Mercedes Diesel Injector Advice – Sprinter and others


Having rectified many ‘chuffing’ injectors and dealt with the famed ‘black-death’ on many sprinter engines and its close derivatives used across the complete range of Mercedes Diesel vehicles, I can honestly say that the hold down mechanism used to secure the injector in the head is definitely the engines number one Achilles heel.  I am afraid that a single 6mm cap head pin used on one edge of a single steel injector clamp, tapped into an aluminium head is just engineering madness from a commercial maintenance point of view.  Now that’s  out of the way – rant over – how do we best deal with this problem and get that vehicle back on the road.

You will be reading this if you have begun to hear the release of combustion gas from around the engine bay of your vehicle (chuffing) or you may have discovered a black shiny coal like deposit building around one or several injectors (black-death) in addition to lacklustre performance and increased fuel usage. Before we carry on, it is of great importance to bring to your attention that we are dealing with a direct injection fuel system with operating pressures around 23,000 psi or 1600 bar!  This fact is to be remembered when working on a running system, when either fault finding or during rectification – Serious injury may result if you do not respect the obvious dangers involved.  If you cannot identify the dangers of working with very highly pressurised fuel systems you would probably be better to entrust the work to a specialist.

If the ‘chuffing’ has been noticed early on, none or very few ‘black death’ carbon deposits will be seen, just wetness from ejected diesel resulting from the failing combustion process forced up around the leaking injector out to atmosphere on the cylinder head.  If carbon deposits are present then they will have to be completely cleared and chipped away with a blunt screwdriver/scraper and vacuumed away as you go.

Injector Black Death Mercedes Sprinter

Injector Black Death Mercedes Sprinter

Because of the close proximity of other injectors it may be difficult to identify exactly which one is the culprit.  If the leaking injector is not obvious, then clean down the area with Gunk or other degreaser and dry off the area (engine off of course) completely.  Using 2 inch strips of old brown paper cut from the envelopes of your unpaid bills (joke) make hollow tubes and wrap them around the injectors, fastening the ends together with a paper clip. Do this for all suspect injectors.  Start the engine and watch for the darkening/spotting of the brown paper with diesel spray, this will indicate quite clearly where the problem lies.

Once identified the work can begin – Run the engine until nice and warm then turn it off and remove the keys.  Remove the turbo supply hose to the inlet manifold and split the composite intake manifold by removing the pins that secure it to the lower section.  Remove the two pins that are also fastened to engine brackets at the rear and front of the head by the fuel filter.  Lift off the manifold and stuff the remaining open ports with paper/cloth to prevent bits dropping inside.  Check the gasket at the back plate/cover of the upper section of the inlet manifold as this is prone to squeezing out causing turbo boost leak and is this a good time to take a look/plan to rectify.

Remove completely the steel fuel supply pipe from between the leaking injector and the fuel rail along with its injector electrical connector; tie this cable out of the way of the work area.  Remove the long single 6mm torx bolt that secures the injector clamp and place it safely to one side with the clamp itself.  Inspect the threaded portion of the 6mm bolt if it is damaged or showing heavy signs of alloy material deposited on the threads then further action may be needed later on to rectify the threads in this failing all important tapped hole.

The next part of the procedure is ‘make or break’ for the DIY repair and is the point of no return so please take heed.  Try to rotate the unclamped injector, if it moves freely by hand then great, if it won’t budge try a little more force – but not too much.  If it’s seized then at this point re-assemble the engine and take it to a diesel specialist as damage to the injector or head can be very expensive indeed and botched repairs will easily exceed the cost of it being done by a professional in the first place – you have been advised.  If the injector rotates, begin to pull it upwards whilst twisting the body, if it jams, twist it the other way and work it using some penetrant or WD40 in the area around where it enters the head.  In some cases the injector lifts out instantly, in others it can take hours of wiggling and fiddling, don’t be tempted to use hammers or heavy tools to do this job as commonly expensive damage results.  The image below shows damage to a rocker/cam cover caused by levering against it to extract a stubborn injector.

Damaged Sprinter Rocker Cover

Damaged Sprinter Rocker Cover

Once the injector is out, clean it off and place it safely out of the way then recover the single copper washer from the hole in the head that forms a gas tight seal for the injector against the aluminium cylinder head.  Use a torch to inspect the injector seat in the cylinder head, it will likely be blackened and carbonised, this needs to be cleaned off and in severe cases re-cut to present a perfect sealing surface.  I have in the past had great success using a wooden dowel, rather like the ones used on a valve grinding hand tool.  Using contact adhesive stick a square of medium abrasive paper to the end of a flush cut dowel, allow the glue to dry then trim round with scissors.  Pop this tool down the hole and clean the seat as if you were grinding in a valve.  Inspect it regularly and if there are slightly deeper grooves remaining keep going with new paper until clean and flat.  Now the top tip, it will be necessary to purchase a new copper sealing washer.  The best thing to do here is purchase a Honda part in preference to the genuine Mercedes Benz item.  This washer is the standard CDI injector seal used on all modern Honda 2.2 litre diesel engines (More info on the Honda seal – here).  I personally have had great success using the Honda part as they seem to be made from a superior material and appear more compressible thus making a better seal against any slight face imperfections.

Sprinter Injector Seal

Sprinter Injector Seal

If your 6mm torx clamp bolt came away cleanly and without damage, discard the old one and purchase a new item from Mercedes.  This part is a stretch type bolt and once used must be replaced.  The bolt hole has to be spotless and clean and have no debris or metal swarf at its base.  Any solids in the hole will be compressed at the base of the drilling when the bolt is tightened and can cause cracking or worse – bursting through into the water jacket of the cylinder head (really easily done) so clean that hole with an air-line or blow gun until you are sure it’s clear.

Sprinter Diesel Injector

Sprinter Diesel Injector

Replace the injector with its new copper sealing washer, using a slight smearing of high temperature ceramic grease on the body sides and position it correctly with regard the electrical connector, replace the clamp and clamp bolt, fit the new clamp bolt and torque it down to 7Nm then 90 degrees turn to finish – NO MORE.

While the actual MB recommended spec for tightening the hold down clamp bolt is 7Nm plus 90 degrees, plus 90 degrees – 7Nm plus 90 degrees will provide a safer torque to yield on a new bolt in an old head.
The Honda washers are ‘softer’ (unmeasured science, but you can tell) and I have always consciously never bothered with the extra and last 90 degrees crank. Never had any trouble.

Each 90 degree rotation past 7 Nm with a new clamp bolt and clean hole results in a further 0.3mm stretch bolt yield, so my view has always been – softer composition, less crush and a little less beads of sweat on the final swing of the wrench! (Those threads are a weakness) Correct spec by the book with thinner less malleable copper MB washers is 7Nm +90 +90.

The full factual reference write up is here, I always have agreed with the final conclusion that offers this advice and hence never added the increased stress of the final 90 degrees. Obviously the final choice of wether to use the factory torque spec or the modified spec is entirely your choice, but the tests carried out below are well worth a read before you make that decision.

Technical Reference Article:-

Tightening the fresh hold down bolt and seal ring will produce the same clamping force (defined by seal ring crush thickness) regardless of which of the 2 torque specs are used.

The desired residual bolt stress (to achieve essentially infinite cyclical fatigue life) is achieved by both specs but the 2X 90 spec does allow for less care and precision during the tightening procedure. Torque spec #1 (62in/lbs +90) is certainly less risky if contamination may be lurking at the bottom of the very deep blind bolt hole. I suspect it is also somewhat less risky if the aluminum threads are not in ‘as new’ condition.

“Here at the Global Sprinter Research Center I am always eager to investigate Sprinter related technical issues.

Group members have noticed that Mercedes Benz has a published torque spec for the injector hold down bolts that seemingly differs significantly from the long standing DC published specs as shown in DC workshop manuals as well as on the instruction sheets that DC at one time included with replacement injectors. The extended threaded shank length, 85.83mm long, 6.0mm dia., 8.8 grade, factory hold down bolt, hold down pawl and injector seal ring are identical part numbers for both the 5 cyl. and 6 cyl. engines.

Using my ‘test’ 647 Sprinter cylinder head, which is permanently mounted to one of my work benches, I have recently performed tests related to hold down bolt torque. This dedicated ‘test’ cyl head has been quite useful in my repair tooling fabrication.

As many of you know I have developed in-house tools and fixtures for removal of broken hold down bolts, repair to stronger than new stripped hold down threads, and various custom black death repair tools for my in-house use. This test head features my custom carbon steel hold down threads making it ideal for these hold down bolt torque experiments because data is not compromised by any aluminum thread deformation or failure.

After careful measuring of bolt length (before and after torquing) and injector seat seal thickness to 0.01mm tolerance, and using a calibrated Snap-on electronic 1/4 inch drive torque wrench set to display in/lbs and accurate to 0.1 in/lbs, I have the following observations to report:

TRIAL 1– A fresh, factory hold down bolt torqued to 62 in/lbs (approx 7 Nm) and then an additional 90 degrees, results in 0.08mm crush of a fresh factory seal ring.

The Sprinter’s copper seat seal ring features a double convex cross section and the clamping force induced ‘crush’ creates narrow sealing flats on each side of the ring.

Monitoring the bolt torque during the 90 degree rotation reveals a peak of 180-190 in/lbs before full 90 degrees is achieved and remains at this level all the way to 90 degrees. This peak/plateau signals bolt yield has occurred.

TRIAL 2– A new seal ring and a fresh, factory hold down bolt torqued to 62 in/lbs. (approx. 7Nm) and then an additional 90 degrees X2 (FULL 180 degrees), results in the same 0.08mm crush of the seal ring as well as a steady 180-190 in/lbs torque reading during angle tightening.

Being a stretch to yield, non-reuse, bolt it was not surprising to see permanent elongation. Elongation was approx. 0.30mm for each increment of 90 degrees of tightening rotation (after the 62 in/lb initial torque).

TRIAL 3-A fresh hold down bolt tightened to failure. The bolt tolerated several additional 90 degree sequences PAST the initial 62 in/lbs and 2×90 degrees.

It has previously been reported that fresh hold down bolts have failed when several group members had torqued to 62 in/lbs and then 180 degrees (mistaking 1/2 turn for 90 degrees). I now suspect this occurred because of bolt bottoming in the base of the blind bore. Bottoming can occur because of debris at bottom of the blind hole.


Tightening the fresh hold down bolt and seal ring will produce the same clamping force (defined by seal ring crush thickness) regardless of which of the 2 torque specs are used. The desired residual bolt stress (to achieve essentially infinite cyclical fatigue life) is achieved by both specs but the 2X 90 spec does allow for less care and precision during the tightening procedure.

Torque spec #1 (62in/lbs +90) is certainly less risky if contamination may be lurking at the bottom of the very deep blind bolt hole. I suspect it is also somewhat less risky if the aluminum threads are not in ‘as new’ condition.

