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  #1  
Old 10-04-2003, 04:19 AM
The Warden's Avatar
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Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
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Question Car cranks, starts, then dies

Hello!

A friend of mine, after seeing my car, decided to go one step further reliability-wise and has found a '83 240D 4 speed that he's planning on buying. Only problem it has is that it won't run. Apparently, it starts okay with the pedal floored, but won't go over about 2000 RPM, and if the pedal goes back to idle, it dies.

From what my friend told me, according to the previous owner, the car sat for a while, and the previous owner is very diesel-impaired, so I'm thinking that the fuel filters are plugged, the intake screen's plugged, and/or the system's infested with algae. As far as climate's concerned, the car's currently pretty close to the coast, in southern California.

Any other thoughts on what to look into? No big hurry, as I don't think the friend will be picking the car up for a few weeks (he's going to put a deposit on it, but can't afford the full purchase price just yet). Suffice to say, at least IMHO, the car's well worth the asking price.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2003, 07:08 AM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Weening a former gasoline fan to diesel? You know the drill - filters, valve adjust, etc..... otherwise it strikes me that improperly calibrated injector pump would be likely culprit of causing the problems you've described.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2003, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 240DieselDog
Weening a former gasoline fan to diesel?
Actually, it didn't take that much to convince him, and he's been wanting a diesel to replace his POS Ford Explorer for quite a while. He just hasn't had the $$...

Quote:
You know the drill - filters, valve adjust, etc..... otherwise it strikes me that improperly calibrated injector pump would be likely culprit of causing the problems you've described.
What makes you think it's an improperly calibrated pump? I'm just wondering...also, I don't think I said this before, but everything on the engine I know of, we got over the phone from the p/o...so I haven't had a chance to look at the engine firsthand. If nothing else, I think it'll be a fun project

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2003, 10:49 PM
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Could be just sucking air someplace, maybe the primer pump.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2003, 01:06 PM
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The following will get the car running, most likely:

AFTER you get it for a very good price since it won't run, remove the suction line and blow back into the tank, with tank cap off. This will dislodge all the crap (mostly algae and rusty stuff) off the screen.

Replace all the fuel lines on the suction side, and the hand pump if it is the old red cap design, it's surely rotted by now and leaking.

Change filters -- fill new one with fuel or fuel treatment and prime it for as long as you can run the pump by hand.

Car will run fine. Be prepared to remove tank and clean it, may need to replace tank screen and filters again shortly.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2003, 05:05 AM
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Update

Okay, the friend's father went to take a look at the car today. Cosmetically, it looks to be perfect. However, the engine issue appears to be different than how the friend was told (or, at least, how he described it to me).

According to the friend's father (who has worked on big trucks in the past but isn't too horribly familiar with the OM616/617), one cylinder is not "doing its job". Furthermore, there's a knock that was loud enough that he wasn't willing to try and drive the car. He had to keep some throttle on to keep the engine running; I don't know if it was capable of revving or not (I think the knocking kept him from trying).

My first thought was that the valves are out of adjustment, except the owner said that this happened suddenly, and I presume that a valve adjustment issue would take some time to develop. In the owner's words, "all of a sudden, the engine bogged down".

I'm thinking that either there's a problem with one injector, or there's a mechanical failure. Problem is, at least as far as I know, if one cylinder wasn't firing at all, it seems to me that the engine would still be capable of running; it would just be uneven and would have a noticeable loss of power. The inability to idle suggests fuel starvation, but doesn't explain the knocking (unless there's two problems).

Does anyone have any ideas? This is very frusturating for me since everything I'm getting is 3rd or 4th hand, and I haven't been able to play with the car myself (it's about 500 miles away).

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:01 PM
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...anyone?
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2003, 09:57 PM
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A knock so loud he's afraid to drive it sounds like a bad rod or main. No go unless you have a spare engine for cheap.

Hard to tell third hand, but MB diesels are pretty quiet normally.

Could also be no oil, so the chain is slapping pretty bad, but I think he'd have checked that pronto.

Peter
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:38 PM
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That's what I was afraid of...although I wonder if it could be nailing as opposed to knocking? Again, I haven't heard it firsthand.

The friend wants to do an OM617 conversion, so he may still be up for getting the car; I don't know, I'll have to talk to him about it and see what he wants to do. Other than the engine issues, the car's immaculate, and the guy's asking $800 for it, BTW.

Someone else almost bought the car last weekend, and at the time, my friend said that if this fell through, he'd take the $$ and work some more on restoring his '65 Corvair and making that his daily driver (not the best idea IMHO, but it's his decision to make, eh?)...
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2003, 12:52 AM
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Try to isolate the knock by loosening the injection lines at the injectors one at a time. If the knock goes away on one cylinder, its probably a bad injector.

You tell its a bad injector by switching injectors with another cylinder and observing if the knock moves with the injector. Could also be a broken ball pin in the precombustion chamber.

Its unlikely its an injection pump out of calibration. How would it change not being used?

P E H
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  #11  
Old 10-14-2003, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by P.E.Haiges
Try to isolate the knock by loosening the injection lines at the injectors one at a time. If the knock goes away on one cylinder, its probably a bad injector.
That works, except I'm about 500 miles away from the car. If the friend gets it, I plan on doing that first, followed by switching injectors around.

Quote:
How would it change not being used?
I thought that that may have had something to do with it before I heard the whole story, and was thinking that the problem could be algae growth.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2003, 09:54 PM
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Cool Another Update

Well, for better or worse, my friend decided to go for it. He decided that if more than $500 needs to go into the OM616, he'll just do an OM617 swap now instead of waiting for later...

He's sending them a deposit either today or tomorrow, and should have the car at his dad's house in a couple of weeks. Soemtime after that, the two of us will go down there and try to troubleshoot it. So, until then...
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  #13  
Old 10-15-2003, 12:15 PM
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Thank goodness he didn't put the money into the Corvair. Ralph Nader would not have been happy............

Keep us posted on the progress on this one.

Thanks,
Wes
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2003, 12:25 AM
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Well, progress is at a standstill and likely to remain that way. My friend decided to go for the car, and now he can't get a hold of the seller in spite of repeated phone calls. Looks like the seller flaked out.

I think he's decided to save up some more $$ and go for a car that's operational instead of a "project car" like he was originally looking for...although he's currently torn between a 240D 4 speed and a 300SD (he wants the manual trans, but likes the 126 body)...
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