On a recent trip to Taos, NM my 300SDL did not like the altitude (8000 ft
I barely could get it started every morning, it smoked heavily (Very
embarrasing!) and lacked its usual "OOOOMPH" until it was hot.
A repair shop in Santa Fe replaced my glow plugs and charged an exorbitant
amount of money!
NO CHANGE in performance, however....the car still did not run right.
I know now, that I got taken to the cleaners by the shop....a hard lesson to
be learned, especially when you're on vacation!
Now, someone told me about an Altitude sensor or adjustment, but was somewhat
vage about that.
Any one with some more info on this?
The ALDA is an altitude adjustment that's used to add fuel to the motor
for brisk acceleration as the turbo's boost increases.
At high altitudes the air is thinner and the atmospheric pressure is
less than at sea level so the ALDA actually reduces the fuel to prevent
smoking which is caused by too much fuel for the available oxygen. The
smoking proved there was plenty of fuel
No, the problem with your motor is that its compression, while still OK
at sea level, is marginal at such altitude. The canary in the coal mine
A compression test will be truth time before the overhaul.
Thanks for the (somewhat depressing!) info, T.G.
The car is a 1987 with 160k miles on the engine....barely broken in for a
Diesel, don't you think?
My previous one had well over 500k miles on it, when it got distroyed by a
But nevertheless, I'll check the compression (difficult to do with crossed
First, try to determine if anyone "tweaked" the ALDA's adjustment (from
factory spec). Some guys think cranking it toward more fuel will
increase power which it does but also makes the motor smoke and
generally use more fuel than otherwise. There's a balance between power
But as to the hard starting, high altitude works against any motor. The
test for yours will be when the weather turns cold. If it then is also
difficult to start then the compression ought to be checked, otherwise
chalk it up to altitude and keep those fingers crossed.
ALDA is on the top rear of the injection pump and has a plastic line
going to it from the intake manifold.
Thanks again T.G.
I think ,I just had a lucky break.....it got a little cooler here last night
at 3000 ft elevation (Well, cooler for Southern California is about 55
degrees ) The car started, no problem, no smoke either.
I also found the plastic line disconnected with a small screw in it to plug
it up....It must be the line you're refering to. I don't know why I didn't
see this before. Someone must have tinkered with the ALDA for exactly those
reasons you describe.
May be this is it. I'll keep you all posted>
Of course to really test it, I will have to go back to Taos! I know my wife
Message posted via CarKB.com
I purchased a 83 300TD whit 24000 miles, imported and modified for the US.
The car was having a problem whit the acceleration, and sometime did smoke.
First time when I was in Lake Tahoe for skiing, the cold car went to "crawl
and stayed in that mode until it warmed up.
I investigated the reason, and find the altitude regulator nearly
Some "skilled mechanic" who worked on the US conversion,
broke the adjustment seal and loosened the connection.
I made it home. At see level I adjusted the Altitude sensor so that it
barely pulled on the
connection arm. The car was perfectly functioning, not smoking anymore,
no problems whit altitude, and no problems whit cold start.
I put 230000 miles into the car and never had any problem whit it.
I replaced whit a new S430. Now I have much more problems.
Thank you, too Pete for your help.
Just a little personal story in addition to yours:
I thought my previous Diesel would be able to go a million miles.
My wife brought the car in for a simple oil change.
When the mechanic tightened the oil filter cap, (after changing the oil)
he pulled one of the studs out of the housing ! ! !
He let her drive the car home without telling her or even temporarely fixing
It takes less than 5 miles to lose 9 quarts of oil, you'll leave a tell tale
streak on the road
and the engine gives out after one more mile.
What a nice fight that turned out to be.
I was on the road because of my job and he tried to blame it on my wife the
(She wouldn't know the difference of radiator or the spare tire.)
It took 3 month to get them to pay for a new (used) engine. I sold it to
The old engine had over 500 k miles on it...I hated to lose that car
Good luck with your 300 td
Message posted via CarKB.com
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