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Old 01-26-2002, 10:29 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 250
Why 36 hours labor time for OM603 head replacement

Awhile back, I made a few posts telling of my horror story when getting my 300SDL running as designed.

To make a long story short, the dealer's diagnosis (after incorrectly diagnosing the first time) was that I had a cracked head. They also advised to replace the valves since there was over 200k miles on the car. I was told 32 to 36 hours labor was the factory book's allocation. Of course, I was billed for 36 hrs if I recall correctly (Labor was ~$3000). Total job with parts and labor was like $5200.

I was talking with an old friend today as we were doing some car-related odds and ends. We were discussing how MB tends to engineer things so they are fixable rather than disposable. Anyway, I mentioned the cracked head problem and told him what it had cost.

We got to discussing this and realized the 36 hrs seemed like a very long time to remove the old head, transfer the parts, and reinstall. 36 hrs is almost an entire work week.

So why would it take sooo long? What makes an MB engine so much different than say a VW TDI engine or a PowerStroke?

Or did I just get ripped off?

Not that I'm complaining about spending the money. I like the car so much, it was worth putting some into it. Even though the car itself isn't worth much more than the repair.
Lance Allison

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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Old 01-26-2002, 11:33 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beech Island, S.C.
Posts: 468
I can check the Alldata labor rates when I get back to work Monday but in my past experiences the most I've gotten paid for that job was 16 hours.
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