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  #1  
Old 04-07-2003, 08:00 PM
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Question Help! -- 1985 280SE oil leaks

Hi there,

As most of you know, the 85 280SE is a grey market model. Right now, it has a little over 244K miles. Since I acquired it about eight months ago, the oil leaks are getting worse. Lately, I need to add a quarter of oil each week which is about 150 miles of driving to maintain oil at the acceptable level. It has made the driveway and garage floor really messy.

From look under the hood, the most of oil leaks are coming from low oil pan and also from oil dipstick. I can see the droplets around the oil dipstick tube and oil pan every time I park the car. For the oil pan, I would guess it may need a new oil pan gasket and maybe even a new oil pan. For the leaks from dipstick, I don't know if it needs a o-ring seal or maybe something else.

I will take the car to a independent Mercedes shop to have them look at it for about 30 dollars. Meanwhile, I would like to hear from you expert options about what might be the cause. The 280 SE is not a very popular model in US, but hopefully experience with other W126 models should apply. And I hope I can find the parts here in PartsShop.

I am very excited to join the discussion board. It sure provides lots of valuable information to me.

Thanks in advance.

Eric
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2003, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 375
Hi eric2003,

I would do a search on oil sump gasket or oil pan gasket. Also, look at FastLane's online parts catalog (headline of this site) for the parts for your specific car and year. They normally list o-rings and gaskets with pictures.

The oil sump gasket is not too difficult as I did just mine (on another model, though) if you combine it with an oil change.

You might want to clean everything up and then drive a few miles to see where the oil is really coming from.

I also assume, you know it is not being burnt internally.

Good luck

Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2003, 10:37 AM
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Thanks for your feedback, Reinhard.

I will take your advice to search for the oil pan gasket and oil pan gasket.

I am not sure if the engine also burns oil. But it definitly it leaks badly since oils are on floor. Previous owner replaced manay parts such as valve cover gasket and etc al.

I will post what I find out from repair shop.

Thanks again.

Eric
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2003, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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I have a similar problem with my 81 280TE (also a grey market) and I would be very interested to know what you find.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2003, 04:02 PM
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You could also try these newer engine oils for higher mileage cars. Valvoline makes one called MaxLife. Other oil companies are selling them now as well.

I had good luck using it on the 300E. Reduced oil consumption significantly. Froma quart every 900-1,000 to one in every 2,000 +/-.

Haasman
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2003, 11:08 PM
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You should not have any problems finding parts. The engine is an M110, same one that came with the US 280SE and 280E.

It is hard to see how the dipstick tube would leak if the top end is properly secured. The sump gasket is also unlikely, but could have a loose bolt.

But I would suggest looking at the chain tensioner which is on the right side of the head behind the AC compressor and bracket.
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2003, 12:30 PM
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I came back from the shop. Spent $70 for a steam cleaning to clean out residue oil. On the same day, the car dripped oil at same amount. But it definately comes from top of oil dipstick and accumulates down around dipstick tube and drips on the floor. There is no appearant leak from low oil pan. The mechanic also found some minor leak in the left side of the engine.

I include the notes from the mechanic:

"Engine has oil coming out of top of dipstick. Problem could be clogged crankcase ventilation system or worn rings causing too much pressure. Will need to do leak down test to start."

The mechanic needs charge more to diagnose the problem further. If it's worn ring, basically the car will need a new engine. That will be lots of $$$$. I don't prepare to do that. But if it's clogged crankcase ventilation system, that can still be reasonable to get it fixed. But my quetsion will be: how likely this is the case? How can I determine it myself? If it is, how do I clean it up? Should I replace the PCV valve?

Any also I find some oil residue in the air filter.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Eric
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2003, 02:41 PM
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Hmmm ...

My only reference point is my carb'd 110 engine, so this may not be exactly right.

On the left side of the engine, there is a short tube that runs from the cam/valve cover to the intake manifold. I believe that the equivalent to the PCV valve is in cam cover. It is held in with a plug or screw with a VERY large slot in the top.

There is also a vent off the front of the engine that goes to a tube that leads to a charcoal cannister in the trunk.

I will look tonight in the parts book and manual to see what else I can find.
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2003, 12:53 AM
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Smile

After I put a new O-ring seal in the dipstick, the significant portion of leaks goes away. It still drops one or two penny size of oil. But I can live with it.

Thanks all for the advice.

Eric
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2003, 12:15 PM
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Did you ever determine the cause of the pressure?
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #11  
Old 04-19-2003, 05:19 PM
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I didn't bother to spend more money to figure out if there is high pressure in crankcase. I just listened my friend's advice to replace the easy part. So far it works and I'm happy.

Eric
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