I've decided to get my E350 M272 engine rebuilt.

Conor

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So guys,

It's been a while.. i've been totally snowed under with two other things. Work and working on my unmerc which has consumed all my weekends working physically.. and all my spare time learning about wiring looms and body work - prep, spray and most recently welding due a big hole I found.

Over the past 12 months I have been keeping an eye on my E350 that now has about 204k miles.

It's sick. The valve stem seals are shot on at least two cylinders. They definitely need doing. I'm also convinced the intake valves are totally caked up with carbon. I'm sure the carbon is the cause but the engine seems to knock a lot... Also, some days the car seems to drive totally sweet around town with instantaneous poke and no hesitation, other days not so much. I feel like i've probably not experience the full refinement of this engine yet.

I've tossed up the idea of just keeping the oil topped up (1.5 litres per 700 miles) and just driving into the ground.. What will ultimately happen is the cats will get destroyed and it will fail emissions.

But then it dawned on me.. if that happens I'll have to go back to the market to buy the same car again (I love that car). That will cost me at least £8/9k if I can find an S212 Petrol 350.

I also plan on keeping this car until the government tell me I need an EV. I simply love the car. Power, practicality and comfort. There is nothing to change to for my daily and any change will cost me.

So... the most outrageous one sounds like the most feasibly approach. Engine rebuild.

I'm currently renting a unit in my home town and when the Clio is done, I am going to take out the engine, strip down the ancillaries and send it to an engineering firm to be rebuilt. Definitely the two heads. Jury is out on bottom end rebuild but I feel if I am going this far I may as well.

I anticipate that by me doing the grunt work, it should reduce the cost (a bit).. And while the car is in this state I can tidy up a few other bits such as bushes, suspension body work (possibly new paint). Wheel refurb etc.

The logic is that I know the car, i've already replaced the PCV system on it, alternator and rear suspension air bags. Any car I get will likely need them too. If I do the above tasks, the car should be "like new".

And ultimately it will be reliable and cheap over the next handful of years. It currently stands me about £6k after 2.3 years. That's currently not bad. If I spend another bit and keep the car another handful of years it will make for some good value driving. I will have gotten more than my fair share of learnings from it (good and bad).

It's a win/win really.. unless the engine work is prohibitively priced (i've heard some horror stories).

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Wighty

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I’d be interested to know what the rebuild cost would be buddy , sounds like this is the start of a big thread :)
 
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Conor

Conor

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I’d be interested to know what the rebuild cost would be buddy , sounds like this is the start of a big thread :)

Hopefully it will be.. People talk about engine rebuilds being uneconomical based on cost of car, but I think it actually makes sense to me..

I'll keep posted on quotes for engine work. Ok, in thinking out loud, i've was going to say, quotes will be Irish based, in Euros. But there is limited offerings here. It might make sense to get it shipped to the UK (or Germany?! :/ ) for the work as it might be a bit more competitive and with more experienced workshops.

Irish cars are largely maxed out at 2.0 i4 engines due to tax, as a result a lot of garages don't even like working on V engines as a result etc..

Open to recommendations on UK based engineering firms.
 

AMGeed

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Answered on the other side Conor, but I would contact Terry at Wayne Gates in Harrow.
I know he has rebuilt an M157 bi turbo for a member in the past so he knows his way around the brand.

 

Mr Greedy

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I had an older Volvo inline 4 a few years ago, maybe 10, that was struggling a bit. I took the head off, fully cleaned everything myself. New valve stem oil seals, new valves, the existing valve seats looked okay. All new gaskets, bolts and studs etc. No headgasket issues when I started so I didn't have a head skim. All went back together fine and it was great for a other 50 or 60k before I scrapped the car for bodywork rust.

If you are able to get the sump off and check the bottom end is fine, maybe you don't even need to send it away if it's just valve related and cleaning?

Just thinking IF you could get away with what I did, it would save you a fortune as your main cost would be your evenings and weekends?


Hopefully there will be some professional types along shortly to give a recommendation on what way to proceed.

If you could leave the block in the car, I could imagine it reduces massive headaches 10 fold
 

SL55 Mark

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Yes you don't need to remove the engine to do a top end rebuild. I would be tempted to do it myself, just for the experience.
 

Oldspanners

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A compression test and an oil analysis will give you a good pointer of how much work will be involved.
 
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Conor

Conor

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Answered on the other side Conor, but I would contact Terry at Wayne Gates in Harrow.
I know he has rebuilt an M157 bi turbo for a member in the past so he knows his way around the brand.

Thanks, i'll be sure to give him a bell alright.. his name frequently comes up alright so I'll be sure to put him on "the list"..
Yes you don't need to remove the engine to do a top end rebuild. I would be tempted to do it myself, just for the experience.

