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Hard to start up


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Hi guys, I recently replaced the air con drive belt on my TD27 and because of the belt's placement I had to take all the belts off just to get to it. After tightening all the belts back up, the car took three attempts to get it started. Turn the key and the starter cranks, the engine would run for like half a second and then die. It does start up but takes a few goes.

Driving along the other day, I switch on the air con which after I heard a Screeching sound which I assumed was the air con belt. I found it was quite loose but the alternator and pwr steering belts are tight. I tightened the air con belt up today and tried starting up the engine and the same thing happened again. It took three times to get going. I turned it off and tried starting again and it fired up first go.

This engine has a one year old battery so it's fine, the starter motor I haven't even touched and the alternator seems fine. It doesn't have spark plugs it has a row of four glow plugs which are only two years old.

I'm really confused about what is wrong. Everything was fine before I did the belts. Should I tighten the belts or loosen them a bit? They are on there tight with a slight deflect in them as per the manual.

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But the problem is that it's been hard to start since changing one belt so I think it's to do with the belt tension but Il try anything at this stage. Thanks for the advice Il have the voltage tested.

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Also check the air con clutch and pulley. If a bearing is trying to lock up on the compressor, it can put too much strain on the engine when you're trying to start it. If you have a power drill, you can put the belt on the pulley and spin the belt without engine running. You can put a steel shaft in the chuck of the drill so you can put tension on the belt as you spin it

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I checked the engine just now after it has been sitting for a few hours, it started first go so it appears everything is ok. The air con compressor I listened to with a screwdriver against it, it seems fine, tested the air con running and the belt screech is gone. I think that this problem is solved, it was just a loose belt. It's freaking hard to get tension on the thing when you are lying underneath trying to hold the pulley up with a couple of fingers and trying to tighten the front bearing bolt at the same time.

I ended up getting a nice length screw driver and wedged it in there between the pulley and the bottom frame where the radiator sits. That made it possible for me to then have both hands free to hold the socket onto the bolt and tighten it up, then I wiggled the screw driver out. It was the only way I could get it tight enough without having someone else hold the pulley up from the top while I then tighten it

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It's doing it again - started up ok this morning first go but later today it took about four or five goes to get going. I'm confused with this now. Fuel pump related maybe? Thoughts anyone?

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I don't know the 2.7 well enough to diagnose, but you might try crawling back under to see if you knocked anything loose when you were in there before. Loose ground strap, pinched glow plug wires, binding idler pulley?

 

So it runs normally once it's going?

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No I haven't knocked anything out of place when I was under there. It runs absolutely spot on when at idle and normal driving. I think it might be the glow plugs because it seems to take longer than normal for the glow light to go out. It should be something like 4 seconds, this thing is taking like 7 or 8 seconds to go out.

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Hmm. I remember reading somewhere about people having issues with low voltage at the glow plugs (on VWs IIRC). Maybe check across the plugs with a voltmeter to see if they're getting full voltage. A bad ground or a relay on its way out could be limiting current to the plugs.

 

Also +1 on 1987caddy's suggestion to load test the battery. Battery voltage drops under load from the starter, and if the battery's on its way out, it'll dip further--perhaps enough that the glow plugs don't do their thing.

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Thanks for helping Il get around to it as soon as I have a break from work, Il have to get an electrician to look at it but I'll report back with the diagnosis so that anyone else with a TD27 knows what the problem is.

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Update - my neighbour is going to check the timing on it over the Easter break - he is good at tuning cars. You should see his engine, places a beer on top of the engine and at 6,000 rpm that beer ain't moving at all

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