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  #1  
Old 05-13-2007, 03:47 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
Towed Home- Long Description

The '81 SD has been running great for several months, until this morning.

On the way home from work I sensed just a little hiccup a couple of times on the 35 mile highway drive home. No change in RPM, but it seemed like the speed decreased just for a fraction of a second.

I pulled to the stop light at the end of the exit ramp and the car died. Several cars behind me started blowing their horns as I re-started the car. The car sputtered and I limped through the intersection and to the side of the road and died. It felt like I was out of fuel, despite my new fuel sender saying I had half a tank.

I had 5 gallons of #2 diesel with me that I poured into the tank and then tried to re-start the car after exercising the new style primer pump that is about 6 months old. It turned over, but died a second later. This was repeated several times.

I swapped the feed and return lines thinking the tank strainer may be plugged. I changed all the fuel filters, filling them with diesel before installing them. After swappping the lines and after each filter change, I tried to start the car again. No luck. Things only got worse as it went from turning over and running for a couple of seconds to not turning over at all.

I had a bottle and made a mini fuel tank, like doing a Diesel Purge, and bypassed the primary filter. When I exercised the primer the fuel would flow from the bottle, through the hose, into the spin on filter and a trickle came back into the bottle. Still the car would not turn over at all. Maybe I drained the battery with my earlier attempts?

My wife met me (not what she wanted us doing on Mother's Day ) and we put jumper cables from her car to mine, but no difference. The tow truck showed up and he also tried to jump the battery with a portable battery charger. It sounds like the engine will almost catch and start, but it doesn't quite do so.

I got towed home and my wife said I better not touch the car today. She's feeling slighted enough with the searches and reading I have been doing here already.

I read about cracking the injector lines while cranking. Should I crack one and then try to start the car to be sure fuel is coming out of the line? Is that a two person job, one to turn the key while one looks at the injection line connection?

The battery is on a trickle charger now and I will try to find the time to look at the car tomorrow.

Any tips or direction are appreciated. I wish my mechanic skills were more than sub-novice
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1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:17 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
Sorry for the long initial post. Just trying to include all of the details to aid in diagnosis.

I continue to search, but I am not coming up with much where the fuel and filters can be ruled out as the culprit and the car dies after being warmed up and running well.
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Pictures of the MB: http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee41/EricandRobyn/1981%20Mercedes/

1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:22 PM
TheDon's Avatar
Open Discussion Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Windermere,FL
Posts: 13,205
towed.. or flat bed'd... .. just making sure.. we really need to work on this everyone...

but yea

So you were driving then it just hiccups and acts up like this.
crack the lines.. have the wife watch or someone else. When it spurts tighten them and attempt to start.. then report back
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:35 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
It was flat bedded home. I did all of the trouble shooting on the side of the road before the tow truck got there. Yeah, I carry all that stuff in my trunk. Since it's been in the driveway nothing has been done besides plugging in the trickle charger.

I'm home alone tomorrow, so it will be hard to crack the lines and observe while someone else starts the car

I guess I can loosen on injector line at a time, try to start the car and then look for moisture around the nut, working from front to rear.
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Pictures of the MB: http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee41/EricandRobyn/1981%20Mercedes/

1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:36 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
Fuel filters don't typically clog so suddenly that the vehicle won't idle. It's generally a slow progression where you can't get maximum power and it gets worse so that you know you must do something.

Here, the engine dies in five seconds and doesn't want to restart.

So, presuming that you don't have bad fuel from a recent fill, my thoughts would tend toward the fuel pump.

Remove the line from the pump to the secondary filter and put it in a container. Crank the engine for 15 seconds and see how much fuel is delivered. I don't remember the exact spec for the pump, but, you must see at least two ounces of fuel........otherwise the pump has failed.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:39 PM
babymog's Avatar
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Seeing that you're running a single-tank WVO blend, are proper fuel temperatures/viscosity maintained?
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymog View Post
Seeing that you're running a single-tank WVO blend, are proper fuel temperatures/viscosity maintained?
I wasn't aware of this.

If you have not attempted to start it on fresh diesel fuel........that should be your first priority.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2007, 10:56 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
As stated in the original post, I put fresh #2 diesel into the make shift Diesel Purge type fuel tank (Gatorade bottle) and also filled the spin on filter with the fresh #2 diesel.

