View Full Version : Parts I should get for head gasket change?

03-10-2013, 08:31 PM
I will be replacing the head gasket on the Sprinter next weekend, what parts should I get before I get started. Obviously need head, intake, and exhaust gaskets. Should I get new head bolts?

Aqua Puttana
03-10-2013, 10:07 PM
I will be replacing the head gasket on the Sprinter next weekend, what parts should I get before I get started. Obviously need head, intake, and exhaust gaskets. Should I get new head bolts?

You don't say what year/model.

Fortunately I have yet to become familiar with a head gasket change. I hope it stays that way. :drink:

I'm 99% certain gotta stop using that. I think that the head bolts are TTY torque to yield and need new ones.

You should remove the injectors so new TTY bolts and seals for that. It's a good time to renew the injector seals. You need to clean out the injector hold down threads thoroughly before re-installation.

The procedures should be in one of the on-line service manuals. Search in the Database Section of the forum for links to download manuals.

It'd be great if you took some pictures and did a Write-up on it. Good luck. vic


A couple threads.





03-11-2013, 12:07 AM
thanks Vic. It's a 2004 2500, 130,000 miles. It's been weeping for about a year, now getting a little worse.

03-11-2013, 02:03 AM
Someone from the US or Oz mentioned that they had used the same source as me - a UK ebay shop, I think called 'the gasket shop' based in Yorkshire - I think Leeds or Bradford but it might be another city. They have several options, gasket on it's own, or various kits including valve seals and/or exhaust gasket and/or intake gasket and/or coolant sensor seals etc. The gaskets themselves are Elring, which I believe is what MB puts in at the factory.

Head bolts are high torque and do stretch, however there is a specification for the stretch (I found mine in Haynes but I don't think it covers NAFTA engines) so it is normal to measure the bolts and if they are still within spec re-use them. You can of course just get a set anyway if you can't find the spec or want err on the cautions side. I think Mercedes always use bolts that need 12 point spline bits to undo (I think mine needed size 10, or M10) you will need some long ones, probably 4" and 6" - don't mess around with a short one on an extension bar, if it comes off you might lose it into an oil gallery (took me ages to fish one out, thank goodness it only went laterally and not down). I bought a big set of various lengths and sizes in the end.
Make sure you use strips of rags and a screwdriver to completely dry any oil or water from every bolt hole, apparently hydraulic action if you try to put a bolt in a hole with oil or water in can be enough to crack the block.

If you know it is definitely the gasket and not the head, you may be able to remove the head with injectors in place - I don't know if you have direct or pre-chamber injection, if direct make sure you have some wood blocks to place the head on so the injector nozzles can dangle in fresh air and not get mashed on the bench.

My manual says to remove the head with exhaust manifold in place and unbolt the latter once the head is off, it is poorly balanced like this but much easier to get to the manifold nuts, and again, if you don;t actually need to remove them manifold you could just leave it on (it might be enough to hold the injector nozzles clear of the bench, it was on mine).

Good luck, it is more daunting that it is actually hard - I have had mine off twice now!

03-11-2013, 04:46 PM
I will not have time to order anything from the UK so I'll get it from the Dodge dealer. I will be getting new head bolts, not worth dealing with the old ones. I just want to make sure I have all the seals/o-rings/gaskets I need in hand because I won't be able to get much on the weekend.

And yes, a head bolt hole full of oil can be the start of a bad day.

03-11-2013, 06:25 PM
I think the only definites will be intake and head gaskets, most of the rest you could leave alone if you only need to change the head gasket.

If you want to take the injectors out for safety reasons you will need the copper seals (MB and Bosh ones are different than 3rd party supply) and new bolts (Read Dr A's tech-alert, they seem quite easy to snap), there is debate about whether or not you also need new clamps. Also high temp ceramic grease to smear thinly on the bodies when refitting (not on nozzles, and not copper grease).
Glow plugs don't need seals if you remove them, you seem to know what you are doing so probably you know they might be difficult to get out.
Like I say last time I left the exhaust manifold attached and the glow plugs and injectors in place because I knew I wasn't going to be looking at the head other than to scrape gasket off.

Do these have a camshaft sensor? You might need a seal for that and/or the timing chain tensioner (mine was metal and I reused it).
If you have to take the EGR off to get the intake out you might want/need a new seal (might be a rubber cord type? like an o-ring but not ring shaped)

Anyone else think of anything? All my sensors are in the block. If you have push in leak off connectors you might want to have a packet of the o-rings spare just in case, it seems that the trouble is normally at the fuel filter though. Don't know if you need anything for fuel rail and connections?

In terms of tips, forget fancy engine levellers, there isn't room between the rocker cover and the body. A stout piece of angle bar (or really heavy flat) with holes drilled in line with the lift points and your crane hook/bolt/chain is whats needed. You will need to remove the blower ducting to get max clearance - 5 bolts on the bulkhead, 2 at the motor end one high one low, 1 high accessed through the gap between the intake plenum and the cabin filter plenum which is difficult to get to, 1 dead centre in front of the filter plenum (you will probably bump your crane on it's bracket at some point) and one right at the end of the filter plenum hiding behind heater hoses. Note that locations are based on older UK spec, but as far as I can tell the plenums are the same, but being US might be opposite hand. If you are going to try and get out with radiator in place there will be considerable risk of bumping/damaging stuff, ideally strip the rad pack and slam panel off first and remove the fan and auxiliary belt. You may find an idler and tensioner bolted to the head. You may also find pins for the timing chain guide in the front of the head (mine needed an M6 threaded adapter (bolt) and a slide hammer to pull them out). Don't overlook the guide, they are plastic and if you shatter it you will need to get the harmonic balancer and timing cover off and the oil sump as well to make sure you find all the pieces. The restricted access adds a lot of work!

Timing sprocket bolt might be recommended to replace? I assume you'll need to lift the camshaft(s?) to get at head bolts but all that stuff should be re-useable.