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Old 10-16-2020, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 110
A new development in the case of the non-starting diesel

Tuesday, I drive my 99 E300TD on a 3 hour road trip to look at a CL55 AMG that I ended up buying, so my dad drove the car back after we filled up with fuel at the gas station next to the car lot. It ran perfect all the way down, all the way back. We even stopped at a rest stop and it fired right back up after that.

The next day, I started it up to back it up in the driveway so I could pull out the new car and clean it. Several hours later, I go to move it back where it was and no start. After several attempts, I figure that since the fuel tank is sitting on a very steep part of the driveway and the rear-end isn't level, perhaps fuel is running away from the pickup or something. So I roll it out into the street to get the rear level. No changes. It allllllmost wanted to start a few times, but it sounds like it has air in the line and needs to purge. I went to double check to make sure my dad had put the fuel cap back in place and it's there....but the inside of the filler neck where the plate and flap (where the fuel nozzle goes in) are that close off the metal line is empty. The plate and flap are just gone. So I'm guessing when he refilled it, he just left the heavy diesel pump on it and the weight maybe just finally wore out whatever holds those pieces in place and they must have slid down the pipe.

I got it back in the driveway and have been charging the battery since trying to start it so much drained it. When I get home today, I notice there is a small puddle of diesel underneath my front bumper by the driver side wheel and still slowly dripping. It appears to be dripping from the underside of the fuel pump that's bolted to the block. I haven't done anything to it today, so I have no idea why it wants to start leaking now and it's never happened before.

I have a friend who is a diesel mechanic that's going to come look at it in a few days, but I mentioned it to him and he said perhaps it's sucking some air in from there and losing its prime so it won't start. I'm probably going to order a new tank strainer filter anyways, as I don't have a clue as to when it was done last, and then let him inspect the car and see what he finds.

Do you guys have any insight or want to throw in your .02 with some ideas or theories?

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Old 10-16-2020, 02:44 PM
dkr dkr is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 649
I would theorize that if it is leaking diesel than it would definitely be losing prime.

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Old 10-16-2020, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 110
So no sense in trying to start it again after the battery finishes charging to just drain it again? I guess it's best to leave it alone when it finishes charging and just let him check it out and hopefully just a hose is old or a o-ring or two need to be replaced.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 110
With a fresh charged battery and a few tries it started back up. Seemed to idle fine. Im still going to let it sit and see if the drip continues and probably have my mechanic change the plastic fuel lines and any o-rings/seals on the pump we can find.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 685
There is an o-ring on the fuel shutoff valve, all the plastic lines, a rubber line (if you don't want to do the job again in a few months get all of that stuff from the dealer), and delivery valve seals. Make sure you don't forget the one bolt on the intake manifold you have to get from under the car when you take it off.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 110
So those parts should reseal the pump and prevent future drips and losing prime?
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,027
Agree...if the car is a keeper and you don't want to do the job again get original equipment parts. There is a quality difference in most rubber items like seals and hoses. See if the host of this site offers OE.

Pics of the new ride???

Good luck!!!

Does a Caddy stretch? No, but a Mercedes bendz.
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