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Old 11-14-2003, 07:10 AM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: southern pines NC
Posts: 35
Valve cover paint stipper

I will be taking my valve cover off next week to replace the gasket on a 190E2.6. I want to strip the flaking paint at this time. What is the best paint stripper to use on the valve cover. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-14-2003, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
MB uses epoxy paints on the valve cover, so you will need something strong enough to remove epoxy!!
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Old 11-14-2003, 11:17 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 963
You may be able to just peel it all off.

I had been slowly cleaning off the baked on cosmoline from the valve cover when I noticed that the paint around the oil spout was lifting off. I started peeling the paint off and it all came off just with fingers and an occassional penknife.

Not sure what to do with it now.

1991 300CE
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Old 11-14-2003, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
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Get it polished!

I plan on doing this when I get around to replacing the plug wires and gasket!

Also going to lay carbon fiber on the ignition cover...if it all works, I'll post pics!
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Old 11-14-2003, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S. Texas
Posts: 1,237
If, in fact, the paint on your valve covers is epoxy the only thing that will remove hardened epoxy is grit blasting. Once epoxy has 'gone off' or set it is virtually impervious to any solvents. If the surface preperation wasn't good, i.e. a SA 2.5 grit blast, which I doubt it was, then you may well be able to peel off the paint
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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Check your "yellow pages" for paint removal, plating, or similar business for advice. In particular, check suppliers of aircraft or marine paint, since they have the stuff that will remove imron and other two-step paint.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
I did mine on my 190E with a bead blaster. Despite much of it flaking off easily, other areas were stubborn, even with the bead blaster. I probably spent a couple of hours with the bead blaster. I re-finished it with engine enamel from a spray can after thoroughly degreasing it. Depending how well it lasts will determine if I do the same with the 300TE. The valve cover on it is not flaking yet as it was on the 190E, but does have a few blisters. This was a rotten finish that MB applied to these models. The earlier smooth natural alloy valve covers of the '60s and '70 looked (and lasted) much better. In addition to the poor finish of the M102 and M103 valve covers is the fact that (on the M102 at least) that they are prone to distortion. The casting finish is also poor with various holes and other defects. I believe these covers were magnesium rather than aluminium alloy which possibly had something to do with the problems. I priced a replacement, since apart from flaking paint and distortion mine also had a cracked plastic oil separator (not available separately). The price was rediculous. Mine now has a self-made metal oil separator (took a whole afternoon to fabricate) and the above mentioned engine enamel finish. The following thread has an engine bay pic of the finished result. You may notice my colour change as well.
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
Stripping Valve Cover

I used Strypeez, the regular old furniture stripper and it worked great. I put a thick coat on then covered it all in aluminum foil for about an hour and wiped it off with a rag. I found that the original paint is really thick, probably to cover up imperfections in the aluminum casting. I used gloss black rustoleum spray paint in a can and it came out nice - and still looks good after three years.

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