Be sure you test your cyl head’s bolt hole threads by using a wire brushed used hold down bolt with an indexing paint mark, turning in by hand while counting turns, to assure threads are clean and bore is unobstructed to full depth.  This is especially critical when performing black death surgery.” 

Information source provided with thanks by Andy Bittenbinder 

If you had a problem with the thread you can use this type of kit or as a more desperate measure carefully tap out the hole to 8mm using a long series drill and tap, if you do this you will also have to drill out the clamp bracket to accept the new diameter bolt.  When drilling/tapping take care to not descend deeper in the head than you need to and break into the water jacket.  Sometimes you may find that the previous repairer has broken into the water jacket – add a small amount of silicon gasket compound to the last section of threads of the pin and tighten down in the normal way.  This is not the best way to get out of trouble, but will at least enable you to complete the job.  If you don’t do this and a bolt hole is broken through – you will leak water!!

Now your injector is back together, in the cylinder head and clamped down, reconnect the steel fuel supply hose and electrical connector and build up the inlet manifold and turbo pipework.  Start and test the engine.  The engine should fire after a couple of cranks as no fuel bleeding is necessary.  All should now be well with the repair and you have carried out a major maintenance repair saving you hopefully quite a lump of cash.

More info dealing with the actual removal/installation of the injector and its seal – here

Good luck.

330 thoughts on “Mercedes Diesel Injector Advice – Sprinter and others

  1. Bearing what you had said I started at the front n/s sensor to get the datum to compare to. As the speedo works your education tells me that any variation reading from that of that sensor should hi lite the faulty sensor.
    the 3rd tested was the rear n/s, it was open cct. Removing it destroyed it, leaving the the rusted in probe so I’ll delicately drill out the remaining. A new sensor arrives at my local MB dealer tomorrow, so fingers are crossed.

    1. Hi Martin,
      Looking good, it is rewarding actually finding an item that is obviously faulty. Shame it was stuck in the casting. Fingers crossed!
      Did you take any photos?
      All the best

  2. I have photo’s of the injector seat as I recut, they may be of use to others.
    I can take photo’s of the speed sensor and it’s installation, just tell me what you feel would be useful and how to pass them to you.
    Also as I have done for my C class I shall be installing an after market audio head. I use Chinese versions the last for my C class was approx £250 but I see prices have risen. I’m still deciding on the facilities, such as Andriod, that I may like for the Vito but for the ‘C’ I have FM, AM, DTV, GPS (Igo), 16gig max SD, Ipod connectivity, BT, DVD, steering wheel control… and possibly more. I feel they do more than Comand and clearly at a much reduced cost. Instalation info and links available if desired.

  3. Hi Steve
    I have a Vito V6 3.0 2006 OM642 engine.
    I also have a leaking injector or 2 on the R/H bank as you open the bonnet and look down at the engine and thanks to me finding your original post from back in 2013 ive realised I must tackle this very soon as its been leaking for several thousand miles or more and your post has given me more confidence to tackle this job. Unfortunately I do have another problem were occasionally I have diesel fumes pouring out from under the bonnet, mainly noticed when in traffic. This has happened several times and when I pull over and open the bonnet its defo coming from the left side (opposite to the injector leak) of the engine but I cannot pin point it. Normally it will last 2-3 minutes with me looking under the bonnet, then I hear a valve or similar electronically close and the smoking stops completely, no smoke whatsoever, and its definately diesel fumes but far more than what you would see coming from the exhaust. The engine note also changes slightly when the smoke stops. No warning lights on, no limp mode but the engine does feel a bit hesitant at low revs when this occurs. Any advice you could put my way would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Mick,
      Probably two problems here as you suggest. The first with the leaking injector on the RHS is pretty obvious. However the smoking from the LHS could be related to maybe the EGR circuit at first guess.
      There could be an issue with the left bank pipework or gasketing that carries the exhaust gasses back to the inlet manifold via the EGR valve – what that would mean is when idling in traffic (the most common time for EGR function) and the valve was open or called into action (the electronic valve noise you mention) by the ECU, and a percentage of the exhaust gasses would be redirected to the inlet to be burnt again. It sounds like there is maybe a leak in the steel EGR return pipe circuit on that side. Have a look for blackening/sooting of any pipework or manifold connections.

      All the best

      1. Hi Steve
        I ment to reply to this 4 or 5 months ago!!!
        You where spot on with your diagnosis. The exhaust manifold on the right hand bank was split on the flexi connection to the turbo Y piece. Strangely you couldnt here any blowing or excessive exhaust noises whatsoever. But was a straight forward fix.
        Thanks Mick

  4. Thanks for a quick reply Steve that all makes sense what your saying, my only issue is the problem seems to be intermittent. I’ve gone through a whole week without it happening now back again. Is it possible that the swirl flaps on the inlet manifold are not opening as they should intermittently and the gases are forced out of the pipe work maybe in a few different areas that’s why it’s difficult to pinpoint the source of the leak. I had a new inlet port shut off motor fitted by a merc Indy,back in Aug 2014 7k miles ago due to their usual failure problems,but have had no problems since. Does the Egr valve and inlet port flaps open simultaneously? But in my case not the flaps therefore the gases are forced elsewhere.? Any info you can give is much appreciated. Cheers Mick

    1. Hi Mick,
      The swirl flap position would only change in the upper rev range, its almost like a tuning intake restriction at low revs, opening more when at cruising top end power ranges. I doubt its connected. There is a chance that a gasket is failing, they are made from stainless steel and heat could have an effect on how it seals if it is not compressed correctly. Perhaps it only happens when the components get really hot, in an idle-for-a-while situation. You need to track down exactly where its escaping from to be 100 per cent. It may be worth checking the exhaust manifold bolts and anything to do with the EGR pipe work in that area.
      Let me know if you find anything.
      All the best

  5. Hi.
    I have mercedes ML270 diesel taken to garage for injectors and subsequently they rang me and said we jump started the car and it seems the battery has gone too. Following replacement of battery they said alternator is faulty. They changed the alternator and car would not start. Finally they stripped of engine and found that piston and head is damaged.
    The car was start able and drivable before went to garage.
    Any suggestion what went wrong?????

    1. Hi Waraich,

      I am going to do nothing more than guess. Here is one possible scenario that could cause this issue if we considered that the starter motor was actually reported as faulty and changed and NOT the alternator as you suggested above. Here we go…

      There is a possibility the vehicle had the injectors removed, diesel from the disconnected fuel rail ran down from the injector valley into one or more cylinders, the injectors were replaced without spinning the engine to eject the fuel lying inside the cylinder/s. The engine could have been attempted to be started and hydraulic locked with the trapped fuel, the engine would refuse to turn over and start. The battery was jumped thinking it was not charged enough to turn over the engine – The engine was in fact jammed ‘hydraulic locked’ with diesel. The starter motor was replaced assumed as faulty, changed because the engine would not turn over. Repeated attempts to start the hydraulic locked engine damaged a piston, bent the con rod and or damaged valve gear. This is a very similar effect to driving your car through a flood and taking on water into the engine, sucking it into the cylinders and destroying the engine as it tried to compress an uncompressible liquid as opposed to a balanced air/fuel mixture.

      The above scenario is total supposition and nothing more than an educated wild stab in the dark given the information you have provided whilst making a few assumptions. If I were you I would seek qualified independent advice from either the AA, RAC or other independent mechanical inspection body who could physically inspect the vehicle and make better overall judgment based on hard facts.

      I hope this helps.
      All the best

      1. Dear Steve. following your above response. the mechanic
        ” we have now removed the piston for your inspection,and confirm that the conrod is not damaged or bent , nor is the valve gear, and that it is virtually impossible for fuel to enter the cylinder in this way. we can also confirm that piston rings are seized to the piston, which would also possibly indicate over heating to that cylinder”
        I am baffled that car was start able and drive able when left my drive way. if ring piston were seized as described by mechanic … would car should not be a start able?

        just need your expert advise following previous history.
        many thanks

      2. Hi there,
        Interesting response and gives a valid description of engine condition on inspection. The seized piston rings due to overheating can be due to incorrect fuelling due to worn injector/s, this is a known condition of over fuelling.

        So did the previous faulty injector condition contribute to the problem, which when rectified, gave rise to whole new set of conditions once the fuelling was correct. (Maybe started cold and ran fine but now due to the correct fuelling, new running conditions in that worn piston/cylinder gave rise to overheating – no excess fuel now present to wash or lubricate the damaged piston and rings) Who knows.

        It seems that his work was good and carried out with vigilance, his inspection and identification of failed components underlines the problem as most probably been caused as a result of the previous condition, further exacerbated by correcting the issues by fitting a new injector!

        I think as a mechanic, he probably is as amazed at the eventual outcome as you are.
        Hope that helps
        All the best

      3. Hi steve.
        As u may be aware from my inquest that garage is trying to get away by saying that it was not their fault and it was the original problem in the car.
        i am on fact finding mission to see if this could have been picked up on initial health check or thorough Mercedes patent diagnostic test. is this problem so easy to miss on these two tests? can car still be started if that problem was there? ( It was started by recovery person in my driveway) ?
        could the garage be liable for this damage?
        i can send you the pictures of head and piston if possible.
        many thanks for your time.

      4. Hi there,
        It seems you have a difficult situation on your hands and one often encountered but not under such unusual circumstances.

        All the Mercedes service centre would have done is plugged in the vehicle to STAR and read the fault codes. If they found nothing significant they would have cleared any pending faults and returned the vehicle to you. Some mechanical faults are of course undetected unless they make changes to the electronic equilibrium of the vehicle – faults logged from sensors etc. For example a big end bearing failing may knock under acceleration, warning of impending doom, but the likelihood of this raising a fault code on the ECU is very slim indeed if all systems are working as they should and combustion is taking place normally albeit a great deal more noisily! So you see the dilemma here, my answer to your question “could this have been picked up on initial health check or thorough Mercedes patent diagnostic test” is possibly not.

        If you are asking my general opinion, given the information you have given, then what has occurred is entirely possible given that on stripping the engine no fault was found indicative of any hydraulic lock as I first mentioned as a possibility due to the work carried out. So that leads us to an overheat situation that was probably caused by over-fuelling over a long period of time – as a result of a faulty injector. In replacing this injector the dynamics of the fault changed in some way and the engine was subject to a different set of parameters that clearly could not maintain it a running condition. As to the recovery starting, perhaps a cold start was indeed possible at the time?

        You may like to read this on piston damage from among other things over fuelling/faulty injector –

        As I have mentioned before, the best route is to get an independent examiner or agency with clout such as the AA/RAC (if they do this level of inspection, if not they will surely recommend someone) or other credible inspector to perform a critical inspection and offer you a detailed report. Only then could you hope to pursue this in a legal manner. It is not enough to just ‘guess and surmise’ what may or may have not happened, it needs to be proven beyond doubt and this is what the inspectors report will indicate – simply if there a case to hear or not.

