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occasional odd starting, help please!

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Hi Chaps,

every now and then when i start my 90 it fires up fine, and then after a few seconds starts to run really rough with lots of white smoke and then stall. if i keep my foot on the throttle a bit it stutters and tries to stall but eventually the revs pick up and its fine!

if you let it stall out it starts and runs fine on the next turn of the key!

it doesn't seem to matter if the weather has been hot or cold and like i say it only does it occasionally not all the time.

its an early 90 with a 200tdi disco engine. its done it ever since ive owned it.

in which time its had all the belts and filters changed and pretty much the whole engine rebuilt!

any ideas? ive not been able to fathom it myself.

cheers in advance,


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i did suspect that fuel could be leaking back down the fuel line, but would it not do it all the time if this where the case?

i'll double check the fuel filter when i next go to the truck, it was replaced fairly recently so shouldn't really need replacing and i'm pretty sure its tight! you never know though.

could air be getting in there any other way?

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make sure the fuel return is from the highest (from ground level) cylinder.

In a ford transit MK5 this was done from the cilinder closest to firewall, over time when the van lowers in the rear because of all the heavy loads some air can get trapped in the fuel return lines near the most front (and highest) cylinder.

Just something to keep in mind if in the end there seems to be no airleaks at all. A bubble in there (after fuelfilter change) can live there for a LONG time.

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I'd also check the fuel-filter for the presence of water: if you get a smidgin of suspended water in your diesel the paper filter-element can become water-saturated in non-obvious ways and while the engine will run OK under load once started, the water can settle-out in the pipes between the injection-pump and the injectors when the engine's stopped - if the beads of moisture then roll forwards down the pump-to-injector pipes they can settle in the injector-pintles and the first few squirts of injection can be an emulsion of diesel and water, which doesn't burn cleanly.

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