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  #1  
Old 12-22-2001, 07:34 PM
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Question Average price for a valve job

I was wondering what the average price for a valve job on a w124 '87 300E is. I am burning almost 2 quarts every thousand miles or so and I think the time has come. Any first hand experience or recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.

Brian
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2001, 10:23 PM
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Location: Westchester Co. , New York
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From my experience, the heads almost never go bad, unless the engine is really overheated badly. The problem to me sounds like the Valve seals, which is a pretty common problem on the 103 engines. Usually a job like that is about 3 hrs labor and maybe $100 in parts. Pull the spark plugs out and see if they are covered in oil. I would at least check them before I spent about $1,200 for a valve job, which may have not been needed.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2001, 11:14 PM
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oil consumption

My 87 300 has 295K miles. The valve seals are rubber and get hard. I put in better guides/seals and did the valves at the same time. If the car is a long term keeper you might want to consider it. My 2 cents.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2001, 03:57 PM
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As pointed out above, the problem is in the seals, ALWAYS!! Why do a valve job till you tell whether the seals will last.

I advise doing seals untill they don't last. They will not last once the guides are so wore that the valves move around to much or the seals can't stay attached to the guide. The good quality seals, MB uses, will seal worn guides for extended time. I would guess the guides would be worn by around 250-300k miles.
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2001, 03:38 PM
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I have an '87 260E with 300K miles and just got an estimate of $1,200 to do the complete valve job. Not sure it needs that, but my oil consumption isn't quite as high as yours right now ~800-900 miles per quart of oil.

I'm also located in Iowa if that's any help.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2001, 05:20 PM
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Thanks everybody for the responses. I am going to have the complete valve job done on the 27th so I'll post the end results/price.

Brian
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2001, 10:16 AM
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Valve Job

Brian,

Let me know how everything turnsout with your valve job . I have a 86 300E, with over 200k mis. on it, and I've taken the car off of the road for the winter months. I plan on doing the seals and the guides over the winter months so the car will be ready for spring. Let me know how you make out.

How much did you pay for your 95 tails?
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2001, 01:51 PM
clmiller
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$300 for seals

My new mechanic quoted me $300 for seals on my '86 300E last week. With 186,000 miles he didn't think I needed the whole valve job.

We'll see when when he gets the cover off.

--Craig
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2001, 01:54 PM
someguyfromMaryland
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I'd also be interested in what others have paid to have their M103 head reconditioned (valves reground if necessary, seals, and guides), but I'm considering doing the r&r myself and taking the head to a good shop. So I'd like to know both prices, for the shop doing it all and the shop only working the head. Anybody else BTDT??

I'd also replace the timing chain while I had the head off, it's too easy an opportunity and almost free with 220 k miles on the motor.

someguyfromMaryland
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2001, 02:18 PM
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Richie -

Got the updated tail light lenses for about 130 bucks from Performance Products if I remember correctly. The difference is night and day.

Brian
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2001, 05:30 PM
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95 tails

Brian,
Thanks for the quote. I'm also thinking about the trunk filler also. I think this makes a big difference appearance wise.
As for the guides and seals. The only reason that I'm willing to make this DIY(with my brother of course)is, the shops that I've inquired at seems to be giving me the run around as to: there might be something else wrong in there, we can't make any guarantees, etc. So I figure since my brother is a mechanic at Nissan and he's willing to give me a hand(I mean do the job),why not...
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2001, 11:26 AM
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Would you get oil on the plugs if only the seals need replacing (as distinct from the guides and/or the valves themselves)? What is the normal mileage cycle for seal replacement and is age is a consideration as well as mileage for the seals drying our and getting hard?

What are the symptoms of needing the guides in addition to the seals, and secondly, needing the valves in addition to the guides and seals? Just continued use of oil if the prior and lesser cure didn't stop it? Must the head be pulled off to determine whether the valves need replacing?

A bit of detail from the knowledgeable board members may help in systematically clarifying this matter and would be appreciated.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2001, 08:45 PM
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Location: Westchester Co. , New York
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Generally Valve Seals last roughly 10 years or about 150,000 miles. If you don't use the car they will dry up eventually. Usually you don't know the Valve guides are bad until you go and take the valve seal out and the Valve Stem comes out with it. From my experience it is usually the rear stems that come loose first, due to more heat staying in the back of the head. The Valve Stems are made of Brass and the Head is made out of Aluminum, so after years of use the Valve Stem may come loose due to the Brass and Aluminum having two different heat expansion rates and cooling rates. You will get oil on the plugs if the Valve seals are bad and you will get oil on the plugs if the valve stems are really bad. If the guides are really, really worn out they can come loose around the valve and the engine will make a ton of noise then, and you will more then likely need a new head then, but this is really rare. The Valves almost never need to be replaced unless the engine is over reved and the get bent. There is no need to pull the head off just to check the Valves. If you need guides, then you have to pull the head off and the head will have to be sent to a machine shop to have new guides pressed in. In most cases you will just burn a little oil, if it gets really bad you will start to see some blue smoke coming out of the tail pipe.

These are the most general things, I am sure someone will come up with something I am forgetting at the moment!
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2002, 02:13 AM
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I have a 1975 450 sl with 150,000 miles on it and I am contemplating a valve job. The top half of the engine is brand new but I still have a very loud tick. It sounds like a disel engine it is so loud. I have no vacuum leaks and good compression (160 lbs +/- 10) across all eight cylinders. If I have a valve job done, will the increased compression make me start burning oil or worse yet, blow a ring? Also, I am concerned because you say that when the valve guides are so loose that the make a lot of noise like mine the head will have to be replaced. Is this always the case? Thanks for any feedback!
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2002, 09:30 AM
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Your noise is not due to the guides unless the valves are bouncing off the pistons as a result. I've seen a few so loose that this happens. It won't go away (and won't run afterward).

Your noise is probably a worn rocker arm or cam lobe since that motor doesn't have hydraulic lifters. My original advise still holds. There is no reason to remove the heads untill there is a verifiable reason. Remove all the rocker arms - find the bad ones - replace them all (when putting back together), pull the plugs - find the worse carboned - add air and remove the valve springs - evaluate the guide - does it have a good groove at the top outside (seal uses the groove to retain grip) - is it loose in the head - does the valve have inordinate play (this is not critical as the seal will adapt for a deminishing time depending on play) - replace the seals - do the rest of the valve seals - if you find a loose guide or one with the groove worn off (the early motors has hard teflon seals that could wear out the brass guide if they rocked around too long) then the heads must come off.

This process is relatively painless and will almost always last for years. If you have to replace a guide, then of course all the guides should all be replaced. But, have NO concern about the bottom end. These motors never use oil through the rings. (and I'm a person who never says never).
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