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Bought a diesel. What do I need to know?

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posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: diggindirt

Not really sure about the early 80's TDs but with modern TDs service intervals are critical. If you are in doubt as to if you should change your fuel filter/water separator; do it.

Start a maintenance log book.

Whenever possible use OEM fuel filters/oil filters.

If you change your own oil, just realize that the oil will turn black almost immediately. It's the nature of diesels. Also, do a bit of research and find out when the injector pump is usually replaced, I ran into that issue with my '84 Volvo 240DL. The injector pump can be a huge expense when it needs to be replaced.




posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 03:03 PM
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originally posted by: Lagomorphe

originally posted by: diggindirt
a reply to: Lagomorphe
Ummm, I just want to be able to keep my vehicle running smoothly and consistently. Did I mistakenly post this in the Mud Pit?


Not at all mate, just wanted to add my two bobs worth...

I have a Triumph Spitfire M2 (currently working on) and am dreading the costs in petrol...

Going to be a once a year drive sadly but worth it!

Warmest

Lags


Aww, that's a sweet little car---a friend has one in British racing green, something for him to tinker with and then drive about town once a season. LOL!



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 03:10 PM
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originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: diggindirt

A diesel Mercedes? that's worthy of a fist pump right there.

Mercs have always been the trendsetters in emissions, reliability and technology-as long the catalytic converter and/or the exhausts are fine. And 179k miles? you should a few years out of that, it's a good find IMO.



Thanks. I was rather surprised to find it and find that it was regularly maintained mechanically. The exterior has a bit of a rust issue (small bubbles of rust) along the trim, indicating to me at least that the exterior wasn't cared for quite as well as the mechanical issues. But that is easily fixed with a good body guy---which I just happen to know from our days of doing detail work on cars as teenagers.
The guy who went through the vehicle tells me I'll be able to get 500k miles out of it... My Chrysler has about 400k and is in good shape mechanically. The problem with that car is that the parts are really hard to find---if a door handle gives way, hard to find another one...that sort of thing.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 03:12 PM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
a reply to: Revolution9

Meanwhile OP is driving a vehicle that has potential to be cleaner running than anything else on the road.

Did you know that diesel engines were invented to run on peanut oil?
Those old bosch- injected diesel engines could run off any kind of vegetable oil if refined right. Hell, you could render fat from any barn yard Mammal, including the farmer, for a tank of fuel.
That engine can use the waste motor oil from it's own engine, as well as any other engine, as fuel.

Meanwhile the rest of us suckers are depending on a limited supply highly refined liquid gold from a time before the planet could decompose trees.

As for living in VT, if you buy pump fuel and have good glow plugs you'll be fine. The fuel up here has additives in it so it won't gel up in the cold.

#2 heating oil will work as fuel in a pinch- so will K1. Just don't get caught, those fuels don't have road tax and the man doesn't take too kindly to not paying road tax.

If your glow plugs go out, WD-40 sprayed into the air intake will act as a starter fluid.


Yeah, I had a friend back in the '80s who drove one very similar to this one and ran it on hemp oil whilst promoting the legalization of Hemp in Kentucky. He's passed on now and I'm wondering what happened to that car! Probably still out there somewhere...



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Hey FCD...how's it going? I never said ban them...Many cars, trucks, semis, military vehicles...all diesel...so there's that. There is an advantage...somewhere.

I honestly dont know...except what I stated. Take care....thanks....MS



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: diggindirt
a reply to: WUNK22
This is a 1981 model so I'm not sure how much of the EPA stuff is on it. It's a Mercedes so I'm not sure about the emissions but it is something to consider. It runs and handles quite nicely. We took it out for a Sunday spin on some back country curvy roads today and enjoyed it a lot.


Welcome to the diesel club


An old Mercedes diesel is about the most indestructible engine known to man. So you have chosen well.

As for maintenance, make sure you change the oil at recommended intervals and change your fuel filters every now and then.

The only real maintenance issue on an old diesel engine is the injectors. You'll know when they need servicing when you start to look like you are coal rolling when you are driving under load IE overtaking or starting out in a hurry causes viable amounts of black smoke. Normally black smoke should be very limited when you drive.

Remember that diesels are designed for longer trips ie to get the best out of them they are meant to be driven for at least half an hour. They are no good for a 5 minute run to the shops if that is all the driving you do. Under those conditions you will not get the legendary fuel economy and you will significantly shorten the life of the engine because it does not get to warm up properly.

And don't listen to all the crap about them being gutless or held back by EPA equipment. People are referring to the new generation common rail diesels when they say that and they are completely wrong. Gutless is as far from the truth as one can get. In fact when compared to a gas engine they run rings around it for torque figures, while the HP is extremely comparable.

