Sick M119 engine

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Joined: Fri 12 Oct, 2018 2:35 pm
Model you own: R129
Region: New South Wales
Location: Sydney

Sick M119 engine

Post by bzhnky » Fri 12 Oct, 2018 3:10 pm

After ten years of near flawless service, the engine in my wife's precious 1991 R129 500SL has blown a head gasket. I've taken it to my local MB repairman and he's suggesting that it's better to replace the engine than replace the gasket, on the basis that he could find other problems with the likes of the cooling system or even a cracked head once he strips it down. As it stands, the engine was running smoothly and there were no external leaks from it, but a lot of water has passed into the oil. It was also hard to turn over at times, suggesting some leakage into cylinder(s).
So my questions are:
- is there any way of determining if there are likely to be other major problems before taking the head off?
- if I decide to go down the replace-the-engine path, what's the chance of finding a 2nd hand one? Any suggestions?
Any advice appreciated.


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John Green
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Region: Australian Capital Territory
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Re: Sick M119 engine

Post by John Green » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 12:56 pm

Is your mechanic a MB specialist? If so he should know that the M119 engine is a super strong engine and in general give very little problems. When we closed our spare parts division earlier this year and looked at what we had in stock, i could not believe how many M119 parts we had and how few we had sold compared to other engines.

I would strongly suggest that you should remove both cylinder heads and inspect what you have. Then once repaired you know what you have. Buy a used engine and you might have just brought someone else problems. Also in terms of being a collectible car, having the original engine number is a bonus.
M.B Spares & Service 14-16 Lyell St, Fyshwick ACT. Ph 02 6239 1099 - Supporting Australia's Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts.

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