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  #1  
Old 12-27-2009, 03:06 AM
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Aspiring D.I.Y. mechanic need help with 75 240D starting

Looking for help diagnosing starting trouble.

I'll begin at the beginning. Bought a 1975 240D.4 speed manual. It ran pretty normally for few weeks. Started with 10-20 second GP cycle, the previous owner upgraded to pencil style GP's. Had a few issues with right before it stopped starting. Once with about a 1/3 tank of gas going up a small hill at low speed (c. 10 mph, right after speed bump) it began to sputter big time. Shortly after that in a parking lot right after startup (engine still warm) it started and died three times.

The next day I went out to the car when I engaged the starter I could hear a click, then nothing and my dash instruments went blank. I did some further testing and discovered if I put any load on the system including depressing the brakes would cause this. I thought it was battery I got a jump from Mercedes and the car started, it started a few more times and then stopped starting except now the starter was engaging just fine and diesel vapor was coming out of my tailpipe.

I decided to do a valve adjustment, charge the battery and a do compression test. When I tested the first cylinder, using Harbor Freight compression tester it came up as 150psi, but it sounded like the starter was flattening out after about 2 seconds of cranking. I put the battery in the car reading 13.05V after cranking for 15 seconds battery was 12.43V, wait 30 seconds or so and then the battery climbed back to 12.69V, so I thought it was the battery.

I took my two year old Megatron Plus back to Interstate battery and they told me that it was delivering 720CCA under load and that each cell was functioning normally.

Now I think I need to start over and be super methodical. I think it's possible that I didn't install my compression test insert properly. The threads were very soft and I think I might not have torqued it down properly for fear of cross threading. Should I get a torque wrench for working with fuel injectors?

I'm new to driving a standard and I'm not very good at it yet so I've stalled out the car quite a bit (lots of starter cranking). My plan is to replace my battery ground strap and troubleshoot the starter next.

How do I determine if the starter is functioning properly with a DVM? Does the starter also have a ground strap? Should I replace all of my fuses in the engine compartment? Could the pencil style plugs be stealing power from the starter? I still have the old GP's they don't look broken, just coked up, should I clean them, test them and reinstall them for simplicity's sake. I live in Texas so I'm not sure if I need pencil style GP's. Should I look to upgrade my battery and/or starter. Do turbo diesel starter really spin faster.

Sorry for the long post. I feel like there are multiple things going wrong here, maybe fuel and electrical, but I'm not experienced enough to dissect the clues that my car is giving me. Any insight would be much appreciated.

thanks,
je

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  #2  
Old 12-27-2009, 07:22 AM
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Sounds like you have more than 1 problem.
The stopping you describe at the start sounds a bit like a fuel problem. Have you changed the filters? If not then do it. Make sure you fill the secondary with fuel before installation. There are plenty of threads on how to change fuel filters on here.
The starting problem sounds like the battery has not been getting charged properly and there sounds like a poor connection on one of the main battery or earth leads.
I would start by cleaning and checking all connections.
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1984 300D 500k miles
1987 250td 160k miles English import
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:30 AM
pelon's Avatar
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X2

as mentioned, clean clean clean your electrical connections on the battery, battery to ground, and all others including the wire to the alternator.
go to Diesel Giant web page and follow the instructions on checking your glow plugs.
report back to us what you find....
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2009, 01:31 PM
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I'm with the others. Sounds like you have a bad connection somewhere. Considering you have chnaged the battery, I am guessing that it is a connection at the starter or the ground from the battery.

You also need to get it started and test the alternator's output. Do that and post your results. I wouldnt worry about a compression test already.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2009, 08:14 PM
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This sounds like a fuel delivery issue. This particular vehicle does not require an electrical system to operate, like the W123's, in order to keep running. So, you can push start the vehicle quite easily and then it should keep running until you either run out of fuel or push the dash stalk all the way in. It shuts down mechanically as I recall - not a vacuum operated event as in the W123.

So, if the car is running and it sputters or stops, the most likely culprit is fuel. The fuel filter is a pod with an element like the oil filter, and it should have a drain plug on the bottom. Water collects there and will get pretty deep over the years. It can actually rot away the bolt at the bottom that plugs the drain hole. The point of this item was to allow you to remove water without removing the filter. Today we just use a screw on filter for this function and throw it and the water that collects there away. Anyway, going over a bump can result in a little water being passed into the system and the car's engine runs on Diesel, not water, so it will want to stop running when that happens.

Best wishes, those were some awesome cars, but they can be prone to dissolving in road salt and melting snow....

Jim
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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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  #6  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
This sounds like a fuel delivery issue. This particular vehicle does not require an electrical system to operate, like the W123's, in order to keep running. So, you can push start the vehicle quite easily and then it should keep running until you either run out of fuel or push the dash stalk all the way in. It shuts down mechanically as I recall - not a vacuum operated event as in the W123.

So, if the car is running and it sputters or stops, the most likely culprit is fuel. The fuel filter is a pod with an element like the oil filter, and it should have a drain plug on the bottom. Water collects there and will get pretty deep over the years. It can actually rot away the bolt at the bottom that plugs the drain hole. The point of this item was to allow you to remove water without removing the filter. Today we just use a screw on filter for this function and throw it and the water that collects there away. Anyway, going over a bump can result in a little water being passed into the system and the car's engine runs on Diesel, not water, so it will want to stop running when that happens.

Best wishes, those were some awesome cars, but they can be prone to dissolving in road salt and melting snow....

Jim
Perhaps he may have a fuel issue, but this says nothing about the lack of power causing the starter to click but not turn, and the dash lights not working. He needs to endure that the system has good connections and further test the alternator while it is running.

I like your thinking on a water issue.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:57 AM
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GP are easy to check, go to grounds next, for starter. Fuel,clean filter in tank, go to auto parts store get cheap clear in line fuel filter,install at line coming from tank. This is so you can se fuel going to engine [look for water]. adj valves, and a way to get pump in time is remove 1st injector line at pump. at the pump turn over till cup is full where line goes. Timing on pump i belive is 24?[check this] degrees before top dead center.that is when cup should be full. If not mark where it is and then move to right degree see if that fixes starter backlash.

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