        I did a quick google and there are a few experts in their field, you need to engage someone like this in Yorkshire (or in whatever area you live) who can advise you on how best to proceed. (NB. I have no experience of this inspector, it is just an example of the kind of support you really need)

        I hope that has given you some pointers at least, in what is and will be a very difficult and unusual situation. I would give that inspector a call and sound him out, see what he says.

        All the best

      5. After much research, planning and gnashing of teeth, my car is back on the road and the black death has been repelled.

        Yesterday, I started the car up and let it idle for almost an hour to get it up to 90C. Then I got in there to the #6 injector. I plucked off the retainer bracket from the black goo and pulled the injector. Odd to me that the injector came out without much of a fight, but that the pressure of the cylinder firing didn’t throw it out.

        I used a 1/4″ cobalt drill bit to create a cone on the top of the shank and then went in with a LH drill bit, got down about 1/2″ and used #2 extractor.

        After several attempts it finally grabbed and I got it to back out.
        Cleaned it all up, replaced the seals and it’s back on the road.

        Thanks for all of your advice. I’m glad I didn’t have to pull the head.

      6. Hi Pete,
        That is truly great news, what a top job you have done there!

        Its a nice feeling when you ‘achieve the impossible’ in the eyes of accomplished mechanics and dealers. I suppose its all about the balance of ‘risk’. What we dare to try on our own vehicles is not I suppose the repeatable formula for a profitable business, especially as the customer would be looking for you as a service provider to rectify any wrongs or mishaps, but as always the DIY – nothing to lose approach – has paid off.
        You should congratulate yourself on a job well done.

        All the best

  6. the mechanic replace the four injector for sprinter 2001 every 2 month one of the leaking he replace the washer again after 2 month leaking i ask if any heated selicon or heated grease to add to stop leaking thanks

    1. Hi Thair,
      The likely cause is damage or scoring to the seat of the injector allowing gasses to escape, hot exhaust gas escaping here will eventually cut the washer/seat and leak. You need to recut or face the mating surface at the bottom of the injector hole in the block. Once this is clean and offers a clean smooth surface to the washer a good seal will be made and it should last.
      Do not use any grease on the washer or injector seat (only on the sides of the injector main body to prevent sticking in the hole) as this will prevent good metal to metal contact sealing. Try using the Honda copper seal as detailed in my latest post.

  7. Need help, please. I’ve got myself in quite a bind:
    2006 E320 CDI, 232,000 miles, runs great – until recently.

    Diagnosed some time ago with the black death. Injectors #2 and #6 leaking, #2 the worst of the them, the others seem ok. The car ran nearly flawlessly despite the problem. The dealer wanted $6k to replace all 6 injectors, citing that they’re all old, worn and need to be replaced – not going to happen, especially since the car ran nearly flawlessly.

    I decline and have them put it back together and start researching alternatives to the dealer and new injectors. It seems that a $.30 copper seal at the bottom of the injector is the culprit, hardly worth $6k if I can get that seal replaced.

    I order up 6 seals, 6 new injector clamp bolts and the ceramic grease and after much reading and research, I feel like I’m ready to go after it.

    I take all the precautions, chipping away and vacuuming up the black tar, disconnect the injector wire plug, remove the fuel overflow lines, pull the glow plug on the opposite side and extract the injector while blowing compressed air into the glow plug port, clean up the injector and seal, clean up the area around the injector hole and smooth the sealing surface for the copper washer.

    I only worked on #2 , putting #6 off until later.
    Sure enough, I can see the leak path between the copper seal and the mating surface on the head.

    A few minor hiccups along the way and I get #2 replaced and she starts right up. I go after #6 the next day, but forget to start it up and heat it up. As a result, I break off the 6mm retainer bolt just below the top surface of the head.

    I decided I was too chicken$%&@ scared of all of it a couple weeks back and called my local indie to come pick it up and bail me out. In turn, they passed on the job recommending the local dealer.

    I took it to the local dealer who, after sitting on it for 10 days, also opted to pass on the work saying they weren’t properly equipped to handle it. They referred to to a local machine shop they knew that could help.

    I called the machine shop to talk with them and they said they could get it out not problem, but the head would need to be off to do it. Otherwise, they could do the whole job, but it would take several weeks and cost a tremendous amount of money for removal/reinstall of the head.

    Not willing to go to the huge expense and undertaking of removing the head, I had it brought back to the farm where I’m going to take a crack at it myself.

    What’s the worst that could happen, after all? It is useless to me the way it is, someone else wants thousands to fix it and if I ruin the head, it will cost thousands to fix it. I’m really losing nothing by trying it myself.

    I took the broken off bolt head and tried some experimental washer/nut welding onto it to see if that is an option. I’m simply not a good enough welder to make that happen properly. Though it seemed to be bonded, it simply broke right off. Welding on a hex nut is out.

    I have in my possession several devices that I think offer me 3 opportunities to solve this problem.

    First, I have a set of LH cobalt drill bits and matching bolt extractors (#1 thru #5 ). I could center punch the end of that bolt shank and get started with the oil and drill bit to try the extractor(s). Given the amount of hardened tar goo down the bolt hole for inejctor #1 , I simply don’t see this thing giving up any ground at all without being heated up thoroughly – which may be an option. My biggest fear here is that I break off the extractor inside the bolt shank and now I’ve got super hard steel in the way of proceeding with options 2 or 3.

    Second, I have 3/16″ (4.76mm) cobalt drill bits that I could use to bore out the core of the bolt shank leaving behind the threads that could be chased out using a 6×1.0 thread tap. I’m worried about concentricity to the bolt shank here.

    Third is what I believe may be the best overall option – 1/4″ (6.35mm) cobalt drill bits to bore out the entire bolt shank and some of the aluminum head and then re-tap at 8mm, taking care not to go too deep so as to cause other issues. Also worried about concentricity here. I’ll have to ream out the hole on the retainer bracket for the larger bolt, but this seems simple.

    I have a couple of things on my side:

    1. The car does start and run, though I only dare let it idle. That injector is only held in with the hardened tar and while I want it to soften to make my life easier, I do not want it blowing out of there causing yet more damage. As I’ve said before, I’ve had it 3/4 of the way to full temp before I backed off and shut it down.

    2. The black tar has effectively cemented the injector retainer in place, despite no longer being held down by the bolt.
    This is a curse and a plus:
    A curse because I cannot see the end of the bolt shank directly without plucking the retainer off of there.
    A plus because while the retainer bracket is sitting stuck in that goo, it is giving me 2 benefits: First, it is helping hold in the injector should I try to fully heat the engine at idle; Second, sitting where it is, it would nicely serve as a pilot guide for the 1/4″ drill bit for option #3 , above. Once I pry it off of there, however, there is no putting it back in place and the plus factors are lost thus I want to save this for a later option.

    If all of this fails or I otherwise cause other damage to the head, I’ll consider taking (or having someone take) it off of the engine and go from there.

    I’d love any and all thoughts you may have…

    Thanks again.

    1. Hi there Pete,
      You do have a situation there but nothing is impossible. From my understanding of the issue the ball seat cap of the hold down bolt parted company leaving the remainder in the hole. If that sheared pin is flush with the top of the hole you will get to reveal about 1/4 of an inch of thread by removing the rocker/valve cover. This does of course mean removing all the injectors, but if you need to get to a stub of thread protruding from the head then this could assist you.
      Obviously there are more ‘space age’ solutions – there is a few people in the motor and engineering trade that offer bolt removal by wire spark erosion. They have a small portable machine that can be set up and powered from your domestic mains electricity supply and over an hour or so will cleanly, electrically spark erode the offending item. Could be worth a look in the directory and see if you have such a guy locally.

      Be careful drilling that hole, the pin more or less bottoms out at the base of the blind hole. 1/8 inch further and you are into the water jacket of the cylinder head. You would have to be 100 percent sure you had all your depth measurements correct or you could over-drill and easily damage the head. The thread within the hole itself is re-workable and there are a few methods out there of adding an insert or blind sleeve to the damaged threaded hole to accept a new hold down bolt – effectively repairing it as good as, if not better than new!

      I hope that maybe gives you some pointers.
      All the best

  8. Hi Steve, I read through all this and realized that this is where I will get the best advice. I have a 2007 SsangYong M200XDI. No 1 & 3 injectors leaked, when opened, the “black death” was a huge problem. We didn’t know what it was, suspected an attempt to stop the leak by pouring some molten material in there. No 1 came out without much force, but No 3 was a different story. Eventually, the mechanic improvised a sort of puller and after much hammering, it came out.
    Seals replaced, retaining bolt thread re-cut, engine does not start. Towed it to a Diesel Electric fundi, found that No 3 injector has broken a diode or something similar inside because of the rough handling to get it out.
    A week later and still waiting. Injector sent to repair shop.
    What are the chances of the same two injectors popping out under pressure later? What can be done to ensure that this does not happen?

    1. Hi Martin,
      The main factors to consider are: if the seat at the bottom of the injector holes in the alloy head are clean and smooth (not cut by the gasses escaping past the failed seals) If the seat is anything less than perfect, you run the risk of the problem returning. Have the seats re-faced prior to fitting the new seals and if possible use the Honda copper seals detailed in the other post. You will find the details and part numbers here: As the Ssanyong used a Mercedes power plant, the parts are likely the same, so remember to also use new stretch hold down bolts and apply the correct torque when refitting the injectors. The stretch bolts are a ‘one-time-use’ part and must be replaced and not reused.
      There is little more you can do to improve your chances, just make sure everything is as clean as it can be on reassembly and you have given yourself the best chance of success. (In every respect if you follow the above precautions, there is nothing a Dealer or main agent would do that is any different)

      Good luck and do report back once you are up and running.
      All the best

  9. Good day Steve,
    Problem not sorted yet. I’m in S.A. No spares available for injector rebuild. Agent can order a new one with a 3week delivery at a cost of ZAR10,000. If I have to replace all 4, it will cost me ZAR40,000, enough to buy 2x Lexus V8’s and have it installed.
    Still looking for a reconditioned one or as a last resort, a used one.
    Will keep you updated. Regards. Martin

      1. Hi Martin,
        I a still a little confused about the engines fitted to SsangYong as I read this only recently:

        The M200XDi’s diesel is from the latest SsangYong diesel family based on a 2.0-litre Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder block shared with the Actyon. It is a common-rail design running 1600bar injection pressure with a variable geometry turbocharger and delivers a healthy 104kW/4000rpm and 310Nm/1800rpm. It generates combined fuel figures of 8.1 and 8.8lt/100km for the manual and auto versions respectively. However, it must be said that not too many engines of this size are expected to haul 2000kg before you load it up… from here

        Anyway it seems there are some differences in your model and one of those things being the injectors themselves. I have looked and if I am referencing the correct injector (for the 2.7 unit) you are looking at about £150 each for used and £360 ish for Delphi pattern units.