I am inclined to agree with you in general. But that statement is far more appropriate for an inline engine, V engines are far more tedious.

My engine is very big in the bay and it is very awkward to work on.. the CGI element adds a load of extra bits around the engine. I have time and space.. I would be far happier and more comfortable getting it out, if I am honest. That way I could also give the engine bay a bit of a clean up and also the engine too..

I had an older Volvo inline 4 a few years ago, maybe 10, that was struggling a bit. I took the head off, fully cleaned everything myself. New valve stem oil seals, new valves, the existing valve seats looked okay. All new gaskets, bolts and studs etc. No headgasket issues when I started so I didn't have a head skim. All went back together fine and it was great for a other 50 or 60k before I scrapped the car for bodywork rust.

If you are able to get the sump off and check the bottom end is fine, maybe you don't even need to send it away if it's just valve related and cleaning?

Just thinking IF you could get away with what I did, it would save you a fortune as your main cost would be your evenings and weekends?


Hopefully there will be some professional types along shortly to give a recommendation on what way to proceed.

If you could leave the block in the car, I could imagine it reduces massive headaches 10 fold

Interesting.. this is along one of my possible avenues... a DIY job that is. I have very strong reasons to believe that it's the valve train that is suffering.

If I am going at this i'd say it will be an engine out job, but I don't mind that. There are engine mounts that need changing anyway, and a few other bits that I can do while I am at it.

A compression test and an oil analysis will give you a good pointer of how much work will be involved.
Interesting.. I have plans to do a compression test and leak down test. Cylinders 2 & 3 consistently cause misfire when I let the car idle for too long and then floor it.

What will an oil analysis tell me? If there is metal in the oil which would signify a problem with the lower end?

I reckon your making a mistake conor , think you'd be better sourcing a low mile unit and swapping them out but will look forward to reading about your exploits matey

I agree with your sentiment. I guess it all depends on the quality of the used engine and also the level of guarantee etc from supplier. I would argue that the total cost of engine replacement should be about 30-40% the cost of a rebuild. I say these because there may be an element of unknown to it and the same could happen later. I would use the remaining 60-70% of the cost as a hedge against needing to get yet another engine and cover the hassle of not being sure etc..

If it was going to cost more than that i'd rather have the engine rebuilt and have it "as new". I'm playing the long game with this car and will be happy to drive it for another 10 years anyway, and another couple of grand spent now to get it all singing and dancing again won't be badly spent. But one thing is sure.. after doing this overhaul, I don't want to have to go at it again, for the sake of a few quid.

.. So, where can I source one of these engine? Serious question. I imagine it would be a German/European search and possibly even the US. They are a rare engine here in the UK and probably non existent in Ireland.
 
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Conor

Conor

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I contacted a company and asked how much it cost to rebuild the valve train on both heads and re-time the engine.

They are insisting that it can cost between 2500 and 5000 euro but they won't know until they open the engine. This is frustrating as I am defining the work done. Surely it is a known and quantifiable job. That spread in pricing seems mental.

I'm not asking them to make any assessments. For example, if the rod bearings are gone it's not their concern but mine. Why can't they just price the job.... It feels like the usual practice of reel them in with the 2500 figure and then discover 5000 worth of work.
 

malcolm210

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I would think at 200k miles they will strip the heads and replace with new valves, camshafts and timing gears x2 of course. With that engine quite a specialised job so the higher figure will no doubt be the case. As with all these things you are buying OEM items direct from the manufacturer so the mark up is considerable.

IMO your best bet is to ship a used engine from the US there were a lot sold there
 

malcolm210

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This looks promising:

 
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davemercedes

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Hi Connor

Malcolm 210 has a good point - but any purchase of a used engine needs to be approached with caution (or have a stone clad warranty)! The sums should be relatively straightforward i.e.: cost + freight - I'm not sure but I don't think there's any tax implication on importation of a used engine unit and you would only be bringing it to UK - or would you be subject to a third degree when you took it back home?

My S203 (2007 C 220 Estate Avantgarde) has half your car's mileage - I just passed 105K miles and I have similar concerns - worsened now by the start of the creeping city tax - starting from this week a diesel car like min will have a bill of £12 if I drive within a defined non-pollution area of Birmingham. So I have a similar problem - I thought this was my "forever" car (and at my age it probably should be) but although we don't go into town very often I'm not going to give up going on occasion but I certainly don't like the idea of twelve squid for the privilege.

I started looking at companies who claim they can convert your car to electric and I thought well, there's nothing wrong with it so I'd dip a toe in the water and ask for a price. But the reply said that they convert older cars and mine is too modern for them! So I continue at the moment, with concerns that a car that is perfectly okay will become unusable...

