Diesel running on empty? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 1982 300SD
Location: Sunnyvale California
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Diesel running on empty?

I'm in the process of attempting to pull my 82 300SD back from the brink. Off to the paper clip factory my kids say.

Couple weeks ago, when I first started this odyssey, I popped in a new battery and turned her over for the first time in a couple years. It took a few iterations, but she started. At the time, I noticed that the fuel reserve light was on.

I didn't let her run for long, but it gave me the tentative "green light" to start on the interior. You couldn't sit in or move the seats. The smell was not quite pleasant either.

With new seats and wiring done, cleaned out cabin, carpets cleaned and other misc adventures, I was off to rebuild the cluster. Replaced the bulbs with LEDs and fixed the rheostat - trying to get the instrument lights to work. They haven't in a long time.

I accidently left the lights on all day, draining the battery. Damn. So while it was charging, I focused on the Tach, which wasn't working, so after some reading, I pulled the under-bonnet (other car is a British classic) assembled and cleaned it out.

I had to start her again to check the Tach - it started up, and now the Tach began working again. But, she wouldn't remain running, as she had just the day before for a minute or two. At that time, she sounded great.

Now, she won't run. I let her sit after trying for almost a minute. Then she started, but quickly died. Now she's making a squeeky sound at the end of each turn-over cycle.

I'm wondering if she's run out of diesel? I've checked the fuel filter and it appears to be full? If it's out of fuel and the pump can't pump, can the filter be full yet no fuel is delivered to the injection?

Any thoughts would be seriously appreciated...!

Thanks all.

alpineJeff is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I added a couple gallons of Diesel, learned how to use the pump (can't believe I've owned this car for 20 years and never knew this), and she started right up. These machines are tanks.

Follow-up question/s: while using the primer pump, one of the lines that run from injector to injector swelled a bit, and appeared to sweat, I'm assuming, Diesel. I'm assuming that's not good.

The other 'question': when I turned of the ignition, she just kept running and eventually (60-90 seconds) started sounding pretty rough. I recalled seeing a tab near the throttle linkage that was labeled "STOP". I pressed it. It stopped, as advertised. Is the, I think it's called, Dieseling normal? Was pressing the tab my correct course of action?

Ya know, if BenzWorld had been around 20 years ago, it may not have taken me this long to figure out how to prime this silly thing.

Thanks all!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 11:24 AM
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I assume you are talking about injector leak line, what is 4 or 5 mm black hose.
Those sell by meter and replace them all.
You should change both fuel filters and check if the tank socks is not clog.
You description of priming with hand pump sounds like you did have flow, but chances are that old fuel has algae and with some sucking that will clog filters.
That MY had shut off valve operated by vacuum and vacuum system is subject to leaks.
That is why the engine has manual SOV as you discover.
Sooner or later you will want to rebuild vacuum system, but start to drive the darn thing.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 05-31-2016 at 11:26 AM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Kajtek1.

I'm on a steep Mercedes learning curve. The fuel lines turned out to be the injector return lines. I've ordered replacement hoses for the entire fuel system, along with the Molly stuff (2x bottles) to do a purge.

Once that's done, it's time for a steam clean of the engine compartment and underside.

Then I'll tackle the front-end bushings and power steering pump.

Thanks again for your input!

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