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  #1  
Old 12-28-2000, 09:25 PM
Deezl
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I have an '83 300D-T with an odd cold start situation. I live in Connecticut where we have had 10-30F weather for the past two weeks. I replaced my glow plugs and relay one year ago along with the battery. I use a "trickler" for the battery, and I have a remote switch for my block heater. If I have an hour before needing to start I hit the block heater and the car starts quickly the first time. If something comes up and I have to "cold start" [and I mean cold 10-15] the following occurs. #1 I turn the key and the glow light illuminates for [a long] 15 seconds. #2 I turn to crank and nothing happens for about 4 seconds ... then ... it cranks for about 5 seconds AND then I hear the starter motor spinning disengaged. I do this again, and it starts on the third or fourth attempt. After that, like summer. As I said above, if I have the forewarning and can run the block heater for an hour, 10 second glow and a smooth start the first time.

Any comments, insight or intuition here.

thanks folks.
(the '73 Volvo164E with 250k start first time every time)

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2000, 09:35 PM
patsy
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Sounds like your starter is wearing out, or you have dirty connections from the battery to the starter. Your symptoms are just like when my starter quit.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2000, 09:54 PM
Deezl
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Why would the block heater make a difference?
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2000, 11:25 PM
patsy
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Does the car start okay after it is warmed up? Mine started just like you described when it was cold early in the morning. I am not sure why, but the warmer engine, i.e. block heater, allowed the starter to function normally. My starter failed very quickly after showing the first signs when cold in the morning.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2000, 12:20 AM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Cremona, Alta, Canada
Posts: 263
Sounds like you have a worn starter. The reason that it starts when pluged in or warm is likely that there is just enough juice in things to start. When it is cold the starter takes more power to turn and the battery has less to deliver, hence a no go, or at least intermitent results.
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Mark
82 300SD 110k
91 Caprice SS
92 Jetta TD
97 Cadillac Concours(300hp)
84 Celebrity 4.3L diesel
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2000, 08:39 AM
Geezer
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
One more vote for the starter.

The delay in cranking could be caused by worn brushes that don't pass current, or at least current for a bit until they warm up.

As we all know, a cold engine doesn't spin as fast. A combination of an older, weaker Bendix spring and slower cranking speed may result in not enough force to keep the starter gear on the flywheel.

Let us know what it turns out to be.

BCingU, Jim
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2000, 05:06 PM
Deezl
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Well...
thanks for the replies. I will assume that the misbehaviour is the starter. I will, however, wait until I have more dysfunction before I go replacing parts.

Happy New Year!
Gregory
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2000, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
cold starting

In the "Great Frozen North" where it gets to forty below, a bit of warming is absolutely necessary. And the oil is the culprit. It must be warm also so that the engine spins enough to develop enough compression for ignition. I have had to run a propane weedburner under mine a few times to get it going. (Yes, I DID keep a watch on it.) The block heater keeps the water warm but the oil is sitting in it's own little nest under the engine where the water circulation is not getting to it. And the starter is a bit more stiff where the bendix is. The battery, also loses a significant amount of starting power when the temp gets below zero. All combined, these factors gang up to reduce the starting effort to much less RPM than is necessary to go. In the diesel you HAVE to think, "RPM" in the starting mode and anything you can do to keep it up is good. Before I learned that, my starter in the old 300CD had worn so much that it just was not getting the RPM up enough even in the summertime. My hint came when the battery guy put the ammeter on the cable and read---1350(yes) amps of current. The cable was red. The fact that the starter was still not cooked is a big credit to Bosch. Put the rebuilt in and it flew. ( Now, tell me why I can't get my 240 to go without putting 18 volts to her?) Cheers

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