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Old 08-02-2003, 04:15 PM
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Question seized engine - can it be rebuilt

I've been looking for a cheap Benz for awhile that I could rebuild an engine on. I think I found one, an 88 190E 2.3 AT for $600 w/seized engine due to lack of oil. It will not turn. The car supposedly has about 125K w/ a good transmission. No body damage and all parts are there.

Can a seized engine be rebuilt? What would the worse case scenario (a dollar figure) be in terms of parts and machine shop work if needed.

This would be my first rebuild (gotta start somewhere right) and its entirely possible I could botch the job anyway but it would be nice to get a decent working car that I resurrected myself.


Doug S.
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Old 08-02-2003, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The worse case is that if it can't be rebuilt. If it spun a main bearing that would be the case. If the crank was not repairable it would almost be the case.

The problem is that the car is only worth about what a rebuild is worth. not too bad if the labor is free. A used motor would be a lot cheaper way to fix it.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 08-02-2003, 04:22 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,235
Go for it

For a first rebuild that should be a good candidate. You will need to take everything apart to see what you have. I am more familiar with the diesels so I can't say whether you can resleeve the gassers. You need to strip that block and get it to a good automotive machine shop to check out. I had a 616 engine resleeved at my local shop for around $200. Not sure about the price of parts for the gasoline engine but the pistons are the most costly part on the diesel engines.
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Old 08-02-2003, 05:35 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,315
Metric Motors shows $2400 "suggested" retail for a rebuilt short block which means they will probably sell it to you for $1900 or so. Unless you are a machinist, you will probably not be able to do much better than that. So that would be your worst case.

I would also be worried about the cam, cam bearings, and valve gear if the engine was truly run out of oil.

You can always take it apart, determine the damage, and then make a decision about rebuild or used.

FWIW, engines can not turn for a variety of reasons. My "dead by the side of the road 280C" was diagnosed as siezed from lack of lubrication, but the real problem turned out to be a connecting rod cap that had come loose.
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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