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About DieselAllTheWay

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    Calgary, AB
  1. Ohhh wish I knew about uncle Glenn last week when I had the injectors out prior to torquing them. Would have been the ideal time for this. It was scary torquing those bolts to spec, would be even scarier doing it a second time. Yes, I have spare injector rings but may have to get new bolts as recommended? These were around $7 a piece and took a week to arrive. But worth it if it'd give me a definite answer. Will have to search it out. Still less scary than removing the glow plugs for the other method.
  2. Yes, great idea. And since you talked me into nabbing that spare high pressure pump it makes things that much easier. And it does sound like this could be a possible cause. Super easy to rebuild and cheap. I call this a no brainer. The only thing getting in the way is the unknown with regards to the compression status. I emailed my friend to see if he can do a compression test first. Seems like a logical next step given the impact low compression would have on things. I mean, if replacing the high pressure pump was an easy task I'd try that first. Unfortunately not having a garage greatly limits what I can do outdoors this time of the year. Two things stand in the way: the damn EGR and the weather. The EGR has to go, that's for sure. Would be a good time to remove it prior to swapping the high pressure pump. You know, kill two birds... But the biggest hurdle now is the weather. High of -17 in a few days. This project may have to sit for a while. But at least now the plan is clear, going forward: - Compression test (assuming my friend can do it or I find a garage that will do it without costing me an arm) - Do the fuel return line test from the injectors. - Replace high pressure pump, while deleting the EGR at the same time. - If none of the above corrects the issue, then on to checking the timing. Last resort, given the engine has to be dropped, engine opened. I feel that the path forward isn't too bad. And I've been learning tons as I go along. The sucky part is having to wait several months till spring till things warm up.
  3. Hey Willys thanks for the video. I am definitely doing this test when things warm up a bit. Got plenty of clear lines and the test is simple enough, yet tells you plenty. Sydney the fact that it won't start a 5C or 25C has me concerned that the issue could be low compression. After having tried so many of the tips you guys shared and exhausting a bunch of them, I'm now getting concerned. The white diesel Rabbit in the first page had the exact same issue: hard to start even on hot days. Turns out it had low compression on one of the cyl and the remedy was to put on a replacement engine from a donor car, in this case a 1.9L from a 93 Golf. Now you know why I keep the car However before jumping to conclusions I want to run the injector return test lines, that's now my next project. The fact that the car is dropping fuel pressure the moment the engine is shut off points to fuel issues. My friend cannot tell whether Smarts are supposed to do that but he knows from personal experience that VWs, Audi and BMW diesels retain fuel pressure upon motor shut off. He asked his foreman at the Audi dealership where he works his thoughts on the Smart but he doesn't know if the fuel pressure drop is normal for Smarts. Maybe someone here knows the answer to that? No point in chasing the rabbit down that hole if there's nothing to be found. Any chance someone in this forum I could ask? Would be nice to eliminate this as a possible issue.
  4. K, so 22 it is. Odd how all the info I found lists it as being 33 litres and I must've checked 8 or so sources. This means that my fuel usage seems par with the rest of you, sitting at just under 23km/l - again, remembering that I was driving in rain and with winter tires on. And of course assuming that the first blob went out at the quarter tank mark. So far it denotes that timing may not be off after all. Now pointing to two things: possible low compression or injector issues. Too bad we went from summer to dead of winter in a matter of hours, so working on installing those clear lines for the injector return line may have to wait a bit. But I agree, that is a great test to run. Easy and very telling. Thanks for posting the video on that other thread.
