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clarknova 09-18-2003 05:53 PM

Unfamiliar Territory
My first diesel car...
Just received a 1979 300D (Euro).
A friend was just about to send her to the scrapyard when I volunteered a good home.
She's got a great body (considering she's lived in a harbor parking lot for five years) and has racked up only 170k original miles, but sadly is not currently running.
Former owner had it rollin a few days prior when she suddenly stopped running. Compression is good on 4 of 5 (number 3 is low, but apparently always has been). He started to dive into the fuel delivery system (checking injectors, replacing fuel filter and worn return lines) and thinks it may just be old diesel (it had been sitting for several weeks). Used to be a daily driver for his daughter, now it's a seagull perch (until I can tow it to my garage).

I work on boats (sail and power), so I am no stranger to the diesel critter. However, I've never laid a wrench to a German born land yacht, so any tips, hints or reminders would be greatly appreciated.

Wasuchi 09-18-2003 06:32 PM

I'm sure you know this but new fuel filters and new fuel would be a good start. Return line would also be good because they probably leak or soon will if they haven't been replaced recently. A valve adjustment won't hurt either.

I bet the Diesel has algae in it though since it died and it sat for so long..... gotta kill that stuff.

kerry 09-18-2003 07:45 PM

Get a can of diesel Purge and follow the instructions. you put it in a bottle and put the fuel line into it to draw it out. Put the return line in the bottle so it recirculates. If it runs off that, you know there's a fuel problem somewhere. The purge will clean the injectors while telling you if the fuel delivery has a problem somwhere.

leathermang 09-18-2003 07:51 PM

I love that kind of deal... he will be jealous when you find and correct the problem/s.... What Wasuchi said is a great place to start... your car may have three filters... in the tank , one inline and one screw on... and the Purge is great also...
On the fuel algae... a tube of diesel doctor in the tank run a few minutes and left a few days should do that for at least half a year.. then change the filters as the algae may drop from the sides of the tank and clog the filter in the tank...

clarknova 09-18-2003 08:10 PM

I appreciate the responses.
Will keep you posted on how the repairs are going.
Pictures soon.
Thanks again.

psfred 09-18-2003 09:15 PM

Leading cause of a suddenly dead engine on a car that age is a leaking suction line filling the IP with air. Can also be a leaking primer pump -- I'd replace it on principle it if is the old unscrew and pump type, they leak all the time anyway. New style is completely enclosed spring loaded type, never leaks.

Plugged filters would be a good suspect, too.

I'd adjust the valves and leave them a bit loose, chances are they are crudded up and will go tight again promptly unless the PO was good at keeping them adjusted.


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