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1987 300TD-T
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Discussion Starter #1
I made a really boneheaded move today – pulled into my parking space that has an unusually high curb in front of it – and smash, hit the frontend of my 87 300TD rather hard.

Got out to find coolant running out of the bottom of the car. Put it up on jackstands, and while I cant quite see EXACTLY where the coolant it coming from, it seems to be coming from both the left and right bottom corners of the radiator – moreso from the left side (when facing the front) – around where the bottom coolant hose is attached.

The leak is big enough that if I fill the reservoir the entire contents will leak out in about 15 minutes.

I assume I’m going to need a new radiator – or at least I need to get this one out and to a radiator shop to determine where it is busted. Can anyone give me a quick step-by-step set of instructions for removing the radiator from this car? I took a quick look and it doesn’t seem like it would be a huge undertaking – but I’ve been mistaken before.

I’d appreciate any help and or advice any can give.

Thanks!
 

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1994 E320
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1,730 Posts
Ouch!

1. Detach all hoses (that includes those of the ATF if your car is has and auto tranny.)
2. Pry off the metal clips securing the fan shroud to the radiator.
3. Reach down to the bottom of the fan shroud, push the lower portion towards the radiator (away from the fan) and pull it up by making it pass between the radiator and the fan.
4. Undo the larger metal clips securing the radiator to the beam that's part of the bodywork.
5. Pull the radiator up, being careful not to rub its face against any sharp edges.

Voila! Hope this helps.

Shady
 

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1987 300TD-T
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Six_wheeler - 3/7/2005 5:02 PM

1. Detach all hoses (that includes those of the ATF if your car is has and auto tranny.)
Thank you for your reply - from what I saw it seemed as simple as you described. There are 2 "hard line" connections to the radiator - are these coming from the auto-tranny?
 

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1994 E320
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1,730 Posts
The two lines connected to the left-hand (looking from the front) radiator tank are the ones. Make sure you lift them up and hang them up with a piece of wire and plug them up with a small plastic bag, so you dont end up losing the ATF to the ground.

Shady
 

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1987 300TD-T
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again - it only took me about 30 minutes to get the radiator out - things went quite easily.

It's now at a radiator shop hopefully getting repaired. There was a gash right on the vertical crimp between the plastic and the metal - about 2 inches above the bottom of the radiator. Repair guy said that there was about a 50/50 chance that an epoxy repair would hold. Hopefully I won't be shelling out $300 for a new radiator.

Either way - after the reinstall - does the cooling system on this thing need to be bled after filling with fluid? Any info on the refill/reinstall is appreciated yet again! Thanks!
 

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1994 E320
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1,730 Posts
It is preferable to bleed the system after the repair is done. There is a hose that's connected to the reservoir at one end and runs back to the engine. On some cars this hose was connected to the thermostat housing. On others (like mine) it's on the radiator. If it's connected to the (plastic) thermostat housing or to the radiator, undo it at the reservoir end, fill it up, then start the engine and watch the water until no more air comes out (be careful not to burn yourself! And make sure the heater is turned to "hot".)
If you have a metal thermostat housing, undo the bolt on top of it and refill the system while the engine is off, and keep filling until water comes out of the hole (but that only works if the thermostat itself has a tiny bleed hole in it. You can check that by taking off the housing and looking at the thermostat.)

Hope this helps,
Shady
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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It is always advisable to replace rather than repair this type of radiator (plastic tanks). Metal tanked units are usually repaired or brazed. Best of luck, I hope your repair works out. Make sure you also drain your block for a proper flush. Also use only MBZ coolant, it has a specific ph level compatable with the alloys used in the M103 engine and other MBZ's for that matter.
 

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1987 300TD-T
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, a repair wouldn't hold a pressure test - so I have a new radiator on the way.

Does anyone know exactly where the block drain is on my engine? Thanks again....
 

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'87 300TD
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I was flushing the coolant system on my 300TD a few months ago and I swore I couldn't find the block drain. It's on the passenger side of the engine somewhat further back. It looks like a nut (something like 14mm) with an attachment for a hose in the center. If you don't see it at first, keep looking! It is there!
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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It is on the pass. side of the engine block.
Very close to the primary cat on one of the downpipes.
You will need an extension with a swivel on it. It is easier than it sounds. Might be a good time for a new thermostat if yours is original.
 

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1994 E320
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2 Posts
I have a new radiator and condenser sitting in my garage, and I will be following your instructions to remove the radiator, but I was wondering as to the condenser. I know that it sits right in front of the radiator, and I hope that it is simple to remove, but I cannot find instruction on how to do so. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,

-Leonidas
 

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2001 E320; 2002 ML500
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1,982 Posts
keystone76 said:
I was flushing the coolant system on my 300TD a few months ago and I swore I couldn't find the block drain. It's on the passenger side of the engine somewhat further back. It looks like a nut (something like 14mm) with an attachment for a hose in the center. If you don't see it at first, keep looking! It is there!
19mm

Sergio
 
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