        Have a look here:

        You are more than welcome to drop me a line at if you wanted to seek out a used set on ebay over here in the UK and I could look into forwarding them to you somehow.

        This page here and this page here suggest the 2.0l injectors you need are the same as fitted to the 2.7 Rexton that sells here in the UK. This may widen your search for the correct parts knowing it is common to another model, (you have to be doubly sure, but on face value it looks to be the same part number)

        All the best

  10. Hi Steve,
    I sent you an email. I need assistance from anyone who can source an injector for the M200 XDI, preferably reconditioned as they are a bit cheaper, and money is tight (I’m a pensioner).
    Will appreciate any help as I’m quite desperate at this stage.

    1. Hi Martin,
      I will have to bow to his local knowledge of ssanyong.

      But the injector is the same physical thing. In mercedes vehicles there is an element of the injector serial number that needs to be entered into the ecu. This is only a calibration figure to get things absolutely crack on.

      Many times an older van has a new injector, used injector or just plain mixed up on reassembly and I have never known it give an issue. I agree theory over practicality it should be coded, but not essential to good running.

      The vehicle does not know the injector came from a 2.7 if it is the same type it just applies it’s old trim values to it. You would be in the same boat with a used item or new Delphi part. The ecu needs to be coded to the injector not the other way as it is a fixed mechanical part.

      I can only pass on what I know about mercedes cars and vans, but I would take a good guess that it’s the same.

      It may be his universal diagnostic tool possibly Autel or snap on solus, does not allow access to fuel trim of the injectors as this would certainly be a dealer level manufacturer tool required for this job costing many hundreds of pounds.

      Sorry to add to your confusion, but at least you know..

      Just had a thought Martin.

      Maybe if the ecu needs to see all four injectors at new values to get it into calibration mode. Swap all their locations in the cylinders and then run the diagnostic setup for trim. This should present it with the same scenario as if fitting four new injectors as it would not know otherwise.

      All the best

  11. Hey Steve

    Great explicit write up. I own a 2007 C220cdi 204series. Over the week end we replaced the seals on all four injectors. We used double copper washers on each. The problem now is that the car won start. It swings nicely but just will not fire. The mechanic seem to think it the high pressure pump as he gets fuel going into it but none going to the rail and the the injectors. I am not convinced as the car worked fine all along except for the leaky injectors. Can you help me out please>>

    thanks in advance.


    1. Hi Norman,

      Double copper washers? You used two? If you did there could be issues with the depth of the projection of the injector into the cylinder. One should suffice and no benefit to using two, I would say more likely to get a poor seal and a likelihood of return of the black death. The copper washer is deformed by the steel injector against a clean and polished alloy seat. Have a look at this diagram, you can see why stacking the copper washers could cause an issue. Specifically with the tip protrusion into the cylinder head.

      As soon as you break any high side diesel supply line of a High Pressure CDI circuit the pressure automatically shuts off as it is so high, up to 2,000 bar or 29,000 psi depending how you read it, obviously its designed to shut down for safety reasons. A squirt of that through the skin has the potential to kill. So be careful.

      The electronics is probably your first point to start, any injector that is not correctly plugged in will prevent a start condition, check all the cables and wires for damage as if you have cleaned a great deal of coke from the area it could be something that has been damaged. Same goes for pressure sensor on the end of the rail, cam position sensor and ecu fuse!

      Start here and let me know.

      All the best

  12. hi there im new to this as iv just got my self a lovely vito 110 cdi 2000 model when i brought it the man said that he had a new injector put in after 3 weeks or so i heard a like ticking sound so i looked under the bonnet and put a big screw driver on the injector the man said he had changed and the noise was coming from there i pulled it out today cleaned it off and placed it back in and it was noise free no ticking or nothing drove really well and then it started ticking again is it worth getting a other injector hope some one can help me regards alb

    1. Hi Albert,

      Do you think by chance the injector seal was passing?

      Was this the cause of the noise and perhaps not mechanical noise, coming from the suspect injector. Maybe when you took it out and then refitted it – the copper injector seal initially made a good gas tight fit, with no noise. Until the seal failed again only a few days later. It is not uncommon if the alloy seat at the bottom of the injector hole has some slight imperfection or damage from a previous seal failure, that it will need to be lightly refaced to assure the best seal. Anything less than a perfect face on the seat will reduce your chances of success dramatically.

      I hope this helps
      All the best

  13. Engine cut out a whilst driving along today. I have a Sprinter 311, V reg 2000. Pulled over, turned ignition off and restarted with no apparent problem or lights on dash. Only had a mile or so to go so stopped engine and had a quick look under the bonnet with nothing noticeable.

    Nearly home this evening, my wife thought she could see white smoke coming up from under the bonnet, drivers side. This was more noticeable when we pulled up and stopped. Leaving the engine running I popped the bonnet and we have smoke/small amount of fluid dripping down and burning from the top of the engine from the area of the cam shaft cover gasket/joint, and would say it was under pressure. Going to read through other posts in mean while as wife has had a brief look through and said she thought it was making a chuffing sound.

    Thanks in advance for help!


  14. Hi
    They give the tightening spec as 7 Nm and 1 x 90 degrees once
    You suggest annealing the seal gently

    Some mechanics say 7 Nm and 90 degree + another 90 gently after breakfast and a coffee and smoke

    What would you suggest?
    Many thanks
    Roy Vickers
    PS have ordered Honda parts

    1. Hi Roy,
      7Nm plus 90 degrees will torque to yield on a new bolt. The annealing was not my suggestion, the Honda washer is slightly softer than the OEM Mercedes part.

      This was noted some time back in the comments and reiterates the whole torque and seal question:
      The Honda washers are ‘softer’ (unmeasured science, but you can tell) and I have always consciously never bothered with the extra and last 90 degrees crank. Never had any trouble.

      Each 90 degree rotation past 7 Nm with a new clamp bolt and clean hole results in a further 0.3mm stretch bolt yield, so my view has always been – softer composition, less crush and a little less beads of sweat on the final swing of the wrench! (Those threads are a weakness) Correct spec by the book with thinner less malleable copper MB washers is 7Nm +90 +90.

      The full factual reference write up is here, I always have agreed with the final conclusion that offers this:

      Tightening the fresh hold down bolt and seal ring will produce the same clamping force (defined by seal ring crush thickness) regardless of which of the 2 torque specs are used.

      The desired residual bolt stress (to achieve essentially infinite cyclical fatigue life) is achieved by both specs but the 2X 90 spec does allow for less care and precision during the tightening procedure.

      Torque spec #1 (62in/lbs +90) is certainly less risky if contamination may be lurking at the bottom of the very deep blind bolt hole. I suspect it is also somewhat less risky if the aluminum threads are not in ‘as new’ condition.

      “Here at the Global Sprinter Research Center I am always eager to investigate Sprinter related technical issues.

      Group members have noticed that Mercedes Benz has a published torque spec for the injector hold down bolts that seemingly differs significantly from the long standing DC published specs as shown in DC workshop manuals as well as on the instruction sheets that DC at one time included with replacement injectors.

      The extended threaded shank length, 85.83mm long, 6.0mm dia., 8.8 grade, factory hold down bolt, hold down pawl and injector seal ring are identical part numbers for both the 5 cyl. and 6 cyl. engines.

      Using my ‘test’ 647 Sprinter cylinder head, which is permanently mounted to one of my work benches, I have recently performed tests related to hold down bolt torque.

      This dedicated ‘test’ cyl head has been quite useful in my repair tooling fabrication.

      As many of you know I have developed in-house tools and fixtures for removal of broken hold down bolts, repair to stronger than new stripped hold down threads, and various custom black death repair tools for my in-house use.

      This test head features my custom carbon steel hold down threads making it ideal for these hold down bolt torque experiments because data is not compromised by any aluminum thread deformation or failure.

      After careful measuring of bolt length (before and after torquing) and injector seat seal thickness to 0.01mm tolerance, and using a calibrated Snap-on electronic 1/4 inch drive torque wrench set to display in/lbs and accurate to 0.1 in/lbs, I have the following observations to report:

      TRIAL 1- A fresh, factory hold down bolt torqued to 62 in/lbs (approx 7 Nm) and then an additional 90 degrees, results in 0.08mm crush of a fresh factory seal ring.

      The Sprinter’s copper seat seal ring features a double convex cross section and the clamping force induced ‘crush’ creates narrow sealing flats on each side of the ring.

      Monitoring the bolt torque during the 90 degree rotation reveals a peak of 180-190 in/lbs before full 90 degrees is achieved and remains at this level all the way to 90 degrees. This peak/plateau signals bolt yield has occurred.

      TRIAL 2- A new seal ring and a fresh, factory hold down bolt torqued to 62 in/lbs. (approx. 7Nm) and then an additional 90 degrees X2 (FULL 180 degrees), results in the same 0.08mm crush of the seal ring as well as a steady 180-190 in/lbs torque reading during angle tightening.

      Being a stretch to yield, non-reuse, bolt it was not surprising to see permanent elongation. Elongation was approx. 0.30mm for each increment of 90 degrees of tightening rotation (after the 62 in/lb initial torque).

      TRIAL 3-A fresh hold down bolt tightened to failure. The bolt tolerated several additional 90 degree sequences PAST the initial 62 in/lbs and 2×90 degrees.

      It has previously been reported that fresh hold down bolts have failed when several group members had torqued to 62 in/lbs and then 180 degrees (mistaking 1/2 turn for 90 degrees).

      I now suspect this occurred because of bolt bottoming in the base of the blind bore. Bottoming can occur because of debris at bottom of the blind hole.


      Tightening the fresh hold down bolt and seal ring will produce the same clamping force (defined by seal ring crush thickness) regardless of which of the 2 torque specs are used.

      The desired residual bolt stress (to achieve essentially infinite cyclical fatigue life) is achieved by both specs but the 2X 90 spec does allow for less care and precision during the tightening procedure.

      Torque spec #1 (62in/lbs +90) is certainly less risky if contamination may be lurking at the bottom of the very deep blind bolt hole. I suspect it is also somewhat less risky if the aluminum threads are not in ‘as new’ condition.

      Be sure you test your cyl head’s bolt hole threads by using a wire brushed used hold down bolt with an indexing paint mark, turning in by hand while counting turns, to assure threads are clean and bore is unobstructed to full depth.

      This is especially critical when performing black death surgery.
      Andy Bittenbinder

      All the best

  15. Hi Steve
    Many thanks for your sound advice.
    I will follow it to the T.
    I will collect the out of town Honda washers to- day.
    Complete lapping in the seal face and assemble on the weekend.

