View Full Version : Benzo No Go

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 07:39 AM
Finally the snow banks have melted in front of the barn enough to open the bay door and get the OTHER car out. So I went in and turned the ignition ( Glow plugs ) and got wrrrrrrrrrrrr click nothing. Though it might be the battery ( new battery by the way ) so I hooked up one of those emergency starters. WRRRRRRR CLICK nothing. That was yesterday today with and without anything hooked up I just got CLICK nothing turned over. What should I do? Its a 300D Diesel I KNOW nothing about diesels. Figured some of you motor boater know a thing or two about diesels enough to help out this dingy sailer :D

[ 03-18-2003, 07:44 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 07:49 AM
Joe, I have a buddy with the same car and it did the same thing. If I remember correctly it had something to do with a light or the radio. I'll check with him and find out.

03-18-2003, 07:52 AM
Find the starter motor (it should look like a cylinder sticking out of the flywheel on the firewall side), and give it a tap with a hammer. Try starting it again.... Same thing? Give it another tap...
Not kidding. My old deisel used to do the same thing. Apparently the solenoid in the started gets gummed up, or something. You'll probably need to hook your battery up to a charger too, even new batteries can go flat over the course of a winter....

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 07:59 AM
Donn, sounded to me like the starter turning, now NOTHING. Fuel has been sitting in the tank ( about 1/2 a tank ) since the temp dropped below 30 and I put her in the heated barn. The motor has a little pump to pull fuel into the engine I tried that and still nothing. Mrleft8, Ill try the hammer thing. Guys I got a battery charger for my deep cycle trolling motor its got 3 settings Ill go and get the numbers can that be used to charge the car battery ???

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 08:02 AM
Oh yeh. It will charge it good.

stan v
03-18-2003, 08:03 AM
Dead battery. Or, you should have flown that American flag from the git go. tongue.gif

03-18-2003, 08:06 AM
I'm with Mrleft. Sounds like the starter is turning but the solenoid ain't solenoiding. Give it a few good raps.

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 08:10 AM
OK. Time for questions. Did the engine turn over then stop or was it just the starter?

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 08:10 AM
Donn is there specific fuel stabilizer for diesels?? Also the Fuel filter is easy to get to should I remove it and flush it out with acetone ??? ( that's what I use to clean varnish ). What setting should I put the battery charger at ???

Gresham, it sounded like the starter no pucka pucka pucka ( sound of diesel ), NOW nothing

[ 03-18-2003, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 08:14 AM
Joe, Yes there are, replace the filter, and 12volt 10 amp. Now answer my question from above. smile.gif

stan v
03-18-2003, 08:14 AM
Joe, have you checked the tire pressure? All the doors shut? The car freshener hanging at the correct angle? ;)

03-18-2003, 08:16 AM
This is the fastest moving post I've ever seen!
Nothing like "car problems" to get the guys out to the garage.... :D

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 08:18 AM

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 08:24 AM
OK Boys Photo time


Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 08:29 AM
12v, 6 amp then. Does/did the engine turn over or was it just the starter?

03-18-2003, 08:29 AM
What, pictures in lieu of climbing under there with a hammer and hitting the starter. It's after eight Joe. :D

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by Gresham CA:
12v, 6 amp then. Does/did the engine turn over or was it just the starter?As stated above ENGINE DID NOT TURN OVER REPETE DID NOT TURN OVER

03-18-2003, 08:33 AM
Hit the damn thing with a hammer, then come back and tell us what happened....

03-18-2003, 08:34 AM
I thought he'd already said he's getting a whir and nuthin' else.

03-18-2003, 08:36 AM
is that photo of the charger when it's plugged in?

03-18-2003, 08:38 AM
what kind of coffee are you drinking?

stan v
03-18-2003, 08:55 AM
Have you changed the oil, and washed her yet? Mine always runs better after doing that. Is the radio antennae up, or down? tongue.gif

Peter Malcolm Jardine
03-18-2003, 09:02 AM
Joe, do a couple of things.... just cuz the battery is charged doesn't mean the current is getting there. You could have a corroded contact somewhere between battery and starter..check the big wires... battery terminals cleaned, and then the wire on the starter... cleaned. If there is no sound, it's possible that there is a fusible link on the starter wire that is no longer "fusing" (blown fuse). Charge the battery up well, rap the starter with a mallet... but sounds like electrical contact...the fuel shouldn't be an issue really.

Sometimes a starter armature will seize from sitting, but not often, same with the solenoid or the drive,... thats what the rapping is for.. the solenoid gets old and sticks...

[ 03-18-2003, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

03-18-2003, 09:06 AM
Second Peter.

I re-read the original post, and the status now is no whir, no nuthin', yea? But you had a whir yesterday.

Cleaning contacts, AND hitting the starter will fix it, I wager.

03-18-2003, 09:09 AM
Get a bigger hammer.....

03-18-2003, 09:16 AM
Ugghhh, my second post to the bilge since I said I wouldn't come back...

Joe needs help though.

