C180 Elegance 1997 Head Gasket

Aerial Jock

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My son's 1997 C180 Elegance seems to have blown its head gasket. (It's drinking lots of water, very steamy exhaust, rough running, bubbles of gas in the coolant header tank, emulsified gunk in the oil.)

I can't afford the £850+ to get a garage to do it. I'm tempted to have a go at doing it myself.

My question is, is a DIY job likely to be within the grasp of someone with a decent set of tools, common sense and determination, or is it a horrendous job full of pratfalls waiting to catch me out?

All advice gratefully received!
 

Alex Crow

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it IS a job that can be done by a truly competent DIYer. it is however impossible for us to know your level of competence and basic understanding of the parts and principles involved. what tools do you have? you will need a large (12mm?) spline bit, several torx bit sizes, home made pin pulling tool and a full range of sockets, spanners etc of good quality and a range of sizes. if you do go for it then get the haynes manual, it is very good for jobs like this on your car.
 
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Aerial Jock

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Thanks! I'm heartened already by the fact that you haven't gone "No, Nooooo, don't do it, it'll end in disaster!" I'll get the Haynes ordered and roll my sleeves up.
 

brianbrian

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Hi Aeriel Jock , have you worked on any cars before, if not the hardest part is dismantleling and remembering, dont strip it down and leave it too long to rebuild as you could forget what goes where, you need plenty of floor space so you can spread things out and mark everything, work out how much the proper tools to do the job are going to cost you and the mess, as radiator and engine will need to be flushed out,it could work out expensive if the engine has over heated, you will need new cylinder head bolts, head checked for porus or cracks, if o.k. head will need to be skimmed, how many miles has the engine done? if it's a lot is it worth doing, very hard for us to say without seeing it stripped down. Hope this helps not trying to put you off doing the job, thought this may help you think before getting involved.
 
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Aerial Jock

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120k on the clock, so it's a well travelled old beast.

I'm ok on dismantling carefully, making notes, taking photos etc so that I know where everything goes back. It's more worry about chain or belt tensions and correct torques that has me thinking.
 

stevesey

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In particular, the cam chain tensioner needs removing, make sure you follow the instructions correctly when re-assembling. It's not difficult, but can resilt in overtensioning the chain if you get it wrong (= noise and snapped camshaft). There is a note about it in the Haynes manual (and of course you can ask if you are unsure).
 

television

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I have a lot of paper work I can send you for doing almost all of the work including the torque figures,,just ask :D:D
 

brianbrian

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Aerial Jock, 120000, not excessive mileage for the engine, if G/Box is sound, go for it, get your son to help with the dirty work, do take note of what Stevesey has written, and keep us all informed. Hope this helps
 
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Aerial Jock

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I have a lot of paper work I can send you for doing almost all of the work including the torque figures,,just ask
Wow. Fantastic offer. Yes please!! Is this stuff e-mailable, or do we need to sort postage?

BrianBrian said:
get your son to help with the dirty work
:roll:You've not met my son. World Champion "get out of doing the dirty work"er !!
 

television

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I can send it all by Email to you
 

podmo

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small tip on flushing your water system and pipes out,not sure if its the right way to do it so please ask around first on here, use daz soap powder,may take a good few flushes but it gets all the oil out of the expansion bottles and pipes, it may sound comical but it worked on an astra deisel like a treat. good look with the strip down, in the middle of taking the head off my c200 2003 komp, im no garage man but im getting there, as the chap says above use the manual and try to have all the tools to hand,it will make all the difference
 

Alex Crow

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i have never tried the soap powder trick but have had it recommended to me too. this should only be done if you have significant oil contamination of the coolant, common on many MB engines. make sure you use non automatic powder though, the auto stuff just keeps foaming at the tank no matter how many flushes you do - apparently.
 

television

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Can you please put up an Email address then I can send all of the info, about 7 sheets in all
 
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Aerial Jock

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Thanks!
 
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television

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I have sent you loads of info,,you may not need it all
 
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Aerial Jock

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Many thanks for that, Malcolm!
I've ordered the Haynes manual too. I feel a busy weekend coming up!!
 

scholar

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2003 c180k elegance head gasket

Hi , i'm new to the fourm so please bear with me . dose anyone know of diy post on how to change 2003 c180k head gasket . Thanks for your help
 

Alex Crow

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hello scholar, i do not know of a diy guide - sorry.

but tell us all about it (why do you need to change the headgasket?) and give us an idea of your previous diy experience, this is not a job for a novice i am afraid. you will get plenty of advice on all your mercedes car troubles here.
 

scholar

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Hi Alexander Patient,

I've bought the car on eBay and arranging for it to be transport it in few days. The car is C180K Elegance 2003 done 67k Auto petrol, according to the seller it starts and drives but obviously dose not advise to drive it away.:rolleyes:

I'm not going to say i'm an expert but I have a family car W210 E200 elegance 2001 auto which i've done some work on, including changing the transmission valve body, pressure control valve spring, and full service, pulley belt and other minor works. it has been running very smoothly for last couple of years.Thanks to benzworld.org guys . :cool:

As well i've had BMW 320TD on which i've replaced swirl flap , turbo charger , springs , full set of bushes and the rest of the regular service. thanks to bimmerfourm guys

I have decent set of diagnostic and repair equipments and tools which I’ve accumulated, so I’m happy to have ago once I’m comfortable that i have all the information i need, hence my inquiry.

I've ordered workshop manual from whichmanuals.com as it appears Haynes don't do c180. Of course as i'm still in research stage :confused: any piece of information will be useful.

Sorry to have gone on a bit , ;) thanks again
 

Alex Crow

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ok, sounds like you are up to the job then :D. if you got hold of a disk with wis on that would be ideal, and give you all the info you could ever want.

you still have not spelled out why the headgasket needs to be replaced? we may assume that the car has been advertised as having a failed headgasket, but if so i would expect a whole can of worms when it arrives! these are not known for failing headgaskets, but there are plenty of other associated problems like worn camchains and poor valve seating.

can you point us to the ebay listing?
 


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