  5. I'm puzzled by this and I'd like confirmation on how many litres the fuel cel in a 2005 450 holds. Need this info in order to try and figure out my fuel usage. Searched and found many articles listing the tank size as being 33 litres. With that in mind I headed to the gas station once I saw the fuel light flashing and it showed 4.5 to 4 litres left in the tank (a number that only shows when it's nearly empty, it doesn't show the full tank size). Arrive at the pump with the expectation of adding some 27 litres as I wanted it full to the rim, in order to calculate the mileage based on a tankful. Heh, 17 litres later diesel pours out of the lip and was surprised that the math gets me nowhere near the claimed 33L. If the indicator is correct then the fuel cel holds a mere 21 litres. I can fit more than that in my common gerry can. So, is this number correct or did a colony of mice decide to make the cel their new home? I mean, really?? 21 litres? Some motorcycles hold more than that. On to mileage: after filling it beyond capacity I took it on a long highway drive around town, drove some 160km averaging around 95km/h. At the 125km mark the first blob goes out, indicating I had used up 1/4 of the tank. If the cel holds 21 litres that sounds to me like a very decent fuel autonomy especially when you consider that I was driving in the rain and with new winter tires in the back. This would equate to 24km per litre (more if the roads were dry and I didn't have the drag of winter rubber to boot) or 57mpg. How does this compare with your finely tuned 450? Would like to use this as a gauge to see if there's a chance the timing could be off. What do you get out of your full tank (please list your tank size else the numbers are meaningless). Edit: the math above is anecdotal as there's little likelihood the gauge would accurately measure in quarter increments. Won't know till I burn through the tank which I hope will be in the next few days.
  6. Oh so that's what reaming means. Makes sense seeing how the carbon is so hard to remove. Thanks for the copy/paste on how to properly do the plugs, I had seen this before and felt that I'm well prepared for the task. Unfortunately the weather is turning. Today is the last nice day before the snow and cold temps hit. Will postpone doing the plugs as I won't be given much of a leeway in case I run into issues. Hope that having added penetrating oil to the top of the plugs won't be a problem if I just leave it. For how long who knows, it may not warm up again for months. Just tried starting the car, now 5C. No go, which isn't surprising. Will try again this afternoon then will take it on a diesel burning mission. Still halfway full.
  7. That's next. Already been spraying PB Blaster for the past couple of days. Figured might as well address this seeing how I have 3 good used glow plugs. Where I don't get a warning light pointing to issues with the glow plug it just makes sense to go in there and ensure I have 3 good working ones. Still unclear on how to clean the threads (reaming you folks call it?) but will do the best I can with baby wipes and alcohol. What a nice transaction huh? Going from the scare of torquing those injectors bolt to near spec to doing glow plugs. This car is a mixed bundle, puts smiles in your face and terrifies the hell out of you in between.
  8. I am clearly no expert but based on what I have read on the subject, apparently the new thinking is to do a quarter turn, wait for the metal to stretch/rest and then another quarter turn. Either way I found this to be too scary to attempt as I felt as though the bolt would strip the aluminum body of the engine. Remember, the specs also calls for new bolts. I'm only using a single new bolt out of the 3, and only because one bolt was missing from the car so I'm not sure if I should give a full 180 given what I'm working with. I may give it another 20º when the motor is warm. However I checked the bolts after the car had been running for a couple of hours and they didn't budge at all. Again, I'm not professing to be an expert, I'm just too scared to turn it that much. Aluminum terrifies me.
