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  #1  
Old 01-01-2004, 10:02 PM
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HELP! Oil all over 300 TE engine compartment!

I have an '88 300TE and am 500 mi. from home. Here is the scenario. After a high speed run, the low oil level light came on but pressure was still up at 3 bar. I filled up w/gas and checked the oil level which was low so I added a quart. After tha car sat about 30 minutes we got back on the highway and the level light was out but lots of smoke was billowing out from under the car, after a few minutes, the smoke disappeared so we kept on truckin'. A short time later, the low oil level light came back on again but since the pressure was good, I watched it closely and kept running about 85 mph (approx. 3800 rpm). An hour later, we pulled over at a rest stop and I idled for about 15 minutes waiting for everyone to "rest". Just before we were ready to pull out large amounts of smoke started coming out from under the hood (same color as before). I popped the hood but could see no discernable leak. However, the exhaust manifold was covered with oil (hence the smoke) and the passenger side of the engine compartment and the top of the engine was also covered enough that there was a puddle under the car. The puddle was warm but not hot, the engine oil level is acceptable, oil pressure idles at 1 bar and maintains 3 bar at speed. I'm thinking hydraulic oil from the leveling system but where is it coming from? Anyone out there with similar problems? Ideas? Thanks in advance...

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1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)

Last edited by rjk; 01-02-2004 at 03:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2004, 03:43 PM
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300 TE hydraulic leak

More info. It is definitly hydraulic oil, the reservior is almost empty. There is a hose coming up from under the front of the engine that turns toward the rear and attaches to a metal line going out the back of the engine compartment. The outside of the hose shows signs of cracking. Could this be my culprit? Is there a certain spec. hydraulic oil I must use to replenish the reservior? Should it be available in a local parts store or is it a dealer only item? Thanks in advance...
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1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2004, 04:52 PM
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You need a fluid which meets MB specs:

Options: Dealership or a mercedes parts dealer which would carry a febi fluid for this application. I'm told the MB spec lines up with a MIL spec for aircraft.. not sure if it would be cheaper and you'd be purchasing gallons instead of liters.

If you cannot find the leak, wash everything and let it dry. Then start it up. I would make sure I didn't run it dry=0)

Hoses can be replaced or rebuilt by a hydraulic specialty shops. It's ussually just a cost issue on which way to go.

Michael
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83 300d
01 vw A4 TDI
66 Chevy Corsa
68 GMC V6 w/oD
86 300E
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2004, 06:01 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Get a new oil filler cap -- the gasket is bad and oil is getting pushed out at highway speeds. If you don't get the cap on right, also, this will cause large quantites of oil to blow out -- about a quart in 500 miles or so. Will cause oil to burn off the exhaust when it runs won the valve cover. My TE used a quart on the way to Cleveland and almost a quart coming home this summer, at which point I discoverd that the cap was on crooked. Still leaked after I got is on right, so I replaced it. No oil usage to speak of since.

There's only a couple quarts of hydraulic oil in the whole system -- the amounts you describe would require obvious spray from the hose to get over to the passenger side, the hydraulic pump is under the PS pump pulley.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2004, 11:14 PM
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rjk,
If you're sure it's hydraulic from your selfleveling system it needs to be replaced by the MB ZH-M or the Febi ZH-M (1 litre part no. 02615). The Febi brand is available at MB parts suppliers like Randy Steele at www.epsparts.com or a local indy that specializes in MB's. The dealer will have the MB brand ZH-M. The system holds a little over 2 litres as I recall.
Obviously something's come loose or a hose has failed. The power steering pump and the self leveling system use the same pump. Actually, it's one pump with two seperate vanes and compartments for the whirling works. The forward section houses the PS fluid and vanes; the rear has the ZH-M and impellers for the S-L system.
As one member suggested, clean off the motor, drop the lower engine panel and see where it leaks. You DO NOT want to run this system dry. Bad things happen to PS pumps when there is no fluid to lube them. Same goes with the rear of the pump. Depending on how severe the leak is you may want to have the wagon flat bedded to a shop. Cheaper in the long run.
May I humbly suggest that you buy a Service Manual CD for your wagon. It makes for a stronger relationship between you and your car and you and your tech.
Good Luck,
Hazen
91 300TE 4Matic
133k mi.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2004, 05:24 PM
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Thanks guys, I found some fluid locally and bought a few quarts, the reservior wasn't completely empty. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Hazen, I do have a CD but it is in GA. (home) and I am in VA., hence my frantic plea.
__________________
1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2004, 09:42 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Well, I suppose even today that's too far away to help much....

