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Old 05-10-2008, 05:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Scotts Valley, CA.
Posts: 145
103 valve stem seals - how difficult to do?

I need to replace the valve stem seals on my '89 300E with 103 engine. Parts (Fastlane) less than $50. How difficult is this to do?
Can an owner with medium mechanical skills do this at home with hand tools?

Any help will be appreciated. THANKS

Jay Yambrovich
Scotts Valley, CA.

1993 300 CE Cabriolet (A124) 131K miles
1997 C-280 133K miles

2000 BMW R1100RT 69K miles
1989 300 E 216K miles (sold)
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:47 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 33
I assisted my Father in Law with the valve stem seals about 6 years ago. I wouldn't have done it on my own then, but I would probably give it a shot now - I'd say I'm about medium skill level for a non professional.

He had a Mercedes valve spring compressor that made the job straight forward. I don't know if a regular valve spring compressor will work, but you will need one. It's at the top of this pic:

Sorry, this is one of the only pics I have of it and I didn't take any pics with it in use. I don't know the part number either.

Also, I don't remember how we kept the valves from dropping into the cylinders when we did this, but we probably used an air compressor.

If you get the valve spring compressor, I'd say go for it. Just make sure you review the instructions, be patient, take it slow, and don't plan on needing the car for a few days in case you run into problems.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:15 AM
Hit Man X's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 9,087
Thumbs up

Simple as can be. Go with OEM seals and get a new cover gasket. Also I'd replace any rubber and the temp/fan senders while it's apart. Good time for upper timing cover seal too as they usually leak.

I did mine in a few hours.
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas
Posts: 756
Check out the DIY
1996 E320 since 1/16/08, 171K miles as of Feb 2011

1989 300CE - R.I.P. Dec 29 2007
Other MBs (sold): 1992 300E-24 - 1979 350SLC - 1984 230E - 1990 300CE
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:48 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: DFW / Collin County Texas
Posts: 1,882
Very easy job. Do a search - there is a non-MBZ coil spring compressor that can be used with adequate results. I think it's made by Lisle and available at Pep Boys...

08 W251 R350
97 W210 E320
91 W124 300E
86 W126 560SEL
85 W126 380SE Silver
85 W126 380SE Cranberry
79 W123 250
78 W123 280E
75 W114 280
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