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Old 1st July 2012, 15:21   #1
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Default My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Hi People , I just got my first MB. She is a 1996 W124 E220 done 140K. I bought her on as is where is basis. She has a blown head gasket. The damage is on cylinder 4 water spraying out of the sparkplug. I can see that a headjob has already been done before as the edge of the head - the side of the surface part that sits on the gasket is shiney as new. Probably due to the head shimming (dont know if its the right word).

I want to replace the head gasket but my mechanic says "head gal gaya hoga" replace the engine ..approx cost 30-40K. But i feel i should still give it a try. Also - the exhaust was modified by putting in an accents "dholki" - its the pre silencer box that comes before the main silencer. in short - the exhaust was chocked. (i have restored that part to original now)

Now my query is - should i replace the engine or do a head job? I have faith in the MB's quality and feel the head might still be usable...

what do you all think? Also I would be grateful if you can please suggest me good mechanics in Delhi area.
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Old 1st July 2012, 19:30   #2
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

You should open up the engine for inspection without which you cannot decide anything. If the head is repairable you can give it a try. If not, you can replace the head provided that the cylinder block is in good shape. If you are replacing the head, you may have to replace the cams along with it. It may also be just a blown gasket. I didn't understand why water would spray out of spark-plug. Do you mean it sprays out after removing the spark plug and cranking the engine?
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Old 1st July 2012, 21:28   #3
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but IF you have water shooting out of your spark plug then the water jacket has a crack or a hole. This is almost not fixable , Try to get a new head , Should not be too hard if the block is fine.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 00:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas Ingle View Post
You should open up the engine for inspection without which you cannot decide anything. If the head is repairable you can give it a try. If not, you can replace the head provided that the cylinder block is in good shape. If you are replacing the head, you may have to replace the cams along with it. It may also be just a blown gasket. I didn't understand why water would spray out of spark-plug. Do you mean it sprays out after removing the spark plug and cranking the engine?
my mistake...yes the water sprays out of the sparkplug hole when run on three cylinders. I feel some head work has already been done in this thing the side of the head - right above the gasket is shiney clean. as if a grinder has been run on the metal. will try to upload some pics

Update - the front right wheel bearing is shot- both ball joint boots torn. The handling is ok. I just drove for 5 minutes at 40kmph when i brought her home. any idea how much would these cost?
'
I have been quoted 10k for head gasket job - parts extra..is this justified? or would you suggest a engine swap (used) of the same make for approx 30k. I am biased towards an engine swap, what do you think?

please suggest me if you know any spare part dealer for Mercedes and some good mechanic in delhi who knows his deal with Mercs.

Last edited by Technocrat : 3rd July 2012 at 23:01.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 10:34   #5
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

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Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
Update - the front right wheel bearing is shot- both ball joint boots torn. The handling is ok. I just drove for 5 minutes at 40kmph when i brought her home. any idea how much would these cost?
'
I have been quoted 10k for head gasket job - parts extra..is this justified? or would you suggest a engine swap (used) of the same make for approx 30k. I am biased towards an engine swap, what do you think?

please suggest me if you know any spare part dealer for Mercedes and some good mechanic in delhi who knows his deal with Mercs.

Please provide some snaps of your engine etc, IF you feel the head is good please fix it to the best extent possible and take your time for head gaskets fixes. Usually there may an( maybe in the past) underlying problem with the cooling etc.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 18:57   #6
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

I would go with a engine swap; as opening the head may also throw up a lot of gremlins which may cost you quite a bit..
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Old 3rd July 2012, 20:18   #7
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

If the last job done on the exhaust was jugadu i would suspect that the person would have reused the head gasket and not replaced it. It would still be better to open up and check as it is not common for the water jacket to go that easy even with milling unless someone has taken out more than 2 mm.

I wouldn't suggest an engine swap, also the person doing the head gasket replacement needs to have done it before as there can be challenges with the timing chain setup.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 21:26   #8
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
yes the water sprays out of the sparkplug hole when run on three cylinders. I feel some head work has already been done in this thing the side of the head - right above the gasket is shiney clean. as if a grinder has been run on the metal. will try to upload some pics
OK, Here are the possibilities.
1) It might be because the old gasket was used in the previous repair job, or a gasket maker was used in place of the gasket.
2) The new gasket got blown because the car was driven while it was overheating. Does the car has this problem or a history of the same?
3) There might be a problem in the head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
Update - the front right wheel bearing is shot- both ball joint boots torn.
I am biased towards an engine swap, what do you think?
Get the bearings changed, Check the suspension and steering systems. You can easily check the condition of tie rods. Jack up 1wheel at a time, hold the wheel and try to move it. If you feel play in it, you will need to replace the tie rods or tie rod ends if applicable for your car. I dont know the costs involved.

You cannot be biased towards any decision without checking and diagnosing the problem. In this engine it might be just a blown gasket, and the used engine may get a hundred problems along with it. Get the condition of the engine scrutinised and then decide.

Best Regards,
Tejas.
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Old 6th July 2012, 00:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas Ingle View Post
OK, Here are the possibilities.
1) It might be because the old gasket was used in the previous repair job, or a gasket maker was used in place of the gasket.
2) The new gasket got blown because the car was driven while it was overheating. Does the car has this problem or a history of the same?
3) There might be a problem in the head.


