Slow to start. Glow plugs, starter, cold temps.

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Vehicle: 92' Delica L300 Exceed
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Slow to start. Glow plugs, starter, cold temps.

Post by WagGnar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:09 am

Hey guys,

Long time reader, first time poster! I’m troubleshooting a start up problem with my van. ‘92 L300 exceed. Looking for ideas on next steps.

When I turn the key to “ON” - I hear two consecutive clicks with the expected 5-7 second interval.

I push the gas pedal half-way and turn the key to “START”. The starter cranks and cranks and cranks and eventually the engine starts with along with clouds of smoke.

I’ve measured ~9V on glow plug connector bar in between clicks. I’m not yet confident with my resistance measurements.

I went ahead and swapped all 4 plugs for new OEM Mitsu plugs with no noticeable change in start up. Glow plug connector bar still measuring ~9V in between clicks after installing plugs and reconnecting.

Other details.
Temperature dependence on how long I crank before starting. Daily temp has been swinging between ~5C to ~20-25C. I have been using a winter anti-gel additive.

Air filter’s clean, fuel filter changed, ran a bottle of injector cleaner.

Any ideas for next steps ?

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Vehicle: '91 Delica L300
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Slow to start. Glow plugs, starter, cold temps.

Post by sk66 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:13 pm

The delay between clicks and other diagnosis would indicate proper glow plug operation... combined with the new plugs I don't think that's the issue.
The large clouds of (white?) smoke would indicate you're getting plenty of fuel... I doubt it's a fuel/air issue.

IMO, that leaves two primary suspects... poor spray pattern from the injectors (cleaner might not do much).
Or IP timing.
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA

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Slow to start. Glow plugs, starter, cold temps.

Post by Growlerbearnz » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:38 pm

^ on to it. Check the IP timing, you might have slipped a tooth (

If you really want to confirm the glow plugs are ok; remove each one and bench test it (connect to a battery using jumper leads, confirm that the plug glows, disconnect before it gets too hot), reinstall, and use the jumper lead on the glow plug bus bar to manually power them. If the engine fires right up, you have power issue- but your 9V at the bus bar is...


You might have 9V at the bus bar for two reasons: the glow plugs are working properly and dragging the voltage down (good), OR a bad contact in the glow relay only allowing 9v past (bad).

Try powering the glow plug bus bar with a jump lead for 5 seconds, then start the engine (you'll need 2 people)- if it fires right up, suspect your glow plug relay. (DON'T allow the jumper lead to touch the engine block or head. Very exciting. Maybe put a cloth between the bus bar and the head to protect it a little).
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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