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1983 300D Turbo Diesel
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Im stuck at work and my 300D will not start. I was able to round up some extension cables and have the block heater plugged in but I have a feeling that my battery has taken a beating now also.

What are some tricks to get the old lady started?

This is my first winter.

I have read some used WD-40 as starter fluid but Im not sure how that process is done.

If my battery is dying can it be jumped like a normal gas engine?

Any help is much appreciated.
 

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2001 Volvo V40
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2,954 Posts
It can be jumped like a normal gas engine.

Glow until you hear the relay click off, check the glow plugs.

Fully depress the accelerator pedal during starting (but do not let the car rev when it fires).

Add some low grade petrol (no more than 30%) or kerosene to the tank if you think the diesel is clouding.
 

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1983 300D Turbo Diesel
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I got a new battery in. It turns over but seems like it is not getting any fuel.

I have it plugged in and will continue to try every 15 minutes.
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
If you don't have an owners manual, see pic.

They also say up to a 50% diesel and kerosene mixture will help.
 

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'84 300DT, '97 S320
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682 Posts
Check the following current thread for lots of good tips.

What is a "Normal" Cold Start?

Last winter, 1 bad glow plug stranded me after work. It did its job for 25 years.

You said "first winter", so I'm guessing you don't have a lot of experience with the block heater. With that in mind, it needs to heat for at least an hour to help any...Maybe 30 min's - I've never tried it for that short of a time. It's really meant for overnight, because 2-3 hours should provide enough help. But since no one's gonna wake up 3 hours before going to work to plug it in, that's why I say it's an overnight thing. I don't think it has a thermostat built in to keep from being on continuously - it's a pretty simple-looking device.

Regarding the mixing of gasoline, I've never understood MB's recommendation. My claim is diesel fuel is heavier - they don't mix well. I once had about 1.5 gal diesel in the tank and needed more than that to get to work. I went the the local mom/pop store I occasionally went to to fill it up. They have a 1-island group of 4 pumps. Unbeknownst to me, the end pump that had been diesel for years was now gas - they switched over the weekend. The pump was clearly marked, but why look at a pump that's dispensed diesel for years? They had a plan in place to not turn the pump on until the person came in - well, that plan was skipped for me. I drove to work, 35 miles, with 1.5 gal diesel, which ran out the moment I drove into the covered parking. Started running terribly! With 14+ gallons of gas, no wonder. If that much had "mixed" with 1.5 gal diesel, the final mix would have been overwhelming gas, and I would think it would also have run terribly. But it ran fine, so my conclusion is that diesel is heavier, because I knew how much gas was added, therefore I knew how much diesel there was, and based on normal MPG and miles traveled, the diesel ran out right on cue, and the pure gas kicked in - it's as though there was no mixing at all.
 

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'83 300DT 423,000+ mi
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26 Posts
Cold starting problems are usually related to glow plug problems or compression problems. It is rare that diesel fuel will gel these days (unless it's been contaminated with water), especially diesel fuel bought in Ohio. However, any truck stop will carry anti-gel additives.

Before spending beaucoup bucks on glow plugs, wires and a relay. Have a mechanic conpression test your motor. If your motor's compression is a problem, now you're looking at new pistons and cylinder sleeves. This is not a job for the shade-tree mechanic. Good luck.
 

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'84 300DT, '97 S320
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682 Posts
My '73 220D was sold in Germany, then shipped to the US in '77, when I bought it. It had an English and Deutsch manual -- both mentioned blending gasoline. That's where I first heard of that concept. I don't think my 300D's manual talks about it, having been originally sold in the US.

BTW, the 220D didn't have much conversion done - side markers was it. The gauges were in German, and Km only. Had a little card with me for awhile for Miles/Km conversion. Liked the pax mirror being full forward on the fender. Visually, that positioned it directly under the inside rear mirror.
 

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1983 240D 3.0T
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242 Posts
Blending the fuel with kerosene or gasoline would only help gelling problems, but, as someone already said, with modern winter diesel, you should be good to at least 0*F. You're in Ohio, it's probably glow plugs, could could be a number of other things (valves need adjusting, IP timing off, low compression, etc.).
 

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money pits of various forms
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5,885 Posts
If you don't have an owners manual, see pic.

They also say up to a 50% diesel and kerosene mixture will help.
Interesting that, I always thought you just depressed it and released immediately. New tricks to try tonight.

I wonder what the -18* trick does? Seems like it cant hurt at any temp?
 

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1985 300TD
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68 Posts
Also having trouble with the cold...

I've got all working glow plugs and brand new relay...had the block heater plugged in overnight. Still no go.

Engine will hardly turn. It'll go churr, chuurrr, chuuuurrrr, quit. No firing. Almost seems like a battery issue but lights and everything working fine...reading 12v on battery.

So, if the engine doesn't want to turn is this a battery/power issue? Don't know what to do here.
 

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money pits of various forms
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5,885 Posts
Its in the 20s here and I start up ever day, even with bent valve.
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
When I had issues, I figured it was the battery, but it checked out good, I replaced the starter, no more problems.

Still have the same battery that came with the car, four years old now.
 

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money pits of various forms
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I will second this, I had problems starting (started after x tries) and I replaced starter. No more problems.
 

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81 300TDT WAGON , 82 300DT SEDAN, 84 300TDT WAGON(retired),
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442 Posts
It was -7 (feel like -15) in my office parking lot on Wednesday evening, no problem starting the sedan with one try.
Overnight, the temp was dipped to -13(feel like -20), I parked 300d on the driveway and did not plug block heater, I am not able to start my car this morning even with booster. After plugged in block heater for one hour, It is on after two tries.

This is the 2nd winter for diesel. I had no starting problem with my wagon on last winter.(Wagon has no rust proof under carriage, don't want drive it on the salty road)

Is there any easy ways to increase the compression?
 

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1990 W124 230E
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67 Posts
I too own a European version of the 300D. In temperatures dipping to -1 in my region at times the following works for me:

upon turning the key and the pre-glowing heater light coming on, wait for it to turn off(yellow light switching off). Repeat this at least thrice and then fire up the engine with your foot pushing down on the accelerator. Be careful not to allow the engine to rev as it starts.

If the above does not work then yes have your compression ratio checked along with the glow plugs.
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
I will sometimes let the glow plugs go through one or more complete cycles. Turn the key so the light comes on and, wait, you'll hear the relay click off, that is one complete cycle. The light will have gone out long before the relay turns itself off.
This takes ~30 seconds.
 

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Cold hearted B*#ch

Im stuck at work and my 300D will not start. I was able to round up some extension cables and have the block heater plugged in but I have a feeling that my battery has taken a beating now also.

What are some tricks to get the old lady started?

This is my first winter.

I have read some used WD-40 as starter fluid but Im not sure how that process is done.

If my battery is dying can it be jumped like a normal gas engine?

Any help is much appreciated.
Hey,I feel your pain!but don't worry,I've been there not to long ago.My glow plug light failed too light 3 weeks ago(air temp was 25f)would not start!Tested each glow plugs,3 out of 5 died,replaced all 5(25 year old plugs do that)glow plug light comes on and starts right away.I am blessed that the top senior guys at work have done nothing but diesel work all there lives.spray ethor works in all the trucks,but just a touch,maybe the count of 2 into the intake port of your air cleaner
 
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