you have the engine apart than to have it done in the near future. Saves on labor this way.

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  #9  
Old 01-19-2001, 01:42 PM
John CH
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Again, thanks for all the help for those who responded to my original post on this head gasket issue. To answer some of the questions the leak is from the forward part of the engine and my independent, initially, thought it might be from the timing chain cover. Further inspection indicated the head gasket. The engine is not burning oil - the tail pipe has no residue nor smoke. Coolant might be off it's normal level, but, not enough to say it's leaking just yet. Engine power is normal. So, the only indication of head gasket leak is oil streaming from the gasket area at the front part of the block. Engine has no tapping noises and idles very smoothly and quietly. Hope this helps a little.
Thanks.
John CH
1992 300E
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2001, 01:49 PM
John CH
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Forgot a couple things. There is no sign of oil over-pressure such as oil in the air cleaner, etc. Also, I recently switched to Mobil 1 synthetic oil from Pennzoil. The increase in the leak could be the attributed to the synthetic, although, this leak has significantly increased from before the changeover(3000 miles ago).
John CH
1992 300E
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2001, 10:14 PM
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John, I am curious, What further inspection was done to rule out the front cover, as this is a frequent finding in the M103's (most of them do it). I am always open to learning new ways to figure things out. How did the tech make the diagnosis of head gasket? Thanks
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1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2001, 10:53 PM
John CH
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Jeff,
Very good point. Don't really know the answer to that question other than the independent "inspected" it more thoroughly after the first look which, by the way, was just that. Their final verdict of head gasket failure vs timing chain cover seemed plausible. Have dealt with these guys for 9 years and have been rather reliable. But, due to some of the responses on this post a second opinion is in order.
John CH
1992 300E
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2001, 11:13 PM
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These cars, near as I can tell, rarely if ever leak up front with head gasket probs; however, front seals are extremely common. As a matter of fact, as I understand it MBZ has recently come up with a new sealant that's supposed to be very effective-I'd have my independent check it out, or get your second opinion from a qualified dealer.

Clean it up as best you can; a clean motor makes it easy to diagnose problems accurately.
Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2001, 12:08 PM
LarryBible
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I recommend that you get a second opinion from someone well experienced with these engines. Mine leaked for a long time in this area, and I can see where it could easily be mistaken for a headgasket.

I would wash the engine at the car wash in this area. Then keep an eye on it for a few days, I'll bet you will be able to tell at that point.

If it is indeed the upper timing cover, by using a translucent blue sealer that MB sells for this application, you can slide the cover forward without disturbing the seal. I had never done one before and managed to get it sealed up the first time. I attribute my success to the use of this sealant which is perfect for the job.

Good luck,
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2001, 11:46 PM
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Sorry for ths stupid question,here it goes
when you guys said valve job,what exactly are you repairing to valve guide,valve guide seals?thanx
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