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  #1  
Old 07-03-2008, 07:06 PM
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Old Dog's New MB / 87 300d

Hello to all.
This is my first post on this board. I only came across this forum a few days ago. I must say, from looking at other boards, and comparing the activity levels, WOW! This board rocks. Especially this diesel discussion. Seems to be quite a bit of knowledge here.
Anyway, I recently joined the MB world. I have always been interested in diesel power, I even owned a VW diesel back in the 80's. It was not a pleasant ownership. I had quite a few problems with it, and it had to go. But I still liked the idea of the diesel auto. I've been in the BMW world for the last few years, but I have grown tired of the stiff ride. Great fun in the twisties, but hard on my butt.
So, I got the diesel bug again, and had been looking for the right MB for a few months when I came across a cherry 87 300d. 129k miles / white with palomino interior (not pink). It was on e-bay, the seller had a good feedback record. So I bought it.
Now I'm trying to fix a few bugs it has to get it to the quality level I would like. The cruise control won't set a speed. Odometer stopped working. The rear control arm bushings (pivot bushings)need replacement. The AC needs a R-12 bump. And one lifter "taps".
Overall, I am pleased with the car. It has a #14 head, and the original fan clutch. It has plenty of power. Great ride comfort. Reasonably quiet. And I think it's getting good fuel mileage. I'll know more when the odometer is fixed.
I have a question for you veteran MB owners: The speedometer seems to be off on the low side by about 5-7 mph. This will get me in trouble eventually. Is this common, and can it be adjusted? It has the OEM size tires.
I'm looking forward to good discussions in the future on this board.
Old Dog
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2008, 07:16 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I don't know your model so I can not offer constructive comment on your speedo issue. It may be cause by PO switching to different wheels/tires. I think calibration may require removal and sending to speedo shop.
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1983 300D, bought new, 215k+ miles, donated to Purple Hearts veterans charity but I have parts for sale: http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/mercedes-benz-cars-sale/296386-fs-1-owner-83-mb-300d-turbo-rebuild-parts.html
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2008, 07:49 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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The original vacuum pump on these engines has a questionable bearing design. The bearings on the drive roller are held by a plastic tray that keeps the 6(?) balls evenly spaced. Over time the plastic tray disintegrates which allows the balls to shift such that the is clearance for the balls to escape the track. Escapees fall into the timing chain cavity. You can imagine what that'll do to the timing chain. If the balls make it to the sump, there's a chance the oil pump will ingest them.

The net of the story - if you don't see 4 screw heads on the front cover of the vacuum pump; that is, if the front cover is a smooth brass expanse, invest the $300-350 on a redesigned vacuum pump with shielded bearings. At least invest in a gasket so you can confirm the plastic trays are intact.

Sadly it's not uncommon for the evaporator to leak refrigerant. By all means recharge the system but keep an eye out for decreasing cooling performance. A chemical sealer might stave off the inevitable for a year or three. Some live out their lives on recharges. The alternative is a 20 hour job to replace the evaporator. If you're lucky, it'll be a bad compressor seal. The low pressure switch on the dryer (the one without pigtails) can go bad. Prudence suggests replacing it whenever you evacuate the system. There's a color coding scheme and experts say to replace the original one with one of another color... for the pressure rating, not aesthetics

It is common for the rear suspension upper diagonal strut bearings to disintegrate long before the others do. It's a bit of a puzzle to replace these struts without taking the hub apart to remove the brake backing plate but it can be done with a little bending (and bending back) of the backing plate. Others would say to redo everything in the rear suspension in one go. That would be 4 struts per side, sway bar bushings and links, control arm pivot bushings, those bushing supporting the knuckles, 4 subframe bushings, differential rear bushings (now there's a job for you!) and differential upper bushing. That's the bulk of it if not it completely.

Are the speedometer and odometer both off or just the speedo? Are you using a GPS device as a reference? Maybe you just have high expectations

Do a search on the 606 fan and clutch conversion. Do a search also on filling the original clutch with Toyota silicone fluid.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2008, 11:30 PM
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If the speedometer is reading low, it is possible that it has been replaced with one from a gas 124. The diesel 300D has taller rear gears than the gasser, figure the percent error and compare the gas gearing to the diesel, ... see if it correlates. There is no adjustment.

Broken odometers are common also.

Where has the car lived most of its life? If in the hot south, likely the suspension bushings will need substantial service, ditto if there have been oil leaks contaminating them. The engine mounts (driver's side one espeically) are also sensitive to the heat and fuel/oil exposure, as are vacuum lines and fittings. I've had Michigan and Florida cars, each climate has its problems.

