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  #1  
Old 10-20-2001, 01:18 AM
Kefer
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1981 300D Starter Problems...

I bought the car 1 week ago. The guy had just bought new tires, battery and starter. Drove like a charm all week long but today...

I started the car and then I heard a high-pitch sound coming from the engine....I turned off the engine immediately...it did so (no more combustion)....but the starter kept kranking and kranking the engine...no matter what I did to the ignition switch...I pulled the key out to no avail. It only stopped when I disconnected a battery cable.

I started it again and the same thing happen...that awful noise again. But this time I disconnected the battery cable, with the engine running, and the noise disappeared. I put back the cable. No more noise and I was able to drive off. I had to do the same procedure several times during the day (thank God it was Friday).

I'm ready to handle this issue tomorrow. The Haynes manual shows wires going to the starter from the alternator, battery, ignition switch, transmission lockout and preglow time relay.

So I assume that, unless there is a hidden starter relay somewhere, the problem is the starter itself or may be the ignition switch. The switch has seen better days (sometimes is tricky to move it out of the 0 position) but I belive is not faulty.

Well, the starter is fairly new. Could it be an american rebuilt starter not suitable for diesels? Could it be just the bendix?

By the way...the climate control system is only blowing hot air into the passenger cabin regardless of temp. setting. It was working fine yesterday!! and the brake pad warning light is blinking...well...when it rain it pours...

Any info on special tools to remove the stater and any other pertinent info will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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  #2  
Old 10-20-2001, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Kefer:

Replace the starter switch and tumbler before the key gets stuck in it. Very, very expensive to take the steering column out and drill out the hardened anti-theft pins, etc. While the key works, tumbler replacement isn't difficult.

The noise is the over-run clutch squealing as the starter keeps running. You either had a defective switch, keeping the starter engaged, or a defective solenoid on the starter keeping the starter energized. Easy to tell, if hard on the ears -- hook up a test light to the small single wire on the starter and have a helper crank the engine -- if the light goes out when the helper releases the key, the solenoid is bad, if it stays on the switch is bad. If it is the solenoid, it could well be the return spring that is bad

The solenoid pushed the gear on the starter motor into the ring gear, and closes the contact to run battery power to the starter motor. If the return spring is broken, it won't release. Makes a godawful screech.

No special tools needed except a long extension to reach one of the bolts and allen drivers (all socket type hex bolts here) -- it is HEAVY, be very careful not to pinch fingers, etc -- it will probably have to come out from the bottom.

The climate control problem is most likely the monovalve (controls water flow through heater core) -- also, check for vaccuum lines (green plastic) with torn or cracked rubber ends.

Check for loose or shorted brake pad sensor wires on the front pads -- the light should only come on when the brakes are applied, if it blinks randomly it is shorted. Aftermarket pads sometimes aren't compatible with the warning system -- they are too conductive and can cause the blinking warning light. Also, check the brake reservior -- low brake fluid will do the same thing. Naturally, you will need to find the leak and fix it if you are losing brake fluid!

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2001, 02:48 PM
Kefer
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...and now the alternator....geez...!

Thanks Perter for all the info regarding the starter troubleshooting and removal.

This morning I started the car and everything worked fine...no awful starter noise and the climate control began to work proprely again!!!....I drove a few miles....

...and then....the battery light came on the instrument panel..... the windows don't work, sunroof inopertive, no turning lights...and the climate control only blows hot air again!!!

I stopped...checked the alternator belt (it's ok), alternator wires (ok). I started the engine....and then again...the starter high-pitch sound. Had to disconnect/connect the battery cable and then I drove off. Now I have a starter problem and an alternator problem....no windows, hot air....and I'm in Florida...I was roasting.

I used a voltmeter and the voltage stays at 12V even with the engine running and headlights on and off. So...the alternator is bad I thought....and then...the battery light disappears and all the electrical accesories start to work again.

It seems the alternator is the original and the brushes are worn...that's why its' intermittent.

However...looking at the electrical diagram there are connections between the starter and the alternator....could the alternator be affecting the starter? I mention this since the previous owner installed a new starter not too long ago. Or I ran out of luck and I have to replace both the starter and alternator?

Thanks...
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2001, 03:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Kefer:

Check for a loose wire at the starter solenoid. There are two small red wires (or three, depending) that go with the battery cable on the large solenoid connection. The other wire is purple -- this one activates the starter and goes to the small connection. If you have a loose wire that is falling down between the battery cable connection and the starter switch wire, it could produce most of your symptoms.

It is fairly easy to miss a wire when changing starters -- they are in a rubber boot and get covered with oil, it's hard to see down there, and the wires can get pulled back into the boot easily while manuvering the starter around!

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2001, 09:41 PM
Kefer
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I hope this took care of the problem...

Hi Peter,

I followed your advise and disconnected and cleaned the battery cable and smaller wires that ares fastened to the solenoid. I re-install them making sure they were away from the single purple wire.

I started the engine 5 times in a row and everything worked just fine..the sarter worked they way it should. I hope this is the end of it.

Maybe the charging problems had to do with the connection at the starter...that's where the alternator and battery meet. Well...this week I'll know the scope of everything.

Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2001, 10:15 PM
Kefer
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Smile

After 1 week, I'm happy to report that the cleaning/adjustment to the solenoid + bolt was wonderful. Not a single incident regarding the starter or alternator to report. Thanks Peter...

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