Blown Head Gasket, 87 300 series turbodiesel

I acquired this car with 200,000 miles on the odometer; it's generally in great shape and has been well cared for. However, the previous owner sold it
because it was losing coolant internally (as opposed to a radiator leak). The other day, it started smoke/steaming out the tail pipe, and losing coolant very rapidly - I'd have to add a quart or two every time I took it out. My understanding is that it is either a cracked block, or a blown head gasket. If it is the latter, I am told I could probably do the disassembly and reassembly myself - I'd send the head off to be machined at a shop. Any suggestions or warnings as to which it might be (gasket or block) and the advisability of doing everything but the machining myself? Also, anybody know where I might get a good (English language) shop manual? Thanks. Dick Vashon, WA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
hey
it is more than likley the head gasket. blocks are usually bullet proof and let a repair facility do it :) good luck

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With that engine it's very unlikely that it's a head gasket. It almost certainly a cracked head. I have a friend with two '87 300SDL's. They have the same engine as your car. I've helped replace heads on both of those cars. Thankfully, the new heads have been redesigned and are more resistant to thermal stress. By the way, the new bare head is $1,500 with valve guides but no valves. If you can do the work yourself, you're looking at a $2,000 repair. I can recommend a good machinist which you will need to lapp your old valves to your new nead and switch over the other parts. Welding these old cracked heads is a pointless exercise as they never last very long after they are welded.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Drop the car where it is asap and tow it to the nearest mechanic, you might cause a lot of damage driving it.
cp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The problem is either the head gasket and / or the aluminum cylinder head. The block is very unlikely. These engines are known to break head gaskets and / or crack their aluminum heads when overheated.
I can e-mail you directly a couple of pictures of a cracked head if you like.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you email me too? I have some experience with, err... cracked heads :-)
cplas_AT_telus__DOT__net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Please, if it is not a problem for you, could you send this pictures to me too. I'm very curious to see them because I own a 300 D turbo.
douchkov__AT_ipk-gatersleben_DOT__de
Thanks
Dimi

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all your help and suggestions. I am prepared to replace the head (and gasket), and won't drive the car until I do so. Anybody know where I can get the best deal on a head, and an English language shop manual? Thanks! Dick Lovering

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Try the wholesale parts department at Caliber Motors Mercedes in Anaheim Hills, California. I think they discount everything 25% and they will sell to anyone.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.