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dirtysocks 08-27-2003 02:00 AM

a few w124 questions
 
i have an '87 300e. I lose a quart of oil about every 750 miles. I was told it is normal and to just keep adding more. The engine runs hot so I think it might be burning it. Does anybody know anything about this or have similar problems? Also, my transmission shifts late from 2nd to 3rd and bucks going into 4th (I'm aware that my car begins in second gear). I know that there is a way to adjust the tranny, but I could not piece together exactly how to do it from doing a search on it. I would appreciate input from anybody with knowledge of this. Thanks.

Phalcon51 08-27-2003 06:10 AM

dirtysocks,

It's not normal to use a quart every 750 mi, and adding more is just throwing money out the exhaust pipe. My 86 300E with 120K mi. uses less than a quart in 3000 mi. In addition, it will create carbon deposits on your valves, pistons and combustion chambers, as well as fouling your spark plugs, catalytic converter and oxygen sensor. Sounds like your valve guide seals are worn, allowing oil to be drawn into the combustion chamber. This appears to be a problem on some cars, usually at about 80-100k mi. How many miles are on your car?

Replacing them isn't that difficult if you're mechanically inclined and can beg, borrow or rent the right valve spring compressor. Otherwise, here's a quote from Steve Brotherton (stevebfl) of Continental Imports in Gainesville, FL:

"The job is 4 hours labor and less than $20 for seals. If you figure that the V/C gasket should be replaced about every 100k, then the extra work to systematically maintain the seals at the same time would only be 3 extra hours labor and less than 20 for seals."

Another possibility would be an oil leak. Get under the car and remove the noise shield that's held on with 6 sheet metal screws. Put a large, clean piece of cardboard under the car right after you drive home and leave the engine running for about 5 or 10 minutes. Look for drips and detrmine if their originating from the front, middle or back of the engine and see if you can track it down. Sometimes it can help to degrease the engine thoroughly first, although look for obvious signs of fresh leakage before you wash away the evidence.

The engine running hot is a totally unrelated problem. It would be good to have a little more information as to the specifics of when and under what conditions it runs hot, as well as how hot. It could be anything from a thermostat that's not operating properly to a fan that's not coming on when it's supposed to, to a corroded, gunked up radiator that can't cool effectively.

Can't help on the trans problem. Automatic Transmissions are like Black Magic boxes to me.

dirtysocks 08-27-2003 10:49 PM

It has 148k on it. I've already been through removing the noise shield and degreasing and could not find any significant leaks. Guess I should have included this in the original post. I think that oil could be entering the combustion chamber because I often smell burning oil after/while driving. That's why I originally thought it was burning because it was running hot.

dirtysocks 08-29-2003 12:58 AM

is there a simple way to determine if the problem is my valve guide seals?

haasman 08-29-2003 02:51 AM

dirtysocks

Pull the spark plugs, they can give you an immediate read on too much oil going into the combustion chamber.

Also, look carefully on the right side of the engine, front, where the head meets the block, just a little bit below the distributor cap. A typical leak point is the upper cover seal. Our 91 300E with 212k miles was using quite a bit of oil. I did this repair and after almost 3k miles, I am still waiting to see when I will need to add oil again.

You can also try using one of the "High Mileage" oils, such as Valvoline MaxLife. They do *condition* older seals. They don't end problems but these oils do help.

You need to adjust your bowden cable.

Haasman

-fad 08-29-2003 03:01 AM

re: efficient cooling ina vintage '87 300e

...if not done w/in the last 3 years:
will definitely need the dirt and muck removed & cleaned out between the rad and a/c condenser... must remove rad to get the crap out behind it= easy job

also check the cooling basics:
>adequate MB coolant (age/ mixture)
>proper working thermostat, rad, aux fan, viscous fan, water pump, aux water pump if so equipped, cap, belts/ tensioners/ hoses, expansion tank, system holds proper pressure. etc.



hope this helps

-fad 08-29-2003 03:04 AM

re: efficient cooling ina vintage '87 300e

...if not done w/in the last 3 years:
will definitely need the dirt and muck removed & cleaned out between the rad and a/c condenser... must remove rad to get the crap out behind it= easy job

also check the cooling basics:
>adequate MB coolant (age/ mixture)
>proper working thermostat, rad, aux fan, viscous fan, water pump, aux water pump if so equipped, cap, belts/ tensioners/ hoses, expansion tank, system holds proper pressure. etc.

I have a proper cooling '92 than runs between 85-90 even in 105 degree stop and go dry ambient temps (a/c climi control activated)

hope this helps
-fad

PaulG 08-29-2003 07:39 AM

dirtysocks asked:

is there a simple way to determine if the problem is my valve guide seals?

Good way that won't get you dirty................

Find a steep hill and drive down it on no throttle. At ther bottom, rev the engine.

If it then smokes blue, you've got valve seal/guide wear.

Blue smoke when you accelerate is more likely to be rings.

psfred 08-29-2003 01:32 PM

Burning oil smell is the oil burning off the exhaust manifold where it runs after leakingout from the valve cover gasket or filler cap gasket.

If your is like mine, the oil is fairly clean -- no black spots in the drive, but there is definitely oil there.

I'll bet when you take the valve cover off, the gasket will be rock hard and cracked along the sealing surface, allowing oil to dribble out. Also, the filler cap is probably leaking too, it needs a new gasket, or a change to the new style black plastic one.

This will surely reduce your oil consumption considerably.

Peter

dakota 08-29-2003 03:45 PM

The M103 will often develop a leak in the head gasket at the passenger side rear of the engine. Since the engine is tilted slightly to the passenger side, the oil leak, if present, will drip off the engine right there and not dribble down the side of the engine. And it will only drip while running. So you won't get a puddle below and you won't get a oil streak on the engine. So you have to check it like Phalcon51 suggested - with the engine running.

I'd also suspect valve guides/guide seals by 150K miles.


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