1970 280SE "biodiesel" anyone recognize this car? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GolfClapperX View Post
You can try a small spray of diesel-approved starting fluid into the intake.

Ok. What is "diesel-approved" starting fluid? I've read that wd-40 might be ok in low volumes, but ether can blow the rods and Pistons. And that you should make sure the glow plugs are disabled if using starting fluid.

More info on "diesel-approved" starting fluid would be helpful.

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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 07:42 AM
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It's unlikely that the injectors are bad enough to cause a total no-start, worn injectors can cause a "nailing" sound while running, or a rough idle in bad cases. The pump timing shouldn't have been messed with if it was ever a running engine. And yeah I'm not the best reference for ip timing, I'd look around for that. I wouldn't change the ip timing unless you know that's the problem, because it's hard to get adjusted perfectly again. I would first try the starting fluid. If it will stay running after starting this way, then there are no fuel system problems, probably just a glow plug problem. A glow plug wiring problem wouldn't be that surprising since that system was retrofitted to this car.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Fonzi View Post
Ok. What is "diesel-approved" starting fluid? I've read that wd-40 might be ok in low volumes, but ether can blow the rods and Pistons. And that you should make sure the glow plugs are disabled if using starting fluid.

More info on "diesel-approved" starting fluid would be helpful.
I have never had any problem using the 50% ether small cans of starting fluid that Oreilly sells, this is the best quality fluid they have. The can says it's approved for all diesels. Some of the cheap fluids say things like "can be used with some diesels", but I don't trust it. The better stuff has always started my diesels up smoothly (only used when diagnosing/overcoming problems like op is having). I'm not claiming to be a scientist, this is just my experience.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 08:59 AM
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The general consensus, is that ether MUST be avoided. Don't believe what it says on can. Find MSDS and if it says product contains ether, best to avoid it. On a Mercedes diesel, it is apparently the pre-combustion chambers that get damaged and then you have a bigger problem.

Having said that, I have been stuck when away from home when car had sat outdoors overnight in -20C weather. I had to call local shop to get my 300D started. Jumping car didn't get it going. They then used starter fluid. But I think they just sprayed a very small amount into the air cleaner snout. Haven't tried WD-40. I suppose any lighter hydrocarbon mixed with air might help.

I don't know how that car is configured, but on 123 diesels, changing from series to parallel wired newer style glow plugs makes all the difference.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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I believe it's parallel wired. There is a harness with five pieces coming off, one for each glow plug. I really have to check its operations. Every time I've gotten a chance to mess with the car I forgot my multimeter. I am very skeptical about any starting fluid in a diesel. In a gasoline engine fuel is introduced with the air and then lit at a certain time period. in a diesel, for the combustion to happen the chamber is heated by compression and the fuel is injected at the correct time to make the ignition happen at the correct time. If you introduce fuel before the combustion is intended to happen it can backfire violently and brake pistons or rods or crankshafts even. Same thing can happen with gasoline in a diesel because it explodes instead of burning.
None of my diesels ever wouldn't start. But the one manual rabbit I had we dragged it down the street in 0degree weather. I wish it was a manual trans.

Last edited by rwd4evr; 02-06-2016 at 02:26 AM.
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