I received a free 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD the other day. Yay! It was on craigslist, and the owner said it could be driven home. Well, it had no alternator, belts, air cleaner, exhaust, fuse box, etc., so I decided I would tow it home instead.
The guy gave me an almost identical 450SE parts car with it (which was in great condition, and made it home and then wouldn't start, but that is another story) from which I borrowed some parts.
I put a battery up to the 300SD, and it cranked and cranked and cranked (very slowly, even though the battery was charged up). It just would not fire. But I shot a little starting fluid into the turbo, and it started right up. Pretty quiet for having no exhaust, too. I took it for a drive, and it drives well and has a LOT of power. The turbo is quiet and does its job.
If I shut off the vehicle and crank it over again right away, it will start up. If I wait a bit, it has to crank a lot before it starts. And if the vehicle sets for a while, it will only start if I use starting fluid.
If I give it a quick shot of starting fluid, it starts up and runs fine. But if I don't use it, it will not start. I'm not sure why.
The odometer shows about 175,000 miles. If that's true, then this engine should have almost no wear. The guy I got the car from said he replaced the glow plugs and relay. I noticed that what I think are the injectors are leaking at the base and where the braided hoses attach on each side (this is on the engine, they are in the same place a spark plug would be if it was gas).
When the engine is running, I can see bubbles coming out of the base of those injector things, and they are leaking a lot of fuel (that's why the engine is so dirty nasty). Could these parts be the cause of a no start?