I'll try to see if the fuel pump is working. Brian, if I understand you correctly, I should have the hose coming from the discharge side of the fuel pump dumping into a container. As I crank the engine, obviously with no hope of it starting with the fuel not going to the engine, I should see a couple ounces of fuel in the container after 15 seconds of cranking. I'll try that before loosening the injector line nuts or anything else and report back tomorrow.
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Pictures of the MB: http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee41/EricandRobyn/1981%20Mercedes/

1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2007, 11:03 PM
Banned
 
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Location: Blue Point, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemediceric View Post
I'll try to see if the fuel pump is working. Brian, if I understand you correctly, I should have the hose coming from the discharge side of the fuel pump dumping into a container. As I crank the engine, obviously with no hope of it starting with the fuel not going to the engine, I should see a couple ounces of fuel in the container after 15 seconds of cranking. I'll try that before loosening the injector line nuts or anything else and report back tomorrow.
Precisely. If there's no fuel in the container.........you found your problem.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2007, 11:31 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 22
Fuel Filter "Spontanous" Failure

My 85 SDL stalled out about a block from the house.

Restarted though about 5 min later.

In the thirty seconds it took to get home, I was thinking, "it's got to be fuel."

Popped the hood and looked at the prefilter.

It's former cone shaped pleated glory had changed into a black felt gnome's hat. Complete with jauny curl at the top.

Two months after a single tank of B20 on a prefilter that was only a month or two old at that point.

A month later the new new prefilter is looking a bit nasty. I wonder if the new ULSD has some of the cleaning power that the Biodiesel has?

So, yeah you can have a "spontanous" filter failure.
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86 300 SDL
New odometer gears, new rubber fuel lines, removed and plated EGR, redone underhood vacuum system, BoostValve on the turbo, IPod only sound system, changed a couple of window motors, refinished the console wood, changed a couple of switches, removed welded and replaced my oilpan after I cracked it (driving like an idiot), new glowplugs, new/used glowplug relay, sunroof repaired, antique brass boost gauge on the hood.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2007, 11:37 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
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I am not that familer with the 617, but it sounds like the lift pump failed.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2007, 11:39 PM
Palangi's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_the_welder View Post
pleated glory
Prefilter with a paper element??
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2007, 12:21 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
Reporting Back

After being on the trickle charger overnight, the battery was fully charged this morning.

I directed the line from the discharge side of the fuel pump into a container as Brian instructed. I first tried the hand primer and had fuel flow through the line and into the container with each push. I emptied the container and then tried the key to start the car. Even with the fuel line not going to the engine at this point, the engine turned over and caught for a second or two and then died. I counted to 15 while holding the key to the start position. When I checked the bottle with the fuel line to it there were a couple ounces of fuel in the bottle. So, I guess it's not the fuel pump. Hey, that would have been too easy

I then reconnected that clear line to the spin on filter mount. One by one I loosend the injector line nuts on top of the injection pump, trying to start the car each time I loosened a nut. I had fuel bleed out of all five. That's a good sign, isn't it?

While trying the car with the injector lines loosened there were times that the engine caught for a second and I really thought it was going to keep running. Wishfull thinking. As you ponder this, I'll remind you that I continue to do all of this with the Gatorade bottle of fresh #2 diesel running straight to the spin on filter.

What do I try next?
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Pictures of the MB: http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee41/EricandRobyn/1981%20Mercedes/

1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2007, 12:31 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemediceric View Post

While trying the car with the injector lines loosened there were times that the engine caught for a second and I really thought it was going to keep running. Wishfull thinking. As you ponder this, I'll remind you that I continue to do all of this with the Gatorade bottle of fresh #2 diesel running straight to the spin on filter.

What do I try next?
Please reconfigure the Gatorade bottle to run directly to the inlet side of the fuel pump. The engine won't run without some fuel pressure to the IP and the height of your Gatorade bottle won't provide it.

You can loosen the hard lines at the injectors to check for fuel. Loosen all five and crank it with your foot on the floor until fuel appears. Then tighten them all up and see if it will start.
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2007, 07:01 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
miscommunication?

Brian,
Perhaps you didn't understand my description of what I did in trying to follow your instructions, or perhaps I am not understanding you.

I have the Gatorade bottle sitting on the inside of the fender, above the spring, and the hose runs from the bottle straight to the inlet side of the fuel pump.

When having the clear hose from the discharge side of the pump going into an empty bottle a couple ounces of fuel were discharged through the fuel pump with 15 seconds of cranking.

I loosened the nuts on the injector lines on top of the injector pump, one by one, and had fuel coming out of each one. If your telling me that it makes a difference to loosen the nuts at the injectors instead of the ones on top of the I.P., I'll do that. I figured it's a given that if there is fuel bleeding out of the top of the I.P., fuel is making it through the hardlines to the injectors.
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Pictures of the MB: http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee41/EricandRobyn/1981%20Mercedes/

1981 300 SD with a Goldenrod water block and Injetor line heaters. EGR is missing

1999 F-350 with HP X-over, Dahl 100 Fuel Filter, Coolant by-pass filter, CCV mod, Tymar intake.

Both on single tank WVO blend
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