lost power, won't start - not getting fuel? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-06-2004, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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lost power, won't start - not getting fuel?



i have an 81 240D chassis 123 123, engine 616, bought from original owner couple weeks ago. ran great for 500 or so miles, then last night it suddenly lost power and wouldn't start. i thought it had run out of gas, and the fuel gauge was not reading correctly, so i threw in a few gallons. no luck, so then i replaced both fuel filters, and still wouldn't start. i bled the system by opening the output bolt on the fuel filter and operating the hand pump until fuel got all over the place and then some. too much? didn't have any effect.. the last time i tried to start it, i turned it over for maybe 15 seconds, gave it some gas and it started, it gave off some bad smelling darkish smoke, and quit. tried once more and it wouldn't start, turns fine, but doesnt seem to be getting any fuel. glow plug light indicates no problems, turns over strong. what should i check next? injectors? fuel pump? i have the chilton and factory repair manuals to work from.

some additional info:

- car has been running a blend of 20 percent biodiesel for last few hundred miles. both fuels are astm grade.
-i began to notice a slight, irregular (but in time with one or more of the cylinders) knocking sound from the engine just after i bought it. it can only be heard at idle, it gets either drowned out or goes away with increased rpm.
-by unlucky chance, the car died on a street under construction. they are going to tow it tommorow morning, sept 7 2004, if i don't get it out of there somehow.

i appreciate very much any relevant advice!

-jeff


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post #2 of 4 Old 09-08-2004, 10:41 AM
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Hi,


I hope you got the car before it was towed.

I know little of biodiesel conversions, so I contacted another forum member who knows a little about them. Here is the response:

"biodiesel - esp. B20 which is 20% blend is no different than running regular diesel - except for the fact that the solvent properties of diesel can de-gunk your lines and tank so changing filters a bunch in the early stages of switching to biodiesel is recommended. i'm not a mechanic but given all the stuff he fixed it seems to me he could have clogged injectors because his filters got overwhelmed or gunk from the post-filter side got the injectors. (this is from someone who knows ZERO about injectors though)"

It sounds to me as though the injectors are the most likeliy culprits in your case, but I personally have no experience with the biodiesels. If you are getting fuel to the injection pump, it seems that there is little left (aside from the possible fuel contaminants such as water, or a clogged air filter).


I'd like to know more about bioidiesel, so please keep us posted.

Good luck, and HTH
-Neil

\'87 Mer-B 300D (220,000 miles) (sold)
\'93 Mer-B 300D (173,000 miles) (sold)
\'87 Porsche 928 (101,000 miles)
\'98 Dodge Ram quad-cab (250,000 miles)
\'2001 CLK430 Cabrio (50,000 miles)

Past cars: 1969 mercedes 250, 1981 300D, 1972 220D
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-08-2004, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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well it turned out that the most immediate culprit was lack of fuel, which allowed air into the system. the dashboard gauge is not working below a certain level. that said, the next problem was that the hand pump was leaking fuel, probably also letting air in. so after replacing the canister fuel filter and the inline fuel filter and operating that pump correctly, it started right up.

a professional mechanic listened to the engine, heard the knocking at idle, and said it is most likely due to air getting into the fuel lines somewhere.

as for biodiesel, i'm going to go for B100. what i think i'll do is run some Diesel Purge or equivalent to clean the injectors. with the new filters, hopefully things will work out, for awhile.

one of the places i buy biodiesel from is participating in a study.. all of us are supposed to report our expereince with the fuel. i guess B100 is still officially termed an 'experimental' fuel.

for more info:
http://www.biodiesel.org/
http://www.biodieselnow.com/default.asp


i'll let you guys know what happens with the injectors. for now though, the car is running!

jeff
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-08-2004, 04:49 PM
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Thanks for the response, and I'm glad you got it going. Yes, air in the lines will cause knocking, but if only one cylinder is getting air, that should not shut down the rest.

You said diesel purge or equivalent... what product is equivalent? I love the diesel purge, but have not found a good substitute.

I thought I read something somewhere about having to replace the rubber fuel hoses for biodiesel? The answer might be in the links you sent...

I have been more interested in the grease car concept since there is no biodiesel source nearby, but we do have a McDonald's! Good thing my wife will not put up with anymore vehicles right now.

-Neil

\'87 Mer-B 300D (220,000 miles) (sold)
\'93 Mer-B 300D (173,000 miles) (sold)
\'87 Porsche 928 (101,000 miles)
\'98 Dodge Ram quad-cab (250,000 miles)
\'2001 CLK430 Cabrio (50,000 miles)

Past cars: 1969 mercedes 250, 1981 300D, 1972 220D
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