Ok my thinking is that the starter is spinning (whiiiirrrr sound) but that the spring that lets the starter engage is stuck. I could be a really dead battery, but I don't think the solenoid thing is right. A solenoid is a big switch. They go click click click when there is enough energy to charge the solenoid but not enough to spin the starter. (Remember a diesel has high compression so it needs a really big starter motor and lots of juice, plus it needs to get the glow plugs hot etc...) IF there was no click click click of the solenoid then that could be the problem and it needs a good whack to get going. Hitting the starter may still get the thing spring loosened up enough so that the starter gear can engage the flywheel.

If when you try to start the car it goes whiiiirrrrp whiirrrrpp whirrrrppppp, (IE starter turning but not fast enough) then low juice and charge the battery.

Try the charger and let us know.

BTW, We started my dad's big old backhoe yesterday after sitting outside all winter. We didn't even charge the battery. Half a crank on the starter and she was running. Pretty amazing really. John Dear knows how to make a big diesel!


Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 09:29 AM
Sorry guys just had to drop off my daughter to school. Stopped off at the benzo repair shop. Said battery has to be charged 24hrs then the mallet may be needed also top off the tank with 5 gallons of fresh diesel. The photo of the charger is NOT charging anything, because I did not want to do any damage not setting it correctly first so anyone have a clue? Service guy said trickle for 24 hr then full charge.

03-18-2003, 09:43 AM
If the radio is working, I'd suggest tuning to a station other than NPR. Then try starting
smile.gif Bill

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 10:14 AM
Added information:
No antenna, it broke but I got a coat hanger in there. Radio presets are set to NPR, even though It only gets the local light music station ewww :rolleyes: No, airfreshener just the smell of the dog and bilge water from last season sailing. Tires are inflated and seats are in there upright position with tray's secured. Ready for take off

OK Now for the real information hooked the battery up to the charger, set to 12V 2 amp trickle charge. The needle is not far from where it was in this photo with nothing attached its slightly higher about where the half mark is between the 0 and the 2 just at the start of the red triangle.



[ 03-18-2003, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

High C
03-18-2003, 12:05 PM
Don't trickle charge it, hit it with all 6 amps. That's still a pretty slow charge rate. The car's alternator probably charges at 50 amps or more. 2 amps would take days to charge a fully discharged battery.

Noah is right, it sounds like the bendix spring on the starter moter is not engaging the flywheel. This is either caused by corrosion, or by a low battery. If the starter spins too slowly it won't sling the gear out to the end of the motor shaft to engage the flywheel. Het her with all 6 amps and try later in the day.

Jim H
03-18-2003, 12:06 PM
Dead batteries sometimes will not hold a charge, also it is possible that you might have a broken battery terminal (I have had this happen too many times).

Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 12:29 PM
Joe, Cool your jets Turbo. I've been in Drivers Training class all morning and just posted on breaks and didn't see your post. :( Charge the battery first, then if still no " pucka, pucka, pucka" start looking at the starter. Eliminate possible things one at the time.

Dutch Rub
03-18-2003, 12:43 PM
Try changing the spark plugs - then get a life......

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 12:57 PM

What High C said!

6 amps is still sloooow. 30 amps is a more typical charger for an auto battery. A 2-amp trickle is for keeping a charged battery charged in storage, not re-charging in a reasonable time.

Try charging the battery first. If it was too discharged for too long, it may be shorted and now won't hold a charge. You may need a new battery.

If the battery holds a charge (do you have a hydrometer to test it?), next try cleaning the battery terminals. Been there; done that. A corroded terminal will not let current pass.

Starter not engaging the flywheel is also possible, but lower on the list of potential causes IMO. Your problem is almost certainly a lack of current getting to the starter.


03-18-2003, 01:03 PM
wow. this did add up fast.

starter turning whizzy-like but not turning the engine means that the gear on the starter that normally spins out to engage the flywheel is stuck in its retracted position. the hammer trick might work simply by banging the thing loose, but don't make a habit of it. Pull the starter and you should be able to pop it free by hand, or at least be able to see what's jamming it. maybe some wee woodland creature or family of insects climbed up in there over the winter and left something behind.

the battery is fine (or was until you ran it dead), or you wouldn't get the spinning in the first place.

the solenoid is fine, or you wouldn't get the spinning in the first place.

That's a great engine. I have a pipe dream of installing one in a Jeep Scrambler someday.

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 01:20 PM
Thanks Guys got it set at 6 AMP 12v charge now I'll wait till tomorrow or later tonight and then see if she kicks. The terminals are clean and clear. Should I attache the portable emergency Jumper when I try to start it or use the other car to Jump start it with a charged battery ???

Dutch I got a life and from I can see its better than yours tongue.gif , I for one I have friends, thanks guys

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 01:40 PM

Jumping should not be necessary, if your battery holds a charge. If possible, try to charge it fully before trying to start the car again. Charging fully will probably require overnight. (A 100 amp-hour battery @ 6 amps = > 8 hours if half discharged.)

