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Old 05-03-2002, 09:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SE PA
Posts: 63
Suggestions for flushing oil from cooling system after head gasket failure.

Had about 1/4" floating in the expansion tank. I know that citric acid is great for scale/etc. but I probably need a good emulsifier for this. Any thoughts/product suggestions? I suspect dish soap would be about as useful as it is in a dishwasher. Who hasn't seen the results of that!

As always, TIA
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Old 05-03-2002, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 87
mbz makes a powder detergent just for that. but liquid joy works even better, hands down
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Old 05-03-2002, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
We use what was recommended by the MB tech office---go to a marina and get a bottle of concentrated bilge cleaner. use this with water, works great. I do recommend a new pressure tank (where the pressure cap is), and if it's a model with the hidden expansion tank (aka puke tank) I recommend replaciing that as well. Do this after flushing the cooling system at least twice.
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Old 05-04-2002, 08:02 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,235
Why the recommendation on the new exp tank gilly?
I will be pulling the head on the E320 this over the next week or so and upon completion will be doing the "degrease/flush" on the coolant system.

Last edited by engatwork; 05-04-2002 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-04-2002, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
New expansion tank because typically the tank will have the contaminated coolant in it at well. If it's not replaced, you'll end up with oil in the coolant again. The tank isn't really isn't designed for cleaning out, can't get it clean enough IMO. If you remove it and it's not dirty, then just empty it and reuse it i guess.
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Old 05-04-2002, 04:03 PM
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Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
I've found SHOUT! to work really well. 'Bout 3 bucks at Walmart -- it doesn't foam up and it dissolves the oil really well, without being too harsh on your coolant system.

Also, be sure to replace all of the "soft" oil soaked hoses that balloon on the ends. They will eventually fail on you if not replaced -- especially check the heater hoses.


'91 300E, 211K miles
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Old 05-04-2002, 10:37 PM
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Shout it out!

I argee with Paul;
I used Shout after my head replacement and it worked wonders. Just keep flushing the system out. Got the same hint on Shout from a Benz Mechanic. Also if your head gasket is not sealed correctly, you can feel the Shout in the oil and retorque your heads or check other areas.
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