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Old 01-28-2002, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: West Islip, NY, USA
Posts: 11
Question 99 E300 Diesel Glow Plugs

Hello all, I am hoping someone can help me with some advice. My Dad has a 99 E300 diesel, with about 70,000 miles on it. Recently it has become hard to start. It is very loud at start up, runs rough, and spits out a bit of smoke. After a minute or two, it runs fine.

My first thought was a bad glow plug. My experience is with VW diesels, which often won't start at all if a glow plug is bad, however, I figure on a 6, it might start, but work like I describe.

I also thought that on this more sophisticated system had a warning light system. If a glow plug goes bad should the dash glow plug indicator come on?

Well, here are my questions...

1. Does this sound like a bad glow plug?

2. How the hell do you get them out? Does the big intake manifold need to come out? If so, is it just the visible torx screws on top that need removing (I know, I know...I can't be that lucky!)

I thanks anyone in advance who might have some advice.
Tony Bad

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Old 01-29-2002, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Yes glow plugs on this engine are a pain to replace! the intake must come off.
Normally if there is a problem the warning lamp will blink & even the check engine electronics lamp will come on.
Give yourself at least 3 hrs to do this job.
Might want to OHM out the plugs to see if they are really bad.
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Old 01-29-2002, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,476
I've got a '98 model year E300. It had all the glow plugs replaced under warranty. They don't seem to be as durable in this engine as for some previous diesels.

My car had the exact same symptoms - just a bit of roughness and smoke, but only when started stone cold. Smoothed out within 30 seconds at most. It behaved like that for several months before finally setting the check engine light.

In short, it's certainly the glow plugs. It'll have to get worse before the electronics detect the problem. I don't know if there's any downside or risk to ignoring the problem until it does become more pronounced.
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Old 01-29-2002, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: West Islip, NY, USA
Posts: 11
Unhappy I'm convinced!

Okay, you have convinced me that the glow plugs are faulty as I suspected. Now, is this something I can tackle on my own? I have swapped out glow plugs many times on simpler engines, however, this one has an accesibility issue.

Any one tell me how difficult it is to remove the intake? There is a whole series of torx type nuts on top, however I can't see what is on the bottom.

I'd like to do it myself if possible, as usually this is a simple task, but if I need to grow an arm with 8 more elbows, I'll just take to the pros. Comments? Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks, Tony
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Old 01-29-2002, 11:22 AM
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Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Last night I had a look under the hood of our 98 E300. Yikes! Those glow plugs are DEEP under stuff...

Our car has 32,000 miles and runs perfect. Touching wood...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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