I have 2 X 2.0 litre Mercedes designed turbo diesel common rail cars with full Euro 5 standard emissions equipment. These vehicles are a 2,000kg tare weight truck and suv. Both are powerful, torquey and supremely reliable. The oldest one just turned three years old this month and now has 60,000 miles on it. It still runs like a new engine and is extremely quiet, even by gas engine standards.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 05:18 PM
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originally posted by: diggindirt
So I bought a car with a diesel turbo engine.


Well one. I have had diesels for years. Far better then petrol. I like the driving experience, value the torque and the heavier engine. Drive much better down the country roads where I live.

I am told that American diesels are somewhat agricultural when compared to the more refined ones sitting in cars in the UK.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
You know the facts. Thanks.
I wasn't aware that I had put this in the Mud Pit but I guess...some folks don't really read....just start typing when they see the little car icon?
I was told that this one is less polluting that the gas burners....and since I can't conduct all my business on foot or on a bicycle...Walking three miles to the grocery store along a busy highway and packing several bags of groceries home just isn't in the picture for a 112 lb., 63 yr. old woman.
I realized years ago that no matter what I do with my life there will always be someone attempting to correct my behavior.
But don't you agree that Road Runner horn is a fine idea!



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: markosity1973
Thanks for the tip on the black smoke---haven't seen any smoke---just the diesel odor.
Will keep in mind the longer trips as well. That is exactly what I was told this morning when I talked with a guy who has a '79 model that is similar to mine.

I have a Chrysler that does a great job of the "run to town" trips but with the shortage of parts for it, I wanted something that would be dependable and easily repaired when we are traveling. It is our custom to have our mechanic go over whatever vehicle we'll be taking if it's a road trip. Only one time have we ever needed any repairs while traveling and considering the number of miles we've traveled we think we're pretty lucky.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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originally posted by: paraphi

originally posted by: diggindirt
So I bought a car with a diesel turbo engine.


Well one. I have had diesels for years. Far better then petrol. I like the driving experience, value the torque and the heavier engine. Drive much better down the country roads where I live.

I am told that American diesels are somewhat agricultural when compared to the more refined ones sitting in cars in the UK.


Yes, I liked the way it handled on the curvy country roads I traveled yesterday. My nephew tells me that it is made of steel and won't break into pieces on the street if someone smacks into it. And it has no air bags to smack us up side the head if someone hits us. He also told me that these cars were only exported to the US and Canada, the 300SD Turbo Diesel model. He is really impressed with the engineering of what he's seen so far. He's eager to learn about diesels.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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a reply to: diggindirt

Well a far as simplicity and reliability goes you cannot go past an old school mechanically injected diesel engine.

The injectors are just something to keep an eye on, they slowly wear down and clog over the miles. If you change the fuel filters at the recommended intervals and run an injector cleaner through the tank every six months or so it will greatly extend the life of them. Basically over time they clog / wear out so that eventually they squirt instead of spraying a fine mist into the combustion chamber. The end result is a loss in power, difficulty in starting and black smoke because the fuel won't burn cleanly.

Those old Mercedes engines are tough as nails though. Maintain it properly and 500,000 miles on it is nothing.
edit on 17-7-2017 by markosity1973 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 08:31 PM
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originally posted by: kelbtalfenek
a reply to: diggindirt

Not really sure about the early 80's TDs but with modern TDs service intervals are critical. If you are in doubt as to if you should change your fuel filter/water separator; do it.

Start a maintenance log book.

Whenever possible use OEM fuel filters/oil filters.

If you change your own oil, just realize that the oil will turn black almost immediately. It's the nature of diesels. Also, do a bit of research and find out when the injector pump is usually replaced, I ran into that issue with my '84 Volvo 240DL. The injector pump can be a huge expense when it needs to be replaced.


I have the maintenance logs from the time the car was purchased new. Both the original owner and the guy I bought it from were pretty conscientious about maintenance.
I don't do the oil changes but I'll pass it along to my gearhead nephew who has offered to do stuff like that. I'll have to take a look at the log to see if the injector pump has ever been replaced.... Thanks.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: eXia7

That's what my mechanic told me to do even with the Chrysler when it gets sluggish. If I haven't done any open road driving for a while, I have to take it out and "blow it out" for a few miles.

Thanks, I'll keep an eye on the fuel filter. I'm pretty sure that was on the list of things to be changed out...and transmission filter as well? Seems like there were 2 different filters that he recommended changing out.



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
Yeah, my guy who looked it over for me cautioned me about warming it up. Since the last half mile or so of my trip home is a county road, I'm not running hot by the time I reach home. I just put-put along through the neighborhood, watching for wildlife and small children.
But when I'm out on the road, I'll definitely keep that in mind.

