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
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.