Best of luck with your project. btw: My favourite indy is in the Midlands: Mercland. They have a superb reputation and I've head a couple of jobs done by them but tbh I haven't heard or read of any major overhauls done by them. But anyway, if the centre of England is a good point for you, they're in Nuneaton:

Whittleford Road
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
CV10 9JD
Tel 02476 386327

NB The Service Dep trade as Whittleford Auto Services. Their MD: Jay Manek is a Forum member and a MB enthusiast - quite a few members have bought cars from them and feedback has been good. Just a thought: It might be worth your while to give him a ring and discuss your rebuild plan.
 

steveq

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The sums should be relatively straightforward i.e.: cost + freight - I'm not sure but I don't think there's any tax implication on importation of a used engine unit and you would only be bringing it to UK - or would you be subject to a third degree when you took it back home?

Importing the engine from Germany to Ireland should be straightforward with no VAT or duty implications -- all within the EU.
However, I don't know the tax implications for importing it from Germany to the UK -- there could easily be VAT and duty?
 

Oldspanners

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Thanks, i'll be sure to give him a bell alright.. his name frequently comes up alright so I'll be sure to put him on "the list"..


I am inclined to agree with you in general. But that statement is far more appropriate for an inline engine, V engines are far more tedious.

My engine is very big in the bay and it is very awkward to work on.. the CGI element adds a load of extra bits around the engine. I have time and space.. I would be far happier and more comfortable getting it out, if I am honest. That way I could also give the engine bay a bit of a clean up and also the engine too..



Interesting.. this is along one of my possible avenues... a DIY job that is. I have very strong reasons to believe that it's the valve train that is suffering.

If I am going at this i'd say it will be an engine out job, but I don't mind that. There are engine mounts that need changing anyway, and a few other bits that I can do while I am at it.


Interesting.. I have plans to do a compression test and leak down test. Cylinders 2 & 3 consistently cause misfire when I let the car idle for too long and then floor it.

What will an oil analysis tell me? If there is metal in the oil which would signify a problem with the lower end?



I agree with your sentiment. I guess it all depends on the quality of the used engine and also the level of guarantee etc from supplier. I would argue that the total cost of engine replacement should be about 30-40% the cost of a rebuild. I say these because there may be an element of unknown to it and the same could happen later. I would use the remaining 60-70% of the cost as a hedge against needing to get yet another engine and cover the hassle of not being sure etc..

If it was going to cost more than that i'd rather have the engine rebuilt and have it "as new". I'm playing the long game with this car and will be happy to drive it for another 10 years anyway, and another couple of grand spent now to get it all singing and dancing again won't be badly spent. But one thing is sure.. after doing this overhaul, I don't want to have to go at it again, for the sake of a few quid.

.. So, where can I source one of these engine? Serious question. I imagine it would be a German/European search and possibly even the US. They are a rare engine here in the UK and probably non existent in Ireland.
If you have a badly worn crank, bores and other components in the block there's no point in rebuilding the top end other than curiosity.
A good used lower mileage unit or a guaranteed rebuild would be initially more expensive but more certain and in the end better value, I think, especially as yours has a bit of a thirst for oil.
 
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Conor

Conor

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I would think at 200k miles they will strip the heads and replace with new valves, camshafts and timing gears x2 of course. With that engine quite a specialised job so the higher figure will no doubt be the case. As with all these things you are buying OEM items direct from the manufacturer so the mark up is considerable.

IMO your best bet is to ship a used engine from the US there were a lot sold there

Yes I would think so. I have thought about buying a second hand one. But to be honest, I would pay 5k for a rebuild over 2.5k for a used engine all day everyday. There isn't enough margin on the used engine to cover the whatifs and uncertainty.

I need to do the sums on this one.

Hi Connor

Malcolm 210 has a good point - but any purchase of a used engine needs to be approached with caution (or have a stone clad warranty)! The sums should be relatively straightforward i.e.: cost + freight - I'm not sure but I don't think there's any tax implication on importation of a used engine unit and you would only be bringing it to UK - or would you be subject to a third degree when you took it back home?

My S203 (2007 C 220 Estate Avantgarde) has half your car's mileage - I just passed 105K miles and I have similar concerns - worsened now by the start of the creeping city tax - starting from this week a diesel car like min will have a bill of £12 if I drive within a defined non-pollution area of Birmingham. So I have a similar problem - I thought this was my "forever" car (and at my age it probably should be) but although we don't go into town very often I'm not going to give up going on occasion but I certainly don't like the idea of twelve squid for the privilege.