  9. Damn straight! That is a superb idea. The very thing we used to do in the good old days: buy a used car and the first thing you did was take it on the highway for a dose of decarbonization. In fact I just came home now, just before midnight after doing exactly what you proposed this morning. Knowing that I'd be out driving for a while I changed the very old and stale oil. Man, that was fun in so many ways. Have half a large bottle of Howes Diesel Conditioner that I tripled the normal dosage, adding 100ml to 15 litres of fresh diesel. Then took it on a nearly 170km drive, mostly highway at just over 100km/h. Ensuring I red lined it often in order to get more fuel getting through the system. Car performed admirably but won't know till tomorrow early afternoon if it will start any easier. But since I have no problems starting the car I plan to take it on another 200 or so km drive. In fact I will be putting on the summer tires before heading out as I don't want to chew up the new winter tires that are on right now (that's how the car came). Since it drives so nicely with zero concerns I will simply drive the hell out of it for 3 tank fulls to see if things improve. Could prove the cheapest fix ever. Thanks for the great idea. The other great idea you had is installing clear tubing to check the return fuel from the injectors. This is genius. So simple and yet a great way to tell the injectors performance. But hopefully it won't come to that. Lets see what happens as I put on 1,000km or so in the next few days. This is why I love second opinions. If it doesn't fix anything at least I'll have had some fun while at it. Only if I had a working radio to make the drive more fun (stupid code for the radio didn't come with the car) Will update as I go along. Thanks everyone. I'm really eager to have this car running 100%
  10. Good idea to spray soapy water, thanks for the tip. Wish I had done this prior to removing the injectors. But no signs of any leaks since torquing the bolts to spec. Given the non smooth location of the injectors I sprayed a good amount of foam to ensure it fully covered the base of the injectors. Glad to report not a single bubble raised. So, as it turns out 7NM = 5.1 foot pound. My 3/8 wrench starts at 10. Doh! This meant a quick ride to Princess Auto for a small torque wrench. Lovely day today at 14C in the sunshine so I didn't mind the ride there, besides, found one on sale for just $12.99 K, so I followed the instructions: cleaned the holes as best as I could with baby wipes (one of the most versatile tools one can have), applied some motor oil to the body of the injectors, ensured the crush washers were new (good thing I bought half a dozen last month) and did the initial torque to 7nm. Then 90 degrees. Then waited some 30 min, rinse and repeat, although I was petrified and only went as far as 45º. Pretty tight, any tighter and I was scared the hole thing would pop right out. Marked the top of the bolts and will keep an eye on them to ensure they don't work themselves loose with all the vibration. Car didn't start any easier but it may take a few cycles (this is the optimistic in me talking). It did sound smoother though, a slightly deeper, cleaner sound - then again it could just have been in my head. It also seems to have a bit more power but again, who can tell for sure. One thing is for sure though: it no longer hesitates when revving it high with the engine fully warm. Red lining it while parked felt smooth and no hesitation, unlike before. So perhaps I did have a compression leak before. Car still smokes. Comparable to pre TDI VWs. No idea if the Merc diesels are supposed to smoke or being Merc technology that they'd be virtually smoke free like the newer TDIs? Will have to take a video and post here so you folks can help me figure out if the amount of smoke is normal. Will try and start it the next couple of days to see if there's any improvement. Things are improving, slowly but getting there.
  11. Hey LooseLugs thanks for the timely reply. Was about to head back out to tighten these following your reply when I noticed the temp was down to 3.8C (from 13 just a couple of hours earlier) and with full darkness out I figured I wait till daylight tomorrow. K, so here's the latest: Took the car to my mechanic friend that has this very high end diag setup. Pretty neat, OBSD end is wireless, plucks it into place and with an iPad style equipment he was at the back of the car with the engine running. Most things seem in place although there's a chance the timing could be off by a couple of degrees (significant) but since these cars make it very hard to check the timing, we'll leave it for now. Here's the big one though: it showed that with the car running it had a normal internal compression of around 254 bar. But the moment the engine was off that dropped to around 7 immediately. This denotes a fuel leak somewhere, he proposed. Said that a good first step would be to take out the injectors while motor still hot and check for a wet injector. So I did just that, only removed 2 of the injectors as a starting point. Didn't really notice any wetness to the injectors but what struck me was how easy it was to remove the bolt that holds the injector in place (clearly I should have inquired about torquing these before installing them back) and whether this could have allowed for a compression leak that could account for the drop in internal pressure. Clearly my failure to properly tighten the injector bolt meant not enough pressure was applied to the crush washer, leading me to believe the whole thing was loose enough in order to cause compression loss (maybe?) Will torque these tomorrow and will see if it makes any bit of difference with starting the car. So torque to 7nm, tighten another quarter turn, then again. Gotcha.
