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Old 04-28-2003, 06:15 AM
BlackBeauty's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: South East Asia
Posts: 125
Question M103 3.0l Head Job

Hello, I am planning to do a cylinder head overhaul. These are the parts I have ordered:

1. Cylinder Head Gasket
2. Inlet Valve
3. Exhaust Valve
4. Valve Stem Seals
5. Valve Guides
6. Valve Seats

Parts guy have recommended me to replace the following too, hence would need the input from you guys:

1. Lifters
2. Valve Springs

Is it necessary to replace them as well? My engine has that light "Clattering" sound at high RPMS.

Would also appreciate some good advice from you guys as this is the first time I'm doing this.

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Old 04-28-2003, 07:28 AM
Posts: n/a
You should most definitely diagnose before you buy parts. There is NO WAY to know what you need until you take it apart and inspect.

I would be very surprised if you need lifters or valve springs if the car has been reasonably well maintained and not driven past the redline frequently. Also, I would be surprised if you had to replace all the valves.

Does your doctor tell you what medicine you need before he examines you? If he does you need to find another doctor.

Good luck,
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:55 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
If you're going to replace all the hard and soft parts on the head, have you thought about purchasing a rebuilt head? In my neck-o-the-woods, a rebuilt head from Mercedes is not much more than buying all the bits. And, it's covered under a warranty...

...just a thought.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:30 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
I would think this is obvious, but not stated:
Valve cover gasket.
1967 250SL
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Old 04-28-2003, 04:33 PM
pmizell's Avatar
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Relevant question: Why are you reconditioning the head? Leaking oil? Burning oil? Oil in coolant?

If you purchase the "head gasket set", you'll get all the seals, gaskets, o-rings etc. that you'll encounter along the way, that should be replaced when removing head.

'01 E430, Sport 72,000 mi
'98 C280, 126,500 mi
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Old 04-28-2003, 08:10 PM
Posts: n/a
Before ordering so much parts and planning such a job, I would be tempted to first have a positive diagnostic.
You can go through this job and still have the same problem.
Worned cam shaft.
Worned valve rockers
Timing chain and or guides and tensionner.
It's your money.
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Old 04-28-2003, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
I agree. Valved, valve lifter and spring replacement is not very characteristic of this engine.

M103's are notorious for valve guide wear, though.

That might be all you need to do.
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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Old 04-28-2003, 09:03 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
Re: M103 head job

A few years ago when the external oil leak at the rear exhaust side corner of the head gasket on our 300TE developed into an oil leak into the coolant, I decided it was time to pull the head off. I sent the head away to be crack tested, checked for flatness and subsequently machined. Apart from this and a new timing chain tensioner the job required no more than a VRS (head gasket, valve stem seals, valve cover gasket, etc.). All up for parts and machine shop labour the job cost me under $400 AUD. I provided the labour for the head removal and replacement. As others recommend, diagnose or dismantle and then purchase the necessary parts.

107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
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