M104 3.2 Burning Oil after Head Rebuild -- Thoughts and Guidance, please. - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 08:58 AM
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^ Agree with Andy.....don't let this 'person' touch your lower end at that mileage. My guess is that they let the valve guides go...didn't replace and/or didn't do a proper valve job. At that mileage, there will still be full cross-hatch pattern on the cylinder walls from the factory final honing.

This is a tough call because the $3,000 spent should force them to do the job correctly. But.....usually you can't make a fool/crook do competent work once they get your money.

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post #12 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tuttebenne View Post
What makes you so sure he actually did anything to the head? Are you sure you have your original head on the car or one that was exchanged by some "head specialist" your mechanic uses.

You need an honest and qualified shop to be servicing your car and this one does not appear to be the right one. Don't let this guy touch your car any more.
In retrospect I should have walked away when I returned to the shop a week later expecting that the work would be close to completion and discovered that the head hadn't even been removed.

I can't be certain the original head was used, but he did make a point of calling me to examine the head before he proceeded to reassemble the engine. I didn't really know what he was pointing out as far as the various aspects of what was done, but what I saw looked like it had come back fresh from the machine shop, so I assumed that what he said was done had been done and done well.

I was certainly alarmed when I started up the car upon collection and saw considerable smoke upon acceleration, but I took his word that this was merely gunk that had built up and would cease over time. It subsided somewhat but never stopped...and ever since the oil light came on a few hundred miles later, I've been seeing red flags about this job ever since.
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post #13 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:35 AM
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Eventually what happens in these cases with a fool/crook is that they throw up their hands and turn the whole thing around blaming you. It's the way of the Dark Side.

Kevin
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post #14 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Indeed. I guess part of the reason I'm so stuck on holding him accountable is that 3k was only for the engine work...there were lots of other things I elected to do while the car was there having nothing to do with the motor thinking I'd have a sorted out car afterward...only to end up with this (in my mind) much bigger problem. Frustrated also about the amount of time it took...one would think he would have done a good deal of that additional work while the head was at the machine shop. Sorry about the rant.
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post #15 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stradivari1689 View Post
Indeed. I guess part of the reason I'm so stuck on holding him accountable is that 3k was only for the engine work...there were lots of other things I elected to do while the car was there having nothing to do with the motor thinking I'd have a sorted out car afterward...only to end up with this (in my mind) much bigger problem. Frustrated also about the amount of time it took...one would think he would have done a good deal of that additional work while the head was at the machine shop. Sorry about the rant.
Stradivari, your engine from an oil burning standpoint was just fine before this shop messed with your head (no pun intended). So the only scenario in which all of a sudden something went wrong with your bottom end is that the shop forgot to put oil in the engine if they had drained it and ran the engine a while not realizing. Very low probability but even if true it is still their mistake.

Absent this, something went wrong with the head job. One sign of bad valves guides and seals is that the engine will burn most of its oil during a cold start after you let it sit overnight. What happens is oil drips thru the guides into cylinders a drip at a time for a long period.

So please do me a favor, let your engine sit overnight, outdoors where your exhaust system can develop some condensation. Start your engine in the morning and do not move it for 10 minutes. Let it idle. There will be some water in the exhaust that will carry the burnt oil from the previous night and it will actually even make a stain mark right below your tail pipe. You can actually hold your hand under the tail pipe and see the wet carbon deposits on your hand during this warm up period.

I believe this is a strong indication that whatever guides/seals were used collectively as a bunch did not meet the tolerances needed.

Will you do me a favor and run this experiment tonight?
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post #16 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yes. You're the one doing me the favor, btw. Thank you.
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post #17 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 02:15 PM
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I favor the bad head job scenario....only because I don't understand why they would drain the oil before a head job. Maybe afterward if you wanted to be uber safe to the new head. Your plugs will tell you the story. If they are all fairly uniform in oil fouling, the valves/valve guides are to blame. If you don't want to pull the plugs then the process as given for warming the car up and checking under the tailpipe is OK.

Even the best machine shops screw up or get mixed messages from the mechanic/rebuilder. Another avenue, but one that would require infinite time....is when you take the head off again....go to an independent machine shop and have the head examined. Have them write down their findings and then take your shop to small claims court(usually a $5,000 cap these days) with the documentation that proves the head was not done properly. I know....loooong road.

Kevin
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post #18 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 03:46 PM
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I was thinking the same thing as Real1shepherd; small claims court. If the car only burned a modest amount of oil before it was serviced, and it burns more oil now, then the mechanic caused the problem. The situation should be pursued from the perspective that a new head gasket and valve job would reduce the amount of oil consumption, not increase it.

You really should locate the a more reliable Indy mechanic in your area who will help you not only fix the car but narrow down the cause of the problem.

Your defense in small claims court should include a well documented timeline showing the amount of times you brought the problem to the mechanic's attention only to have it left unresolved or ignored. What you want to avoid is the small claims court to feel you didn't give the original shop sufficient opportunity to resolve the issue.

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post #19 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 07:43 AM
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Kevin you asked me if you can check if the guides are faulty .Well yes there is
You need to pressurise the cylinder and remove the valve spring .
Then hold the valve stem in your fingers and see what play you have in it ..
The shop will do this for you if you ask, But me i would go and find another competent garage and get back to the first one ,after you find any play in the valves..
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post #20 of 98 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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I tried the idle observation test this morning, with the exception that I didn't leave the car outside as it was raining quite heavily. Garage temperature was between 55-60F.

There was some rust-colored condensate on the ground from the tailpipe and significant white smoke even after 10 minutes.
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