Sitting for a few months isn't that hard on a car. You probably have only one problem preventing your car from starting. That one problem is most likely the battery. Stale fuel could compound the problem. If it had sat longer, it would be possible that other problems could result from extended storage, but I doubt this in your case.


Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 02:58 PM
OK guys Give me a clue here where is the starter on this thing what dose it look like?? Point out where I need to smack it.


Garrett Lowell
03-18-2003, 03:08 PM
Joe, if you don't know where the starter is, I advise you to seek professional help on this. Having said that, the starter is usually under the car, near the rear of the engine. It looks like an oversized coffee can. Smacking it probably won't help, though, as it's not a British car.

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 03:12 PM

Your photo's showing up dark on my monitor.

Between your engine and your transmission, you should find a bell housing that covers the flywheel. The starter is probably a cylindrical-shaped device about 4" diameter and about 6" or 7" long, attached to the flywheel housing and tucked against the engine. The cylinder may have the solenoid protruding from one side. Look for it down low on the flywheel housing. A big red electrical cable attached to a big terminal on the starter will be a clue.

I'd charge the battery first and try starting before bothering with the exotic fixes. Odds are you have only one problem, a dead battery.

If the engine doesn't turn over with a good battery, you can then locate the starter and give it an attitude adjustment. smile.gif


Larry P.
03-18-2003, 03:15 PM
No Donn I think that's some air filtering junk. Joe you probably need to acess that starter from under the car. Trace the thick red wire from the battery it should lead you right to the starter. Tap the starter don't whack it.

Chris Coose
03-18-2003, 03:20 PM
LOL Garrett. Lucas. I still got some attached to my two wheeler. Crazy making gear. Fire extinguishers and hammers are required.

I'm imagining Joe's responses if this had been of another foreign breed.. say Peugot.

I'd still try the hammer Joe, if you can find the sucker.

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 03:20 PM
For some reason, the photo Donn re-posted shows up well for me. Go figure! :confused:

The only things I see in front of the battery appear to be a circular air cleaner box (on the right) and the topside of the wheel well, with the attachment point for the front shock absorber visible.

The starter should be much lower-down than what is visible in this photo.


Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 03:22 PM
Oh Donn. Joe, under the car towards the back. It should have a big wire running to it.

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 03:35 PM

A Google image search for "Mercedes starter" turned this up:


On the left side of this photo, you can see (under the hood) the little pinion gear that engages the teeth on the flywheel. When you turn the key and the starter spins, this pinion gear should jump forward to engage the flywheel teeth, then retract when you let off the ignition key. That's what they're telling you to loosen by tapping. This business end of the starter is the end mounted to the flywheel housing, so it's not visible when installed..

The thing on top is the Solenoid. On the right side, I see what looks like the lug where the big (red?) cable should mount.


[ 03-18-2003, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: Wayne Jeffers ]

Alan D. Hyde
03-18-2003, 03:41 PM
Joe, the other suggestions are good.

If they don't work, it may be the starter's Bendix spring (if it has one).

This is the mechanism which engages the starter with the flywheel ring gear when spun, and disengages it when the car starts.


Gresham CA
03-18-2003, 03:41 PM
That is a magnetic solinoid and the spinning of the starter doesn't push out the bendix. I'm saying that it is either the battery or the solinoid.

03-18-2003, 03:42 PM
Joe; It's apparent that you're going to have to do to the Benzo what they did in the old hay burner movies - shoot the damned hoss hoss ;)

John B
03-18-2003, 03:42 PM
Donn. :D

Joe. Flat battery mate.that's just the starter without enough juice to drive it and get the bendix spring to engage. The clicking is the solenoid as the others are saying. My van did the same t'other day. 6 year old batterys. time for new uns.

Wayne Jeffers
03-18-2003, 03:50 PM

Good job!


Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 03:59 PM
Thanks Donn. I'm off to try starting it let you know what sounds she make if nothing Ill let it sit over night.

Matt Middleton
03-18-2003, 05:23 PM

How'd it go?

BTW, thanks for one of, if not the most interesting threads on misc. non-boat today. smile.gif

Good luck,

imported_Steven Bauer
03-18-2003, 05:32 PM
Dutch - you really do know that diesels don't have spark plugs, right?

So Joe, what's the story?


Dutch Rub
03-18-2003, 05:35 PM
Ive got an old Belarus that takes em and its a diesel for sure Steve...... :confused:

Joe (SoCal)
03-18-2003, 05:37 PM
We have ignition, Charged the battery and tap tap on the starter and Varroooom :D

While I was in the barn with Tess happy that the car started I decided to get into another project with her. We built a boat smile.gif see new thread I'm about to start

The 3 Minute Boat smile.gif complete with photos.
This was a fun thread but the 3 minute boat will be better smile.gif

Memphis Mike
03-18-2003, 05:40 PM
Has anybody mentioned to check the battery to
see if it has any water?

03-18-2003, 06:42 PM
61 posts in 3 hours flat, pretty good, probably a new record, and the first 59 were about whether the starter was working or not. Good work fellas. Remind me not to take my car to YOUR garage!

[ 03-18-2003, 10:20 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

03-18-2003, 09:45 PM