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  1. #1
    Light Load Member
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    Mercedes MBE 4000 problems

    I have a 2005 Freightliner Columbia with Mercedes MBE 4000 engine. This truck has been nothing but problems from day one. At 290K the coolant started to leak from head gaskets, so the dealer replaced liners, pistons and head gaskets under warranty. Now at 415K, just 15K out of warranty, the same problem is happening. Dealer wants to do an overhaul, but wants me to pay for it. I think this is ridiculous.

    As I understand it, this is a common problem with that engine. If you've had experience with such problem, please let me know how you solved it. I'm about to file a lawsuit against Detroit, so any supporting info would be helpful.

    The most frustrating part is that there is no contact outside the dealer. Nobody at Freightliner not Detroit would take my call. Looks like the counter service guy is the final authority.


  2. #2
    Light Load Member FYDA FREIGHTLINER CINCY's Avatar
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    did they cut the counter bores the first time when they replaced liners. block should be cut so u have .009 liner height. factory they are at .011.

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  4. #3
    Bobtail Member
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    285000 miles on an 05 sterling

    I have the same problem! Detroit and MBE wont stand behind it. It was in at Boyer Trucks who were supposed to fix an oil leak from a head 5 times under warranty never did but now that its out of warranty by 6 months i noticed water now too. No one will help out. And I will never deal with MBE, Detroit, or Boyer Trucks again. Going to cost around 10 grand to fix. Only 285,000 miles

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  6. #4
    Road Train Member Pablo-UA's Avatar
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    it is a common problem. First of all, you can manage this problem yourself. you need wrench kit, sockets and torque wrench. Heads are not heavy.

    I used to replace bad gaskets.

    About liners clearance, you can easily check it when head is removed. But I used to change gaskets after dealer did it becouse the other problems. Dealers reuse bolts, but... they do not rethread cylinder block and bolts and they get wrong torque. when you see headgasket leaking - no reason to retorq - it is for 30-50 k only, later it will leak againe.

    When head is removed check its surface and cyl. block surface for corrosion. Coolant leaking there causes corrosion, but usually damaged surface is on cyl head, not on block. If yoi see it - resurface cyl. head, but do not forget to pull out valves and injector (LOL!!!).

    Last two years I put some germetic around water passages (I do not say it to my cheaf) and no leaks (LOL)

    BTW - mark valve pushrods! reajust valve lashes. I use to ajust 0.4 mm in. valves, 0.6 mm- ex. valves.

    Mercedes Engine is really easy to do overhaul yourself... about cranckshaft... seems to me its life is longer engine... we use to change bearings every 800k and crankshafts are good.

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  8. #5
    Light Load Member
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    If anyone is willing to testify on my behalf, it would be greatly appreciated. I just think that what Mercedes/Detroit/Freightliner are doing is not right. Last repair cost me $8K with the engine being only 15K miles out of warranty and the same repair had been performed just 170K ago. I appreciate everyone's advice, but honestly I don't think it's my job to take the engine apart after a dealer has rebuilt it, nor to know how the counter bores have to be cut. I just want Detroit to pay for the last repair they've done. My attorney says we need an expert, so if you're up to it, please let me know.

  9. #6
    Road Train Member Pablo-UA's Avatar
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    There is only one advice - resurface cyl. heads before installation. Pay attention on exaust valves area. The problem is that head is held with four bolts and between bolts head is not pressed well to gasket. It is not all, heat destroys rubber around water passage. I use germetic (like RTV, but for high temperatures) there.

  10. #7
    Road Train Member Pablo-UA's Avatar
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    Faulty cyl. heads gaskets




    Injector removed before resurfacing. We remove all stuff from head. It would be funny to cut a nozzle. LOL



    Resurfaced cyl. head with valves installed

  11. #8
    Road Train Member Pablo-UA's Avatar
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    As you can see engine block surface is OK in water passage area, where gasket leaks coolant. So no reason to check block. Just resurface heads. get good gasket and use germetic.

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  13. #9
    Bobtail Member
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    Pablo...looking at the picture of the heads...I was leaking at about 680,000, pretty bad, we got re-manned heads that have a raised ring around the head, dealer said those were the new 'fix' they had come up with to get more pressure on the gasket rather than just flattening the head

  14. #10
    Road Train Member Pablo-UA's Avatar
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    yeah, it is true, the new gaskets are with better rubber on water passages. softer and thicker. But as I can see, surface is always bad after this issue, so visit machine shop to resurface cil. heads. Do not forget to pull out valves and injector

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