1995 Mercedes C280 Replace the Head Gasket

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You can find the head gasket on your 1995 Mercedes C280 between the engine block and cylinder head. The gasket is used to help prevent coolant and oil from leaking into the engine block. If your head gasket becomes damaged, it can affect the performance of your engine and you should look to replace it. You can pick up a replacement head gasket from your local auto store.

Tools Used[edit]

Drain pan
Screwdriver set
Wrench set
Replacement head gasket

Replace the Head Gasket[edit]

  • Prepare yourself, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
  • Lift up the hood of your Mercedes. Locate the battery. Remove the bolt clamp attached to the negative terminal using a wrench. Lift the negative cable away from the terminal.
  • Move the drain pan underneath the radiator. Find the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Remove the plug and drain the coolant from the radiator.
  • Slide the radiator up and remove it from the car. !Warning! when moving the radiator a lot of coolant could spill out! also, at this point, if you have removed all the hoses that are attached to the radiator your transmission will no longer function. The reason being that connected to the radiator are some hoses that contain transmission fluid and that will leak out. Your automatic transmission does not work in this car unless there is the perfect amount of fluid in it. Don't fret. just fill it up a little after you have everything back together.
  • Remove the air cleaner unit from the engine using a wrench. Disconnect the air intake hose and the upper and lower radiator hoses from their connectors. You can remove them by simply pulling them out with your hands.
  • Remove the three coils and respective wires from the spark plugs. They just pull straight out.
  • Remove the wiring harness at least enough to pull it out of the way, but beware! the wiring harness is one of the more expensive items to replace on the 1995 C280.
  • Remove the valve cover you will see the timing chain and the dual overhead cams, at this point you must either study and completely understand how to time your engine. Perfectly. Otherwise, you will turn your engine into junk the next time you try to start it.
  • Removing the timing chain. First of all on all of the forums I have perused, the only person I saw that did this said it was much easier to remove the entire engine. IF you are up for that then be my guest. Other wise, listen. the timing cover has six bolts that thread into the head. remove those and on the way you will have to majorly tear almost all the components off the front of the engine to have enough room to extract those. the chain is what people call and infinite chain which means there is no master link. One gear on the exhaust cam is bolted onto the cam. BUT BE AS SURE AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE to get the cams and gears in the same position! Also technically, the cams shouldn't have to come off.
  • The Mercedes Head bolts are tricky. They have a very specialized tool you NEED to have. i cannot stress this enough. Don't try to make a tool. I tried and flattened all the teeth in one of the bolts.
  • Remove the mounting bolts attached to the head gasket with a wrench. You must reinstall each bolt in exactly the same position from which you removed the old one. The best way to keep track of where each bolt was removed is to place each bolt on a piece of cardboard with a number under each bolt so you can track the order. Lift the head gasket from the engine block.
  • Place a new head gasket onto the engine block and fix it in place by reattaching the mounting bolts in the correct order. The torquing specs which i found on a forum are as follows, 41 pounds on all bolts first time around turn all bolts 90 degrees after that and then the third time another 90. Reattach the hoses into their respective connectors. Reattach the air cleaner unit with the mounting bolts. Remove the radiator cap and place coolant into the radiator. Fix the negative cable onto the battery with the clamp bolt.

Will update soon with more steps, as soon as I get farther in.