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  #1  
Old 08-23-2005, 10:15 PM
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Oil cap missing, lost oil out top of engine. What to check?

1983 300SD - 55,000 miles since engine was rebuilt.

I pulled into the driveway tonight and the engine did not shut off with the keyswitch. (Never happened in the 5 years I've had the car.)

I grumble and pop the hood. While reaching for the shut of switch in the near dark I notice the oil fill cap is missing. I frantically push the switch and kill the engine. The whole top of the engine is an oily mess. The engine sounded normal over my fervent chanting "Oh Crap!"

I drained the pan and got 2.5 quarts out while the car is pointed headfirst down my 20 degree sloped driveway, so I might have had another half quart or so in there. Hopefully the engine is unscathed. Already got her refilled with 15W40. I'm a pretty religious gauge checker, but I can't remember the last time I looking at the pressure.

What should I check before I pray and try to start the car again?

Does the car normally have to be shut off manually with the cap missing or did I create another problem?

At least the timing was favorable. The only two major problems I've had with her showed up between my driveway and the exit of my subdivision.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:39 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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if you still had 2.5 qt

you prb didnt damage engine. did you drive far? if too far the oil could have gotten thin from being over hot. but prob not out of oil at the pump. i would just start it up and see how it goes. if it was dry you would have heard the rods and mains knocking. the manual shutoff problem is prob related to the mess. maybe a vac hose slipped off.

tom w
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:45 PM
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Talking "Oil Fill cap"

Please tell me that you last had your oil changed at "Jiffy Lube" or some other
chain outfit?

My first thought is that if you didn't have an O.P. light and the guage was still
at about 1 bar (or above) at idle ,before you had to manually shut down ...
you may be okay.

I will defer to the professionals on the forum , whose knowledge of exactly
how many quarts are neccessary to maintain oil film protection between
moving parts.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:46 PM
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My communte from work is 25 miles, mostly at highway speed, so it got a pretty good workout. The oil looked a little thinner than normal coming out. The dipstick was fully seated so that would suggest the sump itself wasn't pressurized.

I've handled the oil myself for quite a while, so I can't blame it on anyone else's stupidity. Last week I check the oil (added a quart) and replaced the air filter.
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Last edited by GTStinger; 08-23-2005 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Adding comments.
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:03 PM
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I doubt if the engine is hurt.

Use the fuel tank cap as a temporary oil cap.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2005, 12:08 AM
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Didn't the older SD's have the oil light indicating oil level dropping below minumum on the dipstick?

If you are a nut about checking gauges, then you probably always pay attention to the oil pressure indicator. You're probably fine.
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Last edited by DslBnz; 08-24-2005 at 12:14 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2005, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DslBnz
Didn't the older SD's have the oil light indicating oil level dropping below minumum on the dipstick?

If you are a nut about checking gauges, then you probably always pay attention to the oil pressure indicator. You're probably fine.

Nope there is no low oil level light in the older diesels, just the pressure gauge and dipstick.

I think the low oil level light/sensor were added in 1985-onward...
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:48 AM
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Our 240 was run for who knows how long, 3 quarts from the full line. Isnt the oil capacity around 6-8 quarts?

Fill it up with oil, and go for it. If something is going to happen, you can't stop it.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2005, 10:46 PM
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Started up fine. Pressure came up nicely. No abnormal noise or blowby.

However, she still won't stop running when the keyswitch is turned and I had to fiddle with the manual lever for about a minute to stop the engine.

I pulled the cover off the vacuum line connection next to the lever and found one barely on the barb. I'm guessing oil got pulled into the cut off switch. Can this be cleaned up easily or should I just order new tubing, gasket, and cut off valve from fastlane?

Looks like I finally get to buy a mityvac.
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