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  #1  
Old 08-01-2011, 12:20 PM
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M104 engine head gasket rebuild

Started with a car that had an oil leak.

Had an indie rebuild an M104 with headgasket, water pump etc...

Problem: Still uses oil. About 2 qts. every 3K miles. Now he says maybe its the rings that is problem.

Question:
1. Should this have been checked when the head was off the car?
2. Is this something the indie should of known prior to doing the head gasket work?
3. Is there something I can do to add to the oil to seal the rings?

I am totally frustrated that he is even suggesting that it could be something as serious as this.

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Old 08-01-2011, 12:22 PM
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I'm going to assume that the only work done was remove/install the cylinder head and install a new gasket. Was the head re-worked when he had it off? It could either be rings or valve guide seals. How many miles are on the engine?
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:35 PM
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And did it use oil before? Even leaking I can't imagine 2 qts per 3K. I just had the head gasket replaced on my '93 300CE at 190K. It was leaking oil but just a nuisance leak. We sent the head to a machine shop to check for seals, guides and flatness. Every thing was OK. No machine shop work needed. If your mechanic didn't do that, well, what can I say?
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:56 PM
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I'd bet it's the guides/seals over the rings....
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:03 PM
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I was involved in a 103 engine one that was using oil one time. I pulled the head and had a machine shop replace the valve guides/seals. The cross hatching in the cyl bores looked good so I left the bottom end alone. Buttoned everything back together and it still used about 1 qt/3000 miles.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:09 PM
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Machining was done on the head!!

Could it just be it needs a valve job now??

100K on the motor!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:14 PM
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100k is nothing on that engine. What exactly was done to the head?
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:39 PM
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As far as I know it was just machined flat. My indie said the "valves looked good" at the time and since I was in Las Vegas and he was in San Diego county I had no choice but to believe him. I would have assumed that he would have done the stems and seals since it was already apart.

What kind of re-course would I have? Should I approach him and have him re-do the work? I got another estimate of $1700 this AM. That same guy told me I should just drive the car and keep adding oil. I hate that. I like my cars perfect.
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Last edited by dubadaddy; 08-01-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2011, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM. View Post
I'd bet it's the guides/seals over the rings....
second that. They harden with age.

If you have no idea about the maintenance history, then the next potential culprit could be sticking rings due to sludge buildup. This is best treated over time with high-detergent oils (usu. synthetic) and frequent oil changes.

But remember, your usage is hardly bad. Well within normal, so your mechaninc would have had no reason to check further.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:41 PM
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Actually, I think he would have had to check. He knew this car was sitting in the garage and hardly driven for years (77K in 18 years of ownership) He should have known as he had taken care of the car (oil changes only) for the last six years.

Why did he not do the stem seals and valve guides?

He knew the car had been leaking when I brought it to him. He knew that previous owner as well.
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2011, 03:16 PM
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Had the job done all over again. This time replace valve guides and seals. Still using 1 qt every 2000 miles.

Anything I can add to the oil to loosen up the oil seals??

Next steps without a major engine rebuild?

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