    I see in an depth window mechanism DIY repairs feature for the Vito electro. windows.
    I will certainly have go at both of them shortly.
    Many thanks
    Roy V.


  16. I have a mercedez sprinter CDI diesel engine 2000, the engine is rolling
    but not starting, have cleaned the nossles and injectors but problem still persist, the engine only starts if fuel is poured on the engine. Pls reply

    1. Hi there Helen,
      If the engine starts and runs when you pour diesel into the filter then there is a fuel pump or fuel delivery issue. Check delivery pipes for corrosion/rust, right back to the tank alone with all rubber connections for deterioration/splits/cracks. Identify if the low pressure pump is working you should see delivery fuel moving in the clear pipes to the high pressure pump. Replace the black non return valve on the top of the fuel filter as these often go faulty.
      All the best

  17. Hi Steve

    I have w203 coupe c220 of 2001 and has been more than 2 months that i am having troubles with the fuel injectors. The car started to make a noise at the first and second gear which would disappear during acceleration. I took it to the garage and they told me it was the injectors fault even though it didnt show any faulty codes on the computer. Anyway after the replacement the car was running fine but two weeks later the noise came back. later i noticed that the injectors number was not the same with the previous ones. Do you think this is the reason for the noise and the low performance of the car? My injectors number was 611 070 09 87 and the new ones were 613 070 09 87.

    1. Hi there,
      I would suspect that the original injector was damaged during extraction. This can be done if it was stuck in the head and a puller was used. It seems a new or used injector was fitted. I would not worry too much if the car ran fine once the work was first done. The injector obviously was a match for the vehicle. What is more likley is that the seal has failed again due to the seat not being recut in the head. This needs to be refaced before fitting a new seal.

      All the best Steve.
      Mercedes Gen-In

  18. Hi I have a Mercedes sprinter 2007 313cdi I have fitted a recon engine and have trouble with running it starts tickover is lumpy white smoke when you put your foot down I have had injectors checked by specialists one injector did not work on test then started to work with no problems, have done code read on engine only fault egr valve checked and found it stuck so cleaned and working cleared code then it come back I have contacted a few garages they don’t one to touch it too new, some garages have said try want to take out engine and take apart to see if the fault is inside not assembled correct the engine is from a 220 car I used the head from sprinter, sump and oil pickup had to fit oil pipe to block for turbo

    1. Hi Richard,
      There is a possibility that the EGR valve is faulty, possibly beyond cleaning. I would be tempted to replace this (even better if you can borrow a working one to try!) as it still seems to be giving trouble.
      Although you probably did this when removing the front of the van to replace the engine – When the last engine failed did it do so catastrophically? Did the intake get flooded with oil? There is the chance the intercooler could be full of engine oil thrown out by the old engine, did you clean this out or it could be drawn in making the white oily smoke?. It could also be that the exhaust, CAT (DPF?) is full/clogged with old oil (reasons as above), unless you clean this out it will take hours of hot running to clear. If this was the case the stumbling engine may not be directly related to the white smoke. You could have a simple fuel issue (water in fuel sensor seal, air in pipes, poor fuel pipe seals etc) The EGR usually causes black sooty smoke – you have white smoke, that is usually oil related.

      You could always try running it for a short while without the exhaust to see if it smokes then! As an outside chance make sure also the exhaust is clear as a blockage of some sort could increase back pressure and prevent stable running.

      Another thing to try – Pull of the crank case vent pipe on the rocker and look at any fumes or pressure from here – this could be caused by worn bores or gummed up piston rings stuck through a long period of standing. Did you hear your replacement engine run before you purchased and built it up?

      Hope that is a start for you. Well done on the engine swap/220 transplant!

      PS. would like to do a article on upholstery / repair and recovering at some point in the future if you were interested – may be a bit of useful advertising in it for you if nothing else!
      Drop me a line when you have more time.

      1. Hi Steve have tried another EGR but don’t know if it was working it was not stuck, I cleaned the intercooler and all pipes turbo out I rebuilt the engine it was rebored with new pistons all new bearing etc, the 220 engine 17.000ml I used had been under water it had not been driven into water two of the pistons were rusted in bore I first cleaned them and honed the bores fitted new piston rings when I started the engine it run perfect but after about 5 mile started to knock when I took it apart one piston had marked the bore and broke some rings they was no smoke no warning lights on at all, first time. after rebore and back together ( it was apart for 8 months this is when I think the EGR valve stuck)
        my original engine 220,000 I was told the duel mass clutch had failed the main bearing bolts had worked loose and the crank had broken smashing the block to bits bending valves also one cam was snapped I had another complete engine and head of the same year van which had big end problem, I have only had problem after rebore I can only think that something has failed when it was stood apart. I have a Icar soft scanner

      2. Hi Richard,
        Mmm, seems you have some real fun there – not.
        Were the new oversize pistons purchased to match the rebore, supplied with oversize rings? What gap did you measure when you tested the new rings in the re-bore cylinders. I am sure you checked this but just had to ask. Is there much in the way of crank case pressure/fumes as seen at the oil separator/breather outlet on the rocker cover with the engine running? What you may end up doing is loaning a diesel compression tester (fits into glow plug aperture) and doing a compression test just to prove it one way or another. I just can’t think where else oil is getting into the cylinders, unless of course the turbo oil seals have collapsed – is there loads of oil in the intake tract and hose work?
        Just out of curiosity is the white smoke very dense or does it clear easily, is there any water loss/consumption at all?
        All the best

  19. To eliminate the EGR I would remove to be sure it’s closed,
    then replace but disconnect the electrical feed.
    The fault light will be up but it won’t cause limp mode. You can run like that but it the fault light would be an MOT failure.
    This gives a little more low end umph and saves maybe 2mpg of fuel.
    There is a fairly simple mod you canwire in ising four resistors and a transistor that cheats the ECU into thinking the EGR is operating.
    If you want a link to the mod I can post it up.

    1. Hi Martin,
      I did not realise that AlexCrow’s resistor mod could be used on later Sprinters, only actually done this on W210 E320CDI – if thats the case send over any details you have as that is a great mod.
      All the best and thanks for the input.

  20. My Vito is the 2007 220 engine, so I’m assuming Richards Sprinter to be the same CD13 set up. Hopefully my assumption isn’t wrong.
    I’ve done the mod to mine and after 1 tank full feel there is an improvement, but of course a longer test would be better.

    Steve I do have another issue and you input would be greatly appreciated.
    The mod has improved things but after running for many miles I can feel an annoying resonating when under load and accelerating at about 2k revs. When decelerating there is less so but still present a reonating that comes in at about 1400 revs and disapears at about 1050 revs.

    I removed the prop shaft and had a clicky uj replaced so that’s eliminated. Wheels and tyres would be unlikely but also eliminated.
    I have been wondering if this might be a turbo bearing but any suggestion greatly appreciated.

    The link to the EGR mod

    It’s a long thread and the diagram in post 592 might be clearer??
    For resistor 3 I used 1k ohm and 1.8k ohm in parallel to achieve the 643 ohm value.
    I managed to house the mod within a short length of 10mm HEP (plumbing tubing) and filled with silicon sealant.

  21. hi i have 2006 sprinter 2.7 liter, no power and black smoke , good boost and no leak, had remove glow plug and find 4-5 full of fuel, tried new injector same result, we have check camshaft it`s ok what can cause that probleme


    1. Hi Mario,
      One possible cause for over-fuelling to this degree could be an issue with the injectors. You say you have replaced an injector but I would first conduct this simple test to eliminate problems in this department. Usually this problem causes starting issues when hot, do you have this problem.
      Discounting the issue you have found, usually problems with no boost and black smoke are caused by EGR valve problems. Inspection of the EGR valve would be a good thing to make sure the valve is clean and not stuck open.

      Leak down test.
      EGR valve cleaning

      I hope this helps.
      All the best

  22. Hi Steve,
    Having sorted the gearbox issue, my attention has turned to the leaking injector that I discovered.
    My 2007 Vito 109cdi ran pretty well, considering that when I lifted the engine cover it was utterly full of the “black death”. Following your advice I carefully removed the crud, & identified that the culprit was the Number 3 injector seal.
    However at this stage I was stumped, as my injectors are not the same as all the ones shown on this site & other forums etc offering advice on the issue.
    When I had my last Vito ( a 638 110cdi) I brought an injector removal tool that worked perfectly & allowed me to remove those injectors by removing the top & threading the extractor into the injector body, however on my current van there is no bolt to dismantle the top & fit my extractor tool.
    After some investigation I have determined that my injectors are the Piezo type. I can’t embed an image, so this link should illustrate it :
    Do you have any sage advice for the removal of these injectors please.?
    In this instance I took it to my local dealership with the engine cover removed as they said it would take them about an hour & quoted me £ 84.50 + parts.
    They, on collection, then presented me with a bill for £ 380.!!
    For obvious reasons, I would like to be able to do this myself “next time”

    1. Hi StM,
      Wow that was a setback, though to be honest they probably knew know what they were getting into at the dealer – however a phone call would have been nice! On the couple of occasions we have pulled OM651 later Piezo injectors, we used a claw tool on a short slide hammer arrangement. You can buy the whole kit but as we already had a small slide hammer the owner just got the specific claw. Its like a deep C shape that allows all the top gubbins to be neatly bypassed and the claw interlocks with the cut out for the hold-down clamp. I think its made by either Sykes or Pichler, I will have to look in the week. The piezo injector you show is different again with a much larger head, though I suppose there must be a claw on the market for that type. (It is as different again to even the Delphis fitted to the Ssanyong) It has been known to remove the engine on the Vito (639) if the back injectors are troublesome as access is so poor for any tooling, fortunately I have not been in this position and what work we have done was all at the front and as yet we have not encountered this… can’t wait! (not)

      Looking at the Bosch catalogue there is a cutaway of that injector and there seems to be some meat in the casting between the top threaded HP union and the rest of the body, so wonder if you dare make a puller that bolts on to this. If you think about it the factory puller at the dealership must do that as there is really no other way to connect anything to it. For sure this seems a dark art at the moment outside the doors of the dealership and it would be nice to get a look at the tooling they are using. It can’t be that complex and to be honest I am sure if we could snag a peek it is something we are both more than capable of making. What engine code do you have on that engine as I don’t have those type of injectors on MY 2008.