Used parts are plentiful for this car (fortunately), the early gas ones are seldom worth fixing after even a minor fender-bender and are starting to populate junkyards. Many new OE parts aren't too expensive either.

Don't worry too much about the 14 head, if it's good then just treat it right with proper cooling system maintenance. I've owned three 14 heads, not had a problem with any (knocking on wood), and am careful so that I don't. Check out the coolant, the fan operation (clutch and electric fans), clean between the radiator and condensor when possible, be sure it is in good order.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2008, 11:35 PM
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140 mph speedo is unique to 124 Diesels. 160 mph means it's a gasser speedo.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2008, 03:21 PM
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Yes, it has the original vacuum pump. I'll put that on the list as well.
The list is getting bigger by the hour.
Thanks for all the tips though, good stuff.

This car spent it's life in Maryland. 2 owners prior to me.
Lots of receipts came with it. And it appears that most of the maintenance was kept up.
The idle is very smooth, it also has a new engine shock.

I took it to a shop yesterday, to check out the rear end bushings.
The pivot bushings are shot on the right side. All the links and shocks are new though. They want $425 for both bushings. I know the parts are about $50, spring compressor and bushing tool is needed also.
I might do it myself. Is this job hard to do with the right tools?

The AC does work good enough on an 85 degree day, but 90+ kicks it's butt, it can't keep up.
It shows bubbles in the glass. It doesn't seem to be loosing any cooling ability over time, so I figure maybe a little bit of r-12 will help for now.
The aux fan doesn't come on with the AC either, and I need to fix or modify that.
I haven't looked at that system yet.

Yeah it does have a 140 speedo. Seat of my pants tells me it's off.
I'm keeping up with local traffic doing 62. No way does that happen normally.
I'll pull it soon to see what the odometer problem is. I've read up on those issues already.

The cooling fan is original, and I should replace it for GP. It looks like the 606 fan is the way to go money wise.
Have any of you guys done it?
How did it work out for ya?

Looks like I need to replace a lifter. The job looks fairly easy to do. I'm only replacing it because it's noisy. and I don't want to wait for the M1 to quiet it down.
Are there any performance gains to be had from new lifters if the old ones work quietly?
Is there any reason to replace the rest of them?

The EGR is disabled, and I would like to clean up the engine bay of unnecessary clutter.
I have read somewhere that there is a factory part called a "F vacuum connector" to be used when removing the lines over by the air cleaner. It replaces the "H" connector.
Does anybody have a number for this item?
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2008, 03:32 PM
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With the refrigerant apparently low, the pressure in the lines may never come up to the level that is required to trigger the aux fan. Try adding some Freon and see if the fan doesn't then work.

I am in the process of replacing my 603 metal fan/clutch with the 606 plastic fan/clutch. I don't see any problems but the job is not yet complete. Next week will tell the tale!

When I removed all of the vacuum plumbing, I used a Y-connector to replace the H-connector where it comes out of the vacuum pump. The F-connector is prettier but the Y-connector is a lot easier to get. Personal choice, IMHO. All of the junk under the air cleaner can be removed. I removed mine, hoses and all, so it could go back with a minimum of fuss if it were ever required, and it now lives in a cardboard box. I also got one of Brian's kits and removed the EGR valve to the same cardboard box.

One of the nice things about these cars is that much of the work you can do yourself. Mercedes maintenance is expensive mostly if you pay someone to do it and pay list price for the parts.

Jeremy
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Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2008, 03:46 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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The aux fan has two modes - full tilt as directed by an engine coolant temp sensor and... uhh... less tilt as directed by the high pressure switch on the dryer (the one with pigtails). The fan should come on at low speed when you bridge the pigtail connectors. I'm not sure if the compressor has to be engaged for testing. If the fan doesn't come on, check for continuity across the step down resistor under the ABS pump. I can't imagine how to get to it without pulling the left headlight.

I used a 606 fan and clutch in my 93 SD with a similar engine. It worked. I refilled the SDL and 300D clutches with Toyota fluid. I can't say one is a more effective fix but I don't have a lot of hours on the Toyota fluid.

We are worlds apart in motivation if replacing lifters "looks easy." The catch is that noisy lifters is usually caused by poor oiling from sludge in the head passages. New lifters might help for a while, but... Given my perception of the amount of work, I'd replace all the lifters (I think they're about $30 each). P E H has a different opinion on that I can't comment on the performance benefits of new lifters.

