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Old 08-07-2003, 03:16 PM
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Question 190E with oil leak - w/ pic

I have a 1991 190E, 2.6, AT, 106K
I've got an oil leak in the ringed area of the picture I've attached. Oil is coming out from inside the recessed area. This area is at the first cylinder, the other 5 are bone dry - no leaks.

What has to be done to repair an area like this and keep oil from dripping out? The cylinder block is quite oily around this area, plus below it including linkage and hoses etc - its messy. Not sure this leak can create that much mess but its an obvious leak to go after. There might be others.

Doug Stang
1991 190E
Attached Thumbnails
190E with oil leak - w/ pic-oilleak1.jpg  
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:06 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096
It looks to me like it is the upper cover seal. Your photo could be my 91 300E, it needs the same repair.

The leak is most likely not coming from the area circled in your photo.

Do a search and you should find quite a bit of info on this.

Here is a good thread on how to repair it-

M103 - Upper Timing Chain Cover and Cam Seal Leaks

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:59 PM
Meza's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SC
Posts: 148
The proper way to know the source of the leak is to degrease the area. Then,
1. Add a leak detector to your oil. I once got one from the dealer. Drive the car for a day or so depending on how severe the leak and then use black light in the dark and it will shine green (flurosent).
2. There is a powder that you can use to detect an oil leak. It is available at the dealer. I don't know the P/N, however, the dealer will know what you want.

Any other way would be a waste of time and money.

I had a similar leak in my 190e on the same side as yours but between cylinder 3 nad 4. It was the head gasket. I replaced it and all my oil leaks are gone. So far, 2200 miles after rebuild and still full and clear as comapred to a quart every 400 miles.
Good luck

PS. Some part stores may have similar items (do a search on the web)
1993 190E 2.6
Advanced Diesel Systems Test and Research Engineer
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:06 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,141
It could be a head gasket leak, but I would be more inclined to believe it's the infamous U-gasket leaking.

If so, this problem is fixed using MB service task 01-212 - Removing, installing the top front cover.

The task is in the 103 engine manual(paper) or the 124/126 CD-Rom - 103 engine.

A diyer with reasonably good skills can handle this.
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC

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Old 08-07-2003, 10:23 PM
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Front top cover

Thanks guys. The consensus seems to be that the leak may exist at the u-shape gasket of the front cover. I'll degrease around that area and see if thats the source. I found a TSB on this which differs slightly from the MB CD procedure in that only one sealant is required, namely Loctite 5900. Heres the steps,

TSB - Oil leakage at top front cover

1. Remove front top cover
2. Remove gasket
3. Apply one drop of Loctite 5900 sealant to left and right ends to fill the gap between
the cylinder head gasket and u-shaped cover gasket. (this area must be clean and free of oil)
4. Dry new cover gasket and insert into dry groove in timing case cover w/o sealant.
5. Coat top of gasket with oil so that the front cover can slide over it w/o damaging the gasket
6. Apply a thin, even layer of Loctite 5900 sealant onto surfaces of front cover
which make contact with the cylinder head.
7. Reinstall top front cover

Note if oil leak persists, replace cylinder head gasket. Ouch.

A couple of questions.

Should I replace the camshaft seal while I'm at it? The business with the insertion sleeve collar which differs depending on the metal of the driver is a little confusing. What would a '91 190e 2.6 have?

Where is a good source for Loctite 5900?

I guess I could replace the value cover gasket while I'm at it since this has to come off too.

Doug Stang
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