      All the best

      1. Hi Steve,
        Thank you once again. When investigating it myself originally I did consider the viability of fitting an extractor to the HP union thread, but chickened out due to what I considered may be the potentially disasterous result of that method failing.
        I could see the cut out for the claw that you describe, & I assume that this would indeed be the correct hitch point.
        My documents state that my engine is 646980 51 394841
        OM 646 DE 22 LA 70 KW (95 HP) 3800 RPM
        Of course it is possible that the vehicle has had a replacement engine fitted prior to my ownership, but it does not appear so IMHO. I could always check for a number on the engine itself, if you tell me where abouts to look for it.?
        On an aside, I have now discovered an annoying drip of oil appearing on my sump, that appears to originate from somewhere vertically above the sump drain point, so I may have been a little premature in believing that my beloved little van was at last “sorted”.

      2. Hi again StM,
        I have been looking at the differences in the OM646 engine and it appears that there was the introduction of a OM646 EVO engine with Piezo type injectors. This allowed for better performance from a pollution control standard point of view and fitted the model for a cleaner fuel efficient engine (apparently these injectors all now used in the BlueTec c220 CDIs etc) So looking how other manufacturers use pullers to extract this type of injector and I found this:

        Interestingly the puller fits to the injector HP thread as we had imagined it must. So really the way to make a puller for this is by following the model used for the Vauxhall Vivaro M9R engine. Obviously a strong draw plate would have to be constructed that went to two solid points over the Mercedes injector well but clearly this is very possible. Especially as in the video the injector was withdrawn with the head visible and in place. All the kit in this video is Pichler – but the parts you would need are perhaps the adapter that fits to the HP thread, the rest I am sure could be manufactured with a thread type withdrawal mechanism, however I suppose the use of a small hydraulic annular cylinder keeps the profile low for getting in awkward places.


      3. Maybe this injector extractor or another appropriate model from same company would make life easier?

  23. Once again Steve, thank you very much indeed sir.
    It would seem that your inital thoughts were indeed correct, & mounting an extractor on the HP thread is obviously fairly straightforward .
    If i find that any of my other injectors leak, I shall attempt extraction using that method & let you know how I get on.

    1. Hi Dan,
      What year and what model, engine type etc. Did you use new injectors of the same code or second hand/used ones. Did you have them tested at a diesel specialist before fitting for spray pattern etc?
      I should be able to help you a little more if you can let me have a bit more info.
      All the best

  24. when grinding the injector seat on the block, from carbon deposits is it safe for small debri to fall into the the hole at

    1. Hi Adil,
      Usually the seating tool has a section that goes into the injector hole to centralise things, this stops bits falling down. They are usually collected in the flutes of the reamer, if you want to be doubly cautious add a smear of grease to the flutes of the cutter face. If you carry out the operation with care dropping too much into the cylinder can be avoided. However a little bit of carbon and a few tiny flecks of aluminium are usually burnt up and discharged through the exhaust when the engine is fired up. Personally never had any problems though I know one of our blog readers piped regulated compressed air into the cylinders through the glow plug hole while he recut the seats.
      Hope this helps,
      All the best

  25. Hi I have a om642 w211 and have a leaking injector copper seal.
    I’ve got down to the injector that needs to come out but can get hold of sliding hammer for this type of engine searched eBay. I even got one from a garage who said it will fit however it just doesn’t can someone please help it would be appreciated

    1. Hi there Awais,
      Does it have the later slim delphi piezo injectors? If so you need to look for extractors of the type used on Vauxhall Vivaro or the Nissan look-alike. These share the same style of thin Delphi injectors. Have a look at this forum post where Dennis describes his puller for the OM642 engines to me. I reckon with that information it would not be hard to make one up.

      All the best

    1. Hi Lee,
      This could be a large number of things but probably related to some single item you have disturbed. This could be the cam shaft sensor at the back of the rocker cover, plug or wiring. The push electrical connectors to the injectors, wiring to fuel rail sensors or fuel shut off valve. Do you have a fuel filter warning light too? as you may be sucking air in from the fuel delivery pipes if you have disturbed/removed them.

      All the best

  26. Steve
    Thanks for your advice, I’m always surprised , with the amount of dedication, you have put into to this blog.
    I’m at a point where I’m looking to purchase a new Vito, but the threat of the black death concerns me.
    I appreciate the modern day diesel is a high performance machine, but I would like to get at least 300K before spending major money. In you humble opinion what is the most reliable MB diesel engine for the vito?

  27. Just a warning! On Mercedes CDI engines, be very careful if you clean the threaded injector bolt hole. Let me explain. At the bottom of the threaded hole is a small chrome ball. It is about the size of a BB. When you use a bolt to clean the threaded hole, you will no doubt not have the clamp (that holds the injector down). When this clamp is not in place, the bolt can go all the way down to bottom of the hole, one extra turn of the bolt, and you push the small BB down into the water jacket. Water will come pouring out out of the bolt hole, into the injector hole, and into the cylinder. When the small ball (BB) pops down into the water jacket, it does so with a loud bang, This happened to me…I thought I had cracked the head! But after checking out the neighbor hole, I saw the shiny ball at the bottom, in the problem hole, the ball was missing, just a small hole where the ball used to be. I used high temp silicon to seal the hole. I think that the hole was used as a guide during the machining process, and is then sealed with the small ball. I hope this prevent someone from going through a lot of heartache and work. Thanks for the Honda copper washer tip!!!!!

    1. Hi Fred,

      I think what you possibly found at the base of the blind hole was in fact a ball bearing from an injector. What happens when the injectors solenoid section is removed and further dismantled to be extracted with a threaded cap type puller, the balls are often lost in the process, and this is one place they end up! As far as I know there are no ball bearings used to seal the base of any of the tapped hold down clamp holes, they are simply machined blind plug tapped holes.

      Mercedes CDI Cut away injector

      Interesting find however and well worth mentioning. Many thanks for the detail Fred.

      All the best

      1. Hate to disagree with you, but….after I turned the bolt down too far, I heard a bang, and water came up. Because the bolt was in the hole, it prevented the water from coming out too fast. I let enough water out of the drain valve at the bottom of the radiator to below the cyl head. I could see hole at the bottom! The other 5 bolt holes had a small shiny round ball at the bottom! I have since talked to MB engineer, who confirmed that there is a small ball at the bottom. The ball is about 1 1/2 mm in dia.
        I had removed all 6 of my injectors for testing. I could see all 5 balls, the 6th one is somewhere in my cooling system. I have NEVER had the top off of any of my injectors, so there is NO way the ball you are referring to could get out of an injector. Have you ever looked into the bottom of the bolt hole? The next time I have an injector out. I’ll send you a picture. And by the way, your instruction of tightening the bolt to 7 Nm, plus 90 deg. is not correct. It is 7 Nm plus 2 X 90 deg (180deg)! You can look it up.
        But still, good site!

      2. Hi Fred,

        That is no problem at all, you have obviously seen something others, including me never have. I have attached an engineering drawing to show the drilling detail arrangement and proximity of the drilled hold-down clamp bolt hole to the water jacket. I really can’t imagine the purpose of a ball bearing here, as this is not thru-drilled in any way. The relative thin alloy wall at the base of the plug tapped hole forms part of the cast material to the ceiling of the water jacket as you know there is no physical access to this area. Many owners and garages have managed to drill out sheared hold-down bolts without encountering any restriction in passing straight through into the water jacket! However this can be the only reason I can possibly think of that there is a any ball bearing placed in the bottom of the hole – I would imagine it could have been added to prevent a twist drill penetrating the alloy if you did have to parallel drill out the old/sheared bolt, obviously the drill would hit the hardened ball and hopefully go no further – who knows. Apart from this its a mystery, and as I say only you have discovered it. Perhaps your engineer could maybe shed some light onto its purpose. It was easy to draw the conclusion that it may had been from the injector cap as this ball bearing (check valve ball) is also about 1.5mm in diameter – especially as most people lose this when they take the top off the injector. (the injector does not have to be extracted at all from the head to lose this!- in fact it is part of the extraction process prior to a pull)

        Injector cut away

        With regard to the tightening torque, you will read further down in the comments of the post my reasoning for choosing a recommendation of +90 degrees on the hold down bolt sequence. (3rd July 2015 12.30am) Purely because actual physical tests have been carried out, under almost scientific conditions and resulted in measured yield and crush values of the bolt/washer/seal in ‘real life situations’ This was done by a guy called Andy Bittenbinder (look him up on Sprinter-Source if you feel the need) – He discovered that maximum yield of the stretch bolt is obtained at the first 90 turn and found the second 90 to be unnecessary to achieve both the maximum yield of the bolt and resulting maximum crush of the washer. That extra 90 is important to some with worn threads on older engines, especially to those who deal with clients vehicles on a daily basis where unnecessary torquing could result in an expensive fix.

        Many thanks for the comment, and if you do find out any other bits of info do let me know.

        Just a final thought – I did re-read your previous post and derived from your description, that you seem to have a 6 cylinder V engine, is this the OM642? If so it will have a different head type and physical construction to the 4 cylinder 2.1 (OM646) and 5 cylinder 2.7 (OM647) engines that most of the information on this site is written about, if that is the case they are of different head design and could well be manufactured in an entirely different way to the heads on the 4 and 5 cylinder versions. Taking that fact into consideration, there is indeed a possibility that your V6 heads could contain some ball bearing, used to seal off a manufacturing gallery or drilling well, but this would not be common in other types of 4 or 5 cylinder CDI engine.

        All the best

  28. Thanks for the info on the torque. I have had thread stripping problems (not while tightening, but later). I just bought a Helicoil plus for 265 Euros and had to do a lot of extra work. It is a double thread insert. The larger one is (roughly) 10 X 8 mm, the one that fits into it is 8 X 6 mm. First, the tap was too short. I bought an extension that I had to shorten (top was too large to fit into hole). I welded the 2 together. The next problem. the insertion tool was too large to fit into the hole, had to enlarge the hole at the top (about 1mm) to a depth of about .62″. Finally got the inserts in. Now I have a problem. I purchased the Honda washers (about 5 Euros each), but noticed that they are about twice as thick. This means that the injector nozzle doesn’t go into the cylinder as deep. I have read somewhere, that if you reface the injector seat, you need to get a different washer from Bosch. This would imply that the depth seem to be of significance for the firing or burning process…..What are your thoughts on this? By the way, I have a 2002 320 CDI inline six cylinder engine. I have not yet decided which copper washer to use. I have had thoughts of using silver solder on top of the washer, but haven’t tried it.
    By the way, I torque the bolt to 7 Nm using a click type torque wrench, but the I use an old needle/pointer type for the additional 90 deg. I make sure that that I don’t hit the 20 + Nm range.
    It’s strange, MB used to say 7 Nm + 90 deg. Then they changed it to 2 X 90 deg….go figure.

    1. Hi Fred,
      Its never been an issue to use the slightly thicker washer, it appears softer – so I would imagine deforms a little more under compression. I have usually, and always face milled the injector seats before refitting, also its worth checking the steel edge/lip of the injector nose that presses onto the copper washer, often this has a build up of carbon in places, I carefully clean this off with some very fine emery paper until it shines bright steel. By reseating, and cleaning you are stacking the odds towards success!

