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Old 04-09-2002, 12:21 AM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
How long before a 85 300TD suffers overheating damage due to coolant loss?

1.My engine overheated to max guage with all the spectacular overheating effects for maybe 5 minutes.

2. How much damage did I sustain to the head in terms of valve seal damage, etc. ?

3. (This time I replaced everything, the water pump, thermostat, and hoses. Finally I found the leak at the front cylinder head passenger side, where two bolts attach at the cylinder head and the junction can be hard to seal without a handcut thick gasket.)

85 300D 240 000 miles
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:57 AM
unkl300d's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 2,207
2 minute egg

Since it is not an aluminum block engine, I would
speculate that the 300TD engine is robust enough to weather
a five minute storm.

Good luck to ya!!
1979 300D 199 K miles
1995 C280 95 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 57K miles
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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Old 04-09-2002, 01:12 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
A compression and/or pressure test of the cylinders will tell a lot about the possible damage. Or, if you do not own a compression gauge or the tools to do a pressure test, then you can monitor the coolant level in the radiator to see if the engine begins using coolant. If you have the coolant level marks in the radiator, then use those, if not then a ruler can be used. Or, if the engine begine to run hotter than before and/or the engine gets hot when idling (and the coolant level is correct) then suspect the head gasket has been damaged.

Good Luck!
America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
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Old 04-09-2002, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596

If you did not keep running the car and the boil over event was kind of "after the fact" meaning the water boiled away to cool an engine just sitting there, you are probably ok. As the water in an open system reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it boils and the phase change takes a lot of energy with it. If you did not run out of water, or run it down to the point where it was not boiling in the head area, you are probably ok. As noted above, the head is pretty stout, and if the event was a boil over only (not run dry) you probably did not reach excessive temperatures.

My daughter just did this to the 1982 240D in our household and she called me to tell me the gage was in the red. She noticed it after God knows how long. I had her fill it with the anti-freeze mixture in the trunk (always carry a 50/50 mix in a gallon jug in an old car) and go buy some more. We diagnosed a leaking water pump and she took it to a local mechanic in Schenectady, NY who fixed it the next day. No damage to the engine.

Good luck, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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