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  #1  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:59 PM
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1976 240D not starting unless its been plugged in.

This car won't start it seems unless the block heater has been plugged in for about a half hour or so. It's cold right now, but not that cold.. 5 celsius. Vancouver. I had been told that it was pretty much for sure the glowplugs but I replaced them and it still has the problem. Once it starts after being warmed it will continue to start 3 or 4 hours afterwards no problem.
It sounds pretty weak when you try and start it so I thought there could be a battery or electrical problem. If it was warmed and the battery was low or something wasn't grounded right would it be able to start but then not be able to when it was cold.
Anyone have an idea of what this could be ?
I'd really love to sort this out as we love the car... but new to diesels.
thanks!

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  #2  
Old 12-06-2009, 03:08 PM
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What kind of battery is in it?

Is the starter spinning fast enough?
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2009, 03:12 PM
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Does the starter sound like it's struggling? You may want to check the torque on the starter bolts. They gotta be pretty tight, or else it won't start.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2009, 03:22 PM
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Need to confirm functioning glow plugs. Squiggly wires should glow red if they are working. Readily visible at night, less visible during the day. Could also be a bad battery. Once those things are checked out, I'd do a compression check.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2009, 03:32 PM
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Clean your cables and ground wires. Check ground from battery to chassis and engine to chassis. All must be good for it to work correctly. A diesel takes a good oomph to start in cold weather. Also your oil weight might contibute to slow turning. I would use 15w 40 in winter.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:24 PM
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Adjust your valves every October in preparation for winter.
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2012 S350 BlueTEC 4Matic
2007 ML 320 CDI
2007 Leisure Travel Serenity
2006 Sprinter 432k
2005 E320 CDI
1998 SLK230 (teal)
1998 SLK230 (silver)
1996 E300D 99k, 30k on WVO
Previous:
1983 240D, on WVO
1982 300D, on WVO
1983 300CD, on WVO
1986 300SDL 237k, 25k on WVO (Deerslayer)
1991 350SDL 249k, 56k on WVO - Retired to a car spa in Phoenix
1983 380 SEC w/603 diesel, 8k on WVO
1996 E300D 351k, 177k on WVO

2007 ML320 CDI .. / 2005 E320 CDI .../ 1998 SLK 230 .../ 1991 Daihatsu Rocky
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:35 PM
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Wow !
Thanks for replying .. I haven't been on here before and I wasn't expecting that so fast !

I need to go check what the battery type is but it's definitely a big diesel one. I think trying to start it yesterday without plugging in drained it a little so I need to take and get it tested and charged. Right now its reading 11.7 volts.

The glowplugs are working. I put new ones in and they are getting hot.

The starter does sound sluggish.. but I was thinking it was more of a weak battery effect. The belts just turn.
Since I am new I wasn't sure how powerful that should sound be.

I am going to clean the ground today... the one that attaches to the chassis is far down there and it looks like theres some rust there where it is attaching.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:37 PM
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Hey Greg - if the valves are out of adjustment would that cause those symptoms then ? Where the block heated up would allow it to start but without that preheating it wouldn't be able to do it ?
Is that something I can do fairly easily or should I find a mercedes mechanic in town to sort that out ?
j
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2009, 08:10 PM
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Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentw View Post
Hey Greg - if the valves are out of adjustment would that cause those symptoms then ? Where the block heated up would allow it to start but without that preheating it wouldn't be able to do it ?
Is that something I can do fairly easily or should I find a mercedes mechanic in town to sort that out ?
j
Yes, it is possible.

Cold starting a diesel.
Cold starting a diesel.





Have a great day.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2009, 08:50 PM
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Excluding members of this forum, I would guess that 9 out of 10 pre-hydraulic lifter MB diesels are out of adjustment.

An engine with marginal compression will start in warm weather. In cold weather you need good glow plugs and all the heat generated by the compression stroke to ignite the fuel. Tight valves leak compression because they do not fully close, therefore they do not create enough heat on compression to fire. A properly adjusted valve will fully close when off the cam and fully open, for the best breathing, when on the cam.

Depending on your skill level, you may be able to do it yourself. It is not too difficult. It should cost about an 1 to 1 1/2 hours labor, so it's not too expensive. Find a repair shop with MB experience and ask for a quote. Ask if you can watch to learn. After watching, you can decide if it is something you can do. If so, invest in the wrenches and do the job yourself next year. No parts are required. The valve cover seal, not a gasket, is meant to be reused if it is not damaged.
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2012 S350 BlueTEC 4Matic
2007 ML 320 CDI
2007 Leisure Travel Serenity
2006 Sprinter 432k
2005 E320 CDI
1998 SLK230 (teal)
1998 SLK230 (silver)
1996 E300D 99k, 30k on WVO
Previous:
1983 240D, on WVO
1982 300D, on WVO
1983 300CD, on WVO
1986 300SDL 237k, 25k on WVO (Deerslayer)
1991 350SDL 249k, 56k on WVO - Retired to a car spa in Phoenix
1983 380 SEC w/603 diesel, 8k on WVO
1996 E300D 351k, 177k on WVO

2007 ML320 CDI .. / 2005 E320 CDI .../ 1998 SLK 230 .../ 1991 Daihatsu Rocky

Last edited by GregMN; 12-06-2009 at 08:56 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2009, 08:59 PM
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It sounds like a starter problem, although definitely check valves and compression before spending any big bucks.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2009, 10:25 PM
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I would start by charging and load testing the battery. I don't know about Canada, but most parts strores in the U.S. will do that for free.

Valve adjustment is regular maintenance and should be done if it's been over 15,000 miles since it was done last. I have the special wrenches and do my own. I don't consider it to be particularly difficult, but it is a little time consuming.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:52 AM
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Thanks !
I'll check out everything mentioned tomorrow. Battery, starter, I've done the wires and checked all the connections.
This forum is great!
j
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2009, 02:43 PM
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I found pretty great illustration of the valve adjustment here http://dieselgiant.com/valveadjustment.htm and it seems fairly straightforward if you have the wrenches and some time. It does say to replace the valve seal though Greg is saying it's designed to be re-used if it
s not damaged. Do most people on here replace them while they do the valves or re-use ?
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:35 PM
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Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentw View Post
I found pretty great illustration of the valve adjustment here http://dieselgiant.com/valveadjustment.htm and it seems fairly straightforward if you have the wrenches and some time. It does say to replace the valve seal though Greg is saying it's designed to be re-used if it
s not damaged. Do most people on here replace them while they do the valves or re-use ?
The cam lobe position is wrong in his DIY.

Valve adjustment OM617 FYI.
Valve adjustment OM615, 616, 617 FYI.

617 turbo valve adjustment lobe position
617 turbo valve adjustment lobe position

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