Replacing blown head gasket in 95 C280 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 12:07 PM
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Replacing blown head gasket in 95 C280

Of course any head gasket replacement is a total biatch, but just wondering how difficult it is on a C280. I may be buying or trading my 78 300D for one that supposedly has a blown head gasket. The owner doesn't really know for sure if that's the case, he's no mechanic, but he says it blows white smoke like crazy which tells me he's probably right. No oil and coolant mixing and it's taking a little longer to start, probably due to low compression from the bad HG...

Just wondering how tough the replacement is going to be if I decide to get it. I know my way around the engine bay, just have never worked on a W202.

Any input would be greatly appreciated, going to look at it tomorrow.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 01:36 PM
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It may be more cost effective to pull/replace the engine in the long run due to other internal wear. If you are to leave the current engine in you would be looking at or should have the cylinder head re-machined. There are some engine shops that will sell a remanufactured engine with a warranty if your funds permit or there is the bone yard as well.
Pulling the engine as you know requires some handy shop tools, I am not questioning your ability but when your doing something major like the HG you want it done right. Metafly may be able to give some pointers on engine removal if you decide to dive in. Guess it all depends on how much they want and what your willing to spend at this point, you may want to reconsider the purchase and look elsewhere, best of luck.
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 03:18 PM
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Considering the amount of C280's out there, I would pass and look for one in good mechanical order.

C36 ///AMG (1 of 50 shipped to Canada)



One moment it's a cruising luxury car,, and in the matter of a flash it turns into an all out Muscle Hot rod...


"Its an AMG, completely handmade engine, by one person. The M104 AMG engine is in my opinion the best engine ever made. Its so over done its ridiculous" (LAMF)
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 06:33 PM
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I have to agree with BenzMaster19.

I see no reason to buy a C series with something that major in question, unless it was nearly free.

If it runs and can have a PPI done that's one thing, if it don't then run and run fast!

These cars are plentiful and cheap to acquire in nice condition.

1995 C280 Smoke Silver on Mushroom/Parchment 130k Real AMG 17" Chrome wheels
1989 420SEL Black on Black 240K miles .. Ladies Love It!
1983 380SEL Black on palomino 140k
2003 ML430 Black on Black 62k / Every option and body additions.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:06 AM
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The head gasket job on an M104 isn't the worst in the world. Inline engines are pretty easy to work on. There is a good write-up on the job here:

PeachPartsWiki: Head Gasket Replacement

The thing to worry about with the head gasket job is actually the wiring harnes. If you have one of the brittle harnesses, with the insulation falling apart, you might just wreck the harness when you remove it to do the head gasket job. I think a harness will cost you something like $900, just for the part.

Any 15 year old car you are going to buy is going to have issues, including engine wear. If you're a handy guy with the wrenches, then a head gasket is only going to cost you some minor parts and then your own time. That's not a lot of investment. A wiring harness is a major investment, especially considering that car isnt' worth any more than $4-5K if it was perfect.

My advice would be to have a PPI done by a qualified MB specialist. Find out what other hidden expenses await you (like the lower control arm bushings, for example) and have them try and verify the condition of the wiring harness. If everything else is good, you might be able to pick up a good deal and only have to invest a few hundred dollars plus your time to do the head gasket.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 02:00 PM
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In regards to an engine replacement that's not really an option. And yes, the car is practically free at $500, mint interior and the exterior is really nice too. The wiring harness was replaced immediately after the current owner bought the car.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 03:50 PM
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For $500 bucks you might aswell go for it! especially if the Interior and exterior are in great shape, you really can't go wrong here...

C36 ///AMG (1 of 50 shipped to Canada)



One moment it's a cruising luxury car,, and in the matter of a flash it turns into an all out Muscle Hot rod...


"Its an AMG, completely handmade engine, by one person. The M104 AMG engine is in my opinion the best engine ever made. Its so over done its ridiculous" (LAMF)
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:32 PM
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Dang for $500 i would go for it. Do the work your self and you will be alright. It would be a nice weekend project.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 10:54 AM
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It has 190k on it but I'm not too worried, I should be able to get $500 worth of driving in right? It's mostly a novelty issue because my W123 is a very similar color combo and I'd like to own the old and new versions of the C class.

Now if I could get him to return my calls now that I'm sure I want it...
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:19 PM
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If for any reason you couldn't fix the head gasket, you could part that car out for way more than $500. If the wiring harness is as new as you say, you could get your money back with that part all by itself.
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