W124 Head Gasket...

Dickie14

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Apr 6, 2014
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So my '96 E220 coupe is finally demanding I spend a whole wedge of money on it...

It has been drinking large quantities of coolant so I took it to a West London specialist and they've diagnosed the CHG. Head will need a skim and it turns out it also needs a new timing chain (it's stretched), tensioner, a tappet (sticking) and whilst they're in there they recommend doing the valves, stems etc. All for £1800. Which I really can't afford right now.

I've found a local garage who will do it for a lot less, but the specialist has warned it will 'probably need doing again in a year'. Are they just scaremongering to justify their £90/hr labour rate? Or is it really a specialist only job?

Cheers,
Dickie
 

Charles Morgan

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I looked at an E220 estate that had had its CHG gasket done by a South London specialist a couple of years ago. The bill was about £3k. The problem for most specialists is that head jobs are a lot of spannering, with the car sitting around for some time while the head is skimmed and the valves done.

As to someone doing it for less, I disagree with the specialist - it will either need doing again imminently or not at all. There is nothing particularly specialist about doing an MB head.

Doing the head and valves etc on my 2.5 16v Cosworth was about the same, but I think a £90 labour rate is a bit high - how about taking it to Wayne Gates or Olly down at Prestige?
 
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mattc

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Would it be cheaper to source a replacement engine for now?
 

GP801

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That sounds a bit steep. PCS in Horndean did our 280 around 5 years ago and I think it was about £600. Cant remember exactly. It was in with a lot of other jobs but the total bill was less than your quote. The head did not need skimming though and no valve issues
 
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Dickie14

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W124 E220 Coupe
Thanks for the swift response guys. I couldn't think of any specific tasks that only a Merc specialist could get right, and if it goes wrong after a week then I'd have every right to get it fixed for free by whoever had done it.

I've got a couple of quotes now around the £1000-1200 mark (including VAT) which I'm much more comfortable with. I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers,
Dickie
 

flango

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Head is pretty straight forward on a 220 we used to charge £500 - £650 depending if head needed skimming due to heat damage. Chain you should be looking at £350 max depending on what's changed. So around these parts £1k max would see you sorted
 

carat 3.6

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Nothing on your engine needs a Mercedes specialist to repair, head gasket and timing chain are fairly simple to do.
 

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