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  #1  
Old 08-09-2009, 06:15 PM
Wayfarer's Avatar
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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'92 300D 2.5, does not altitude compensate & turbo drops out, EGR, ALDA?

Hi all,

I have a '92 300D 2.5 with 320K miles on it that I've had since 90K miles. It's awesome and I want to keep it going as long as possible. Only major engine repairs are rebuilt injector pump at 177K and new turbo just at 310K.

A couple of issues I've had since about 125K (and had given up fixing) are:

1) whenever I drive the car up into the mountains, it is very hard to start and belches white smoke, as if it is set too rich, at sea level it runs fine.

2) the turbo goes out after 30-60 minutes of driving especially after highway driving.

As a result, I just stay around town and drive my Honda when on road trips or when I go up to high elevation. I had the dealer (here in Dallas) once try to fix the issues and I ended up buying a new diesel "brain" that didn't fix the problem (they wouldn't take the part back or give me a refund...long story). I've been up into the mointains a couple of times over the years and have always had the same problem.

So here I am after 10 years of living with this finally snifing around this site and getting some ideas. I'm starting to think the two problems may be interrelated.

Could my EGR be clogging up the ALDA, banjo bolt, switchover valve, or some combination thereof? Is there any way to check for proper operation or way to do easy service to clean them out? Also, what about just replacing these parts; are they all that expensive? I am not a whiz mechanic, but I could probably manage to replace these parts.

It's a great highway car and a shame I am restricted to short trips on the flatlands. I am moving to Boise and would really like to get this figured out once and for all, otherwise I'll probably have to leave my baby behind in Dallas.

__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2009, 10:12 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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You can try to figure out why the ECU is pulling back boost or you can take the ECU out of the loop. Here's information on the latter course of action -

Wastegate actuator swap for OM602.962?

You're in for a treat in Boise. gsxr who knows the 2.5 better than anyone is up in Boise.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2009, 10:47 AM
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Thanks sixto. Removing the computer control of the turbo entirely would likely solve my turbo cutting out problem. It is definitely some ECU issue cause it works great and then all of a sudden just stops during driving. Replacing the turbo a few months back did not change things either.

After reading the pressure wastegate conversion thread (thanks!) I wonder if everybody finally agreed on what is the best pressure source for the actuator? Drilling the turbo itself like gsxr did, adding a nipple to the EGR blocking plate, or tapping into the intake manifold using one of the existing but unused test ports? And I guess nobody ever found the correct actuator, just the one gsxr used that had to be cut down.

In the meantime before I do the conversion, do you know if there is anything that I can check that might be causing this that might be an easy fix? I think something is clogged somewhere and is triggering the EDS to shut down the turbo. If I could just clean something out to get my turbo back, that would be a great fix until I get around to doing the wastegate mod.

So any ideas what moght be causing the failure to altitude compensate? I'm thinking maybe the injector pump might be slighty out of adjustment since I do get some smoke on acceleration even here at 500 feet above sea level (runs great though) and I hear I shouldn't be getting really any smoke at all.

Really I just want to be able to make the drive from Dallas to Boise where maybe I can get some direct help from gsxr. As it is, I'm not sure I'll make it over the mountains with no turbo and no altitude mixture compensation from the IP. I have a month to work on this in Dallas before the fateful trek.

Thanks for your help!
__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter

Last edited by Wayfarer; 08-10-2009 at 11:37 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2009, 11:54 AM
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There is an aneroid capsule in the little instrument compartment back of the battery (in my '87, anyway). It's about the size and shape of a small cake of soap (nice motel bath soap size). It is supposed to sense altitude changes; maybe yours has failed.
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Our all-biodiesel family
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2009, 12:34 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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You have to run down the troubleshooting checklist in the FSM if such is provided. My guess would be soot accummulation in the EGR circuit isn't allowing as much EGR flow as the ECU expects. So as far as cheap and easy first step, I'd clean the EGR valve and passages. And of course make sure the line and fittings are clear between the manifold and ALDA.