I started looking at companies who claim they can convert your car to electric and I thought well, there's nothing wrong with it so I'd dip a toe in the water and ask for a price. But the reply said that they convert older cars and mine is too modern for them! So I continue at the moment, with concerns that a car that is perfectly okay will become unusable...

Best of luck with your project. btw: My favourite indy is in the Midlands: Mercland. They have a superb reputation and I've head a couple of jobs done by them but tbh I haven't heard or read of any major overhauls done by them. But anyway, if the centre of England is a good point for you, they're in Nuneaton:

Whittleford Road
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
CV10 9JD
Tel 02476 386327

NB The Service Dep trade as Whittleford Auto Services. Their MD: Jay Manek is a Forum member and a MB enthusiast - quite a few members have bought cars from them and feedback has been good. Just a thought: It might be worth your while to give him a ring and discuss your rebuild plan.

Thanks for all of this. I've gotten various recommendations here and there and over the coming weeks will get around to calling them all.

I do wondering though.. if they are going to start going after petrol cars like they are diesels now, in which case it would seem expensive to start driving it in around town.

Importing the engine from Germany to Ireland should be straightforward with no VAT or duty implications -- all within the EU.
However, I don't know the tax implications for importing it from Germany to the UK -- there could easily be VAT and duty?

Yes via Ireland from Germany would be the way to go alright.

If you have a badly worn crank, bores and other components in the block there's no point in rebuilding the top end other than curiosity.
A good used lower mileage unit or a guaranteed rebuild would be initially more expensive but more certain and in the end better value, I think, especially as yours has a bit of a thirst for oil.

Exactly. So to be honest, I imagine if I go at this I will be getting the heads rebuilt, either way. And then the block assessed too. That said, let's not run ahead of ourselves.. absolutely the lower end might need work, but the symptoms largely indicate that it's the upper end causing the oil consumption.

It knocks quite a bit too when you play the accelerator, which I would put down to the intake valves being caked in carbon.

Part of me is "feeling lucky" on a DIY engine removal, top end rebuild and clean intake system. While engine is out, examine the crank and bores for spec and play it from there.

Oh and oil analysis as pointed out above and leak down test. What does a leak down test for? Is it compression loss over time.. I'm not sure it would tell you the state of the oil control rings.
 

Oldspanners

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Yes I would think so. I have thought about buying a second hand one. But to be honest, I would pay 5k for a rebuild over 2.5k for a used engine all day everyday. There isn't enough margin on the used engine to cover the whatifs and uncertainty.

I need to do the sums on this one.



Thanks for all of this. I've gotten various recommendations here and there and over the coming weeks will get around to calling them all.

I do wondering though.. if they are going to start going after petrol cars like they are diesels now, in which case it would seem expensive to start driving it in around town.



Yes via Ireland from Germany would be the way to go alright.



Exactly. So to be honest, I imagine if I go at this I will be getting the heads rebuilt, either way. And then the block assessed too. That said, let's not run ahead of ourselves.. absolutely the lower end might need work, but the symptoms largely indicate that it's the upper end causing the oil consumption.

It knocks quite a bit too when you play the accelerator, which I would put down to the intake valves being caked in carbon.

Part of me is "feeling lucky" on a DIY engine removal, top end rebuild and clean intake system. While engine is out, examine the crank and bores for spec and play it from there.

Oh and oil analysis as pointed out above and leak down test. What does a leak down test for? Is it compression loss over time.. I'm not sure it would tell you the state of the oil control rings.
As far as I know a leak down test is https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants...vehicle-maintenance/how-to-do-a-leakdown-test
Good luck whatever your choice at least you'll be a lot wiser:)
 

SL55 Mark

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Engine work is very expensive, if you pay to have it done professionally. There is a lot of labour involved, and a lot of parts, most of which are quite expensive. Any reputable engine builder will want to renew everything "while they are in there", especially on a 200k engine. They will not want to reassemble used/worn parts, their reputation is at stake.

If you watch Tyrell's classic workshop channel on YouTube, it will give you some idea of what is involved, so £20k for a Lambo V12 engine rebuild would be getting off lightly.

Engine removal would only save a couple of hours labour for a professional workshop. That will not really offset the cost of a rebuild much. They will probably prefer to do it themselves in any case.

I realise you are attached to the car, but in my view this is not an economic repair if you have to pay someone to do it.

I would be either looking to try to do it myself, (which I would enjoy) or looking for another car at this point.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. I think we've all been through similar dilemmas and disappointments, I know I have.
 
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Wighty

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Would it be cheaper to buy a diesel estate than repair the petrol engine ?
 

Blobcat

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Would it be cheaper to buy a diesel estate than repair the petrol engine ?
He lives in London occasionally…;) :(
So that’s a “No”
 


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