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  #1  
Old 09-09-2010, 09:29 PM
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I Lost My Balls!

Well, I finally decided to take the 'Wunder Wagon', my '84 Euro TD, to Virginia Beach to drop off the dishwasher that's been stored in my wagon's cargo-area for two months. Hadn't made a long trip in this car for awhile, and was a bit concerned with a very slight balancer-wobble, especially after reading someone else's thread here about a wobbling balancer that chewed up his crank. So after determining that my balancer's hub was tight and true, I decided to risk the 200-miles. Wagon drove great. AC worked great. Everything was great until I went to slow for the Virginia Beach I-264/Laskin Road exit. WOW! I needed both feet to stop this car!
As expected, once I got to the house, the engine didn't want to stop either. So I diagnosed a complete loss of Vaxuum. due to pump failure.
I got a cheap, used pump off a decrepit '81 240D at the local Pick-N-Pull, but when I removed my original pumpt, I discovered all the balls were missing from it's bearings. So today I dropped the lower sump in seach of 12 missing balls. Incredibly, 11 of them had been sucked up inside the oil-pump trap. Couldn't find # 12, even after I pulled the valve-cover to search up top. So now I've decided to install a $260 Pierburg repair-kit, which I was able to find locally - same day. Tommorow, I.m going to install my (hopefully) repaired original vacuum-pump, so I won't have to worry about the 240D pump droppinng 12 more balls into my timinh-chain area, during my 200-mile return-trip to Alexandria.
As for the missing ball, I'm hoping it's harmlessly parked itself somwhere, or eventually makes it's way to he oil-pan without grenading the engine.
Wish me luck!

Happy Motoring, Mark

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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 09-09-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2010, 09:38 PM
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The last thing you would want is for your last ball to get stuck in the timing chain, could be very painful !! It may have disintegrated & thats why the bearing failed.

If you could forage around up by the timing chain on the crank you may find it !!! best you keep your fingers crossed (and your legs ) that the stray doesnt cause any damage !!
In cattle farming its refered to as a stag when 1 ball is left behind.
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1967 230-6 auto parts car. rust bucket.
1980 300D now parts car 800k miles
1984 300D 500k miles
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2010, 10:30 PM
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Uh, I'd be getting the largest magnet I could find and epoxying it to the bottom of the pan!
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by vstech View Post
Uh, I'd be getting the largest magnet I could find and epoxying it to the bottom of the pan!
I'm more worried about the damage that may happen BEFORE the stray ball mkes it to the pan.
Once it makes it to the pan, it would most likely be caught by the oil-pump screen-trap without causing any further damage.
Anyway, I got the cover off my origial pump and discovered I have a broken piston as well. So I'll be scavenging my Pick-N-Pull 240D pump for that.
Already tested it on the wagon, so I know it's still intact and functional. But itt appears the plastic ball-cages in my original pump's bearings disintegrated, so now I'm not real confident in the longevity of the bearings in my 240D pump.

And I did try fishing around the timing-chain areas, top & bottom, with a couple different magnets.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:04 PM
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I lost mine too...

... but I try to take it one day at a time.

good luck.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2010, 11:14 PM
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Where else could #12 be hiding? There arent many other places.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2010, 11:16 PM
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did you look through the drain pan you drained the oil into? it could already be safely out of the car.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:53 AM
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I would never use bearings with plastic ball cages in an application like that. Pay the extra few dimes & use quality bearings, not some plastic c##p !!
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1967 230-6 auto parts car. rust bucket.
1980 300D now parts car 800k miles
1984 300D 500k miles
1987 250td 160k miles English import
2001 jeep turbo diesel 130k miles
1998 jeep tdi ~ followed me home. Needs a turbo.
1968 Ford F750 truck. 6-354 diesel conversion.
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstech View Post
did you look through the drain pan you drained the oil into? it could already be safely out of the car.
I'm hoping for this possibility.

As for using a better bearing, even the new factory Pierburg part uses the plastic-cage bearing, and I have no easy way here to extract the old bearing to replace it with a 'better' one. As the pump lever that carrys the bearing was also damaged when the bearing failed, I had to get the whole asembly, with the bearing.
When I get back to Alexandia, I can experiment with my 240D pump to maybe replace just the bearing.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2010, 07:13 AM
Craig
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Personally, I wouldn't use anything other than a new vacuum pump (not used or rebuilt). After having one fail at great expense, that's one part that I don't mess around with.
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  #11  
Old 09-11-2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Craig View Post
Personally, I wouldn't use anything other than a new vacuum pump (not used or rebuilt). After having one fail at great expense, that's one part that I don't mess around with.
Well. a new pump was going to cost over $450 but a good friend of mine in Virginia Beach was able to connect me to a buddy of his that has a Mercedes repair-shop to order me a new Pierburg pump for $300.
As the main failurre with these pumps seems to be the roller-bearings, I'll probably use the new lever & bearing assy I got earlier, to update the originl pump in my 240D BEFORE it fails.

Incidentally, The NEW Pierburg vacum pump has a steel cage in the bearings!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #12  
Old 09-11-2010, 09:12 AM
Craig
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Yup, they're expensive. I've bought two new ones; one after mine failed and another when I didn't like the sound of the replacement after about a year.
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  #13  
Old 09-11-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Craig View Post
Yup, they're expensive. I've bought two new ones; one after mine failed and another when I didn't like the sound of the replacement after about a year.
When your original vacuum-pump failed, were you able to fish the missing bits out of the oil-pan or oil pump-screen? Did you suffer any engine damage?
I installed the new pump last night and everything seems to b working fine. Never found the one missing ball. I can only hope it may have come out with the oil, or will eventually make it's way harmlessly to the oil-pan like it's 11 brothers.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #14  
Old 09-11-2010, 09:41 AM
Craig
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Originally Posted by Mark DiSilvestro View Post
When your original vacuum-pump failed, were you able to fish the missing bits out of the oil-pan or oil pump-screen? Did you suffer any engine damage?
I installed the new pump last night and everything seems to b working fine. Never found the one missing ball. I can only hope it may have come out with the oil, or will eventually make it's way harmlessly to the oil-pan like it's 11 brothers.

Happy Motoring, Mark
Mine was a disaster; skipped the timing chain, distroyed the sprockets and guides, cracked the cam cover, etc. I spent about $2k having it all put back together. There was a big hole in the side of the vacuum pump and pieces everywhere in the engine. I probably should have just replaced the engine, but I didn't know the extent of the damage.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-2010, 10:58 AM
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Something else to check:
New Vacuum Pump Ruined due to too much Timer Shaft End Play (the title from my notes).
second vacuum pump, help! on a trip-Toronto

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