Keep an eye on the engine oil level -- I'd still bet you have an oil leak instead of hydraulic fluid. If you have to add more in a couple hundred miles, find the leak (oil filler, clogged breather hose, bad valve cover gasket.

The rear end will droop if you run low on hydraulic fluid before the pump goes.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2004, 09:20 AM
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Location: LaPorte, IN
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Epiphany!!

Reading this thread, i think that next time i take the old girl on the road (she's itching for a long dance!!) I'll take my laptop AND my shop CD's. I normally take a few tools and "spares, but never thought about the CD's until now. Thanks!!
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'02 C230 Kompressor
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2004, 08:03 PM
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Talking home at last

Well, I stopped at Lowes before I left VA and got an external clamp type pipe repair unit. I clamped it over the leak in the hose (it was easy to find once I refilled the reservior, started the engine, and had someone climb in the back). It stopped it from gushing and slowed it to a slow drip. Apparently, both engine oil and hyd. fluid are tied in to the low oil level light so when the light came back on, I just refilled it. 2 qts got me home (500 mi.). It goes up on the lift tomorrow and out comes the hose. Thanks again...
__________________
1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:10 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Good show! At least a hose clamp fixed it long enough to get it home -- no other way that I know of.

Nice to know that the oil light works for both, too -- missed than in the manual!

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2004, 06:30 PM
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rjk rjk is offline
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Location: Atlanta metro area
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Repair woes

OK, you see the date this thread started.

I tried getting the hose rebuilt but none of the shops around here I tried would touch it. "It won't fit in the machine."

Ordered it from Fastlane and Phil has tried his darndest to find one but to no avail. No dealer in the land has one. Germany doesn't have one either, they are making them as I write this, I guess. Phil said he would overnight it to me once it got to the states (supposedly around 23FEB).

Anyway, I just needed to vent, some selling point for MB huh? 16 year old car cannot be fixed because the parts don't exist. I can get parts for my '68 Shelby without a problem. Guess what I'm going to start driving more.
__________________
1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2004, 07:11 PM
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I do not think the hydraulic reservoir has a low oil sensor. I see no wires on it -- it needs a wire on it to light up a light.
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1986 300E Anthracite + ECodes + MB Mileage Award
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2004, 11:15 AM
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rjk rjk is offline
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Location: Atlanta metro area
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Sensor

I think you are right, I see no wires to my reservior either so unless it is tied in somewhere else (not likely I would think) the oil level light just indicates engine oil. You have to forgive me, when I start diagnosing 500 miles from home with the wife & kids (+ 1 future son-in-law) depending on me to get them home, my mind spins off in various directions trying to make sense of all the symptoms. Then I add to that it is a MB and I can come up with various weird scenarios that make sense at the time.
__________________
1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2004, 06:14 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
There is no fuel line available for the pressure side of the fuel distributor, either, as I discovered a couple weeks ago when the TE sprang a leak. The fix is to get the correct type of hose (fuel injection line, rated at 80 psi in the case of the fuel line), force it over the barbs on the steel parts, and use some hose clamps to keep it on.

Seems these parts don't fail very often -- my friend Hans has never replaced that line on a 300E.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2004, 06:33 PM
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rjk rjk is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta metro area
Posts: 201
Leave it to me to find the difficult stuff...
The line looks like it degenerated due to heat. It does run near the exhaust manifold. Maybe your buddy will be replacing them soon.

__________________
1999 E320 (gave to daughter) 250K
1994 F150 (may be the end of its road) 240K
1989 560 SL (Reassembly after paint job) 160K
1986 560 SL (deceased., gave it's life protecting my wife)
1988 300 TE (departed)
1994 945T (still running strong with an upgraded cam) 349K
1986 242Ti (deceased)
1968 GT500KR (under restoration)
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