1983 240D Biodiesel Won't Start

My 1983 Mercedes 240D was running great. We had just replaced all of the glow plugs and the battery is strong. However, I started to notice that at the "top" of each gear, the engine seemed to "wane" in power.
One night, I was driving on the freeway at 70 mph and the engine just gradually started to lose power and eventually shut off. I coasted to the berm.
The engine turns over, the glow plugs light and everything seems pretty normal. The engine seemed like it would ignite on a few occassions but just did not quite make it.
Does anyone have a diagnosis for this problem? I think that my fuel pump may be clogged or shot.
Any advice would be grealy appreciated on how to address this issue.
Thank you!
westerman77
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The fuel filters are clogged with old deposits loosened by the Bio.
Two filters, one (clear plastic) by the hand primer pump, the other a metal "spin-on" in the fuel line before the injection pump.
After these are replaced the air in the fuel system needs to be purged so the motor has fuel to start and run. The hand primer pump is the way to pump fuel into the system and thereby expel the air via the return line to the fuel tank.
Expect to replace these two filters again as the old deposits are loosened and migrate into the filters.
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Thanks T.G. Lambach. I will give that a try.
T.G. Lambach wrote:

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There is a 3rd filter in the bottom of the fuel tank. Same mesh as the pre-filter. Part number E1010-87062 here: http://www.importeccatalog.com /

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On this subject, what am I looking for when I use the hand primer pump? The Chilton guide I have says to look for fuel to come out of the bleed valve "free of air." What's the best way to do this without dumping biodiesel all over the floor of my garage? How air free does the fuel need to be? I just changed the small plastic filter in my 300cd-t, and the act of priming seemed unnecessarily messy.

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Notice that the fuel lines are clear (or yellowed) plastic. Watch for bubble to go through the lines.
Yes fuel IS messy.
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Is there a good trick to prevent diesel from spilling all over the place when replacing this filter? I replaced two of the three filters last night, but was unable to get the car started due to a dead battery (the car has been idle for over a month). I think cold weather contributed as well.
I will give this a try. Thanks for the input.
Karl wrote:

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When you push up and down on the hand pump to purge the fuel system, keep doing so until you hear a sort of "squeaking" noise coming from the injectors. This is an indication you have all air out of the system. I've sometimes pump for up to a half minute until the "squeaking" begins. Failure to do this will cause you to work like crazy to get fuel through the system via the starter. Also, regardless of what anyone tells you a small shot of starter fluid in the air intake will do wonders when the engine is very cold or your biodiesel doesn't want to flow freely. We used starter fluid on diesel tractors all the time on the farm and none ever suffered from it. Also, I use a shot of starter fluid on my 240D whenever it doesn't want to start on straight unheated biodiesel. As for the leaking fuel when changing filters have you ever considered just putting an old rag under the spin-on filter when removing it? That's what I do and I never have a fuel-on-the-floor problem. Good luck.

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Nobody ever said it won't work, it always does.
But what the factory says is the ether may cause the ceramic precambers to shatter.
Diesels that can use starting fluid are designed for them. MB engines most specifically are not.
--
Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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