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Old 05-01-2003, 11:18 AM
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Exclamation Oil in Coolant, Head job??

I was checking out my coolant resivior yesterday and I noticed there was oil in there. But heres the real problem, I'm going off to college in the fall, it's only a 3hour drive, but im afraid my poor benz might blow a head gasket traveling back and forth. Should I bear the work now and replace the head gasket, i have all summer and a spare car an a suffient amount aof tools. How much longer do you think it will last me? I had the valves done at 75k and my mechaninc said they would last until about 150k, now it's at 149k. I can't afford the $2000 to have it done by my mechanic. What does everyone suggest?
Thanks in advance
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:02 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
It does seem most likely that its the head gasket.

Another possibility is that it is transmission fluid and not oil, due to a leaking ATF cooler inside the radiator.

If it were mine, I'd have to try doing the head gasket myself. But I wouldn't say its a simple job.

Perhaps you should consider rolling in a new timing chain while you have it apart.

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Old 05-01-2003, 07:35 PM
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I doubt it would be the radiator, i just had a new one put in last summer
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Old 05-01-2003, 07:48 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
You can replace the gasket and at least the valve seals yourself for the cost of parts. It would be nice to get new valve guides when the head is out. See how much a machine shop will charge for replacing the valve guides if you carry in the head.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Don't rule out the radiator. I replaced mine a few years back due to a catastrophic leak, and discovered drops of ATF in my coolant recovery tank off and on for months afterwards, even after several coolant system flushes (but my tech never de-oiled the system). Fortunately it has finally stopped.

As you know, ATF from the transmission circulates through the radiator so it is not unusual that a bad radiator will allow comingling of coolant and ATF.
'93 400E
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:52 AM
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Well then I guess if it saves me all the time of the head gasket, i might as well check it out. I think im going to use an eye dropper and try to suck some of it out today and really see what the color really is.
Thanks for all the input
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