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  #1  
Old 03-21-2003, 02:39 PM
chicago124
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Uh Oh -- 300E may need a head gasket.

Hi,

I'll spare the details of the two gallons of coolant needed to get me home yesterday. Engine got hot but not in the red.

Coolant had to go somewhere but I did not see a lot of white smoke out the exhaust. No milky substance in oil which was less than a week old. (It was not using oil so the bottom end should be okay.)

Car made it home last night and was idling rather rough. After letting it cool to a level that I could add water, the car would start fine.

When I came out the morning, it would not turn over. Battery power seemed fine but I did not put a meter on it. I suspect fluid in a cylinder so I left it sit while I caught the CTA to work.

I am going to pull the plugs and see if any plugs are wet then use some compressed air to blow out each cylinder and see if any water sprays out. Then try cranking it unless someone here says otherwise.

If been in touch with a good ind. shop here in Chicago that's fairly close to me. (Recommended by forum members)

Here's their opinion:

Head gasket -- Replace
Send head out to make sure it's okay and milled (whatever) if not.
Valve job along with seals.
Change timing chain and tensioner (poosible that it might not have to be done. However, with a milled head, the chain might not be tight enough.)
Check camshaft followers.

Cost -- $2,037.00

Okay, anything sound out of the ordinary? Anything else that ought to be done while in there?

Cost out of line? (Seems okay if a valve job is being done. Mechanic says if you are in there, you might as well with 135K on the odometer.)

Worth it on a 1990 300E?

Sad in the Windy City.
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2003, 01:37 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
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The quote is about $800 too high in my opinion.

You won't need a timing chain as they are rarely, if ever, replaced on M103 and M104 engines.

If you call around, most mechanics do a head job (with valve guides and valve seals), send the head out to be surfaced, and replace the head gasket for between $1,200 and $1,400.

My mechanic did mine for $1,400, and my engine is the 3.2 liter M104 engine which is more expensive.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2003, 12:28 PM
Bud
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I recently had a head gasket replaced on my '91 300E by a dealer. The labor charge was about $1,400 and included checking the head and valves (perfect, no work needed).

I only have 56K on it so the only thing that needed to be done besides the gasket was a new serpentine belt.

I have the peace of mind that the work was done by highly experienced people and backed up by a dealer with a sterling reputation. Compared to the cost of a new car, $1,400 is peanuts.
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2003, 08:16 PM
chicago124
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Hi,

Many thanks for the replies.

Bud, your car's mileage would seem to indicate that a valve job is not warranted. Mine has 135K on it and I suppose some justification can be made that if you have the head off anyway, why not. Mechanic did say the the chain may or may not be replaced. Same with tensioner.

Given that the entire head would be renewed -- guides, seals, head cleaned (machined, etc) I thought that the price would be higher. Given that your head gasket fix was $1400 alone, although at a dealer, the $2000 price seems like it might be close to being fair. Labor rate is $65 per hour if that helps.

Also, any thoughts on what else to be done while the head is off?

Can't think of anything off hand but some of the pros might know.

Regards,
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2003, 02:28 PM
chicago124
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Hi,

Pulled all the plugs and sure enough, the last one I pulled at the front of the engine was wet. Cranked motor and a geyser of water shot out.

Head gasket time.

Question is, should I do the valves, guides, etc?

Regards,
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2003, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally posted by chicago124
Hi,

Pulled all the plugs and sure enough, the last one I pulled at the front of the engine was wet. Cranked motor and a geyser of water shot out.

Head gasket time.

Question is, should I do the valves, guides, etc?

Regards,
By all means, yes.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2003, 11:16 PM
chicago124
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Hi,

Thanks for the input.

That's my gut reaction too and having dealt with Ferrari's, I recommend the same thing.

Just thought there might be a few tips of what not to do and the little things that sometimes are missed.

Thanks again.

Regards,
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