      You are correct about protrusion, a bigger worry I think would be to cut quite a lot from a badly damaged seat and to have too much entry into the chamber, MB do also sell thicker washers/seals (though not widely known for cases such as this).
      If you do decide to use the originals thats OK too. Although not my idea, there was a guy who suggested ‘light annealing’ the copper could improve its sealing properties by reducing its hardness slightly. I have not done this, but it sounds a practical idea.

      I too have no idea about the change in stance over the +90 +180, I think probably it was to give a positive tolerance to the tightening, in other words we have seen that 7Nm and +90 gives maximum yield, if you were slightly under you would not be fully compressing/yielding to the correct level – as an additional +90 does nothing to the applied yield/torque on a maxed out bolt, they maybe specify it to make sure that it is at least torqued to the correct level, with little chance of being under torqued with that additional +90! In the dealer world – stripped threads means more money from the owner, in the real world, things are a great deal different – as your own problems with threads have highlighted.

      I am sure you will be fine whatever method you choose as you sound very diligent and consider carefully what you do! – a good formula.

      All the best

  29. I forgot to ask you, you are not supposed to use a used bolt, as it has been stretched. Does this mean, that if you installed the bolt, torqued it, and suddenly realize you forgot the washer, that you have to use a new bolt?

  30. Hello,
    Following on from the above thread.
    I have a 2004 ML270 which had black death around #2 and #4. I bought the car drove it home perfectly OK, drove it around locally for a few days and all was absolutely fine, except the fumes that blackdeath give off under the bonnet when hot. I decided to get the car fixed. I slowly chipped vacuumed away the black death and started the car. It started fine, but chuffed around #2 and #4 since had cleaned away most of the tar that was limiting its path previously. I drove it the mechanics 10kms away. No problems at all, drove nicely, except the smell! The mechanic tried to start it later to drive it into the workshop and he couldn’t get it to start. He removed the last of the black death with a de-carbonising product. He removed the injectors and reseated them with the new washer/bolt kit. But still the car wouldn’t start. It fires, but wont start. Fule is flowing OK into the top of the injectors, but no start! It fires each time, but just wont “take” and run. The engine diagnostics report ‘no fault’. Any ideas what might be wrong?? The mechanic is no saying to replace all the injectors, a massive cost. The car was running perfectly, started easily everytime, even when I drove it to the mechanic’s. But I am confused why (he says) it wouldn’t start before he actually started any work. He is an experienced 4WD mechanic, but perhaps not 100% on Merc ML diesels? Any ideas welcome before I outlay thousands on a new set of injectors…. Help appreciated. Scott.

    1. Hi Scott,
      I wonder what make of code reader is being used to read the ECU?. I am surprised that no fault code is returned in this condition, or even a dashboard engine fault lamp illumination sometimes generic auto diagnostics readers do not communicate correctly with Mercedes protocols often giving misleading results.

      The fuel rail on any CDI Mercedes diesel will be impossible to test visually for fuel as if the system is open in any way it will not pump! The rail pressure is huge and is easily in excess of 200bar. If he had the system apart (and possibly removed the high pressure pump or fuel rail for some reason?) it is possible that air in the system is problem here, fitting with the nil report of any faults – though again a competent code reader that worked with the car should give live data readings of rail pressure etc.

      Electrically there are a few things that can hold off running, this could be connected to the cleaning process and reassembly. Any failure of the wiring to the cam shaft sensor on the rocker cover would cause a non start, as would one or more injector plugs not being pushed home enough onto the caps – Indeed any electrical short to the injectors would prevent running.

      If you get your guy to google ‘Sprinter injector leak-off test’ he can test the condition and function of the CDI injectors in situ using just 5 lengths of plastic tube! You will also need to ask if he used an extraction tool to remove the injectors, there is a common type that screws onto the revealed threads once the cap solenoid of the injector is removed. Though these are good in instances where injectors are frozen into the head the dismantling of the injector components and retrieval of the smallest ball bearing is often missed by engineers who are not familiar with this type of injector – I am not getting at your guy just trying to think my way through anything that may causing the issue here. For sure if he works on Jeep CRD then the engines are almost the same.

      So, prove the injector wiring, test the cam sensor and its wiring, use live data to measure/report actual rail pressure (unless you are seeing a minimum of 160bar on crank the engine will not fire as it is will be electrically held off by the ECU as it thinks there is a pipe fault) conduct a leak off test to prove the injectors. If all is well cranking for 20 sec and waiting for 30 sec between your next try should eventually bleed the system (In some cases its a long job!) If you are carful and exercise caution – just a ‘sniff’ of ether in the air box may get things running fast and long enough to bleed the system of air – just don’t overdo it as too much squirt from the can can cause engine damage!

      One final thing, when the injector seals were replaced – were the seats recut and cleaned?. The reason I ask it that often the escaping combustion gasses that leak past the injector and its failed copper seal, in some cases cut deeply into the aluminium head/base of the injector hole, making a gas tight seal impossible unless recut and faced with a proper seating tool or end mill. It is remotely possible that the new seals are not sealing correctly and there is insufficient compression on enough cylinders to reliable start the engine.

      Good luck and I hope this helps!
      All the best

      PS Just as an aside, I recognised the email from Batlabs from around the late 90s, theres a blast from the past – and past life in radio communications for me! That board used to be the go to place for Motorola info, since the founder owner passed away it has not moved forward at all bar the forum! – its like frozen in time – I was quite an active experimenter/contributor at the time especially with the Jedi MTS2000/HT1000 range or portables I seem to remember you were the SyntorX and other Eprom source!.

      1. Many thanks for the advice…….. yes, batlabs. Stopped participating when I got abusive and demanding emails to send copyright material…. Some people push hobby and assistance giving to beyond reasonable!

      2. Hi Steve,
        OK, months on (yes, !!) the local mechanic finally got all the injectors out, a lot of dollar$ later and 5 new ones are in. The car starts, and runs well at ~2000 rpm and higher, but at idle is very rough…almost as though missing on a couple of cylinders. The suspicion is a lump of black death stuck on the face of some valves. I would have thought this would keep the car running rough, even at higher rpms? A container of Wirths anit-carbon has been put through and the car run for hours to see if that will clean/dislodge the tar. I am a little doubtful about their analyse of the cause, but apparently at higher rpms it runs perfectly. Any ideas what it may be? New fuel and air filters have also been fitted when the injectors were do, and the fuel is standard diesel from the local service station…… I must say this whole experience has been expensive and lengthy, and am really hoping ripping the head off isn’t next. This car ran really well before all of this was started, so its been disappointing not to get the car back earlier….. Scott

      3. Hi Scott,
        You will need them to do a leak off test on the injectors to be sure all is OK in that department as there is an outside possibility one may have been damaged during a protracted removal. Then to prove / disprove the compression loss theory you will have to get a compression test done. Make sure all cylinder pressures are all balanced fairly well. This will prove the theory. Compression testers screw into the glow plug ports on the head. This is the best way instead of expensive guess work.
        Hope it works out for you.
        All the best

      4. All the injectors were replaced with new ones – or are you suggesting the seats fuel lines etc may have been damaged during the extraction? I will pass on your ideas, many thanks. Its been quite a lengthy and expensive repair process thus far. Phew!

      5. Hi Scott,
        OK thats fine were they ‘new’ ones or re-conditioned? Either way a leak off test will just give you a comfort factor to the injector situation. Then get a compression test done (there is ‘sort of one’ within the Mercedes diagnostics tool that can give an estimation of cylinder balance by monitoring crank speed, better than nothing if you can access it) I previously assumed that they had just refitted your old injectors. After you are satisfied all is well in the cylinder department you can move on and concentrate your efforts elsewhere.
        All the best

    2. I believe they were new injectors as they were in new Bosch boxes in sealed bags. I think my mechanic has reached the limit of his experience, so I appreciate all your advice so I can share it with him. Thanks again.

      1. I picked the car up from the mechanics today….. didn’t think I would get it home. Running very rough on idle, as though only on a few cylinders, and the EPC light remains on permanently….. Had to keep it in 1st or 2nd to keep the revs up, and even then couldn’t get over 20kph or so, except down hill. Just no power whatsoever! I didn’t think I would make it a couple of mild hills. Seems to run smoother at higher revs 2500+, but still absolutely no power. Reminds me of a 2 stroke motor with the choke hard open…..rough and doesn’t run smooth until you put the choke to ‘normal’. Not sure what has happened, but it ran as smooth as a kitten and full of power before taking it to get the injectors changed…. just had the chuffing and fumes back then. Any idea what it may be causing total loss of power, rough idle and the EPC light? I am going away overseas for a few weeks but may have to take it elsewhere when I return. Any feedback or comments most welcomed at this stage…….

      2. I have no idea, and have little faith in the mechanics now. They may be 4WD experienced, but I suspect not Mercs. Their code reader is a 3rd party one and they did imply a genuine Merc workshop could glean more info than they could. Thankfully they didn’t charge me for all the labour they did expend, but I am not impressed as I now have a car that almost cannot get out of my driveway….. a valueable lesson for me here…. been readin up on the internet and the MAF and EGR seem to be discussed a lot. But I am wondering if the injectors are correct too? 4 are labelled 6110701687 and 1 is labelled 0445110201 Googling seems to produce different results, with different sites saying they are correct, for Sprinters, for MLs, interchangeable, and just about ever combination in between!

  31. Thankyou for this great advice. I have just spend the last week following it to the letter due to the Black death appearing on my 2002 C220 CDI. The washers from Honda were expensive but well worth it. To heating the engine up made the black tar melt so that the injectors and the clamp bolts came out far more easily. Most of my time was spent cleaning the black tar up. The previous owner had using some cheap copper washers from Wickes as seals. They were smaller than the standard MB ones.

  32. Hi can it be done on a vito mk2 while the engine is in place and do I need to replace the clamp or just the bolt

    1. Hi Paul,

      A great deal will depend on what cylinder is to be worked on and if you have suitable access that reflects how free the injector is and what work is involved to remove it (slide hammer/puller for example). You can remove most of the tray beneath the windscreen in the engine bay to improve things. Only the stretch bolt needs to be replaced as it is torque to yield and one time usable.