Thanks everyone! You're helping me gain an education about this new thing in my life.

ETA: I noticed yesterday that fuel gauge didn't move much at all after a couple of hours out on the county roads. I was quite pleased.
edit on 17-7-2017 by diggindirt because: addition



posted on Jul, 17 2017 @ 09:24 PM
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originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: diggindirt

Nearly 200,000 miles!!!!???!!!! Good luck! Gas and oil mixed...black (black-er, darker, smoke)..more engine noise...but never owned one because of those points...and a few others.

ATS Member-owners can inform you better than I...but 200,000 engine miles?????*

**PS I really only think the engine mileage is questionable unless you bought a truck..IMO



I'm told by lots of folks who have owned a Mercedes that they will easily go 500k miles. Heck, my Chrysler has almost 200k on the engine rebuild I had done in '99 and still runs just fine. With care, I'm hoping that I can pass this one along to the kids when I'm no longer able to drive it myself. They got pretty excited when they saw it and rode in it for the first time.



posted on Jul, 18 2017 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: diggindirt
a reply to: eXia7

That's what my mechanic told me to do even with the Chrysler when it gets sluggish. If I haven't done any open road driving for a while, I have to take it out and "blow it out" for a few miles.

Thanks, I'll keep an eye on the fuel filter. I'm pretty sure that was on the list of things to be changed out...and transmission filter as well? Seems like there were 2 different filters that he recommended changing out.






Never hurts to do a trans service. On a truck its important to get regular services, on a car, I expect you can go the normal amount of time per service as you would a gas engine.



posted on Jul, 19 2017 @ 12:23 AM
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I drove a VW TDI (turbo diesel) Golf from about 2000 to 2010 as my regular commute and long distance cruiser. With only one or two exceptions it started every time I turned the key and returned 40 mpg (plus or minus a little bit). Here are a few things I learned.

Various people here have discussed the importance of observing regular maintenance intervals, including oil, filters, etc. That's all true; the only thing I would add is that there is a difference between gasoline engine oil and Diesel engine oil. Diesel engines put a lot more soot into the blow by that ends up in the crankcase. For that reason, Diesel engine oil has to have a lot more detergents in it to keep all that carbon in suspension. Engine oil designed only for gas engines doesn't have that same requirement, so be sure and use an oil designed for Diesel engines. Check the owner's manual to see which lubricants are compatible with your car, but I always used Chevron DELO. That stands for Diesel Engine Lubricating Oil. You can buy it in bulk at COSTCO and similar places.

Second, modern automobile turbo diesels have exhaust gas recirculation, just like gasoline engines. That may or may not be true with truck Diesel engines (I don't know) and may or may not be true with a 1981 Mercedes Diesel. If it is true with your car, be aware that that is another source of maintenance. Because of the increased amount of soot and gunk in the exhaust gas of a Diesel, the exhaust gas recirculation system will tend to fill up with gunk and gradually choke off the airflow. It's usually so slow that you don't realize that it's happening, but over 50 to 100 thousand miles it can produce a significant loss in power and economy. Just something to watch.

Third: the engine block and cylinder head of a Diesel are a lot huskier than the equivalent components of a gasoline engine and that's why they will probably last half a million miles or more. However, the other components are basically the same as those of a gasoline engine and you shouldn't expect them to be any more reliable. For example, the clutch on my car had to be replaced at about 125,000 miles (more or less the same as for a gasoline Golf). The timing belt on my car had to be replaced at 75,000 miles or so. Failure of the timing belt could result in catastrophic loss of the engine. And so on.

Finally, if biodiesel mixed fuels are available in your area and are compatible with your engine (check the owner's manual) try using some. They generally burn cleaner and tend to keep the engine cleaner.

a reply to: diggindirt




posted on Jul, 19 2017 @ 02:49 AM
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a reply to: 1947boomer
Thanks. I've gotten a lot more comfortable as a result of all the tips and suggestions.

We did get the info on the oil, tranny fluid, etc. from the maintenance records that came with the car. I'll check on the exhaust gas re circulation. A dear friend was good enough to go over the car and give me a list of the things he would do to it, what to check, what to change---or replace. Just as I was about to go looking for a diesel mechanic, my gearhead nephew offers to take on the repairs and learn about diesel engines. Since he's never failed in any endeavor I've seen him undertake, I've hired him as my diesel mechanic. He has the list, the manuals and maintenance records and Google so he's a happy guy with a project for his spare time. He's the sort of young man who when he gets off his job, he's ready to fiddle with engines. I think I've put it in good hands.

Thanks for the biofuel reminder as well, that's something I need to ask him about---and see if they are locally available.





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