Head Gasket or Intake Manifold? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: '73 280 SE 4.5
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Smile Head Gasket or Intake Manifold?

Ok, so I've got some white smoke on my '73 280 SE 4.5. It does not go away and it is a lot of white smoke after start.

I searched smoke and white smoke and read up about possible problems.
After reading I'm pretty convinced it is a head gasket and after reading I do get a lot of white foam in the radiator after idling a bit and revving the engine.

My questions are:
Is there a way to fully determine if its a head gasket?
Is this a pretty difficult job to do on a five scale how would you rate it?
I am a decent mechanic and I like older cars because you can usually work on them if your mech. inclined.
I take my time and take pictures to ensure everything goes back the right way.

Any suggestions on what else it could be causing this white smoke. even though its smoking the car runs surprisingly well I think.

Thanks for any help and suggestions, I think I love this car.

Mario in Fort Worth
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:47 AM
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Date registered: May 2007
Vehicle: 64' 220SEc, 72' 300SEL 6.3, lots of parts
Location: San Diego/Spring Valley
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Just yank the heads

Mario, if you have ever twisted a wrench you can do this. Realize that this is a periodic maintenance task.
If you commit to do this there are "tricks", like take the exhaust manifolds with the heads. Out and in.
May cost 1K in parts.
Then you get another 150k on the motor.
What is the motor's mileage?
This is a investment in the future.

Brian O
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: '73 280 SE 4.5
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Ok, at the chance of sounding like an idiot. When I changed the oil and filter I put in Castrol 10/30, the smoke started. I changed it again and went with a generic 15/40 and it stopped.
I guess I'm ok? Sounds good and runs pretty decent. I am planning a electronic ignition upgrade.
One question, I did have some white foamy bubbles in my rad. Is this a problem?
I was going to have a radiator shop check the radiator, after I get the aux. fan to operate.
Temp stays at around 175-195 right now. Have yet to here the fan kick on.

Thanks for your replies, I'm excited to learn more about my first Merc V8.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 03:26 PM
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Vehicle: '72 280SE barn find
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Bubbles in the rad is not a good thing. Does the engine loose water? Is the oil a milky color? Is there oil in the rad? Hopefully the bubbles are a passing thing. If not a head gasket failure is a best case.

There is a kit available for testing the cooling system for the presence of combustion gasses. The one that I have is a device that fits in the filler neck of the rad and has a blue liquid. If the liquid changes color that means that you now have an opportunity to learn about your engine.

If it's not broke it dosen't have enough features.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I will check it to see if I can determine whether it is a gasket or not. Thanks
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