230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

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chruzzie
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230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by chruzzie » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 8:17 am

The head gasket is blown and I'm not sure what to do,
I lent the car to a mate who overheated it. He told me that he quickly pulled over when he noticed the high temp on the guage. Then car was then towed to a local mechanic who did some tests, during these tests the head gasket blew.
The engine has done 350,000km and cylinder compression was even and high when I measured it 2 years ago.

Any advice on how to proceed would be welcome as my research has not defined a clear path which to take. The body has been resprayed and all rust removed so she is a keeper and I want to do it right.

What appear to be my options so far include:
1. Pull the head and measure for level and true. Based on this is it worth machining?
- Does any one know the tolerances of what can be machined?
- Should I take it to a specialist or will a local mechanic be able to do the job properly?
- Is there a good chance the piston rings are ruined?

2. Replace the engine?
- Where would I source an engine?
- This option seems like more problems unless it was a rebuilt engine?
- Is it a M102 I4 engine?
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1983 230TE 5sp manual
VIN# WDB12328320015900
ENGINE# 1029802010365

merc-304
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by merc-304 » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 9:45 am

Replace Head Gasket - 1hr nth you have the man for the job ...mercmad.
380 SEC

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julian
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by julian » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 10:46 am

I think that the choice comes somewhat down to how much you can do yourself. Having followed some of your earlier threads you seem handy.

I would be inclined to strip everything as it is in the engine bay, and if you can then remove the head yourself. Timing chains make this job a little painful, but not impossible.

Once the head is off a close inspection might reveal a crack or significant warp, and then the decision is made, and you are already halfway there having stripped the engine bay ready for the new motor to be installed. But, if it looks clean and the block is not damaged then a 4 cylinder head rebuild wouldn't be very costly, and judging by your poor mate's description damage is likely to be minimal.

The big money for this kind of job is in the labour. Handing someone the job while you sit at home drinking beers in front of the computer (probably researching to the minutiae the job the mechanic is doing for you anyway) will end up costing plenty more.
w123 240D auto Lang
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An Outback 3L
Previously: 1977 300D, 1979 300TD, 1982 280SE, 1988 560SEL

chruzzie
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by chruzzie » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 11:06 am

Thanks Julian.
I would like to do it myself but i dont have the space right now. I dont have money to burn but just want it done properly the first time with planning and by the right people.
1983 230TE 5sp manual
VIN# WDB12328320015900
ENGINE# 1029802010365

mathuisella
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by mathuisella » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 4:21 pm

remember, solve the issue that caused the problem in the first place :)

was it a bad thermostat or low coolant or a coolant leak that made the car overheat ?

chruzzie
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by chruzzie » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 5:42 pm

Definitely want to solve what caused it.

This is what i have so far. The car was stopped up as soon as the gauge flicked up to 120.

It seemed to come down to a number of things.

1. The fuse that controls the electromagnetic system that engages the fan to activate as it reaches running temp.. had blown.
2. The local mechanic also said there very well may have been a mild internal leak from the radiator into the chambers which would explain the radiator being low in water/coolant, but obviously wasn’t enough to cause a lock.

Once the car was towed to the shop. After adding more water and doing a running test there was exhaust bubbling/smoking out the top of the radiator which indicates the head gasket being busted.
1983 230TE 5sp manual
VIN# WDB12328320015900
ENGINE# 1029802010365

mathuisella
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by mathuisella » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 5:52 pm

The water pump could have a slow leak as well,. it's almost unnoticable.

Best way to check is to put a bunched up bit of paper towel wedged into play underneath the waterpump and let the car sit overnight. If it's got coolant on it the next morning you have a bad pump gasket and possibly waterpump itself

this is from the om617 diesel though, not sure about the petrol 2.3

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Mercmad
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by Mercmad » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 9:02 pm

It's pretty easy to work on these engines .I would say the head gasket was quite possibly due to blow and at 350,000 it has done well. If you want to do it yourself ,get ahold of a manual or scour the German websites where others have rebuilt these engines. Get the car intro a space where you can pull the head off yourself,with plenty of light ( the bonnet opens right up to give great access. ) all too often i have seen owners strip their cars down,only to find they lose interest or the working conditions are like hell on earth and they give up . Theres a few things you need to budjet for, besides fresh oil and a filter. A head gasket ,A1020162420,manifold gaskets A1021412780 &A1021421480 x 4 , a radiator check (get it flushed) , new belts and a water pump. A thermostat and spark plugs.

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Tony From West Oz
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by Tony From West Oz » Sat 09 Jun, 2018 11:03 pm

You have already spent the big bucks getting the body up to scratch. Find a garage or workshop you can rent some space and do what you can yourself. Farm out the head testing and / or reconditioning to specialists who machine and test heads. When you get it back, put it together again, confirm valve timing and repair the coolant leak.
Get a quote for the work to be done to the head. Price a replacement radiator and water pump. If you replace them both, you know that they are there for the life of the car.
ps, she looks fantastic.
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
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chruzzie
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Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by chruzzie » Sun 10 Jun, 2018 10:21 pm

If the head needs shaving, can it be shaved or does it need to be pressed?
Do to my current circumstances I will need to find someone to do it.
Otherwise the car will rust before I get around to fixing it all properly, I'm in the middle of building a house.

I'll start to get some quotes this week for the head gasket replacement, head overhaul, thermostat, water pump etc.
1983 230TE 5sp manual
VIN# WDB12328320015900
ENGINE# 1029802010365

chruzzie
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Posts: 62
Joined: Mon 28 Mar, 2016 4:55 pm
Model you own: w123
Location: Gold Coast, Qld

Re: 230te Blown Head Gasket: Replace or Repair?

Post by chruzzie » Sat 30 Jun, 2018 9:17 am

TonyWestOZ has sort of convinced me to have a go at doing the repairs myself. The mechanics after speaking with Florian in Byron bay decided to try Rislone. They then did a compression test and all cylinders are at 170. Operating temperatures are stable for now at 80-100.

So the plan is to wait until the house is completed and then take the head off and repair it properly. In the meantime I'll research and get the parts ready.

I read online a bit about Rislone and there were mixed opinions. By the sounds of it. It makes a real mess in the cooling system.
1983 230TE 5sp manual
VIN# WDB12328320015900
ENGINE# 1029802010365

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