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.
1989 - Present: All SL, SLK and SLC models.
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