My 2 cents is you want the wastegate pressure signal as close to the source as possible to reduce reaction time. The compressor outlet tube holds much less air than the crossover pipe and intake manifold. In case of a spike, there's much less air at 16psi or higher to worry about if the wastegate reads off the compressor outlet. In reality though, it might translate to a hair's width of difference.

A very daring person might jam the wastegate closed for the trip to ensure boost. You should be fine if you don't keep the pedal buried as you ascend the Rockies. It's easy to retrofit the overboost circuit from a pressure wastegated system if you can find the parts (from any 80s MB turbodiesel). An EGT gauge would be great but considerably more work for a single trip. Rube Goldberg would fit a blow-off valve in place of the EGR valve

Sixto
87 300D
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2009, 05:46 PM
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Well, I really hate to even type these words. My beloved 300D died a few days ago. My wife came up to Boise to house-hunt and, while she was out of town, lent our car to my mother-in-law who has been carless since she overheated and destroyed her Lincoln a few months ago. Long story short, the water pump went out in Dallas traffic and she didn't notice the temp climbing and kept driving it until she blew the motor. My indy mechanic of over 20 years (and who has exclusicely serviced this car since 1996) told me that when it arrived on the wrecker two hours later, the block was still too hot to touch. He was able to get it running "on three cylinders" but coolant was running out of the engine and exhaust coming out of the radiator. He said the car is not worth even diagnosing further as the engine is toast. Even if it's just the head (best case scenario), it'll be at least $2500, but more than likely there's probably damage in the rest of the engine as well. (Let me cry a little more here, I'm still not ok just yet).

To sing the priases of this car, I have had it 13 years since 90K miles. It has not once let me stranded and has seen some very hard service daily negotiating the heavy traffic of Dallas, Texas. It drives (or rather drove) like a dream, still like it was on rails. Oil changed every 3K to 5K miles since 90K and never burned or leaked a drop, even at the (sniff) very end. Everything worked on the car, A/C always blew cold and from all the right vents, every switch and motor worked perfectly, and the transmission (orginal) shifted like butter.

OK, well, time to move on. It took me only 48 hours to find another diesel, this one bought while still up here in Boise: a 1984 300SD with "only" 247K miles, black with limo tint, and factory chrome wheels. All original. Some common issues with vacuum, hard shifting, and sloppy steering, but hey, for $1900, I feel it was a pretty good gamble. It's slow as a dog compared to my 124, but the mafia look is kind of growing on me. Of course Im already thinking in the back of my mind maybe somehow I can put an '84 617 engine into the carcass of my '92.

Thanks for all the advice. To bad it had to end this way...
__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:53 PM
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Why does this always happen 1000miles from me?
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2009, 12:57 PM
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Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
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That really sucks, having a car that long that runs that well and to have it get the ol motherinlaw syndrom.

Might find a used engine for it with low milage, that is if you want to keep it. other wise it is a PNP candidate to the crusher.

Moving Bosie from Dallas will be a shock, especially in the winter, BRRRR.
should be some pretty scenes in the winter, and watching santa landing his sleigh in the snow .

Going to a 84SD from a 97 300D will take some getting some use to. lot of difference in the technology, but a more hands on DIY vehicle.

Charlie
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there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2009, 12:59 PM
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Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymog View Post
Why does this always happen 1000miles from me?
You`re young , you could do that in a day, and return with your new project .

Charlie
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there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmalu View Post

Going to a 84SD from a 97 300D will take some getting some use to. lot of difference in the technology, but a more hands on DIY vehicle.

