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  #1  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:04 PM
79Mercy's Avatar
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Location: Florida
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Possible bad headgasket-280CE

The headgasket has worried me for the past year or so in the 79 280CE, i thought i was trying to find something wrong with it.

Until today i discovered a new symptom, i pulled the breather hose off and found a milky substance in it, i also found a lot of it on the bottom of the oil filler cap. I also noticed that the upper rad hose was pretty hard, firmer than i have noticed in the past.

The oil on the dipstick looks normal. This car has been in the family since 1990, and i have NEVER seen this milky substance on the oil cap or in the top of the air cleaner.

Another symptom i was aware of was that with just 45sec to a minute of running(from cold, no pressure in system) there would be a slight amount of pressure in the system if you removed the cap after less than a minute of idling.

At times the coolant does smell like gas, but at other times it smells normal to me.

I had the plugs out last month and they seemed to look normal.

The new symptom of the milky stuff is what pushed me over the top.

Do ya'll think i should pull the head off? or am i over exaggerating the situation? Anyone have any suggestions

Thanks
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:10 PM
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Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 5,007
It sounds like it, but can also happen if the intake manifold leaks (at least on v8's).
Have you tried running a compression test? You can also rent a chemical tester from Autozone that you can use to test for combustion gas in the cooling system (look for block tester).

Good luck.
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With best regards

Al

Check out the W114, W115 enthusiast website.
http://www.stroke8.org

http://www.w108.org

Join the Mercedes W108 group
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/mercedesw108/

My 280SL restoration

http://www.w108.org/gallery/albums/a...0959.thumb.jpg
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:14 PM
79Mercy's Avatar
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Location: Florida
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I wouldnt think its a intake manifold issue on a inline 6.

I didnt know you could rent that tool, i'll look into that tomorrow.

I havent run a compression test yet. The engine runs great even cold.

I meant to add this in the original post. Back in 1985 when the car had 70,000 miles the previous owner overheated it and warped the head. The head was pulled, machined, rebuilt and put back in.
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:36 PM
compu_85's Avatar
Waiting for his Model 3..
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Springfield VA
Posts: 5,174
The goop on the oil cap is normal for gassers driven on short trips when it's colder out, but the pressure in the coolant tank is worrying.

-J
__________________
1991 350SDL. 230,000 miles (new motor @ 150,000).

2013 Fiat 500E. 20,000 miles, 80 miles at a time.
2012 Passat TDI. 95,000 miles. More space, power, and fuel economy than the Benz
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 150,000 miles. One of 450.
1999 Jetta TDI. 310,000 miles.
1992 Jetta ECOdiesel. 156,000 miles. 1 of 48. Sold.
1991 Jetta ECOdiesel. 430,000 miles. 1 of 700. Sold to VeeDubTDI, totaled in front of our house
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:07 AM
79Mercy's Avatar
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When at cold idle i see what appears to be small bubbles rising from the radiator to the top. Its hard to tell if its actually air or just particles in the water being stirred around by the water pump.

I'll try and make a video of it tomorrow, idk if it will show up or not, we'll see.
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2011, 06:25 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,495
I would think bubbles are bubbles, not dirt particles swirling around. I don't think milky goop is normal for one of these even if driven on short trips.

If you decide you need to take action I have my excellent euro motor available for less than you will spend straightening out your head.....compete with euro exhaust. Freshened with low miles. Just a thought.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2011, 09:17 AM
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Location: Bavaria, Germany
Posts: 77
I would suggest you post a pic of your oil cap.

Also, are you loosing coolant? When the headgasket on my m102 leaked, i lost about 1L of coolant every 20kms.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:32 PM
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Location: Florida
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Okay here is a video from a cold start showing the pressure in the system after about a min of running. Its hard to hear I know. Car was started from about 35 degrees.

Picture 658.MOV - YouTube

This video shows what appears to be air bubbles, its hard to tell if its air or grease particles in the coolant.

