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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope everyone is well on the forum! My 99 SLK200 has been running very good. The only problem being a small coolant loss (2 to 4 oz) every two weeks. No obvious signs of leaking coolant, no coolant in the oil and no steam present in the exhaust. I had the car on a lift to change the shifter linkage bushings and noticed a seep/leak coming from the back of the cylinder head. Oh joy! Anyhow, I decided to take the plunge and perform the work myself. I refuse to use a "head gasket fix in a bottle!". So far I have removed all the ancillary parts required to remove the head. Quite a job to get to this point and not for the average backyard mechanic. I have rotated the crankshaft to the TDC position to get my timing marks aligned and marked my intake and exhaust cam sprockets accordingly. My chain and sprockets are in very good shape and will reuse as is. I have done my research on line and have referenced Ben Kokes' pictorial (great information) for head gasket replacement. I do have a question for anyone who has done the job previously. Do I remove the timing chain tensioner before attempting to remove either the intake and/or exhaust cam sprockets? Is there a chance that the chain will be too loose and skip a tooth on the crankshaft sprocket or will the chain guide hold the chain in place with the tensioner removed first? Just a note, I do have a new tensioner on order, in addition to all of the parts that can be replaced during the removal process (intake and exhaust gaskets, belts, tensioners, water pump, thermostat, vacuum lines, supercharger gaskets, exhaust nuts, new head bolts, etc. The engine is worth the effort. Even though the car is 16 years old, it still has lots of life left in it. I thought of replacing the front crankshaft oil seal while everything is opened up. Any more suggestions before going back together is appreciated!
 

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