Best price for a Head Gasket replacement

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ms500

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It looks like I'm going to have to get the head gasket done on my W124 soon, It still drives fine but it's drinking it's coolant and smoking a bit. No oil in the water though.

Ideally, for the car to remain financially viable, I'd like to get it done for £500 or less, though I do want it done properly, including a skim if necessary, and any other head work that might be needed.

Does anyone know of a good independant or mercedes specialist that could do a good job? I think a main dealer would be probably be expensive.
 
Don't know if you'd get a skim for £500 as well ...
 
Where abouts are you?

head gasket is not that difficult and should only take a day or so on a driveway,
 
Depending where you are, you may get in under £500 if an independent will do it for used notes. It's reckoned by MB to be an 8 hour job, which assumes experience and skill. My mechanic has yet to encounter an M103 or M104 head that didn't need skimming. You must get it checked. It shouldn't cost more than £100 at most to get it done.
 
False economy not to have the head skimmed and the valves re lapped while the head is off. £500 is not doable from an indi (correct me if I am wrong). More like £650 - £700.
 
Best to do the job properly and once. Not twice and loads of head.

I once had a 300ce 24 coupe a couple of years back, I was lucky that I found a engine with only 40K on the clock and I bought it for £400 and put the engine in myself. Lovely engine.:bannana:
 
"£500 is not doable from an indi (correct me if I am wrong)"

Well, the chairman of the MB Club managed it and, although the two I've had done cost a bit more, I guess that it may be possible in areas with lower hourly rates, which of course is the key factor (and the VAT-free used notes).
 
Well , being that he is the ' great helmsman ' , do you think it might have been done at a good price to curry favour ? ;)

Did he have a skim too ?
 
The question is does it need a skim?

I have not yet seen one MB cylinder head warped.
 
I hate to say it, but this could be a can of worms.

You might find that when the head is removed, the engine could be a scrapper if the bores are worn. I think that's what happens with the 300-24s when they've been continually used with a leak.

You need to look at the cost of the head gasket replacement in two sections - the parts and machining cost, and the labour.

I'd budget for a new chain and tensioner, new MB head gasket set and maybe head bolts, a skim, worthwhile lapping the valves whilst it's off and fingers crossed that the bottom end is sound. Obviously plus sundry items, eg oil and filter, coolant etc.

£500 sounds very cheap 'all in'. I guess the parts/machining costs would be £200 or so, more if you decide to do the chain and the valve lapping.

Personally, I'd look at doing this yourself to make the cost viable.

Will
 
Mine was replaced by a large SE MB specialist for £600 + VAT IIRC.. it wasn't skimmed, they checked it and said it wasn't required - 14months later its still holding..


Ade
 
"£500 is not doable from an indi (correct me if I am wrong)"

Well, the chairman of the MB Club managed it and, although the two I've had done cost a bit more, I guess that it may be possible in areas with lower hourly rates, which of course is the key factor (and the VAT-free used notes).

Given that the original comment came from an Indie in a less expensive part of the Country, I'd say he could well be right...
 
Yes, of course he could well be right, and I know who he is and respect his views, as he knows. I'm going partly by my experience in an expensive part of the country, and on a used-notes basis (VAT on parts and skimming, of course), I've had two M103 heads done for £542 each.
 
I hate to say it, but this could be a can of worms.

You might find that when the head is removed, the engine could be a scrapper if the bores are worn. I think that's what happens with the 300-24s when they've been continually used with a leak.

You need to look at the cost of the head gasket replacement in two sections - the parts and machining cost, and the labour.

I'd budget for a new chain and tensioner, new MB head gasket set and maybe head bolts, a skim, worthwhile lapping the valves whilst it's off and fingers crossed that the bottom end is sound. Obviously plus sundry items, eg oil and filter, coolant etc.

£500 sounds very cheap 'all in'. I guess the parts/machining costs would be £200 or so, more if you decide to do the chain and the valve lapping.

Personally, I'd look at doing this yourself to make the cost viable.

Will

Doesn't bore / ring wear usually result in blue smoke though? I don't get any of that, and the engine still seems to pull very well, though I don't really have anything to compare it against.

Generally, the engine runs very sweet, the idle is as smooth as butter, and it has a fully documented service history for 90% of its mileage. It still seems to be achieving around 18 mpg in town, which is almost exactly what the mercedes manual says it should be.

It looks like a simple gasket job to me, though of course I would probably get it looked at by a garage before getting it done.

I think it would be a shame to have to change the car due to engine faults, the rest of the car is very good and I'd really like to keep it.
 
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Doesn't bore / ring wear usually result in blue smoke though? I don't get any of that, and the engine still seems to pull very well, though I don't really have anything to compare it against.

Generally, the engine runs very sweet, the idle is as smooth as butter, and it has a fully documented service history for 90% of its mileage. It still seems to be achieving around 18 mpg in town, which is almost exactly what the mercedes manual says it should be.

It looks like a simple gasket job to me, though of course I would probably get it looked at by a garage before getting it done.

I think it would be a shame to have to change the car due to engine faults, the rest of the car is very good and I'd really like to keep it.

Fingers crossed it's a simple job of head off, new gasket and back on again, but it helps to be prepared for what other things may cost etc.

What's the current mileage of the car? If you're planning on keeping it long-term I would definately do the chain/tensioner/lap the valves etc, small cost in parts at the time compared to the labour normally charged.

How are your DIY skills? I'm sure with a bit of assistance from a knowledgable friend and the resources of the likes of here you could repair this much cheaper :)

It's the labour that's going to make this an expensive repair.

Will
 
Fingers crossed it's a simple job of head off, new gasket and back on again, but it helps to be prepared for what other things may cost etc.

What's the current mileage of the car? If you're planning on keeping it long-term I would definately do the chain/tensioner/lap the valves etc, small cost in parts at the time compared to the labour normally charged.

How are your DIY skills? I'm sure with a bit of assistance from a knowledgable friend and the resources of the likes of here you could repair this much cheaper :)

It's the labour that's going to make this an expensive repair.

Will

It's currenly just passed 206k, I bought it at about 203,800 so I've done about 2k miles since I've had it.

I thought the chain was good for about 250k? Recently, I removed the rocker cover to respray it (paint was flaking), and the chain seemed pretty tight, there was a bit of side-to-side play, I'm no expert but it looked OK.

Due to the nightmare I had when resealing the rocker-cover gasket, I've been put-off doing any more deep engine work for a long while, and I don't have an engine lift to take the head out. I've done the spark plugs and the air filter myself without problems, but that's about my limit.
 

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