Picture 660.MOV - YouTube

Here is a pic of the milky stuff on the oil cap, its hard to see on the metal but you can see it on the rubber seal ring. I have heard this is normal, however I know this car very well and I have never seen this happen before.



Tom, I appreciate the offer but I would like to leave the original engine in the car. I got this car from my grandparents so it’s a special car to me, I will correct the headgasket leak if there is one.
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:50 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,495
Quote:
Originally Posted by 79Mercy View Post
Okay here is a video from a cold start showing the pressure in the system after about a min of running. Its hard to hear I know. Car was started from about 35 degrees.

Picture 658.MOV - YouTube

This video shows what appears to be air bubbles, its hard to tell if its air or grease particles in the coolant.

Picture 660.MOV - YouTube

Here is a pic of the milky stuff on the oil cap, its hard to see on the metal but you can see it on the rubber seal ring. I have heard this is normal, however I know this car very well and I have never seen this happen before.



Tom, I appreciate the offer but I would like to leave the original engine in the car. I got this car from my grandparents so itís a special car to me, I will correct the headgasket leak if there is one.

Completely understandable.
__________________
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:56 PM
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Location: Florida
Posts: 4,128
Tom, do you think there is a issue with my motor after seeing the vids and picture. I want to drive it, but i dont want to ruin the bottom end if there is traces of water in the oil.
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2011, 01:33 AM
compu_85's Avatar
Waiting for his Model 3..
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Springfield VA
Posts: 5,174
An oil analysis is only $30 or so. Way cheaper than a bottom end rebuild.... probably cheaper than an oil change!

-J
__________________
1991 350SDL. 230,000 miles (new motor @ 150,000).

2013 Fiat 500E. 20,000 miles, 80 miles at a time.
2012 Passat TDI. 95,000 miles. More space, power, and fuel economy than the Benz
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 150,000 miles. One of 450.
1999 Jetta TDI. 310,000 miles.
1992 Jetta ECOdiesel. 156,000 miles. 1 of 48. Sold.
1991 Jetta ECOdiesel. 430,000 miles. 1 of 700. Sold to VeeDubTDI, totaled in front of our house
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NoVA
Posts: 465
Good idea, that'll tell you a great deal about what's going on inside the engine.
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Nathan
'74 280C - gone to a new home for the finishing it deserves.
'64 356SC
'74 914 2.0
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: brisbane,Qld.Australia
Posts: 2,059
You must fill the radiator to the top of the neck .
start the engine with the cap off and observe what happens when it idles .
Bubbles indicate a blown headgasket . If the bubbles increase when you rev it up it confirms this.
No bubbles indicate that all is OK.
the milkiness can be caused by a crankcase vent system not working properly.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:16 PM
Onea50
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 48
Humble Suggestion

I couldn't really tell too much from the videos. The small amount of whitish oil in the pics on the cap (to me at least) seems about normal for my car-an older 129. (2.5L, SOHC) motor as condensation/oil. I am admittedly not familiar with your engine, though.

I also agree with mercmad6.3 suggestions. That needs to be done first.

IMHO-If you are really concerned, I would like to suggest trying a leak down test. There is an advantage to doing this test as opposed to a compression test. When the compressed air supply is connected and there is a head gasket leak, it can often be seen in the coolant as air bubbles.

Oil will also float on water so if you let the car sit for a few days (to let the water and oil separate) and then pull the crankcase drain, any water in the oil will come out first.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,128
Autozone has a block tester for rent(thanks Al), im gonna go pick one up tomorrow morning and test it. I'll try and make a video, other members might find it helpful one day.

Sometimes i get the feeling the coolant smells like gas, but it could be my imagination, we will find out tomorrow.

Thank you everyone for your input.
__________________
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e485-1-2-1.jpg

Last edited by 79Mercy; 12-29-2011 at 11:32 PM.
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