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Mercedes 300D Suggestions

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    You got THAT right...and in winter weather a really HUGE battery would be in order. When I worked in Alaska, sometimes they wouldn't shut the big diesel trucks off at all. They just ran from November through March and idled all night. If they were traveling, they'd shut them off for quick rest stops and service, of course. Most had ether injection operated from the dashboard, as I recall.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,332
    My car is a gas, FWIW. It still takes a huge battery though, and the factory battery frame is bigger yet.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I also should mention that the glowplugs can use quite a bit of current in cold weather (well, sometimes any weather) when warming them up to start.
  • ryan66ryan66 Posts: 9
    I have 1982 MB 300D turbo. Trans sometimes slipped ( going
    into 3rd ) for a year. I could live with that. Now I must drive slow for about 4 miles before it will even try to shift. Had filter changed, no help. Would like to check modulator, need help finding it. Thought someone went through this mess and had some tips. THANKS
  • raybonaraybona Posts: 5
    Ryan,
    I just got through changing out my modulator on my 300d, and I can tell you it's kind of a pain in the neck unless you have a lift. Nonetheless, it is located on the driver's side of the transmission and has a vacuum hose running to it. You should test your vacuum system including the modulator before taking it out. Your problem could be a simple vacuum problem or much worse. Use Google, there are lots of internet pages on this topic. If the vacuum test seems daunting you should seek out a good mechanic who is familiar with mercedes to help you.
  • rusticsrustics Posts: 5
    Been reading past messages for the last 3 weeks and learned lots. Planning on buying a good late 80's 300D if I can find one. Does anyone have experience running these engines in cold climates? Assuming a decent running engine with <200-250k miles, good battery etc, will it start at 5 pm after standing around all day at -20C/0F? That is the coldest usually expected where I am. I ran a VW diesel for years, it would start OK as long as the battery and glow plugs were good, but any weaknesses in those areas and....no start. I would expect the MB to be similar. Haven't seen many messages about this topic. Any comments or experiences welcomed, thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    At zero F, I think you'll need all the help you can get. Yep, strong battery is good, new glow plugs are good...but you'd better count on a)synthetic oil, b)an anti-gel fuel additive used regularly and c) if it's practical, an engine heater. But at least A and B, because you have no slack otherwise for cold starts. My experience is that 300Ds are not good starters below 20 degrees....and if you go below 0 you may even need to resort to the extreme of adding a small amount of gasoline to your diesel fuel---if all these other measures don't work. It worked for the Russians in World War II, and it could work for you! You'll have to look up the recommended gasoline/diesel fuel ratio, I just don't recall...probably no more than 20%.

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  • rusticsrustics Posts: 5
    Thanks. More or less as I expected. I'm in NB, eastern Canada, and most people have block heaters on their cars for winter use. An hour or so was usually enough to allow my VW diesel to start right up, but the problem comes at the end of a working day on those frigid days in late January... and then you want to get in quick ...start up...and drive home!! A no-start then is miserable. Sometimes a shot of ether-based quick-start into the air intake will do the trick, but if this doesn't work first time you're usually out of luck. This again is experience with my VW. A battery heater also helps when it's really cold. Still cogitating on a MB diesel...

    Aren't most diesel "additives" mostly ethanol/methanol? Adding gasoline might lower the viscosity a bit, but winter diesel here is already formulated for the cold weather.

    Cheers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Ether is okay but you have to be judicious in its use, as it is a highly effective solvent as well as very explosive. So really, pouring tons of it into an engine using 21:1 compression really doesn't sound like a good idea. One or two squirts.

    When I worked in Alaska, the diesel trucks there solved the problem of sub-zero starting. They just never shut the engines off from November through March. They idled all night at the roadhouses.

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  • nrkmannnrkmann Posts: 7
    Mr Shiftright is correct, about 20% gas, synthetic oil, and don't get in a hurry to start you car.

    I did this for a company of military vehicles in Korea when it was -20 without windchill and -40 with the windchill calculated.

    Let the glow plugs go about 30-40 seconds past the glow plug light going out and then start. There is a timer in the circuit that turns the plugs off after about 45 seconds after the light goes out. Try it you will hear a click as the relay turns the plugs off.

    Best to use an engine/oil heater, MB has one built in and you should try to wire it and test it in the good weather.

    As the battery gets cold it is weaker. Use a trickle charger at home and it will help to keep the battery warm. Another item is a battery hot blanket that you can plug in with the engine/oil heater.

    NRK
  • rusticsrustics Posts: 5
    Tks NRK. Interesting. Yes, here too sometimes heavy diesels are idled all winter, e.g. rail engines. Not a very economical or sustainable practice and not one I'd like to adopt with any car of mine!

    On my VW diesel I used a battery blanket and block heater, most of the time not absolutely necessary, except on the coldest days. Those are the real tests of how good a diesel is. Interesting that MB has a built-in heater! I had never heard of that.

    I am looking at a 76 300d , not winter driven, 165k miles, everything working, recent engine/trans service, brakes done, little or no rust. Any estimates on what would be a reasonable price?

    cheers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    $1,200 or so. If it looked like it came out of the box, maybe $2,000.

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  • I have another situation now and that is that I changed the fuel filters today and crushed the seal on the pump shaft when I bled the air out of the fuel line.
    Obviously I haven't called the shop but what is the fix for this problem?

    Many thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Not sure what you are referring to...you mean the line coming out of the injection pump?

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  • Hi, I recently bought a 1977 Mercedes 300D for my first car last week, and I must say up to this point I am not impressed at the least. I researched 300D's through this site and others, and really liked the concept of the car, and the fact it had an inline 5cyl diesel. Everything is decent on this car, except for the fact that a day after I brought it home, it started to leak anti-freeze. This car is only tolerable when it's in perfect working order, but not at all when it's spewing out green liquid all over the garage floor. It leaks out from, what I can see, the seal where the water pump is. I'm certain it isn't comming from the over-flow tube, as I checked that obvious spot first. There's anti-freeze all over everything, from the alternator to the steering arms, to the front right brake drum, yet it only leaks about 1/2 cup of anti-freeze when stopped. There are no leaks when it's driving, only when it's idling in Park, or at a stoplight. It leaks more when it's just sitting in Park idling though. I hope that makes the least bit of sense. I am new to these cars, any car for that matter, as it's my first, but I'm very mechanically able and am curious as to why my hard earned money, while not much, has gone towards a :lemon: . Many thanks. -Ryan

    PS- The last thing I want to hear is that I have a cracked block. According to the dealership, the car has never been winter driven, (I'm in Ontario) and has 113,000miles.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Check to see if the upper radiator hose is dripping on the bottom. It could be running down around the water pump. It's possible that since it only happens when your idling the coolant temperature could be going up (normal) and causing a loose or worn hose to leak at the thermostat elbow.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Certainly could be the water pump. That's not too big a deal. After all, this is a 30 year old car, and mythology aside, it's going to show normal wear just like any car with 113,000 miles. That's more than enough miles to wear out a water pump. Best thing is get it on a lift and see what's what.

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  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Could be. My experience though is that if your water pump is leaking it leaks all the time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    not always...if it's spinning fast enough it will hurl the water through the outlet rather than the weep hole in the shaft bushing.

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  • Thanks Shiftright and burdawg, I suspected the same. Upon closer inspection, it is infact the bottom of the water pump seal, where the leak is. This morning the car totally blew out the entire contents of the rad through that leaky seal, so I'll just have to wait for the gasket to come in on Monday. Thanks again, -Ryan
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