'87 300TDT Head Gasket change. Need help/manual - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy '87 300TDT Head Gasket change. Need help/manual

Hi Everyone!
I bought the 1987 300TDT diesel station wagon back in February. It has severe oil leakage, from multiple locations, some of it from two of the head bolts, which a Mercedes mechanic attributed to a faulty head gasket.
Its time to fix it, but I cant seem to find the proper repair manual anywhere.
I called Mercedes Benz head offices, then a local dealer, and even tried bentley publishers.
Any owners of the 300TDT's out there with a manual capable of taking me (and two experienced diesel mechanics) through this process?

Thanks for the help!

Kfir
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kfir View Post
Hi Everyone!
I bought the 1987 300TDT diesel station wagon back in February. It has severe oil leakage, from multiple locations, some of it from two of the head bolts, which a Mercedes mechanic attributed to a faulty head gasket.
Its time to fix it, but I cant seem to find the proper repair manual anywhere.
I called Mercedes Benz head offices, then a local dealer, and even tried bentley publishers.
Any owners of the 300TDT's out there with a manual capable of taking me (and two experienced diesel mechanics) through this process?

Thanks for the help!

Kfir
Mercedes Benz Model 124 - OM602, OM603 Maintenance Manuals
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanx! that's perect.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Vehicle: '87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon
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The trickiest part of this operation will be pulling the chain-rail pins from the head, especially if they don't have the right tool. Everything else is just basic stuff everyone does when R&Ring a head.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Replace the exhaust gasket too and you will need new bolts for the broken bolts in the exhaust manifold. Just some bolts from home depot or lowes will work with some lock washers and washers. Also, you'll probably end up breaking a couple throttle linkages like me. They get brittle and break so just try to be careful with them. Those guide rails do suck though, you have to basically build yourself a puller thing. I hear the slide hammer that is supposed to get those things out just ends up destroying them. Also, be careful with the timing obviously when reassembling and aligning the chain.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It sounds more and more like I dont want to do this job myself, even with help from my friends, and they're not happy about it either. Neither of them as ever worked on a mercedes. They have experience with VW and heavy equipment, but not benz.
Problem is I cant afford the $90/hr rate of the shop. I'm even buying the parts myself and saving hundreds on them, but even that is a stretch.
I guess I'll just keep the leak for now, slowly buy all the parts, and save some money for the shop to do it.

Any good souls out there with experience and lower rates?
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's really not that bad--lots of DIY guys have done this successfully. We can walk you through any rough patches
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Zeitgeist. I appreciate the willingness to help.
I guess the first step would be for me to get a list of all necessary tools and parts.

Here's what I have already ordered from GermanImportedParts.com (GIP):

-Head Gasket Set
-Valve Stem Seal Kit
-Head Bolt Kit
-Valve Cover Gasket
-Oil Filter Kit
-Headbolt 12 point 1/2" "socket"
-Timing cover sealant

The local benz (non dealership) mechanic also included the following on the list he gave me, but not knowing if they were a must or not, I chose not to buy them yet due to tight finances:

-Timing Chain Tensioner 601-050-07-11
-Timing Chain 003-997-55-94 (Found on GIP as 003-997-I4894)
-Timing Chain Link 000-997-23-98 (Found on GIP as 000-997-1298)
-Timing Guide Rail 601-050-08-16 (Called Tensioner Rail on GIP)
-Timing Guide Rail 601-052-05-16 (Called Chain Rail on GIP)
-Timing Guide Rail 601-052-03-16 (Called Chain Rail on GIP)
-Timing Rail Pivot Pin 606-052-05-74
-Timing Rail Pivot Pin 606-052-06-74

So... are the timing parts absolutely necessary for the head gasket job? According to the online manual it seems they are... but I'm still holding a hope there's a way to do it without all of that extra headache.
If they are indeed necessary, where can I get the special tools needed to deal with those, and what exactly are those tools called (part numbers?).

And last but not least, what are other recommended parts I should get... hoses, gaskets, fluids, etc.
Ideally, I would like to have everything I could possibly need on hand before I start the job. Once it starts, I will have a very short time window to be without an operating vehicle.
Which brings me to another question... how long should I expect this job to take for a couple of DIY'ers, with hand tools?
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Your first set of parts looks good, but if you're planning on doing the stem seals, you'll also need a special valve spring compressor. I can't remember whether the head bolts a stretch-type, so they may not absolutely be required.

From your second set, I'd add the two pivot pins to the "must have" list. When you remove the valve cover, you'll want to check timing chain stretch, which will determine whether a new chain is required. You can easily remove the head without breaking the chain links, so if it's not required, don't bother.

Here's the pivot pin tool:



They run about $30 on ebay right now.

In your original post, you mentioned leaking oil which you were told is caused by the head gasket. The typical failure mode for these OM603 gaskets is to leak from the chain vault into #1 cyl, rather than externally, so I'd want to be absolutely sure of the source of your leak. If it's on the drivers side middle of the engine, it's more than likely the bottom cover of the injection pump. Just a thought
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Zeitgeist.
The oil leaking came from atleast 3 different spots. The turbo drain tube, which I fixed (there was a bolt missing). The vacuum pump gasket, which I replaced but it started leaking again - that could be because I didnt put any sealant on the gasket. Going to do that one again. The third leak is from the front two head bolts. There's actually oil coming out from around the heads of the bolts.
I had those two replaced, and sealant added to their threads, and that fixed the leak temporarily. It was back within days. The mechanic suspects there's a tear in the head gasket, which allows oil to get to those two bolts, then travel up the threads and out the top.

There may very well be other leaks, but with so much coming out of the ones I mentioned, its impossible to locate now.

Another question: is there anything special I need (ie tools, computer software etc) for adjusting the timing? Dont assume I know what all that entails or means... its just that my mechanic, when he heard I want to try this myself, asked "So how are you going to adjust the timing?"

Last edited by Kfir; 11-03-2009 at 06:35 AM.
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