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  #1  
Old 06-21-2008, 08:20 PM
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300D won't start--quick help?

Hi all,

This evening the wife and I ran some errands in the 82 300D, the last of which was a quick stop at the grocery store. When we returned to the car, it wouldn't start. The glow cycle (which wasn't really necessary since the car was still hot) went fine, but when I turned the key... no response from the starter. At first I thought it might be the neutral safety switch, but I tried again in Neutral and then Park... still nothing. Tried jumping the battery, but still got no response at all from the starter when turning the key.

Any ideas? I asked the store manager if I could leave the car in the parking lot tonight, but I hate that it's sitting out there.

Thanks!

Charlie
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05 E320 CDI - 140K miles
82 300D - 200K miles (sold)
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2008, 08:26 PM
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IF you cant get any cranks I would put a voltmeter across the battery terminals and see what it reads.

If that checks out check your fuses, relays and electricals to ignition system. Also check ground connections or anything not connected.
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1986 300SDL, 211K,Dealership serviced its whole life
1991 190E 2.6(120k)
1983 300D(300k)
1977 300D(211k)
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2008, 08:49 PM
Craig
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You can "jump" the starter with a couple of terminals on the top of the right fender under the hood. If the battery and starter are OK the engine should crank if you connect these two terminal:
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
You can "jump" the starter with a couple of terminals on the top of the right fender under the hood. If the battery and starter are OK the engine should crank if you connect these two terminal:

X2 on this advice, i rigged up a switch so the i could use this to bump the engine.

If this doenst work and you have a good battery and your engine ground isnt fried, try tapping the starter with a hammer.
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1984 Euro 300SDC, (4spd standard)
1986 Toyota Landcruiser Diesel HJ60 5spd X2

Gone but not forgotten (some sold, some stripped)
1983 300 SD, 1985 300 SD, 1983 240D, 1986 300 SDL, 1985 300 SDL, 1983 300 D, 1984 300 D, 1985 300SD, 1987 300 SDL, 1983 300 SD, 1985 300 TD Euro, 1983 380SEC, 1990 300 D, 1987 300D, 1982 300D, 1982 300D, 1994 E420, 1987 300 TD, 1987 300 D, 1984 300 D
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2008, 09:23 PM
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X3. This is a typical problem on these vehicles. I carry a piece of wire to jump those terminals when it happens.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2008, 10:00 PM
Craig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
X3. This is a typical problem on these vehicles. I carry a piece of wire to jump those terminals when it happens.
I just cross two screwdrivers, that saved me a few weeks ago when my ignition switch broke (the connection "key" between the main lock and the electrical portion broke).
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2008, 10:57 PM
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Guys, thanks so much for the quick replies. I just went back to the parking lot and tried the jump. Unfortunately, still nothing. It was too dark to thoroughly check the engine ground or tap on the starter, but I'll go back in the morning.

(Just to make sure I did the jump right: turned the key "on" and touched the two ends of a wire to each of the two terminal screw heads in Craig's photo. That should have fired up the starter, right?)

I'll report back again tomorrow... thanks again.

Charlie
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2008, 11:04 PM
Craig
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Yes, you did it correctly (that bypasses the ignition switch a neutral safety switch). If it didn't spin you may have a starter, wiring, or ground problem. When it's daylight, see if you are getting 12V to the starter and look for any loose electrical cannections. You can "test" the ground by running a jumper cable from the negative battery terminal to the engine block. If it's the starter itself, try tapping on it while someone tries to start it.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2008, 04:42 AM
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before you touch the starter, remove the brown line going to the rear of the injection pump thats your fuel shut off actuator. Secondly if you have a volt ohms meter, check for voltage from the terminal on the battery to the large 17mm nut on the starter, if you do not have this then there is your problem. A 17mm wrench will fit between the nut and the starter signal flatheaded screw perfectly (the open end).
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2008, 11:16 AM
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Update

Went back to the car this morning and, just for fun, turned the key as usual--started right up!

Drove it home and re-started several times in the garage with no problem.

I also realized that my terminal box on the right fender is installed backwards, so I was jumping the wrong wires last night. (I've decided to chalk this up to the late hour & darkness and not my pathetic inability to interpret a photo.) The jump worked just as described today when I hit the correct wire terminals.

Other than checking all the electrical connections as described above, any other recommendations? Should I just drive the car as usual, or does this indicate I should consider replacing the starter or some other component?

Thanks again, all!

Charlie
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2008, 11:24 AM
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You should be jumping terminal one and three so even if installed backwards, you should have been jumping the right terminals.(I just looked closely at Craig's picture and it is NOT of the terminals that I have been jumping) Drive as usual. This problem is often dirty contacts in the ignition switch. Some people have installed a solenoid switch in the circuit to assure that full current is going to the starter.

My 85 TD goes thru periods when it does this. Often it is in cold weather. Sometimes it will do it once and then stop. Sometimes it does it two or three times a day. But afterwards it will start for months on end with no problems whatsoever. This has been happening for about 5 years. That's why I carry the piece of wire to jump the terminals. I bought a replacement starter the first time it happened but I have never installed it. There is a thread on the forum which describes how to clean the contacts in the ignition switch.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2008, 07:00 PM
Craig
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I'm not sure it matters which of the other two terminals you jump as long as you jump it to the separate one at the end. If it does it again, try the jumping with the correct terminals to eliminate the starter as the problem.

My old jeep did this intermittently for months before it finally died completely so it could be diagnosed (bad neutral safety switch in that case).
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2008, 08:02 PM
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Happened again this evening!

This time I was ready with a wire and knowledge of the proper terminals to jump after practicing in my garage following the previous episode. Unfortunately, the jump didn't work--I got (good) sparks at the terminals and what sounded like a click from the glow plug relay, but no response of any kind from the starter.

What do you all think--time for a new starter?

(Keeping my fingers crosses that things will magically fix themselves again after an overnight sit like last time so I don't have to tow the car...)
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2008, 08:58 PM
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Give the starter a hard tap if it does not start. Then try it. Worn out brushes are a possibility.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2008, 12:05 PM
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The car started right up this morning (no tapping on the starter required) so I just drove it to my indy and asked him to take a look. Should know more next week.

Thanks, all, for the help so far!

Charlie
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