AX Diesel (non)Starting

It's either a stupid/obvious or a sharp intake of breath problem, but....
1.5 M-Reg AX diesel churns forever (a couple of minutes) before eventually coughing into life.
Pre-heat system seems to check out - plugs are all good and heat up OK when out of the car, timer keeps them on for the requisite period, and the battery is new. Can't be fuel or air supply per se, as it runs superbly once it is coaxed into action, and once it fires up there are clouds of evidence of fuel getting in! Re-starting from hot is fine, but the following morning.......... I suspect something to do with one of the more obscure controls on the pump, but if anyone has any more straightforward suggestions I'd be very glad of them!
TF
(PS Why do Haynes AX manuals show you how to strip a gearbox, but not how to change the dashboard bulbs?)
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air in when the car is left overnight. This means that the injectors get to suck air for a while when you try and start but eventually get some fuel and it starts.
It's a common problem on XMs, the fuel pre-heater gets to let in air and morning starting is difficult but the car runs perfectly otherwise.
--
Chris Green

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includes the relay too - you have checked that you are getting something near 12v on the end of the heater plugs when you turn the ignition on first of all. The other reason, which I also had on my 1.5d, is that the valve clearances have closed up. On this engine this causes the valves to remain open partly when the engine is cold, but not when hot. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. However, on mine, correcting the clearances certainly cured the cold starting fault. Brian.
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Thank you both, Brian and Chris - all worth checking. Not sure about the air-leak - part of the fuel line near the head is transparent, and I think I can see fuel in it, but perhaps I should get someone to watch the pipe for bubbles while I crank it. Well.....when the sleet eases up, anyway!!
Cheers both
TF
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