I'd buy whatever 3-way connector looks like it'll work among the HELP! doodads at the auto parts store. I'm not a big fan of disabling vacuum devices as a complete solution since I found a leaky ARV plunger in my SDL. Instead my preferred solution is to physically block the EGR and ARV devices. I don't want to have to restore the amplifiers and vacuum lines and such so I leave them in place for when I complete the diagnostics that force me to temporarily disable those devices Check with Brian Carlton for a neat EGR kit. Also check that your ARV plunger sits squarely over the compressor housing port and that the spring is pressing squarely on the plunger.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2008, 08:11 PM
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Location: Ashland, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Yes, it has the original vacuum pump. I'll put that on the list as well.
The list is getting bigger by the hour.
Thanks for all the tips though, good stuff.

This car spent it's life in Maryland. 2 owners prior to me.
Lots of receipts came with it. And it appears that most of the maintenance was kept up.
The idle is very smooth, it also has a new engine shock.

I took it to a shop yesterday, to check out the rear end bushings.
The pivot bushings are shot on the right side. All the links and shocks are new though. They want $425 for both bushings. I know the parts are about $50, spring compressor and bushing tool is needed also.
I might do it myself. Is this job hard to do with the right tools?

The AC does work good enough on an 85 degree day, but 90+ kicks it's butt, it can't keep up.
It shows bubbles in the glass. It doesn't seem to be loosing any cooling ability over time, so I figure maybe a little bit of r-12 will help for now.
The aux fan doesn't come on with the AC either, and I need to fix or modify that.
I haven't looked at that system yet.

Yeah it does have a 140 speedo. Seat of my pants tells me it's off.
I'm keeping up with local traffic doing 62. No way does that happen normally.
I'll pull it soon to see what the odometer problem is. I've read up on those issues already.

The cooling fan is original, and I should replace it for GP. It looks like the 606 fan is the way to go money wise.
Have any of you guys done it?
How did it work out for ya?

Looks like I need to replace a lifter. The job looks fairly easy to do. I'm only replacing it because it's noisy. and I don't want to wait for the M1 to quiet it down.
Are there any performance gains to be had from new lifters if the old ones work quietly?
Is there any reason to replace the rest of them?

The EGR is disabled, and I would like to clean up the engine bay of unnecessary clutter.
I have read somewhere that there is a factory part called a "F vacuum connector" to be used when removing the lines over by the air cleaner. It replaces the "H" connector.
Does anybody have a number for this item?
601-078-06-45 according to GSXR.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2008, 05:36 PM
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OK, I have collected an assortment of parts to replace on this OM603. And it looks like the Labor day weekend is the time it will happen.

Got a deal on a new vacuum pump from e-bay UK for $87 shipped w/gasket. It is the dam type gasket though. Can I just cut the dam out and use it?

Got the OM606 fan and clutch, belt. Should I just go ahead and replace the tensioner, water pump, and thermostat at 130k?

I will be sending the injectors to Mr. Watts for him to install new Monark nozzles and balance them.

The glow plugs seem to work fine, should I leave them alone, or replace them while the intake is off?

Got a 1991 300E gauge cluster that I am going to switch out for better light, and a used cruise control amp to replace while I'm in there. Is there anything else that needs attention while I'm in there?

Got a "F" vacuum fitting to tidy up the engine compartment. I will remove for testing the EGR as well. How do you guys recommend sealing up the ARV opening?

Thinking about replacing the fuel lines with viton lines. I found the set for $121. Is there a less expensive source?

I'll leave the ALDA alone for now. But I am debating weather or not to adjust it. I do like the idea of a more responsive throttle, but I don't want to have to think about my foot on the pedal all the time to avoid smoke. Any thoughts on this?

I will also attempt to identify my noisy lifter and replace it. I bought 2 (yeah I'm a tight wad). I have an auto stethoscope, and hopefully I can narrow it down to 1 or 2 lifters. Only 1 lifter is making noise. I read where there is a possibility that there could be a small particle of head gasket material in the oil passage causing this lifter noise. Is there a way to clean out this passage without getting too complicated?

