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  #1  
Old 08-31-2006, 08:08 PM
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Location: Wake Forest, NC
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First Winter with MB Diesels (I am in NC)

This will be my first winter with MB Diesels (84-300D and 81-300SD). I am in the Raleigh, NC area. What things do I need to attend to? It does not get consistently below freezing, but I want to get the best from my engines.

Let me know the best attack. I am using Rotella 15-30 in both and I have changed both fuel filters (on both). I am trying to get some MB antifreeze to top off the radiators.

Thanks, as always.

Don
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2006, 09:45 PM
F18 F18 is offline
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Did you just move to NC? Or did you just get the two MBs this summer?
If you have owned and maintained or know that they were maintained well by the previous owner you should not have any problem with the winter drivability of the vehicles unless the engine compression has dropped or the Injection pump pressure is below spec and marginal. In both cases it would cause very difficult cold weather starts (ie. 20deg. F or below).

If they have block heaters check the condition of the plug and cord....you can also check the cords continuity with a ohm meter. Some vehicles sold in warmer states like Florida never had the dealer installed block heaters...but you can have one retrofitted. Make it a habit of plugging the cars in at night if the temps drops to 20 deg or less. It will save you alot of grief in the morning...believe me!

Just good maintenance, ie. a fuel and air filter change can help. On my old MB's cold starts did benefit from dropping the oil viscosity to a quality 10W30
when temps approached 0 deg. F . Otherwise 15W40 was good all year around.

The regional fuel distributor will take care of winterizing the fuel based on winter temps in your part of the country so you don't have to worry about that.

In snow...4 snow tires will make you "king of the road"...without them they will handle like a tobogan.
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Daily Driver: 98 E300TD 199K
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Last edited by F18; 08-31-2006 at 10:05 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2006, 09:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wake Forest, NC
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I just bought the MBs in late May and early June. We rarely get much snow and the temps here hardly ever get below 20.

Should I give the GPs a little more time before I start it when it gets a little cooler (50s)? I know this is a loaded question, but should I use something like Diesel Kleen (grey bottle) to help cold starts?

Thanks,

Don
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  #4  
Old 08-31-2006, 10:29 PM
F18 F18 is offline
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Your glow plug relay and circut will glow your plugs for the proper amount of time based on temp. In extreme cold you can "double glow" the plugs by turning the ignition off and back on immediately after the first glow sequence ends (after the glow light turns off)...that will precondition the combustions prechamber to a higher temperature and assist in the initial start.
It takes alot of energy to start a diesel thats why the batteries are larger and put out more amp hours than a gas vehicles battery...so make sure your batteries are in tip top shape and trickle charge them occassionally overnight during the winter months.

Diesel Kleen is a fuel system purging product. You should use that as part of your maintenance routine ie. in the spring and fall. As I said your local fuel
distributor should concoct a blend of diesel based on a winter receipe suitable for your winter climate. In severe conditions like sustained 0 deg. weather you could dilute the diesel fuel with up to 20 to 25% kerosene to keep it from gelling up. When its thinned out it assists in cold starts by passing through injection system with little resistance. But your fuel economy will drop.
I hope that helps...I am sure others will give you some good tips to.
Cheers
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Daily Driver: 98 E300TD 199K
Hobby Car: 69 Austin Mini
Past Diesels: 84 300SD, 312K
87 300SDL, 251K
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2006, 10:29 PM
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I'm in Raleigh also, and last winter I had no trouble starting my old 300SD that I sold. And it was being started with a blend of used vegetable oil and diesel. I rarely used the block heater, it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Just make sure your glowplugs are good. And don't just top off with MB coolant, make sure to flush all the old out every now and then!
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2006, 10:53 PM
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THANKS so much for the info. I will probably flush the 81 because I don't know when it was done. The PO of my 84 keep great records, so I know it is OK.

Later,

Don
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2006, 12:43 AM
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the glow plug light is just an indicator

that tells you the plugs are working. wait the full 30 seconds before attempting to start the car, you will be rewarded with instantaneous starts in the coldest NC temps!
I am a little further south, and a bit more west... Gaston co. but I have not had any problems with my 300K+ miles MB's
John
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2006, 10:32 AM
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Seems like a lot of us are in NC...

I'm in Raleigh also. Last winter I noticed if I count 15, or so, seconds AFTER the GP light goes off start up was MUCH better. I did use the engine heater on the few times the temp was under 32F the night before. I did kind of cheat though. First thing in the morning - plug the car in, THEN shower, dress, eat. Total preheat time ~1:30 and the heater (cabin) was warm in ~30 seconds.


BTW, folks in Wake Co: I've got mucho chemistry and lab experience but little space where I live. I have made small (under 2 gal.) batches of B100. I'm looking for partner(s) to start making fuel. I do have access to LARGE storage (750 gal) for the waste oil to be processed but it's in Winston Salem. Also, my friend there just sold his old ('83 300D 430K mi.) diesel to upgrade to a newer one. Interested parties, PM me
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2006, 09:46 PM
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Another Raleigh Benz

No cold start issues in Raleigh in the 22 years that I've been driving diesel 123's (79 240D, 84 300D Turbo wagon, & 84 300D Turbo)- I've only used the block heater 2 times in the past - I just listen for the 'click' after the glow light goes off, then turn the key... fires right up.

Get a good quality battery & stay current on your valve adjustments -

As for B100, I've been hitting up buddies that own restaurants to secure their waste oil -

Bryan in Raleigh
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2006, 09:51 PM
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If it doesn't get below 30 it doesn't count as winter.

0-20 degrees is when marginal engines have issues. Any failure to start above that indicates:
Extremly poor compression, like its Ebay time.
Poor mechanical shape, or some sort of non compression related problem.

I did not notice significant drag using 15w40 dino oil until about 20 degrees.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2006, 10:12 PM
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winter readiness

here in n.w.wisconsin i figure about january first we will start the car on new years eve and let it just run, until about feb 1st. at night it will burn about a quart of blended fuel and of course with the radiator covered completely with cardboard it will warm up pretty darn fast. . . . . .
davidh
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2006, 10:19 PM
Craig
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Originally Posted by davidh View Post
here in n.w.wisconsin i figure about january first we will start the car on new years eve and let it just run, until about feb 1st. at night it will burn about a quart of blended fuel and of course with the radiator covered completely with cardboard it will warm up pretty darn fast. . . . . .
davidh
LOL, I was in a hotel in Green Bay last winter when it was about -10 F every night. I ran an extension cord from the hotel window to my block heater. Whatever fuel blend they were selling locally didn't gel. I actually had frost crystals on the inside of my fuel cap.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2006, 12:17 AM
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Location: around Charlotte NC
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check the battery

I'm a few miles west in NC. No problems in 4 years of dieseling, except when my battery was getting old. There is a big difference in 30* and 20*. You may need to push down on the throttle a bit while cranking to get it to fire at 20*.

Also, it seems 3-4 years might be the lifetime of a battery in a diesel. Juice for glow and then spinning the high compression quickly enough are the keys to starting in cold weather. Let's get some comments from others on battery life - you Northeners? Otherwise just give 'em enough glow time and they go.

Chuck
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2006, 12:27 AM
Craig
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Originally Posted by CSchmidt View Post
Also, it seems 3-4 years might be the lifetime of a battery in a diesel.
Maybe even less, if you don't have a strong battery in a diesel you're not going anyplace in really cold weather. Also, if you let the battery go completely dead you're probably going to end up replacing it soon. I actually have a little tender charger installed so it also comes on whenever I plug in my block heater.
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