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  #1  
Old 12-05-2008, 09:57 PM
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Lightbulb Glow Plugs on '71 220D

I live in washington state, and I work early in the morning, and lately its been around 30 in the mornings. My problem is that this car doesnt like to start in the cold. I was wondering if it would be wise to rewire the glowplugs so they run on an independent battery so they can still glow when the starter is going. Ive noticed that the car will almost start for like 2 or 3 seconds, I figure because the plugs are nice and warm, and then it kinda flatlines.

Has this been done before? Did it work?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:00 PM
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Best thing to do would be to convert the original loop style plugs to the retrofit pencil plugs. Simple and effective.
Also, switch to synthetic oil and check your valve clearances.
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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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  #3  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:08 PM
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Its got new loop style plugs, just adjusted the valves 2 weeks ago.. are those parallel plugs that much better? I guess I dont see why they'd be so much better? Just hotter? Stay hot longer?

Can those plugs be found at a NAPA or CarQuest? If they can be whats the part number?

Last edited by rummur; 12-05-2008 at 10:11 PM. Reason: add
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:26 PM
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The newer style plugs are so much better because they are essentially running on 12 volts, while the old loopers are running on 12v divided by 5 for the four glow plugs and the salt shaker on the dash. Actually even more than 5 because there are those squiggly metal connectors between the GP's, which also cause voltage drop.

So YES they get hotter a lot quicker and probably stay hot a bit longer. That said though, I drove the 1968 220D for 20 years using dino oil and the same set of loop GP's for that whole time. It would have serious problems starting only below 17deg F.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:37 PM
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BSH063192 <- anyone know if these guys are easy to find at the normal parts houses? Or should I just order them online?
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2008, 05:56 AM
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I converted my 220 back when to the new style plugs, and I am not convinced they start the motor any better... just quicker.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:12 AM
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Quicker IS better... Anything that gets the engine started faster is easier on the battery and starter...

I'm still convinced on most of these cars if your battery and compression are good the car should start at 32F with relatively little trouble. I think the trick that most people don't realize is that once you start cranking you need to KEEP CRANKING until the engine starts or your battery dies. I don't completely understand why but its harder to start the car when you try, quit and try again... Go for the gusto either win or fail trying!
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:59 AM
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If you search on retrofit pencil parallel plugs, the part number is here somewhere. It's not likely that they are available locally.
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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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  #9  
Old 12-06-2008, 04:03 PM
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I am not convinced that the car starts with any less cranking, but the glow time obviously was reduced.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2008, 04:59 PM
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There's less wasted heat with the pencil plugs. With the loop plugs, a lot of heat goes into the heavy wires that connect them. They glow red on a long glow. Why not put that energy into the combustion chamber, particularly at low temperatures when things get iffy. I'd say that pencil plugs gave me about 10 more degrees of cold starting ability (maybe combined with synthetic oil) on my 77 300d. Not to mention the fact that if you lose one loop plug, you lose them all.
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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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  #11  
Old 12-06-2008, 05:28 PM
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The glow plug circuit on these cars keeps the glow plugs energized until you let go of the plunger on the dash. Pulling the plunger out to engage the starter does disconnect the "salt shaker" on the dash, but the actual glow plugs stay energized.

The most common problems with getting these things running are usually fuel, the glow plugs themselves and wiring to them, the engine oil, the generally and unfortunately for all of us, weak starters, as well as the condition of the injectors. A Diesel needs to turn pretty fast when the engine is cold to really reap any "heat of compression" to sustain ignition of the fuel. A low battery charge, overly heavy viscosity engine oil (cured by synthetic engine oil) or tired starter, will result in the heat of compression being absorbed in the block, making achieving the conditions for sustaining ignition of slightly coagulated fuel a genuine challenge.

The glow plugs need to come to temperature quickly and stay good and hot during the starting cycle. Old or poorly connected plugs result in the dash "salt shaker" glowing brightly, while the plugs themselves may be less than really hot. The injectors, if they are not issuing a fine mist at the right moment (timing issue, due to chain stretch and general wear of injection pump components) will conspire to make ignition impossible by squirting blobs of fuel instead of the mist needed to ignite reliably. Continuing to crank will, at best, warm up the block a bit so some of the heat of compression is still in the air charge. At worst it can result in fuel collecting int he combustion chambers and eventually preventing the starter from turning the engine over at all.

In general, in the winter when my car was afflicted with a problem, I would park on a hill and, when it was time to go, let it roll up to a brisk walking pace, with the glow plugs glowing, put it in second and drop the clutch. The speed of the engine under those conditions started it up every time.

Good luck,

Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2008, 12:03 AM
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From what the other Member said there is no advantage to having a separate Battery only for the Glow Plugs. However, in cold weather having a dual Battery set up would give you more capacity for Cranking the Starter and I also believe with 2 batteries the Voltage drop during cranking would be less. Higher voltage can mean higher Starter cranking speeds. But is there room for another Battery.
Another option is to get the highest capacity Battery that will fit in your car. However, I have read that some High Capacity Batteries need an Alternator that will put out at least 13.7 volts or they will not charge.
Besides using electric Block Heaters I have read of people bringing their battery inside of the house where it is warm.
JC Whitney also used to sell pad that went under the Battery that you plugged in to keep your battery warm. As the temp drops your battery performance drops also.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2008, 12:32 AM
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Well, I was going to put a large equipment battery in the trunk and run some welding cable to a solenoid, which I would run from the battery side to the stock battery then mount a momentary push button under the dash. That knob takes quite a pull, and its kind of exhausting to hold it there and wait for that thing to glow after a day of work..

The problem may be that the alternator doesnt have the push to properly charge a 1600cca battery??

I just changed the belt on the alternator yesterday, it looked like any industrial "swing" mount alternator could be pretty easily mounted there? --Which by the way was a complete joke because of the rediculous way the mb guys mounted the AC compressor, I cant believe they mounted that HUGE AC bracket to the 3 bolts on the water pump that hold it on!? I was a little upset about that, but its over now all that junk is gone.--

Another thing I was wondering, do you think that the injectors just need some attention? I feel like this car could start easier, and run better? Has any one started one of these regularly in sub-freezing weather? It does smoke a bit, and I havent ever driven one of these before, but it certainly seems like the car could have a little more scoot off the line... This whole idea may just be a big uneeded bandaid covering the real problem.. maybe? Do these cars just not like to start in the cold? By that I mean It takes say 3 trys at 30 seconds each.

Last edited by rummur; 12-07-2008 at 12:39 AM. Reason: add
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2008, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtludwig View Post
Go for the gusto either win or fail trying!
This may actually be the problem, I did this, this morning and it did start first try after a bit of cranking..
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2008, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rummur View Post
This may actually be the problem, I did this, this morning and it did start first try after a bit of cranking..
Before you waste any more time get the compressions checked.
Healthy motor should show 350 plus psi.

If it is close to 300 psi or lower, you will need faster engine cranking to get her started in the cold. Most diesels will start if cranking speed is better than 300 rpm as long as the engine is showing over 300 psi compression pressure.

ALL the glows must heat up for a successful cold morning start on any diesel with G/P's.

Alternatively....Living AND working at the top of a hill will help !
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