Get the bearings changed, Check the suspension and steering systems. You can easily check the condition of tie rods. Jack up 1wheel at a time, hold the wheel and try to move it. If you feel play in it, you will need to replace the tie rods or tie rod ends if applicable for your car. I dont know the costs involved.

You cannot be biased towards any decision without checking and diagnosing the problem. In this engine it might be just a blown gasket, and the used engine may get a hundred problems along with it. Get the condition of the engine scrutinised and then decide.

Best Regards,
Tejas.
Thanks Tejas, I checked the compression today. its 170, 167, 181, 116 PSI from cyl 1 to 4 respectively. cyl 4 being the culprit because thats where the head gasket is damaged. As per google these figures are within tolearance - barring the last one. So i am getting head opened today let see.

On the other hand I saw a E220 engine run only 7k lying in dust since 1998. the car met with an accident got toppled. Price quoted 40K. I opened the oil cap and saw that the cam and internals were as shiney as a spoon! The water pump was damaged though..it wouldnt spin. I could turn the crank with my hands with some difficulty. Although the engine is brand new in terms of running, but I am apprehensive about its age Is it advisable to got for a literally unused but 15 yr old engine?

pics attached...

My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue-imag0340.jpg

My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue-imag0342.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakMenon View Post
I would go with a engine swap; as opening the head may also throw up a lot of gremlins which may cost you quite a bit..
can you please tell me what kind of problems can i expect?

Also any idea what the engine model number for this one is? eg - M101, M111 etc? its a E220 W124 series 1996

Last edited by Technocrat : 11th July 2012 at 01:40. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the same thread. Thanks.
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Old 6th July 2012, 01:32   #10
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho View Post
If the last job done on the exhaust was jugadu i would suspect that the person would have reused the head gasket and not replaced it. It would still be better to open up and check as it is not common for the water jacket to go that easy even with milling unless someone has taken out more than 2 mm.

I wouldn't suggest an engine swap, also the person doing the head gasket replacement needs to have done it before as there can be challenges with the timing chain setup.

Hmmm makes sense...if the previous owner didnt want to spend 6k on the silencer why would he spend 10k on head gasket- he wanted to sell it anyway. But I have been told this car was serviced by the "manager" not the owner. Owner is a head of a chemical company. Also I came to know that the mechanic he used to go to had his designs on the car. He was pestering the manager to sell it to him.

By the way what is a water jacket? I thought there are two kinds of holes/pathways, one for oil and the other for coolant. So if he takes out a layer of metal off the head the holes would anyways remain where they are right?
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Old 6th July 2012, 14:39   #11
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
Thanks Tejas, I checked the compression today. its 170, 167, 181, 116 PSI from cyl 1 to 4 respectively.

Is it advisable to got for a literally unused but 15 yr old engine?
Usually engine lying for such a long time will come out with a lot of issues. But, this one being a Mercedes-Benz, should fire up if you show some love and affection. You will have to change many parts though (Hoses, Mountings etc.).
If you give the same love to your engine, it will also run without problems. Get the work done by a good technician. I have a feeling that this is a blown gasket. At the max, you may have to change the valves. Check if you see oil in your coolant reservoir.
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Old 6th July 2012, 16:16   #12
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
can you please tell me what kind of problems can i expect?

Also any idea what the engine model number for this one is? eg - M101, M111 etc? its a E220 W124 series 1996
As far as my knowledge goes you can use a w124 E220 1997 onwards...
also if you get your hands on a engine.. you also get spares of many things that you can use if you choose rebuild the current one..

my two cents.. it does not hurt to have a spare engine..
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Old 6th July 2012, 18:50   #13
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportz_kruzer View Post
Thanks Tejas, I checked the compression today. its 170, 167, 181, 116 PSI from cyl 1 to 4 respectively. cyl 4 being the culprit because thats where the head gasket is damaged. As per google these figures are within tolearance - barring the last one. So i am getting head opened today let see.

On the other hand I saw a E220 engine run only 7k lying in dust since 1998. the car met with an accident got toppled. Price quoted 40K. I opened the oil cap and saw that the cam and internals were as shiney as a spoon! The water pump was damaged though..it wouldnt spin. I could turn the crank with my hands with some difficulty. Although the engine is brand new in terms of running, but I am apprehensive about its age Is it advisable to got for a literally unused but 15 yr old engine?
You should definitely pick the engine if its remotely suitable for the car. You could use it as a Donor engine.
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Old 6th July 2012, 21:51   #14
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

Bad news guys..the head is busted. Heavy corrosion on cyl 4 and 3...needs head replacement - the mech said. attaching pics soon. the total cost of replacement head (used), valves, grinding, gaskets, seals etc is climbing up to 35k so I am going ahead with the new engine (the one shown earlier in the pic) will keep you updated....wish me luck!
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Old 6th July 2012, 23:16   #15
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Default Re: My Mercedes W124 E220 - Head Issue

If the rust is in cylinder then why only head replacement, hole cylinder block need to be replaced.
Good luck for new engine.
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