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Old 07-09-2002, 10:52 PM
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Unhappy '85 300D Turbo electrical problem..

A little history...

1985 300D Turbo with 330,000 miles (35K on rebuilt engine) which generally runs good.

A couple of months ago, the preglow time relay started making a tapping/clicking noise at random. This happens while I am driving as well as when the car is idling and sometimes when I turn the ignition on. No set pattern here, it would just start making a racket and stop when it was ready to stop (usually 10 to 45 secs).

Around this same time, the car wouldn't start after a stop on the way to work (wouldn't turn over). I got a jump start and it ran fine until today.

On the way to work today, the tape player shut down and came back on several times before shutting off totally. I didn't notice anything else then but when I got to work (2 blocks later), the car wouldn't start. The starter wouldn't turn over at all.

After work, still nothing so I jumped it and it started. On the way home, the car completely bugged out. The tape player did the on/off thing again and then the A/C shut off, the readings on the gauges "lowered" (ie. idling at 0 and accelerating at 700 rpm, temperature reading lower, fuel level lower, no blinkers, etc.), and then the blower fan slowed and stopped and then came on full blast on heat! Actually, I think it was blowing harder on heat than it usually does! (but that's another problem)

Then, the blower slowed down and the A/C came back on. The radio returned and everything was back to normal (for about 3 minutes), until it repeated the scenario. This time I turned on the headlights and gauges returned momentarily but went back off again. I drove until everything came back on and then went home. I turned it off and it wouldn't start again.

Also, lately the glow plug light doesn't come on every time I turn on the ignition. If it doesn't come on, I just wait the proper amount of time, crank it, and it starts just fine. This and the weird clicking from the Preglow time relay are the only anomalies that I have noticed.

Sorry for the long post but I am completely puzzled here. Any ideas on where to start?
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Old 07-10-2002, 12:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Cremona, Alta, Canada
Posts: 263
Sounds like your glow plugs are running down the battery which can cause all sorts of electrical problems.
82 300SD 110k
91 Caprice SS
92 Jetta TD
97 Cadillac Concours(300hp)
84 Celebrity 4.3L diesel
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Old 07-10-2002, 06:57 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,235
How old is the battery? I have seen some similar stuff when the battery was gone/dead. Try putting it on a charger overnight and see if it will take a charge. Also, you will want to check out your alternator. What kind of condition are the alternator brushes in?
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