Ignore Cylinder Head Cracks?

A specialist who has been repairing Mercedes for 34 years, and has an excellent reputation, advised me on a blown head gasket situation that I have, but I'd like to get the group's opinion on the following
situation.
This is the 603 engine, W124...an '87 300D Turbo. The engine had been running hot for about 2,000 miles. I thought it was a faulty gauge because it was running really well. It went beyond the temp's redline for a couple of miles and blew the headgasket and wouldn't run. Upon removing the head, I can see where the gasket blew out, but there are also cracks visible between all the valves (a total of 6 cracks -- 1 cracks between every set of 2 valves).
A lot of folks are telling me that this particular head cracks frequently and either has to be repaired or replaced. Others are saying that's hogwash and it is no more likely to crack than any other MB Diesel head.
The specialist told me that if the head passes a pressure test, just put it back together with the new head gasket set and it'll run fine. The cracks, he says, are so far away from the water passages that they can be ingored, and are essentially superficial.
Is this true? It's $1,000 worth of labor to gamble that he is right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a reason why your engine overheats... because of that crack and that pumps air into your cooling system... causing the overheating situation because of too much air and displaced coolant.
Headgasket can cause the same problem... if blown for a long time...
If it were me, I'd have that head tested to see if it leaks...
Mmm.. I am trying to remember you Michelle... didn't you just buy this car?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

situation
car?
GO TIGER!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
So, if it doesn't leak during the test, despite the visible cracks, would you reinstall/reuse it without repairing the cracks?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My biggest concern is whether the crack will continue toward valve seats... causing valve problems later on. If the heads are not so expensive... and you want to keep the car for long time... then you are better off with new heads.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, do you feel lucky? Well do you? If the cracks are small, you might consider having them welded. I do have one friend who did this with his 603 cylinder head and it's still running a year later. The best fix is a new head. They have been redesigned and are less prone to cracking. Pressure testing and re-installation of a cracked head is probably the worst option.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would only put that cracked head back on your diesel if you intend on selling it quickly. My machinist refused to weld a cracked 603 head for a friend. Those cracks are not superficial. I've heard that cracks on 617 cast iron heads are superficial but when I asked my machinist about the cracks on my 617 head, he told me that he could pressure test it but he recommended replacement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don't leave any "worries" behind. If you will do it once shortly why don't you have it done right now.
(head gasket kit + labour) X 2 + Cylinder head > head gasket kit + Cylinder head + labour
Keith
(Michelle) Writes:

selling
617
replacement.
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.