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  #1  
Old 12-04-2004, 08:27 PM
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Getting colder and harder to start....

Sure, she's old and has 200,000 and some blowby.
Any tips on how to keep her starting as we pass through winter?
This is central CA coast, by the way.
And she parks on the street and block heater is unrealistic.
thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2004, 08:32 PM
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The main thing is that the glow plugs continue to heat up to about a minute.. so don't let the glow plug light going off cause you to rush the starter engagement....time it at 45 seconds and you may never have a problem....
But always try to make sure your battery posts and wire connections are in prime shape in the winter also...
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2004, 08:33 PM
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Make sure the valves are adjusted properly. Also make sure the battery and starter are 100%. A little power service in your fuel will help and keep it from gelling. Make sure your injectors are 100% and your timing chain is not stretched to much, synthetic oil also helps.

So far I have started mine at 26 degrees without a block heater and she fired right up I didn't even let it glow any longer than normal. A diesel in good shape should have no problem in the winter. (within reason, for our far north and Alaska members )
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2004, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermang
The main thing is that the glow plugs continue to heat up to about a minute.. so don't let the glow plug light going off cause you to rush the starter engagement....time it at 45 seconds and you may never have a problem....
oops, that shows my ignorance....I thought when the light went off the cycle was over.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2004, 12:27 AM
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My record is getting mine to start when it was -6 outside.....took 5 tries of 20 seconds of cranking and about 6 glow cycles, but it did it. Also that was before my timing chain replacement, valve adjustment, and running injector cleaner and so on. Was amazing So far this winter its only gotten down to 20ish here, and I let it glow about 20-25 seconds on those days, then about 4-5 crank rotations and its running.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2004, 08:42 AM
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My 81 wagon was my first MB... and first non intake heated air diesel ( Ford tractor )...
and this was before computer/internet/shopforum....
at 50 degree F my wagon did not want to start... even though everything else was fine.... and the Haynes manual does not mention this " continues to heat" tip....
That was when I broke out my MB manuals... as hard as they are to interpret and found that gem...no problems after that with starting...
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2004, 09:06 AM
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Good advice here. The way I do this is that I have developed a (pre-trip) routine that takes about 30-40 seconds. After I turn on the key for glow, I get set in my seat and put on my seat belt, find my sunglasses, etc, etc. Adjust as needed for conditions of temperature and altitude.

The same issues are at play, all you can do is all you can do. Compression, clean injectors and filters, injection/cam timing, glow/preheat. If you have cronic cold start problems, check the compression first, low compression, park it till spring or sell it to the south.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2004, 09:13 AM
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I don't clearly understand this continuous glowing theory. Do you mean, after the light goes off, wait for up to 45 seconds before cranking?

Anyway, the lowest temperature we've experienced here was 21 F last week. I didn't plug in my car but it cranked perfectly the moment the light went off. Never had a compression test done on it, but I guess that's an indication of excellent compression.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2004, 09:13 AM
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If you want to see how long your glow plug system cycles, when cranking the car after dark, turn on your interior courtesy light and cycle your glow plugs. The courtesy light will dim. The glow plug indicator light will stay on about 10 seconds. Hold the glow cycle on. In time the courtesy light will brighten again and I believe there is a single click that is barely audible. This indicates that the glow cycle is over. You can time it and then you will know. I got this from a post on the Forum long ago, maybe from Leathermang. I also agree with Hatteras that syn oil helps in cold starting.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2004, 10:51 AM
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I also rely on the dash mounted indicator lights getting brighter and that click to know the GP cycle is complete. On my '87 603 it seems to be about 45 seconds (I haven't timed it). It certainly is long after the GP light has gone off. I use a similar method with the '84 and that GP light goes out much sooner than the '87.

I just used the block heater for the first time and was extremely pleased with the results.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2004, 10:58 AM
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"I don't clearly understand this continuous glowing theory. Do you mean, after the light goes off, wait for up to 45 seconds before cranking? "

Yes, that is what the MB FSM says to do for cold weather.

Bruce , that must have been someone else... because I thought that the timer was for the light..... and that if left in the on position the glow plugs stayed on.... there must be something for turning them off based on some criteria because if they stay on due to carbon build up shorting them out the burn out... but I don't know enough about the system to say what controls that...
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:07 AM
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What I tried to say it both of mine do the same as being described herein. After the GP indicator lights go off the GPs are still heating. I listen for the "click" and notice the other dash indicator lights brighten after about 45 seconds. The '84's GP light does not stay on as long as the one on the '87. We have already had some rather cold mornings here in the Connecticut River Valley. Without the block heater plugged in, I used the two cycle method before even attempting to engage the starter.

Off subject for the most part . . . when installing the cord for the block heater I read previous threads explaining the routing and final location for the plug. I thought about it and decided to make it really easy to get at and also take care of the problem of remembering it was plugged in. By cutting a hole in the top of the hood in clear view from the driver's seat, running the cord and plug up from the underside you can see if it is plugged in or not (in case you forget) and sealing around the cord with roofing tar keeps water from dripping onto the air filter housing.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:18 AM
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How about just taking the MB Star off your grill...and having the electrical plug come out there... you could do a spring loaded reel windup... and so when driving only the plug would show.... like a miniature Hook EM Horns hand...
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2004, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermang
How about just taking the MB Star off your grill...and having the electrical plug come out there... you could do a spring loaded reel windup... and so when driving only the plug would show.... like a miniature Hook EM Horns hand...
I knew someone would top my idea. Guess I could try that with the '84 300D Turbo.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2004, 02:15 PM
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If anyone asks about the plug.. tell them you have an electric car.. that is the recharging cord....
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