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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 190 last year that already had a slight leak, so that I had to add some coolant every while, but I saw that the radiator had some green underneath, so I thought I could deal with it until I'd change it!
Once I forgot to add the water and remembered when I realized the water was getting near to 100 degrees Celsius, so I stopped and added some water, hoping it wasn't too late.
Since then it started consuming much more coolant, so I decided to change the radiator this past week, sure that this would have stopped the leak.
BUT THE COOLANT with the new radiator WAS GETTING LOW AS WELL pretty fast!!! :confused:
I went to my mechanic, that blamed it on the head gasket, and actually I even had to change the spark plugs, that had misfire on the 4th cilinder, but I wanted to do the last try before getting into that major work on the motor head: I tried tightening the 5 head bolts, that turned a little more than 1/4 of turn.
Well, believe it or not, it stopped leaking :eek:
Now, I don't know how much it's going to last and to postpone the head gasket work, I'll let you know, guys!!! :thumbsup:
 

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190E, SLK350
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67,105 Posts
I would be worried because if the head was loose then it is most likely warped. Have the head removed and machined before you install a new head gasket.
If you are doing the the disassembly and assembly yourself get the torque specification for the head bolts and the order of tightening. While the head is out, check your valves, springs, stems and the cam and replace wearable parts. Your engine will thank you for it and should reward you with a more miles of pleasure ;)
So no Mickey Mouse repairs capisci
 

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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I was worried, and I was already looking for the head gasket kit, and I found it cheaper that what my mechanic told me, on ebay, in Germany!!
Anyway, I'm thinking of waiting a little bit more, until it starts leaking again, and for sure I'll do a complete rebuild of the engine, maybe also this fall!
Actually, I didn't tighten it a lot, compared to a clock I might have turned the bolt of 10-15 minutes.
I don't think the previous owner of my beloved 190 did good maintainance on it!
 

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190E, SLK350
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Remember it's not just the gasket, you will need to have some machining done ;)
 

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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes, yes, the head and the cylinder block has to be smoothened. As I told you, if it holds, I 'll leave it that way! ;)
 

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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
A little update!
I talked to my mechanic that told me that the 5 bolts I tightened were the ones of the valve cover, not of the head!
No more leaking, still, so he said it could be the coolant reservoir cap that in some cases doesn't hold the rigth pressure and lets the coolant out!
Now I put the little pipe of the coolant excess in a little bottle, so I check how much it lets out, and nothing ever in the bottle!
I actually realized that it was loosing water when I was doing a sharp turn, like if the coolant was reaching the cap and being thrown away! This in the 1st tour with the new radiator.
Or maybe I just tried better to flush all the air from the circuit, pumping the water in the circuit squeezing the big hose of the radiator, so the engine was surrounded by the coolant and no more from the air.
Anyway, good enough for me: the radiator exchange fixed the problem.
 

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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The story is getting more and more strange!
For some periods, expecially if I use the car on highway, it stays cool and no water out, when I drive in the city or maybe in a very hot day, it pours out everything.
I'm going to take it to repair on tuesday, but I'm very astonished of this alternate behaviour. I'm afraid it could be a crak along the cylinder, that opens when the motor gets too warm... anyone knows if this ever happened?
 

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You are bringing me back memeries of my past 190-e cars,had same problem,in my case water(coolant) would drain whill driving, but not when i stopped to check for leaks,finally found it was the water pump,while driving it forced more pressure on water pump!(leak"s thru a weep hole under water pump that supposed to let you know that your water pump need to be replaced) replaced water pump and wala no leaks
 

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YO,also to check if you got a busted head gasket,try this--while car is idle take off radiator cap -fill water container to top where you can see water then see if you have any bubbling action if you do that means gasket is broken and motor pressure is going into the water system or check oil dip stick or underneath oil cap for any white or creamy substance if you do that means again that head gasket is broken and water pressure is going into the motor!! hope you find your problem
 

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Mercedes 86 190E 2000 cc
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yes, Gonzalr, I knew it was a head gasket issue!

So, my mechanic, a retired Mercedes official, changed me everything it needed to change, even the complete head!!! It was the head that was corroded:






My mechanic said it was because of using simple water... or because the coolant after a couple of years should be replaced, because it becomes very corrosive!

Now, this is how the engine looks after the "lifting" ;)







It did cost me a little, 850€ up to now (1,500 US$ more or less), but he did a lot of work on it, even changed 4 injectors, since mine were dripping gas!
 
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