How to Remove a Mercedes Cylinder Head

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing the cylinder head of a Mercedes Benz to replace the head gasket is a relatively challenging procedure, regardless of what year the car was manufactured in. Many newer model Mercedes cars and SUVs are so complicated, in fact, that the easiest way to remove the head is to remove the car's bonnet entirely. Mercedes sedans manufactured between 1940 and 1985 are considerably less complicated, but still require a certain amount of care in order to avoid permanent damage to the engine.

Lift the bonnet and study the layout of the cylinder head which needs to be removed. The fuel sending unit will need to be removed or disabled before you attempt to remove the cylinder head, as well as the cylinder head cover and valve covers. Refer to the specific engine layout in your Mercedes Benz repair guide to determine what must be removed prior to removing the cylinder head.

Unbolt the cylinder head by loosening the retaining bolts one at a time starting with the bottom bolt in the centre. The next bolt will be the top centre. Remove the next bolt in a clockwise fashion from the bottom, then remove the bolt to the right of the one at the top. Continue in this fashion until all the head bolts are removed completely. Do not attempt to pry or pull on the cylinder head until the bolts are removed.

Pull the cylinder head away from the engine block, being careful to avoid bending the valves or allowing waste gasket material or other debris to enter the cylinders. If replacing the head gasket, scrape the old gasket material away with a plastic scraper if necessary, and ensure that the mounting surface of the cylinder head is completely clean before reinstalling the head.


Never attempt to remove the cylinder head from a Mercedes Benz which is still under warranty, as internal engine work by non-qualified personnel can void the car's power train warranty.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/8-inch drive socket set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Mercedes Benz repair manual for your car
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About the Author

Don Kress began writing professionally in 2006, specializing in automotive technology for various websites. An Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician since 2003, he has worked as a painter and currently owns his own automotive service business in Georgia. Kress attended the University of Akron, Ohio, earning an associate degree in business management in 2000.