"So, $5.5K later, I have an engine that is hard-starting, only runs smoothly
above about 1,000 RPM, and has poor low-end power. The engine will not
start at all below 40F unless the block heater has been plugged in. The
engine smokes prodigiously at start-up and has
one leaking injector."
Dude! I'd be really pisssed at this point and gone postal! I can relate
though... my folks did the same thing to 1984 190E too... that should never
have been rebuilt... It did not even run better after the rebuilt by a non
MB specialist... and then the tranny died not too long afterward... I had to
souce a junk 190E with good tranny and sold it for a loss.
I never use that mechanic ever again. Back when I live away, my folks use
that mechanic... every other month need service... always a couple hundreds
or so... pissed me off... I came home and nothing need fixed... little thing
here and there but no evidence that it needs that much service for all the
cars they brought over to that mechanic.
Since I came home, no car ever went into service shop. Those existing car
need just a bit of care but no major expense except for one car... that when
I came home, it didn't show any major coolant loss... and the engine died
because of no coolant... dummy coolant light never stayed on so we didn't
know. This was an old caddy.
So we gradually bought new cars and not once went back to service shop other
than required new car maintenance or warranty claims.
Anyway Randall... that shop of yours cannot be trusted. I definitely don't
trust them from what you said. I don't even trust their opinions. They
messed up. Injectors are my bet... and I'd check or hire other guy to double
check the valve adjustment.
I think this shows that if you have a shop that you know from
experience does good work and is honest, it's worth a 35 mile tow to
get the car there instead of taking it to someone unknown.
Randall, I think the other big mistake here was after spending that
much money, you should not have been so patient or accepting of what
happened. The fact that they even offered the car back to you when
it obviously would not run right shows they are shysters. I would
have given them a couple of chances to make it right. Then I would
have taken it to the shop you usually use, or a MB dealer to get an
opinion and then fix it. Then I would have demanded the rebuild guys
pay the new bill and if not, take them to small claims court.
Assuming that is that you're somewhere they have that venue.
It wasn't exactly clear to me and I'm sure to others of us here, how
exactly you got into the rebuild process, who did what, etc. But
clearly this shop undertook the process of rebuilding the engine. At
that point any customer expects that the car would start, idle, have
power, run normal, etc, ie everything that should go with a rebuilt
engine. Even if they eventually figured out it needed work on the
injection pump too and that was not included, it should have been a
simple and not ball busting extra expense. This isn't rocket
I think even now instead of focusing on the injection pump, injectors,
etc, your best bet is to take it to a shop you know is good, tell them
exactly what happened, let them do some basic testing and have them
give you an evaluation of the whole situation. That should be a
couple hours of shop time and well worth it.
The shop that did my rebuild keeps blaming the injector pump for a
host of power and vibration problems, referring to the injector pump
as "weak". Does this make sense to you--bearing in mind that the car
has only 218K? I will certainly be willing to do the premium fuel if
you think that will solve the injector pump problem, assuming that it
is a problem!
I think 218,000 miles is alot on injector. As for injection pump being
'weak,' I would have to say no. The reason is that the injection pump has a
specification that it must achieve... so with a diesel fuel pressure gauge,
you can tell if the pump is strong or weak.
The injector is also the other 50% of the system. The injector must not
release any pressure until it achieved the set pressure release to squirt...
so if the injector is 'weak' that releases too early... will cause the
vibration that you described... more like predetonation...
As for the gasoline, I have not tried it myself. I thought it was insane too
but I got to tell you, I wasted tons of money on diesel injector cleaners to
know that it is only a temporary improvement.
The safest way is to use Lubro Moly Diesel Purge technique. But if you
rather not get 'messy' to do that job, then go for the gasoline route... if
you are scared of 1 gallon then go half gallon.
I have personally met this person. He does not BS you... he has survived WW
II as prisoner... he was not in military at all and he has been working on
MB since then.
I think, though that the gasoline procedure would not result in any
improvement in this particular case, because the pump and injectors
just went through a very thorough Lubro-Moly cleanse just prior to the
engine rebuild. The system probably has around 3,000 miles on it at
this point. Prior to the engine rebuild, the old engine purred like a
kitten at idle, and that is one reason why I really do not understand
this theory that my shop has about the injector pump being "weak"
Nevertheless, I will get started, first with injector testing, and
then, if necessary, by sending the pump out for rebuild.
Thanks very much for the help in trying to troubleshoot this annoying
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