oil filter housing gasket - 81 300td - tips/tricks?

I've traced a fairly bad leak to the oil filter housing, and have ordered the part from parts.mbz.org (never gone wrong yet. This seems to be a fairly common leak on these cars.
Have determined from web search and trying to tighten the bolts yesterday:
1. I'm going to have to cut a 6mm Allen wrench in order to get to a couple of the bolts. Plan to measure and do that this week, and use a ratcheting box wrench to torque things down.
2. The oil cooler lines are going to be a pain to loosen and then tighten back up. Is there any way to change the gasket without doing this? Can I disconnect them at the radiator instead?
If anybody out there has tackled this and has some tips, I'd appreciate knowing about it before I get out there next Saturday morning.
TIA
Tweaks
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How many miles are on your engine? How much blowby do you have? Does your air filter get oil soaked? If you remove the breather hose from the valve cover when the engine hot and idling, does it puff out the valve cover like an old train?
I ask this because 9 times out of 10, the gasket is leaking because of too much crankcase pressure. A worn out engine having bad rings/cylinders will cause that filter housing oil leak and you will constantly be replacing the gasket. The gasket is not the problem to begin with....... BTW, if you remove the motor mount bolt on the drivers side and jack up the engine, you won't need to 'make' a tool. The filter housing bolts will clear the steering box. However, the oil cooler fittings still suck...... especially when the section between the big 'nut' and the housing turn.....

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Actually, it's a rebuilt engine with < 15K miles on it, so I don't think that's the problem. The car had been sitting in a garage for the last 8 years, and I have had to replace the front crankshaft seal (last weekend's project). Now _that_ leak has ceased, and this one is on the radar (and my driveway). Don't _see_ a correlation, but it does seem that this one got worse when the other went away?!?!?!?
The oil definitely appears to be coming from the housing, though.
Thanks for the input! I'll look at that motor mounnt before doing anything else.
Tweaks
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Like I said before.....check your crankcase pressure. A front crank seal should NOT leak in 15K miles! Neither should the housing gasket. You will be chasing oil leaks until you fix the root of the problem: Excessive crankcase pressure. The engine was rebuilt by who?? Did they just put new rings in it? Or new sleeves and pistons?
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hmmmm. Is this something I can do, or should I get it to a professional? I have a guy here who was recommended by another 300TD owner. I like to do things myself, but discretion is the better part of valor, and all that...
Thanks twice!
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Also: As I said, the car was sitting in a garage, and the daughter of the lady who owned it told me about the motor - she blew it up by driving with no coolant, and the mechanic "found" a rebuilt one. Independently, a man who worked for her dad dropped by one evening because he saw it in my driveway, and anecdotally told me that he (her father) had spent $10,000 on the new engine. That doesn't guarantee anything, of course.
I don't find any of the symptoms you described in your first response, though I _DO_ constantly find that the breather hose is off at one end or the other. Some things I have read lead me to believe that this is pretty normal, and it's just barely inserted in there to begin with. Since this is my first encounter with an MB, I really don't know what is normal and what is not.
I'll check again tomorrow morning after I drive it to work and see what it looks like.
TIA
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Sounds to me like you have an over pressurized issue for sure... The leaks will probably keep coming until you figure out why. Make sure all the breather tubes/pcv type valves are open and not plugged...
Marty
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Drove it in this morning, got nice and hot. Left the car idling and took off the oil filler cap - nothing, nothing at all - no smoke, no il droplets. Disconnected the tube to the air filter, and nothing there, either.
As I mentioned, this tube often shakes loose, and there is a bit of oil residue on the valve cover, but nothing even approaching major - it wipes off easily with a paper towel, no puddles or anything. It doesn't flow down the sides of the block or anything.
Holding a kleenex over the opening does result in the kleenex fluttering, and I can feel puffs of air with my finger - is this normal? Isn't that what this is for?
Thanks for all of the input, folks - I don't want to do a lot of work for nothing...
tweaks
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If you MUST remove the oil cooler lines - for any reason - be sure to make a detailed sketch of their routing before loosening anything for their path is somewhat counter intuitive and they seem to need to go in in order - the "correct" first one must be installed for the second one to be installed.
Some owners have had considerable difficulty loosening the pipe connections to the aluminum oil cooler.
In all, a project to be avoided.
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replied once, didn't take, apparently....
Sounds like I should make a video tape for reference? Thanks for the input...
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