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Registered
US 1991 560SEL
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the car!
1991 560SEL 180,000 Miles
White paint in decent condition. Minimal rust around trunk gasket. A few cracks in the grey leather seats in the front. Rear seat doesn't slide forward properly on the drivers side. RR window switch in the console is too sticky to go down, but it does go up. Switch on that door works fine though. Everything else works as far as I can tell without the engine running.:thumbsup:

Previous post regarding this car:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd/1669197-might-buy-overheated-560sel-more-trouble.html

Backstory:

AC idler pully broke right off it's mount and took the belts and a few fan blades with it. Driver drove it home overheating and left it there for a few months before deciding the sell it. I find it online at $900US and go see it a few ago and offer $600 to have it delivered to me 80 miles away. He bites. I already have a working 5L 117 engine so I should be able to get it running in any case...

Here's what happened so far...
I cut off all of the belts that were still on the engine. I put only the belts for the water pump/fan and power steering pump on. I took out the old oil filter. It came out basically in pieces as if the glue holding the top and bottom to the filter material had disintegrated. I drained the pan and put in new oil and a filter. I refill the coolant with tap water and a bottle of K-Seal as recommended by a good friend who thought the head gasket is likely breached. I turned the engine over with the spark coil disconnected. It spun just fine! Soon after, I discovered water leaking from behind the right front wheel well. Turns out, that's where that coolant pressure relief hose is plumbed. I refill the water and put a clear hose on the relief nozzle and take out spark plugs two at a time to see if the pressure buildup stops. After removing spark plug 3 and 4 (back passenger corner and the last ones in the order that I removed them) the water shoots out of one when I crank it. I disconnect a coolant breather hose from the coolant tank and force water into the system under pressure from my garden hose and water starts pouring out of cylinder 3's spark plug hole.

So now the questions are...
Should I replace both head gaskets because I'll have to take off mostly everything anyways?
Do I need all new head bolts or do I reuse the ones I have?
Should I replace the timing chain and tentioners while I'm at it?
Does anyone have Tri-Y's for sale or have any other suggestions of upgrades I should look into while I have it broken down that far?
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
Swap in another motor, cheaper and plentiful.

You have no idea of the condition of the rings, especially if water has been sitting in the cylinders for some time.
 

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Registered
1989 560 SEL W126
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263 Posts
+1 on above. Or pull what you have out and rebuild.
 

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Registered
US 1991 560SEL
Joined
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Wouldn't it cost less to fix this one than either buy a reman or clean up a used one? I'm not looking to spend more than maybe $750 to make this thing run... If it's more than that, I may just part it out or attempt putting my 500 into it.
I'm going to take a head off tomorrow and look for bore damage.
 

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Registered
w201,w124,w126
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2,318 Posts
If the engine has overheated you'll strip out all the head bolt threads. Thus requiring a redrill and timesert. So make sure to add that to your head gasket replacement.
 

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Registered
US 1991 560SEL
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Big Update! Engine's apart.

So here's the big update since I've gotten the car.
It's now apart and I think I've figured out what all went wrong. Tell me if any of this seems out of order.

Previous owner had the engine replaced by "a dealer" (supposedly). He then puts 10,000ish miles on the car. This is where my educated guessing comes in.
The oil level sender has gone bad. The oil was run very low if at all. The driver continued driving without caring about the oil level or oil pressure. Oil is no longer getting to the cam shaft oiler pipes. The plastic parts on the camshaft oiler pipe on the passenger side overheat and melt into the space between the cam and the bearing blocks. Engine starts acting up a little. Somehow, the idler pulley for the AC compressor breaks off during a drive and takes out all of the belts for the AC, water pump, one from the alternator and the fan. It also takes a few chunks out of the metal fan blades themselves. The engine overheats. Driver continues to drive until the head gasket on the passenger side blows and the engine stops. The car sits for a few months until I pick it up for cheap.

Other things I've noticed include:
Oil level sender has some kind of melted plastic clogging it's holes
One non-oem cam.
All head bolt holes helicoiled.
Exhaust gaskets installed sloppily.
Non-oem cam oiler plastic bits melted.
Oil pump strainer filled with crap.
Multiple chain guides worn down.
Chain guide on the tensioner worn to the aluminum.
Oil pump chain guide has a broken tip.
Chain guide in driver side head melted and dripping plastic into engine.
Sludge built up on the cams and bearing blocks.
Both chains haven't got a master link. (I'm suspecting they're original)

Images here:
560SEL - Imgur

I'm getting a shipment tomorrow of the last of the parts I'll need to get everything running again. This includes all new chain guides, new water pump, new chains, new gaskets all around, new AC belt idler. I still have to source a new AC compressor bracket. Wish me luck!
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
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8,505 Posts
I would have used this opportunity to source a nice Gen 2 Euro 5.6 motor, but good work on repairing the old one!
 
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