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1985 Mercedes 300SD Turbo Diesel cranks but won't start
I think the problem is my own fault. Here's the history.
This car had been modified slightly. The stock air filter had been replaced with a cone filter. I neglected to check the air filter for some time, and discovered that the top plastic part had cracked open. Since the filter was obviously useless, I tried to replace it, only to find no local store carried the right size cone filter. I found them on eBay, but while I was waiting for the auction to end and the filter to be shipped to me, I drove the car without a filter. I'm certain this led to the problem.
The filter connects to a very short rubber tube that connects to the air intake on the turbo. When I was having trouble starting the car, I tried spraying some starter fluid into that tube. The result was that the car actually had more trouble starting directly after I sprayed starter fluid. And it seemed the more I used, the worse it started.