D223L – engine won’t start on a flat surface – Solved!

My 2001 9-3 2.2 TID (125 BHP) won’t start when it is parked on a flat (horizontal) surface

However when the car is park on a hill with its nose downwards the engine starts in a crank or two.

This makes me to believe that the problem isn’t the pressure fuel pump itself but I have to look for another cause.

As described in the service bulletin (see; SERVICE INFORMATION Bulletin Nbr: 210-2148 ed. 3) there are multiple scenarios possible.

At the moment I have done the following to diagnose the root cause;

  • Replacing the small gauge return hoses which reside on the T-pieces right on the injectors.
  • Checked for air leakage while using the suggested vacuum pump as described. No indication of defective o-rings or bad injectors as the vacuum stayed constant for at least 10 minutes.
  • Removed the fuel tank while having the back of the car on baby bridge stands. Simulating a slope/hill. While having the tank on the ground the car started but not as eager as standing completely on the slope.

Update 21-August-2017

Tried to start the car in the slope/hilly position while having the fuel tank unmounted flat on the floor and the engine did crank but no bingo.

This is an expected result as the test is to see if the fuel pours out of the fuel lines.

Update: 2-September-2017

Eureka! I think I found the problem!

Checked the injector-seals once again by using the vacuum pump. Just connected the vacuum pump on the “leak off pipes” and this time we saw some black fluid (supposedly engine oil travelling along with air to the vacuum container.

Also when sucking diesel from the bleed valve no air was coming trough and the diesel was clean yellowish fluid.

After finding nothing suspicious on the fuel connectors on the floater (there is no pump in the tank, I decided to mount the tank again. I had to wait for around 24 hours in order to get the engine started again.

This all makes me to reset my believes and suspect the injector seals even more…

Some home work: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/mozzer/howtoinjectorseals.pdf

Update: 7-October-2017

The valve-cover came off and the EGR-system has been cleaned out. To my surprise, after ~250.000 km, it wasn’t even looking that bad. Don’t get me wrong, there was some deposit however the air could still flow freely. After some rinsing in a industrial cilinder-head ‘dish-washer’ the parts came out *bling* *bling* style.

After removing fuel bridges i noticed that the seals are deformed and probably hardened. A shopping-list is coming up:

  • 4 X 90500732 – Fuel bridge O-ring/seal, between cylinder head and fuel bridge.
  • 4 X 90502704 (Bosch part #2430223003) – Diesel injector seal, between fuel bridge and injector.
  • 4 X 9117693  – Diesel injecter copper washer/seal.
  • 1 X 90500940 – Inlet manifold gasket, between swirl flaps and cylinder head.
  • 1 X 9543885 – Inlet manifold gasket, between EGR housing and swirl flaps.
  • 1 X 9543919 – EGR gasket, between EGR valve and EGR housing (850678/9226544/ ELRING 743.970).
  • 1 X 93172881  – EGR O-ring/seal, around the EGR valve.
  • 1 X 90528598 – Vacuum pump / brake booster gasket, between cylinder head and vacuum pump.

Update: 28-October-2017

EGR cleaningTiming camshaftTorque swirl flapsAfter replacing the “diesel injector topseals” (4 X 90502704 (Bosch part #2430223003) and fitting all things together again we attempted another engine start.Guess what…

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