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Old 03-03-2002, 02:36 PM
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Head Gasket Leak

I have a considerably large oil consumption/leak rate. My mechanic, who was recommended as a very experienced MB technician, identified a leak at the rear of the head gasket. He informed me that the replacement is a 30-40 hour job because after removing the head, the bolt holes in the aluminum block usually have to be re-drilled and tapped. He estimated the work at $5000+. He said that some people try retorquing the head bolts, but if he tried it, you run the risk of stripping any of the aluminim threads and will have to then re-drill and tap anyway.

This sounds like an expensive job. Are there any alternatives? Or any proven ways to replace the head gaskets without having to re-drill and tap the holes? I read some postings about high temperature sealants which I see no loss in trying before I gamble next with a re-torquing.
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Old 03-03-2002, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
We have done hundreds of MB aluminum V8 head jobs (often two a week as this week). We have tapped out about ten. Obviously, we never do it as matter of fact. We do the job and torque the head. If we have a problem we add about 8 hours to the 25 the job pays without tapping and tap all the holes. I have only seen this to be a problem on extremely overheated engines.

BTW the 25 hours is for valve jobs to both heads not for just head gaskets which would be about 17 hours. Because the time is so close it is not likely that we will pull heads off and not do a valve job, though.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 03-03-2002, 09:08 PM
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I posted a message last week about fixing a head gasket leak with sealant. It worked great for about 3 days, and now its leaking a little bit again, but not as much as before. I'll of course watch it to see it gets any worse. It was never much to begin with; a few drops a day, but it of course bugs me, and makes me worry about the future of it. If all it does is leak a few drops a day, I think I can live with it. Maybe a spot was missed, and it can be re-sealed. I know the area from which it was leaking was hard to get to .
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Old 03-04-2002, 07:26 AM
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Thanks guys.

Stevebfl, So that I can gauge his mechanic rates, what's a good standard rate for a non-dealer, MB-certified technician?
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