Charlie
I drove it all around Boise last evening. Yes, whole different philosphy between those two cars. I soon learned you don't do anything fast in the 300SD, you just sort of ease around, kind of driving an oil tanker in comparison to the '92. I also took the time to study the engine and I'm hooked already. Right away I noticed it is much simpler wth far fewer hoses, relays, electronic black boxes, wiring harnesses, and the like. I realize that I will need to do valve adjustments every 15K but I grew acustomed to (rather liked, actualy) doing that on my old '84 BMW 318i (250K highly enjoyable miles, btw). DIY is fine by me, in fact it's a plus, as long as it's not too major. Tinkering with old motors of all types is one of my favorite recreational activities...maybe because it's usually is done with a six-pack or so.

Already, I have a number of questions about the 300SD, but I'll try to hunt around the forum first as most seem to be common for these cars. Then maybe I'll start a new thread.

Before leaving the subject of the 300D 2.5, two quick questions:

1) Is it likely to be just a cracked head, being aluminum and all. Maybe I can pull one from a junkyard and put it on. I swapped the head on my old 318i once, so while I'm no expert, I can probably manage.

2) Will the 617 motor swap into my '92? It looks like it should fit and maybe might even bolt right up to the existing tranny. I know, the 617 is 20-year older technology, but I don't care. In fact the simplicity of the 617 is a huge advantage in my mind. The '92 car at 320K is actually in better shape than the 300SD at 247K, so a swap wouldn't be so bad. In fact I even bought the 300SD wioth the thought of an engine swap in the back of my mind...

Thanks for the condolences regarding my 300D 2.5. I only wish I, or my wife, had been driving when the water pump went out. Either one of us would have recognized it immediately. This is only like the 2nd time my mother-in-law ever drve the car. 99.99% of the time either my wife or I would be driving. Damn the luck.
__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2009, 09:25 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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1) 2.5 in a junkyard with a good head is a rarity. 602s seem to snap chains damaging valves like 603.96s crack heads. Otherwise it doesn't require more skill than a 318 head replacement. Since it's toast, might as well pull the head and see if it's salvageable with some planing, a valve job and a new head gasket.

2) Not in a practical way. A 617 won't bolt to a 602 transmission, starter's on the wrong side. You'll have to fabricate engine mounts since there is no factory 124/617 combo nor 123/602 combo. Someone offered a running 124/617 conversion on eBay sometime ago so it can be done. You might be better off dropping a 318 engine in there

Sixto
87 300D
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:49 AM
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If it was overheatd and run until the Engine stopped I would suspect bearing damage.

I would drain the Oil and look in the bottom of the Oil Pan for metal before looking for a Head.

Also the Block itself can warp and crack if overheated enough.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2009, 01:03 AM
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Mechanic said he could get it running "on three cylinders." So maybe there's hope the bottem end might be ok. Mechanic also said I might be able to check the bottom end by pulling the head then pouring oil into the cylinder bores and watching how fast it drains down into the crankcase to get a general idea if one or more of the rings/bores went bad. Too bad the 617 won't fit in there. I think I might just keep it around in my shop for a few years and tinker. Might as well. Thanks for all the tips!
__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2009, 02:28 PM
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My brother overheated a Mercury Capri (the old German ones) and spun two bearings, ...
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2009, 01:57 PM
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-Just a quick update. I went and bought another '92 300D 2.5 Turbo from a fellow board member here in Dallas. It's awesome, a guy's car to be sure, but that's what I was looking for. Suspension needs new rubber, and outside charcoal paint is a little faded, but engine tranny runs great, better than my wife's old one. What sold me was the way the car drove and the fact that the pressure wastegate conversion had already been done earlier this year .

I just love these W124 diesels. Perfect blend of everything. I had considered going to a 123 or 126, but now I'm all set for the foreseeable future with a great running 124. And since the wastegate conversion's done, I will never again have intermittent turbo gremlins!

Thanks again for all the help here. I'm sure glad to be back on the road again!

__________________
1972 280SE 4.5
1984 300SD, 250K
1991 300SE, 89K
1992 300D (330K miles when KIA'd by mother-in-law 8/10/09 - still sitting in my barn)
1994 E320, 109K
1995 E420, 60K
Proud Member of the Mercedes Benz Club of America - Idaho Chapter
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