      All the best

      1. Thanks Steve it’s the third one from the front is it worth changing all of them if one has gone and I have noticed that two of the plugs that connects to the injectors have broken clips can I replace these or is it a new loom

      2. Hi Paul,
        To be honest I would apply don’t mend what isn’t broken! Just do the problem one and see how you get on, the others could be good for many thousands of miles yet and its no reflection that if one fails the others will follow. You can cut off used plugs with tails from scrap vehicles (and purchase new I think) for the injectors but, its often seen that as long as the connector is otherwise good to tie-wrap it to the injector body – most of the courier fleet I maintain are like this. When I have tried in the past to cut into the loom round the injectors black and blue wires the insulation is very brittle and the conductors inside are mostly blackened and very difficult to solder to. So unless you really have to, best avoided! A new loom would be a perfect solution, but costly if not really needed and a major thing to fit as all but the fuel rail has to be removed. I have just found these I have not used them myself, but seem a good idea if you have enough wire slack in the loom to afford a decent connection without it being too tight to reach the injectors.
        All the best

  33. Sir.I having ml270 2001 model…engine3rd injecter comprssure leak out…my mechanic opinion replace new one engine problem decrease nozzle stroke sound…please how much rate Indian money..inform my mail id

  34. The torque spec is 7nm +90 +90.
    There is a slide hammer tool available from Mercedes to extract these injectors.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for the comments, I have always been fully aware of the MB 7Nm +90+90 tightening spec and previously in the post comments have addressed my reasoning for choosing only one +90 rotation to finish the job. I have extracted this explanatory text from the comments section and added it to the main body of the article so that others can find and read it more easily and then decide if they want to use either the factory or modified spec. No doubt there is a MB tool available from the dealers but for most this would be cost prohibitive. (We don’t have one) I will say the only ‘threaded end’ slide hammer we have used has been for attaching to the tops of the later Piezo injectors and as with the older types is little use on injectors that are at the back of the head unless the engine is removed for access – thankfully we have not seen a huge amount of failures with the sealing on the later types so some good came out of the revision. There are associated problems and risks involved in using the cheaper pullers that screw onto the older type injector body/solenoid thread once you have removed the internals. Unless you are very precise, uber-clean in your work and do not damage the outer case during the process – this screw on puller method can work. I have always remained a believer that if you can remove them by avoiding taking them apart its a bonus.
      Thanks again,
      All the best

  35. Hi Steve,

    I have a ML 270 and have enjoyed reading your recommendations in your post.

    I recently tried to remove a faulty Heater (Bosch) and the tip stayed lodged in the head.

    I replaced the remainder (glow plug) back in the head (tip only) and it runs okay but the fault light remains on until slightly warm, then turns off.

    There is never a problem starting the engine.

    It there a solution to remove the broken tip without removing the head?

    1. Hi Greg,
      You will need to hire or buy this tool, it can be done with just a correct sized tap and an improvised slide hammer but if you are not that way inclined, purchasing the tool is the best way forward.
      All the best

  36. Hi Steve
    I have an ml270 on a 52 plate
    Today had no 5 and no 2 injectors cleaned and reseated by local diesel fitter
    Pick truck up driving lovely better than before !!! Used afew times on short journeys today left for a couple of hours on drive on a slight slope truck will not start now turns over goes to start and stops no warning lights just turns over trys to fire runs little then cuts out any ideas garage shut lol

    1. Hi Carole,
      It sounds like a fuelling issue, you will need to check the connections to the fuel filter. These may be causing air to be drawn in and fuel is running back to tank. The system relies on being airtight as there is no lift pump to get diesel to the filter. This would be my first line of investigation without guessing wildly.
      All the best

      1. Hi Steve
        sorry taken so long to reply !!
        It was a loose connection on an injector once tighten started first turn of key !!
        Thought I would also wait to reply incase anything else reared its head
        Once fix she started first turn of the key until latetly when she know turns over about 4 times then fires doesn’t matter if engine hot or cold ??

  37. Hi From Australia
    Did I read somewhere that the original injector clamping bracket used by MB may have a design glitch and so should be replaced with an ‘improved design’ type when doing the Black death job?
    Your details in doing this job are first rate. No 1 injector took about 6 hours to complete – the rest about 30 min each
    I did each one separately and finished it before going to the next
    I used a hacksaw blade to dig out the black shite. I ground down each end of the hacksaw blade to a long sharp point.Its tensile strength is excellent as are the teeth to saw and dig into the holes in the black stuff that the gases come up through.
    Its very important to clear the black gear from around the fuel line attachment point on the injector and the aluminium rocker cover so as to give you room to start the ‘wiggle’ motion with the big open spanner engaged in the top of the injector.
    Again top notch advice…thank you

    1. Hi Peter,
      Many thanks for the extra notes. Not seen anything about an updated clamp but may be local to you.
      Glad to hear all went well and you are back on the road.
      Thank you for the donation its appreciated and will go to keeping the site going. Once I am back home I will send you last years review book .pdf with my compliments.
      All the best

  38. I have replacing the copper washer on my Van and after everthing is put back it start nicely but after a few minutes it start to miss making a noise. Then I thought its maybe air in the diesel so I drove it just for 5o meters then its starts to blow out white grey smoke (a lot) and the noise was geting louder. Then I switch it off and then don’t want to start again. When trying to start it it just blow out white smoke. What can it be cos it was runing fine before replacing the injector copper washer

    1. Marais,
      It could be the injector body is cracked and that was why it was leaking in the first place. These sometimes do fracture. Chances are that replacing the injector with a used or known good item will rectify this issue. I am also assuming that the seat was cleaned and /or recut before fitting the new seal.
      All the best

  39. Hi Steve,
    I changed my injector #6 and replaced it with a used injector from a used MB. I did all of the steps you mentioned. However some guy said I have to reprogram the injector. My car is still shaking like before at low RPM. Do I need to reprogram or is it simply better clean the old injector? I soaked it in injector cleaner for 4 hrs.

    2005 e320 Cdi

    1. Hi Maxim,
      The programming or optimisation ‘coding’ of the injectors is less critical with your model than the later piezo injectors and should not really make that much difference to the running smoothness, its more of a fuelling trim for maximum economy and performance. How did you identify the faulty injector? Did you do a leak off test? There is a possibility the problem is with another one of the injectors. Cleaning the injectors is a professional process and should be done by a diesel specialist where they monitor spray pattern etc. the spray holes are minute!. A badly worn over fuelling injector can damage the piston by overheating and/or washing way lubrication from the bore – it is best rectified. You could take all of your injectors for test. Make sure you identify which one came from where for correct re-assembly.
      Hope that helps

      1. Hi Steve,
        I plugged the MB computer, all the injectors had 0.5 showing while number six had almost 5.0. I didn’t do the leak off test but that sounds like a good idea. I didn’t know it was bad for the engine, thanks for the tip. I appreciate your help.

      2. Hi Steve,
        The funny thing is that it was the reprogramming that actually fixed my injector issue, I had to input the new injector info into the computer

  40. Hi there,
    Thanks for the info
    Are the Honda injector seals ok for the 2.7 crd engine that’s in my Jeep?

  41. Hi.

    I have a 2006 sprinter with 160k. It has had an intermittent ‘surging’ at speed and a “sneeze” at low revs. It then goes in and out of limp mode. Today it started to smoke, cleared its self and ran perfectly on the motorway until I got into town and it had the occasional “sneeze”.

    Any ideas?

    1. Hi Rob,
      Could be as simple as an electrical intermittency with the cabling or injector connector plugs, worth taking them off and making sure everything is pushed home and latched correctly. Likewise it may be an injector playing up, black sooty smoke would indicate the possibility of some over fuelling and this really needs to be attended to quickly. It is possible for a faulty injector to over fuel and cause piston damage in a relatively short time due to local overheating (melting of the piston crown) An injector leak down test to identify the possibility of a failing injector would be a starting point.
      Hope that helps

  42. i have a Vito W639 109, it had black death, I cleaned it up, reseated, new thicker washers and reinstalled.

    It starts and runs, no fault lights, but there is black smoke and not quite full power, the black smoke is gradually getting less as I use the van, but it still there and it feels like it is misfiring partially. Definitely more power than when one injector had partially popped out and I had to remove it’s plug so was running on three.

    Thinking about trying some injector cleaner as first port of call.

    1. Hi Mark,
      If its the later Vito chances are it could have piezo injectors, if this is the case they are particular where they came from and if you made sure that No. 1 injector went back in No.1 cylinder there shouldn’t be a problem. If they were mixed up they will need recoding to work correctly. I would do a leak off test on all injectors and see if it shows up any issues, its simple to do and just uses four lengths of suitably sized rubber hose. See here.
      Hope this helps

  43. Hi Steve I have a 2005 ml270 w163 it has just developed a misfire on tick over only when hot, have already renewed one injector due to me busting it when I tried to get it out, had leaking seal have done two other her injectors also about a year ago. Have tried to isolate misfire by removing each injector lead in turn by engine just stops, could it be an injector or something else. ?

    1. Hi Glenn,

      Do you have a fault light on the dash? It could be the EGR is stuck slightly open causing a similar situation to a misfire. This could especially be the case if it has suddenly appeared. If you remove any injector lead the engine will stall/die as a protection measure so you will not be able to decide anything from that I am afraid. It could benefit from injector cleaner and filter change, what I often do is remove the filter and fit new, filling it to the brim with neat diesel injector cleaner. Pour the rest into the tank. Re-pipe the filter and run the vehicle, go and take on a road test and see if it has made any difference. If you have starting issues then I would do a leak-off test on all injectors and see what that revealed.
      Hope that helps

      Best Regards

  44. Hi Steve I have no fault codes showing on the dash . Will try the new filter and injector cleaner trick . Have put two bottles of cleaner in half tank fuel seemed to have no effect . Car starts on the button never had starting issues Ps has got 205000 miles up and no oil use plus goes like a train even with tick over issue . Many thanks Glenn

    1. Glenn,
      If the idle is just lumpy and uneven and it smooths out at 1200 ish and above then have a look at the aux drive belt, if its flapping about at idle on the long run from the alternator, it could be that the alternator freewheel drive pulley is jammed locked. Take the belt off and make sure it freewheels in one direction, if not and it is jammed in both directions then this is a sure candidate for lumpy jerky running at idle.
      All the best

      1. Hi Steve Aux drive belt in good order and no issues with alternator. Car absolute dead miss only when hot on tick over if I increase revs to 900/1000 miss goes . Is there any way of discovering which cyl it is with out MB star diagnosis. ? Many thanks Glenn

      2. Hi Glenn,
        If you done want to go down the electronic diagnostic route just yet, have a read of this and conduct a leak-down test to determine if you have an injector problem.
        Hope that helps a little,
        All the best

  45. Hi Steve have sorted the miss fire it turned out to be number five injector, did a leak off test and all injectors were about the same very little difference from the one new injector I fitted a few months ago , so I used a listening stick held against each injector in turn and discovered number five didn’t sound crisp like the others , changed it and fitted new fuel filter also used your trick of filling it with injector cleaner seems to have cured the problem. Many thanks for all your help . Glenn

    1. Hi Glenn,
      Thats great, a few good fault finding tips paid off there and you were able to sort that quite quickly. Thanks for the update and of course the book purchase!
      All the best

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