  12. What's the torque for the bolt that holds the injectors in place? Looks like it is 7nm based on a few posts I came across but can someone confirm? Found the info below at a Merc forum for what appears to be identical injectors. If indeed this is the same for our CDI then can someone please describe what the procedure is? I don't quite follow the whole 90 degree thing. Insert the injector in the hole, fit the clamp and bolt, and then torque the bolt up. The torque settings are for this engine (most CDI’s) is 7nm and TWO angles of 90degrees. The 7nm crushes the washer. The first 90 tensions the bolt, the second puts a slight bend in the bolt so its slightly springy. Edit: Just removed a couple of the injectors to test for wetness and the bolt was virtually loose (I hadn't torqued it specs when installing them last week). Engine was hot. I suppose I could have undone the bolts by hand if I had tried hard enough (pretty sure I tightened it a lot more than this when I installed the injectors onto the cold engine). Makes me wonder if injectors that were bolted down with less than required torque could cause a loss of compression (and thus hard to start)?
  13. Good, as this means I have one less hurdle to deal with. How confusing is this? Call up Napa as I read here that they have the best prices on filters for the 450. Am quoted $46.10 for one and $85.63 for the other. Dude can't tell me if it has the opening for the water probe, the pic in his computer doesn't show a top view. Tells me my best bet it to drive across town to the only franchisee that has one in stock, and to another for the other in order to confirm if this is the right filter. Call up a Merc dealership and am quoted $24.71 for the fuel filter. He too cannot answer if it has the insert for the water sensor but insists that this is the right filter for my car, based on the VIN. And this isn't even the dealership with the best prices for parts, out of the 3 in town. Glad this is a headache I don't have to incur. At least if one can trust the sensor to be doing its job, now that the wiring has been rectified. Incidentally, Napa wants $20 for an oil filter while Merc only charges exactly half that. Go figure.
  14. Yes, bettery was removed. A necessity in order to access the white socket. And I always unplug it before even disconnecting any socket, I'm now paranoid I'm gonna fry something or activate a warning light that you can't turn off (here looking at you, airbag light - literally, each time I start the car). I also don't spray contact cleaner after your experience. I spray a tiny amount on a toothbrush and gently clean contacts that way. Yes, new crush washers installed on all 3 injectors, concave side facing up. I truly don't think the injector nozzles are the issue but compared to timing, I sure hope they are. If so, no biggie, will remove them and attempt to take them apart and install new nozzles. If it wasn't so damn difficult I'd have done that by now. I do have a decent torch that I can heat up the area around the threads and a vise that I can secure the injector in, while cranking with a breaker bar. So it's doable. It's just something I was hoping I could get away without doing. But as proven, what I have done hasn't paid dividends. Going to open up one of 3 silver boxes now. Found this third one in the car, behind the passenger seat, along with the ECU that attaches to the airbox. Looks like PO bought a few parts from the wreckers but never installed them. Good thing, seeing how he didn't save the wires for the ECU. Tomorrow I hope to have a friend mechanic look at the car. If there's an issue with timing, he's the guy would pick up on it (he did the timing in my diesel Rabbit and mk4 TDI Jetta, something few around here can do properly). He has some fancy high tech microscope that can check for timing without taking the motor apart. Compared to the cost/headache of replacing a timing chain, etc, I'd gladly attempt to take apart injectors using my teeth. If it came to replacing a timing chain would have to carefully consider our options with my better half. But lets not fret till tomorrow after he looks at it. But yes, he now has me scared shitless.
  15. U kidding me? You have helped me solve tons of things. Your input and that of other members have been invaluable. The reason why I have devoted each and every day to this project for the past couple of weeks as now I have the confidence to tackle it, feel like I am in good hands. Really appreciate all the help from everyone here. Car still needs attention but I an't going nowhere. Cheers