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Old 08-05-2002, 12:06 PM
Jane Selkirk Pabst
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 51
I just got my valve seals replaced

I was charged $280 because I was smart enough to get on this shopforum and read these threads. I had gone to several mercedes benz mechanics who wanted to charge me $2000 and more without even opening the hood. My mechanic has a lot of respect for me.
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Old 08-06-2002, 07:40 AM
it leaks, its german
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1,111
103's are much easier than 117's. Hence why they can be done in 4 or 5 hours. Only issues I've run into have been making sure the rocker boxes will torque PRIOR to removal. I've had 2 that had previous repair that needed a couple of inserts.

A quart every 1K is not that bad however, it will only get more enthusiastic about using oil. The last few I did complete top ends on are using no oil between changes, 191K and 170K. 103's dont have the chain issues of 117's either, the only occasional victim is the upper l/h guide which requires the lower cover be pulled for replacment. This guide gets brittle and is easy to break off the top.

To be honest, I've watched 103's, 104's, 112's and 113's that were using the heck out of oil go down the road and never noticed them smoke. The only one I've seen smoke was a couple of 117's. Not to say they dont but, the cats must be tough.

Project Smoker, '87 603 powered wagon
Hauler, 96 CTD can you say torque?
Toy 73 Cougar xr7 convertible
Acme Automotive Inc.
Raleigh NC
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Old 08-06-2002, 01:51 PM
haasman's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
I posted this before ... but with my '91 300E with 180k miles it was using 1 qt in about 1,000 miles.

I decided to try Valvoline's MaxLife oil ... oil consumption was reduced to about a quart in 2,000 miles.

The last oil change I used the Castrol GTX high mileage oil, a 10w40 and I am still waiting to add oil and I am approaching 3,000 miles.

An oil change is a lot less expensive than valve stem seals.

Try it. Not only are the valve stem seals "treated" but so is every other gasket that touches oil.

I was dubious at first about these "snake oil additives" but now I am sold.
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 08-07-2002, 01:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 29
Well, here's my 2 cents. I had the valve seals done on my '86 300E with the 103 motor. Oil was burning about 1 qt. every 600-700 miles. Seal replacement was $300 at independant. Oil usage went down to about 1qt./2000 miles. It's been holding steady for almost a year now.

At 256K, the head has never been off, as far as I know. According to most posts here, the chain is not an issue, even at high miles. Is it worth it to replace just the chain guides as preventative maintanance?

'86 300E
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:33 PM
Posts: n/a
I get blue smoke from the tail pipe of my 1990 560 sel on startup, and when taking off from stop after idling a while. My MBZ guy said valve seals, but do I need to pull the heads to do this? Approixmately what does this cost on my V8 if I have ot done professionally?
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:53 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,319
The heads don't have to come off to replace the valve seals. It might be a good time to roll in a new timing chain and replace the accessible chain guides.

I don't know what it would cost. Certainly not a lot in parts.

Do you know any good techs in Morgan Hill?

91 300SE
87 300SDL
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Old 08-27-2002, 04:47 PM
Jane Selkirk Pabst
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 51
cost of valve stem replacement

I have a 1989 420sel (8 cylinder) and it cost me $280($50 parts-which I would buy from Phil here at you know you are getting quality parts)It takes 2 1/2 hours to do(information fold on this site by searching valve stems seals)
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Old 08-27-2002, 04:53 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,319
Then it's probably closer to $400 in the Bay Area

Unless you're good friends with your tech, they don't take kindly to using parts you carry in. You might believe them to be the best but they'd rather warrant their supplier than yours.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
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Old 08-27-2002, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
MB warrantee time was over 5 hours, maybe 5.5. A good tech can make money doing it in that time. Anyone doing it for less doesn't know what they are doing.

I just looked at Alldata and they claim warrantee time is 5.9 hours and their time is 8.3. Two and a half hours isn't enough compensation for one head let alone two and you surely would do both.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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