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  #1  
Old 01-02-2002, 05:45 PM
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M103 Valve Stem Seals Done!

I just replaced the valve stem seals on the 90 300E. With 166K, it has been using about a quart of oil every 1,000 miles, which isn't too bad. I haven't done valve stem seals before, so I decided to go for it. The parts are dirt cheap and why burn extra oil?

It was pretty easy with some advice a while back from Donnie and numerous posts by Larry and others on the subject. Thanks guys! I did have to buy a few tools. It took me from 9:00 pm (after the kids went to bed) until 1:30 am when I took my test drive and declared the job complete. This included a new serpentine belt and belt tension damper (little shock), but I spent most of the time on the seals. There’s definitely a learning curve involved, but by the time you’re about ½ way done, things are moving along pretty smoothly.

I bought a Craftsman 3/8 drive, in-lb torque wrench. It goes up to 250 in-lb and is perfect for this job. I didn’t want to guess at the torque values since all the bolts go into aluminum threads. I also got an overhead valve spring compressor. It was a “Powerbuilt” brand from Kragen. It worked okay, but I wished I had bought a better one. The last thing I got was a telescoping magnet tool (Craftsman) which I used to catch the ball cups when removing the rocker stands and also to pull the keepers out of the spring retainers. I temporarily converted my compression tester into a tool for hooking up compressed air to the spark plug hole to hold the valves in place. It worked great. I bought the seals and a new valve cover gasket from Partshop for about $20 total.

I’ll find out over the next couple of months whether this will help reduce the oil consumption. The old seals weren’t cracked or hard, but I could see that the sealing lips on the ID were worn flat.

The job wasn’t too bad, but is a bit of a back-breaker since you’re hunched over the engine the whole time.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2002, 06:26 PM
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Don't it make you feel good when you are finished
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2002, 09:00 PM
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Thumbs up Valve Stem Seal Replacement

Thanks for sharing your seal replacement success story. I'm gearing up to do the same job on my '88 260E.

Using compressed air to hold the valves in place is a good idea. How many psi did you set the compressor at?
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2002, 09:29 PM
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John,

My manual says "no less than 6 bars", which is about 90 PSI. So I set the line pressure at 100 PSI and it worked fine. One note about the compressed air though: If you're not right at TDC for the cylinder you're working on it will turn your engine over! I didn't want to hover on the brink like that so I turned each cylinder just past TDC and put a breaker bar on the crank nut with the handle against the shop floor. So when I pressurized the cylinder it would try to turn in the correct direction and the breaker bar would hold it in place. That worked well.
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Old 01-02-2002, 09:33 PM
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One other tip: If you don't already know the trick to get your hood opened straight up (90 degrees), you need to know about it before attempting this job!
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2002, 09:36 PM
PA_Joe_300E
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Will this type of valve spring compressor work?

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  #7  
Old 01-03-2002, 12:11 PM
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Somebody on this site stuffed some rope into the cylender to hold the valve shut. That sounds like a good idea.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2002, 12:27 PM
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PA_Joe,

That type of spring compressor is for use with the head off of the engine. Although it isn't a picture of a Mercedes engine, you want to use this type:
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M103 Valve Stem Seals Done!-springcompressor2.jpg  
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2002, 12:56 PM
PA_Joe_300E
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Thanks Dennis

That's what I thought...
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2002, 02:18 PM
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All the details...

I’ve received a couple of e-mail requests for additional detail, so here it is.

First, you’ll need a manual to get the proper torque specs for your engine. Mine is a 300E 2.6, and it takes 21 N-m for the rocker stand bolts and 8.5 N-m for the valve cover bolts. Those were the only specs I needed.

The only tool I was missing was a 27 mm socket for turning the engine over. I used a 1 1/16 inch socket that worked fine with all the spark plugs out, but didn’t fit perfectly.

First I yanked the valve cover and the plugs. I pulled the distributor cap off so I could keep the wires routed in the valve cover and remove the cover, wires and cap from the car as an assembly.

Then I brought the #1 cyl to TDC on the compression stroke. Just look in the plug hole and you can see the piston come to TDC. Then look at the rotor – if it’s at about the 10-11:00 position, you’re there.

Pull out the 3 small bolts and remove the oil piping from the top of the rocker stands.

Pull the 4 bolts (13mm socket) from the rocker stand for cyl # 1. Wiggle the stand a little and use a magnet to catch the ball cups from the top of the spring retainer. Set these out carefully so you can put everything back where it came from. I used a flat piece of cardboard on the air cleaner to keep things nearby.

Pressurize the cylinder – see my note above on going slightly past TDC and holding the engine in place with a breaker bar.

Compress the valve spring (intake or exhaust first, doesn’t matter), rap it lightly with a very small hammer to un-stick the retainer from the valve stem. Use your magnet to pull the keepers out and lift the spring off.

Take the old seal off with a screwdriver or your fingers if you can. Be careful not to slip and scratch the valve stem. Wipe the little bit of sludge off of the guide with a lint-free rag. Smear some fresh oil on there afterwards. Give the valve stem a wiggle – fairly snug? Good, the guides are in good shape.

Take the correct seal (Exhaust valves are larger in diameter than the intakes), smear some oil in it to lube it for assembly, put the little plastic tube over the valve stem and slide the seal in place until you feel it pop into position. Take some needlenose pliers and remove the tube. Note: these tubes come with the seal kit. You’ll know what they are when you see them.

Reinstall the spring and do the other valve. Then remove the air pressure.

Stick the ball cups on the valves and reinstall the rocker arm stands. I ran the bolts down diagonally going a little tighter each time and then did the final torque setting with the torque wrench.

Here’s a trick…
Look on your valve cover for the firing order. Do the cylinders in the order of the firing order. That way you always know which cylinder is coming up to firing position next.

Major warning! Don’t drop any small parts or you’re screwed. Use your magnet and take whatever steps are needed to keep those ball cups and retainer clips under control.

Be patient and don’t do the job when you have a time constraint. By about the 3rd cylinder things are more routine and you’re cruising right along.

I’m really glad I did it. Okay, now I have to find something new to worry about!

Here’s a picture that should help. I was always wondering what the heck it was going to look like in there. In the picture I have taken off the rocker stand for cyl # 1 and have the spring and seal off of the exhaust valve. If you want the .jpg file so you can zoom, shoot me an e-mail.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2002, 02:21 PM
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Darn, can I e-mail the picture to someone who can re-size it and post it?

Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2002, 03:37 PM
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Dennis,

THANK YOU!

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  #13  
Old 01-14-2002, 08:58 AM
PA_Joe_300E
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Does anyone know the conversion to foot pounds?


First, you’ll need a manual to get the proper torque specs for your engine. Mine is a 300E 2.6, and it takes 21 N-m for the rocker stand bolts and 8.5 N-m for the valve cover bolts. Those were the only specs I needed
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2002, 09:56 AM
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From the site http://www.efunda.com/units/convert_units.cfm?mode=short&From=387
the conversion is 1 foot-pound to 1.355818 Newton-meters. Therefore, 21 N-m is 15.488 foot-pounds and the valve cover bolts at 8.5 N-m are torqued to 6.27 foot-pounds.

Do you go to 15 foot-pounds or 16 on the rockers? I would probably go to 6 on the cover bolts.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2002, 12:00 PM
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Easier yet, as MBDOC pointed out, multiply the Nm by .7 so that 10nm = 7ft lbs, 70nm = 49 ft lbs etc.

Hope this helps!

~Paul

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