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Old 10-16-2005, 08:28 PM
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Angry HELP! - I think I'm screwed....

The car in question is an '84 300D with 186k miles. I have noticed some very small amounts of oil in the driveway that seem to develop just after the car is parked (i.e. no pools from constant drippage while parked).

I had the oil changed recently (maybe 1500-2000 miles ago) and haven't driven much recently.

Well, I went to visit friends an hour and a half away this weekend. On my return trip, I noticed the engine losing power (i.e I was going 65 and it dropped a bit, struggling to go to 60). I noticed the thermostat rising and pulled over immediately. As soon as I released the accelerator, the engine stalled. I lifted the hood and there was oil all over the top of the valve cover and near the injectors

I checked the dipstick and there was nothing, nada...

I pretty much had conceded by this point that the engine was cooked, but decided to put some motor oil in to see if it would respond. I put in 4 gallons and let it settle while the car was towed to a friend's house.

I got the car off the truck and turned it over... it idled a little rougher than usual, and I was unable to see any oil gushing/spraying from the engine. This has given me a little hope...

Here's my question... my friends got me away from the car and out for a walk to cool down a bit. I decided to bus it back home and return with a bunch o' tools later in the week to diagnose, etc. Am I deluding myself? Have I cracked a block, blown a head gasket, etc.? How am I going to figure this out? My plan is to clean the engine, get oil back in it, turn it over (looking for oil leaks), and if all is good see whether it is getting good compression by driving it a little... yes, no, maybe, other?

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Old 10-16-2005, 08:31 PM
boneheaddoctor's Avatar
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if you put 4 in you better take some out the engineonly holds two gallons normally.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:42 PM
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I am hoping you meant 4 quarts
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:43 PM
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Like BHD said - 4 gallons is about 2 gallons too much.

Who changed the oil for you? Sounds like something is amiss if there was oil all over the top of the engine.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:50 PM
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Location: S. Texas
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If you didn't lock the engine, i.e. smoke, clatter, bang, grinding halt, then you probably haven't damaged the engine beyond use. If your idle oil pressure is above about 5 psi and your running pressure is above 30 or 40 psi then I would say that your are good to go. I don't know that I would get too far from home or friends for the next thousand miles or so but after that I would say that what ever is going to fail should have done so by then. Keep your cell phone and a list of tow shops handy.

I wouldn't start tearing into the motor unless you positively know that the bearings, etc. have failed. This is not a Chevy 350. You can sink some serious money into these engines. Make sure the engine is shot before you start anything, and then you might start by looking for a second hand motor.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:50 PM
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Location: West of Ft. Worth. TX
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Look for a blown oil cooler line. If you shut it down right away, you may not have much damage. Hppefully you meant 4 quarts of oil not 4 gallons. Being under that kind of stress, it would be an easy mis-type.

Are your motor mounts worn? Under torque, with worn mounts, one of the belts can wear into the oil cooler line causing a sudden failure even if you have seen no seepage.

I needed a 1 1/16" modified box end (cut a small portion out with a dremel cut of blade and make it a flare wrench) and a narrow line wrench to hold the coupling at the oil filter housing for the oil cooler lines. Also, taking the bottom bolt out of the drivers side motor mount and jacking the engine, about an inch, made it easier to snake the lines in and out.

If it is a blown oil cooler line, do not drive it until you can replace or you will ruin your engine for sure.

84 300SD 350K+ miles ( Blue Belle )
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:39 PM
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Sorry... I meant 4 quarts!

I'll do some research on the oil cooler line and check my motor mounts...

By all means, keep the advice coming... it is helping to heal the blown headgasket on my vintage white 1975 brain!

Thanks for the thoughts thus far!
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:43 PM
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Pictures would be useful

Also...did you have smoking out the back (exhaust) while this deaccel was happening?
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:04 AM
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Could the oil spew possibly have come from the oil filter housing? Possibly the sealing oring could have been pinched at your last oil change, and finally spewed.
Just another thing to check, and less painful than cooler lines for sure.
Jimmy L.
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:16 AM
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Oil filter.

Sounds more like something to do with a lack of sealing ring, or possibly one-too-many sealing rings for the cap on the filter housing. Yeah, where was the oil change performed???
Too much of a coincidence for this to happen so close on the heels of the LOF.... Sure, one of the cooler hoses could have failed. Did you notice a lack of, or sudden drop in, oil pressure when the car started to overheat? You were looking right at that gauge when you checked the temp, where was the needle on the oil pressure display?

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Old 10-17-2005, 10:40 AM
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I didn't NOTICE any drop on the oil pressure gauge, but I don't remember looking directly at the gauge when I was leering at the temp.

Friends were driving behind me and mentioned that the exhaust seemed more pronounced as we were slowing down.

I don't have photos... I am about 70 miles from the vehicle right now. I am hoping to go down for some diagnosis, etc. within the week.
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:24 PM
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UPDATE... and some questions for those with more experience...

I checked out the car today... again, it turned over. Here are the differences that I noticed between the performance now and the performance before any of this sssstuff happened:

- the exhaust is quite smoky after startup... before there were no smoke issues
- the engine is running more chunky (i.e. less power and a new clankiness that it didn't have) than before
- the transmission shift is rougher
- there is smoke coming from the exhaust-side of the engine... tried to diagnose whether it is just burning the sprayed oil off or is a new issue... I don't think that it is just burning off the oil on it
- rough, rough idle... motor mounts were bouncing like a motel waterbed

It held the oil that I put in it before, and there were no visual signs of oil spraying, dripping, etc. from the engine when warm. The temperature seemed ok, oil pressure seemed ok...

I looked for lines that may have sheared, etc., but they all looked ok...

I have calls in to local diesel mechanics... this is beyond my abilities. I would definitely love to hear people's thoughts on what may have happened... I am stuill trying to decide whether to drive it or tow it to the shop....
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:37 PM
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I believe excessive crankcase pressure can cause oil to blow out. It will also cause the vacuum shut off valve to engage, explaining why the motor stopped. Was the crankcase vent coming out of the valve cover kinked or in any way plugged?
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:22 PM
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I didn't notice any kinks in the crankcase vent... I talked with a gentleman on the phone (he isn't taking new customers) who said that it might have something to do with the turbo. His cue was the excessive exhaust that looks blue in color. Could the turbocharger be the "something" that is smoking on that side of the engine? Does anyone have insight into how this could be a turbocharger problem?
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:56 PM
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Posts: 992

turbo failure would mean less power and it would
also mean an oil leak... also the turbo can eject oil into
the exhaust and cause smoke...

turbos can be rebuilt for about 300 bucks and they are
easy to remove...

did you put the other 4 qts of oil in...

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