Is there anything else I should look at fixing while I have the front and top of the engine exposed? I would like to never have to go in there again. Although I figure I will have IP issues to deal with down the road.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2008, 05:35 PM
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Bump ?
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2008, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
. . . Got a deal on a new vacuum pump from e-bay UK for $87 shipped w/gasket. It is the dam type gasket though. Can I just cut the dam out and use it?
I removed the chain-retention "basket" to one of my storage boxes and then used the dam-type gasket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
. . . Got the OM606 fan and clutch, belt. Should I just go ahead and replace the tensioner, water pump, and thermostat at 130k? . . . The glow plugs seem to work fine, should I leave them alone, or replace them while the intake is off?
That's pretty much up to you and how you like to have your car maintained. My tensioner was replaced soon after I got the car, because it was worn and tilting. The water pump was replaced because it leaked. Thermostat was replaced just because I was in there. As regards glow plugs, I replace mine when the burn out and not until.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
. . . Got a 1991 300E gauge cluster that I am going to switch out for better light, and a used cruise control amp to replace while I'm in there. Is there anything else that needs attention while I'm in there?
There are two relays behind the instrument cluster, one for all the warning buzzer functions and another for the various instrument and switch lights. If all that works, nothing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Got a "F" vacuum fitting to tidy up the engine compartment. I will remove for testing the EGR as well. How do you guys recommend sealing up the ARV opening?
I left the ARV in place and just put a cap on the vacuum inlet pipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Thinking about replacing the fuel lines with viton lines. I found the set for $121. Is there a less expensive source?
There are biodiesel-resistant hose materials available for much less than that. I don't remember the ASTM number but Parker and other hose people have it. Lined [gasser] fuel injection hose will also work for more money. I used Viton for the little injector return hoses only, bought the 1/8 inch line from Fryerpower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Is there anything else I should look at fixing while I have the front and top of the engine exposed? I would like to never have to go in there again. Although I figure I will have IP issues to deal with down the road.
The alternator may eventually fail but probably it will be only worn brushes that are part of the regulator, built into the alternator. They are fairly easy to R&R and the part is only about $25 on line.

Check the various pressure switches in the a/c system when you have it open to fix leaks. The switches protect the system by turning on the aux fan, preventing the compressor from engaging if no refrigerant, etc. You have to open up the system to replace the switches, it might be prudent to replace all of them so as not to lose the refrigerant if one fails later.

Make sure all of the fuses are new and are the copper kind, not aluminum. If your serial number [last 6 of VIN] is greater than A292112 you will have an external fuse in place of #12, for the climate control blower. It mounts to the shock tower in front of the fuse box. Older cars can be retrofitted. The blower draws up to 28 amps, the old fuse in the fuse box tended to burn up under load.

Jeremy
__________________

"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2008, 08:10 PM
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Good info Jeremy.
I located a waterpump made by Laso. Not familiar with the brand, but made in Germany anyway. Bought it and a set of glow plugs made by Beck Arneley.

Looks like most of the tensioners being sold are Chinese made. They may be good quality, but I have this thing about Chinese goods. Still looking.

Is there more than one temperature thermostat available for the 603? Not having any problems, just feeling the trend. Some people run cooler temp thermostats to give themselves a cushion to beat the heat. I see 85 is what's listed.

Who sells this G5 antifreeze I read about that is an alternative to MB antifreeze? I haven't looked yet, is it a commonly stocked item in the parts stores?

Looks like Fryerpower is the ticket for the viton hose. good prices.

Thanks for all the info fellas.
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2008, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Good info Jeremy.
I located a waterpump made by Laso. Not familiar with the brand, but made in Germany anyway. Bought it and a set of glow plugs made by Beck Arneley.

Looks like most of the tensioners being sold are Chinese made. They may be good quality, but I have this thing about Chinese goods. Still looking.

Is there more than one temperature thermostat available for the 603? Not having any problems, just feeling the trend. Some people run cooler temp thermostats to give themselves a cushion to beat the heat. I see 85 is what's listed.

Who sells this G5 antifreeze I read about that is an alternative to MB antifreeze? I haven't looked yet, is it a commonly stocked item in the parts stores?



Looks like Fryerpower is the ticket for the viton hose. good prices.

Thanks for all the info fellas.
AFAIK there is only one thermostat and that is the one you want to use.

G-5 is available at most auto parts stores.

I think it is wise to do the glow plugs while you have the intake off. It is a RPITA to do with it in place and you don't want to pull it again just to do glow plugs.

On the vacuum pump gasket, I think GSXR told me only the early OM603s needed the dam type gasket. I don't remember what the VIN cut off is though.
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“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2008, 09:16 PM
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If you are a new 1987 300D/TD owner, please read this article... lots of information in there you'll want to know.

You need to verify the speedo with a GPS. Make sure the tires are proper size... 195/65/15 was factory, 205/60/15 is acceptable... anything larger diameter can cause the speedo to be off. You also have to check how far it's off at various speeds.... 25mph, 50mph, 75mph, 100mph (if you can safely do so). Mine are accurate within 1-2mph up to approx 100mph, yours should be the same. "Seat of the pants" does not count as a calibrated instrument, no matter how much you'd like to think so.

A vacuum pump for <$90 from eBay? I sure hope it was a Pierburg. If it's not... send it back and shell out the $300 for the Pierburg and be happy about it. You don't want a cheap Chinese pump to kerplode and do something like this (which is highly unusual, regardless of pump brand). I would never, ever trust an offshore clone pump on an engine that costs $3k for a USED one ($8-$12k for a rebuilt long block). Not worth the risk!

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